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Switching up your part is one way to instantly elevate your look. Here’s how to choose the right hair part for your face shape and hair type.

How To Find the Best Hair Part for Your Face Shape

Switching up your part is one way to instantly elevate your look. Here’s how to choose the right hair part for your face shape and hair type.
How To Find the Best Hair Part for Your Face Shape

Parting your hair may not be something you usually give much thought to. But recently, TikTok has been alight with an ongoing debate about the respective merits of the middle part and the side part. There’s also been renewed interest in Y2K trends like the zig-zig part, which is inspired by our favorite 2000s-era icons. Naturally, the newfound focus on hair parts has inspired many people to rethink how they style their hair. But while playing with different parts can be a fun way to mix up your look, we can’t help but wonder: Is there actually a right or a wrong way to part your hair?

Ahead, we’re investigating the answer to this question with the help of professional hairstylist Lena Rella. Join us as we settle the hair-parting dilemma once and for all, so you never need to second-guess whether you’ve nailed the perfect part. We’ll be covering some on-trend ways to part your hair, the factors to consider when deciding on the right part for you, and how to part your hair step by step.

What’s the Most Popular Way To Part Your Hair?

If you’ve been following the latest hair trends, you may have noticed that nearly everyone was rocking a middle part for a while—especially after Gen Z influencers deemed side parts “cheugy” (read: outdated). You may have even tried the TikTok #middlepartchallenge to see if Gen Z was right that everybody looks better with a middle part.

However, more recently, side parts have been making a major comeback. Many celebrities were spotted at this season’s award shows with deep side parts and cascading waves—a glamorous look that instantly transports you back to the 1940s and 1950s. And Y2K-era favorites, like side bangs and zig-zag parts, have been all over social media lately. There are so many different ways to style your part, and this year is all about switching it up and feeling free to have fun with different hair partings.

Good hair day by @kaylacolours.

Is There a Correct Way To Part Your Hair?

There is no right or wrong way to part your hair. At the end of the day, how you style your hair is entirely a matter of personal preference. Hair trends come and go, but what matters most is that you feel confident in your chosen look. And there’s no reason why you need to remain loyal to a single type of part—playing with different variations is a great way to switch up your hairstyle for different occasions.

With that said, some factors can influence which type of hair part might complement your facial features most. A middle part can highlight the symmetry of your face shape, for example. It may also have a slimming effect by creating the illusion of length for wider, shorter faces. Meanwhile, side parts can be helpful for softening your features or when aiming for a more elegant vibe.

Below, we’re sharing a few tips to consider when deciding how to style your part.

Identify where your hair falls naturally

“When deciding on where to part your hair, one of the very first things you need to do is identify which way your hair falls naturally,” Rella says. You can do this by brushing your hair back when it's wet and letting it dry naturally. The way your hair falls when it’s dry may be where your natural part is. Once you’ve identified your natural part, you can use it as a starting point when playing with different partings.

Good hair day by @cassipaints.

Choose a part based on your hair type

Your hair type can also influence your ideal part. If you have fine, thin hair, you may want to opt for a deep side part, for example. A side part can help create the appearance of more body and volume at the top of your head (just be sure to incorporate a volumizing hairspray into your routine, like Pureology Instant Levitation Mist, to keep your style in place).

Meanwhile, middle parts really shine on those with medium or thick strands. For people dealing with hair loss, such as a receding hairline or thinning around the temples, a middle part can also help conceal problem areas.

Consider your face shape

When you head to the salon for a new haircut, your stylist usually assesses your face shape to help determine which cut will look best on you. The same technique can help you decide on the ideal hair part for your face shape. Some hair parts tend to flatter certain face shapes, whether your face is heart-shaped, oval, round, or square (more on that ahead).

Good hair day by @ava_stanley.

Where Should I Part My Hair Based on My Face Shape?

How you part your hair is up to you—but if you’re looking to figure out which hair part will best complement your face shape, keep scrolling.

Good hair day by @aobokinks.


If you have a narrow chin, prominent cheekbones, and a wide forehead, you have a heart-shaped face. For this face shape, Rella recommends trying a diagonal side part to help soften your features. “A diagonal part allows for the eye to travel on an angle away from the face,” she explains. “This can [help] the face look more symmetrical and hide things like a widow’s peak if that’s something [you’re] concerned about.” Pairing a deep diagonal part with lots of movement and volume can give those with heart-shaped faces a harmonious look that enhances their unique face shape.

Good hair day by @hairbydenamarie.


You have a round face shape if your face is roughly as long as it is wide, with soft, rounded edges. According to Rella, middle parts tend to work best on those with round faces. “The middle part will give you the illusion of length and extend the face, which is what a round shape needs,” she explains. You can try wearing your middle part sleek and straight or style flipped-out ends for a bit of vintage flair.

Good hair day by @chrisgreenehair.


Oval-shaped faces are longer than they are wide, with no sharp angles and a forehead that’s smaller than the cheekbones. “An oval face is ideally the shape we would all love to have,” says Rella. This is because people with oval-shaped faces can pull off pretty much any hair part. So, when it comes to oval faces, it’s all about how you style your part. Rella advises adding some side-swept bangs or curtain bangs along with any kind of parting. We love adding a bit of texture to fringe looks with a texturizing spray like Redken Dry Texture Spray—this product creates instant, undone texture and lightweight volume.


The square face shape is characterized by angular features and a strong jawline. For this face shape, Rella recommends trying a side part. The jaw is typically the focal point of square-shaped faces, and a soft, side-swept part can help bring some softness to your pronounced features. “A side part takes away from the harsh lines in the jaw and gives you a modern and current parting,” she says. However, it’s usually best not to go too deep with the side part, as this can add more sharpness to angular features.

How To Part Your Hair Perfectly Every Time

Good news: Getting your part right every time is simple once you have the right tools and understand the basic technique. Here are the steps to follow.

Decide which side you want to part your hair

You may already know which side is your “good side”—that’s generally the side you want to part your hair on. If you’re unsure, we suggest asking your stylist for advice the next time you’re at the salon. They can help you figure out which side brings out your natural features best.

Start with damp, towel-dried hair

You can part your hair when it’s dry, but we recommend starting with freshly washed, towel-dried hair. If it’s not a wash day, you can spritz your mane with water to dampen it a bit. Then, spray your locks with a detangling spray—like Biolage Professional All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray—and gently brush through any knots using a wide-tooth comb.

Apply any styling products

Before parting your hair, apply any styling products (such as mousse, texturizing spray, or gel) and distribute them through your strands using a wide-tooth comb. If you’re going for a sleek part, apply your chosen styling product onto your roots as well—this will give you more hold and control when you go in to create your part. Remember to apply a heat protectant if you’ll be using hot tools to create your look. One of our favorites is Redken Acidic Color Gloss Heat Protection Leave-In Treatment. This spray provides heat protection up to 450°F while adding molecular-level shine.

Use your fingers to create a soft part

Next, use your fingers to create a rough part (a.k.a. “soft part”). Simply divide your strands with your fingers to create a general guide for your part. You can leave it here for a softer vibe (the undone effect pairs particularly well with tousled, loose styles, like beach waves), or break out the comb and move on to the next step.

Perfect your part using a rat tail comb

To style a sharp, precisely defined part, you’ll need a rat tail comb. Take the pointy end of the comb and, starting at the front of your head, align the tip of the comb with your hairline (where you’ve created your soft part). Then, apply light pressure and guide the comb back slowly in one straight motion. Once you reach the crown of your head, move the tip of the comb to one side and part the hair. To finish, use the rat tail comb to define your part further, fixing any strands that are out of place.

Pro Tip: When parting your hair a different way, you may need to “train” your part. This can be done by parting your hair when it’s damp, then using a blow dryer to help keep your part in place. Simply blow warm air downward onto your part from above. The heat should help your hair settle into a new direction. Then, tame any flyaways or frizz by applying a smoothing serum, like Biolage Professional Smooth Proof Serum.

Finish your look

Once you have the perfect part, you’re ready to continue with the rest of your styling routine. Certain styles tend to complement different partings, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Some of our favorite middle part styles include curtain bangs, space buns, sleek low ponytails, blunt bobs, and trendy shag cuts. Meanwhile, side part hairstyles like a voluminous, bouncy blowout and low chignons are great options for both subtle and deeper side parts. Most importantly, remember to have fun with it—you never know what new style you may fall in love with.

Next Up: How To Try the Kitty Cut, The Viral ‘IT Girl’ Bob of the Year

Header photo credits (left to right): @aobokinks & @cassipaints

Ready to switch up your part with a fresh cut and style? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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