Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Hard Part Haircut

Styling Inspiration for Men’s Hair

How To Get The Perfect Hard Part Haircut, According To A Barber

02 October 2018
photo of man with hard part haircut
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Emily Arata

Senior Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L’Oréal, Emily works with celebrity stylists to make finding the right cut, color, or style easier than ever before. She's previously written for Allure, Elite Daily, and First We Feast.

When done well, your haircut should always say something about you. Whether you’re a free spirit wearing a long ponytail or a classic gentleman in a fade, we’re big proponents of trying something new and taking a hair risk.

There’s one extra step you can take at your barber appointments that will shift your cut from bland to right on-trend: the hard part. We spoke with Evan Georgopoulos, Baxter of California barber and brand ambassador, about what this simple shaved line can do for your look (and your confidence). Whether you’re still figuring out fade vs. taper or totally experienced with your look, the hard part can add an element of surprise to any style.

What is a hard part?

The part you’re most familiar with might be a dividing line between two sections of hair, but the hard part amps up the impact quite a bit with an actual line shaved into the hair for dramatic effect.

The hard part, in barber terms, is a shaved in line on the side of your head that separates two—usually different—hair lengths...The hard part can be a great addition to any traditional or non-traditional style, but it must be executed well by your barber.
Think of the hard part as the focal point of your cut. It can elevate even the most classic taper fade or crew cut.

Why get a hard part?

Like all the best hair decisions, you get a hard part because it looks about as cool as any cut can.

“People get them for a couple reasons. One, the assumption it makes your hair easy to style. Two, to make your haircut pop,” Georgopoulos says.

Have you ever seen a man wearing a seriously bold print? Just the slightest accent makes him look confident and stylish. Wearing a minimalist but impactful hard part leaves others with the impression that you’ve got this personal style thing on lock.

 

How do you maintain a hard part?

Here’s the crucial thing to remember about the hard part style: Shaved hair only stays so for a few days at best.

“People see different variations of hard parts all over the internet, TV, and sports,” Georgopoulos says. “People like what they see. If you notice, though the haircuts are all no older than a couple days [old].”

Because hard parts require regular maintenance, they’re an excellent fit for men who have a close relationship to their barber and don’t mind scheduling regular appointments for a trim.

“You can maker a haircut last as long as you want, but a hard part always looks best within the first few days,” the barber adds. “If it’s convenient to get it cleaned up less than every two weeks, do it!”

It’s not just the frequency of appointments that matter, either. Georgopoulos stresses the importance of visiting a barber who takes the time to figure out the most flattering placement for your hard part. He or she must factor in any cowlicks that might cause hair to cross over the line.

If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry.

“This is kind of on your barber to make it look good,” Georgopoulos says. “Also, let me add, if you're confident in your barber, just give him free rein and allow him to do what he thinks will look best. He's most likely right.”

 

Need inspiration before you head to your barber? Keep scrolling for the best hard part haircuts.

Straight Edge

We’d call this hard part the perfect design for a man who knows what he wants. The hard part is thin but apparent, and a second complementary cut makes the whole style feel fresher. Like all hard parts, you’ll need to touch up this style every few days to ensure it continues to feel smart. Before leaving your barber’s chair, be sure you’ve set up your next appointment.

Extra Thin

Most men avoid having their hairstyle be the central focus of their overall aesthetic. If that hits home, an extra thin hard part may be the ideal way to take your cut to the next level. This skinny line looks polished and smart without overwhelming the rest of the look. It takes a barber with a steady hand to pull this one off!

Subtle

One way to minimize the visual impact of a hard part is to pair with hair that’s longer on top, like a pompadour or quiff style. Particularly suitable for men with strong hairlines, the subtle hard part is part of a cohesive overall style—not just the one thing your boss notices about your new ‘do. Use a styling formula like Redken Brews Molding Paste to ensure your pompadour doesn’t slump over and obscure your part.

Ivy League

Surprisingly, a hard part haircut even plays well with a preppy Ivy League cut. Think of this like the cut you actually had while you were enrolled in classes, but upgraded! Using a fine-tooth comb, make sure every hair is combed into place to ensure you’re helping your hard part look its best.

Crisp

There’s a very distinctive kind of man who cares about every aspect of his aesthetic being pristine. From his all-white kicks to his hard part haircut, there’s not a single hint of disarray. That’s why he’s a perfect candidate for a short but crisp hard part, one that makes a clean, minimalist statement.

Double Trouble

Here’s the thing about hair: It should be treated as a creative outlet. We love this double line design for the way it plays with the traditional idea of a hard part haircut, poking fun at it by adding a diminutive second line to the style. To get the most out of the look, make sure it’s slightly angled rather than straight down the middle of your head.

Swoopy

Parts for men come in many shapes and sizes, so feel free to let your barber play with the design of your hard part haircut. We’re in love with this slightly curved part, which creates a more organic feel because it curves to match the shape of the head. It also means your style will be wholly original, created by your barber to flatter your unique look.

V-Shaped Part

If you have a creative career or somehow managed to escape an office dress code, why not treat your hair like wearable art? We’re in love with this V-shaped hard part, which falls somewhere between a traditional part and hair design. This look mimics the taper from the widest point of the head to the nape.

Zigzag

We’re fully into design-centric territory here, but it’s a great place to be if you’re comfortable experimenting with your hairdo. Rather than make your part the divide between two section of thick hair, trust your barber to incorporate it into a stylish fade. There’s no such thing as boring hair when you’re wearing a hard part haircut.

Barely There

Make a haircut part of a more classic style by ensuring the hard part stays minimal. Ask your stylist for a smart fade, which can help make your look seem more modern and exciting.

Decorative Gap

The bigger the part, the better sometimes! While this is technically more of a hair design than a part, we love the way it creates a focal point for a look.

Interested in trying a hard part haircut for yourself? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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