Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of beauty debates on the internet, from highlights vs. balayage to salon color vs. box dye (hint: box dye is never a good idea). Now, there’s a new hair-related debate to take the internet by storm—and this one is all about the most on-trend way to part your hair.
There’s been a major riff between Gen-Z and Millennials circulating on TikTok over whether middle parts or side parts are better. Millennials are sticking by the side part, while Gen-Z is Team Middle Part all the way. The question is: Does one part actually look better than the other? We decided to ask our experts where they stand on the middle part vs. side part situation. They share their thoughts and, more importantly, how you should actually find the hair part that works best for you, below.
Is a middle part better than a side part?
While middle parts vs. side parts has turned into a generational discussion on TikTok, Brandon Curtis, L'Oréal Professionnel national artist, suggests that choosing how to part your hair should have nothing to do with age. In fact, it all comes down to which one flatters your face shape.
“Both options will always be in style, and both options are timeless,” Curtis says. “A middle part will complement the symmetry of your face shape as well as elongate the face, and a side part will soften your features.”
A middle part, Curtis says, can also help conceal certain hair concerns such as thinning and hair loss.
“If your hairline is sparse around your temples, from a receding hairline or post-pregnancy hair loss, a middle part can help to conceal that,” Curtis says.
Sharon Spellman, Matrix brand ambassador, says that aside from face shape and hair concerns, side parts and middle parts also give a different vibe to your look.
“I love both parts, so it’s definitely hard to choose one I like better,” Spellman says. “The middle part to me represents sleek and directness, while the side part represents a softer and elegant vibe.”
How To Determine Your Face Shape
If you want to know which part works best for your face shape, you’ll first need to determine which face shape you have. Luckily, Spellman has a few tips to share!
To figure out your face shape, start by grabbing measuring tape. Measure the distance across your forehead, cheekbone to cheekbone, across your jawline from ear to ear, and your full face from your hairline to under your chin. Now that you have your measurements, you can determine which facial shape you have.
Round Face Shape: A round forehead, round jawline, width of the face is the same as the length.
Square Face Shape: A forehead that’s the same width as the jaw, minimal curves to the cheekbones, squared jawline, length of the face is the same as the width
Diamond Face Shape: The width of the forehead is smaller than the width of the cheekbones, cheekbones are wider than the forehead, narrow chin, width of face is the same as the length
Oval Face Shape: The width of the forehead is smaller than the cheekbones, cheekbones are the widest part of face, no sharp angles around the jaw, face is longer in length than width
Heart Face Shape: The forehead is wider than the jawline, round hairline with widows-peak, cheekbone width is the same as forehead width, narrow jawline, face is longer in length than width
What face shapes can pull off a middle part?
Good news: You don’t need to be a Gen-Zer to rock a middle part! If you have an oval, round, diamond, or heart-shaped face, a middle part will help compliment your facial features.
“It creates the illusion of length and gives the look of perfect symmetry for the face,” Spellman says.
What face shapes can pull off a side part?
If you have a square, diamond, or heart-shaped face, a side part will help to soften your jawline and cheekbones and create balance.
No matter which part you choose, Curtis emphasizes finding the one that makes you feel most confident.
“Play with your hair part in the mirror to see what feels the most flattering on you.” Curtis says. “If you need advice, talk to a professional hairstylist about what part will have you looking and feeling your best.”
Interested in more expert styling tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.