Parting ways: Has the side parting had its day? The TikTok generation certainly thinks so
Hair stylists weigh in on the middle versus side parting debate
Millennials and Generation Z seem to go head-to-head on hot topics regularly, but never has it felt so literal, as a debate rages on about hair partings.
The parting tide seems to have shifted … from a side parting, favoured by millennials, to a blunt middle parting, the choice of TikTokers and Gen Z-ers out there.
"Prove me wrong, but I don't think that there is a single person who looks better with a side part than they do a middle part," TikTok user Miss Lady Gleep says in a video which was posted in July 2020. In the video, her hair is noticeably parting-less.
The audio from the video has since been used more than 21,000 times, by both people who are backing the views of Miss Lady Gleep and disputing them.
UAE hair stylists say they have noticed that, in recent months, hair trends have moved away from the side part towards the middle.
“The centre part is really fashionable at the moment and it is flattering as it frames the face. A side parting hides an eye and more of your forehead, so it doesn’t show off your face as much,” says Natalie Kasses, artistic director at Pastels Salon. “A middle parting definitely is more on trend.”
Cat Hawkes, owner and artistic director at Salon 971 says: “More people are going for a middle parting. I would definitely say it’s more of a younger trend to have a middle parting, but over the past couple of years a lot of my clients in their thirties, forties and fifties are opting for it too.”
Celebrities who opt for each of the two styles seem to be split down the middle, if you can forgive the pun.
The likes of Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen and Kim Kardashian all sport a middle parting, while Amal Clooney, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon seem to favour a side parting. The likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Victoria Beckham and Gigi Hadid swap between the two styles.
Hicham Eid, creative director at Eideal and Davines Arabia, says that the middle parting is no flash-in-the-pan trend.
“The middle part hair trend will never die. It is one of those styles that everyone will come back to at some point of their life and make it part of their look,” he says.
Regardless, the news has shocked the many millennials on TikTok, who feel “attacked” by a younger generation. However, while many are now shifting their parting “so that Gen Z doesn’t think they’re old”, there are still millennials who prefer to sport side partings.
A number of millennials have used the argument that they won’t be told to how to part their hair “by the generation that ate Tide Pods”.
However, millennials (or boomers) with a side parting should not worry – it is totally possible to switch – in fact, hair stylists encourage it.
“I always try and switch people to the middle parting, when I cut the front, whether they wear it at the side or not, I always cut it in the middle parting, styling the front always coming forward, then they can split it in the middle. I always persuade people to go for Bardot bangs, because it’s a really nice style through the front, in the middle, and [you can] flick it to the side,” says Hawkes.
Eid agrees: “Most clients like to have the freedom to shift from one side to another. Sometimes their natural part is deep and that comes with restrictions and would be difficult to shift since the hair wouldn't necessarily be living in the way it is supposed to live.
“Depending on your face shape, the style you want to achieve and your hair's texture, you might want to consider changing up your parting so the result is more flattering. Play around with it and see how comfortable you feel and always ask your stylist.”
However, Kasses maintains that a hairstyle need not be dictated by a trend – it should come down to taste and confidence.
“[The side parting] is not just for millennials at all,” says Kasses. “As long as you feel comfortable with how you look, you can pull off any style – confidence is key.”
Updated: February 17, 2021 04:01 PM