Millennials, it's your time to shine again, thanks to Kim Kardashian bringing back the great part debates. Although Gen Z has deemed the hairstyle dead, Kardashian, a notorious middle-parter, recently posted a photo of her long, sleek silver locks in a moody side part, covering almost half of her face. In the comment section, celebs like Emily Ratajkowski and Tracy Romulus express their approval of Kardashian's new 'do, but the question remains: will the masses take on this new hair trend, and is it coming back in style?
Where you've seen it
Although many young TikTokers have expressed their disdain for a "millennial" side part, the style dates back long before millennials could even verbalize their hair goals to their stylists. From early Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor to 90's supermodels like Cindy Crawford, people have been rocking side parts for decades.
Side parts in the early '50s and then again in the '90s had a certain voluminous glamour to them. But, as pin-straight hair rose in the ranks during the aughts, so did the side part with little emphasis on volume and more emphasis on face-framing.
Oribe's Principal Artist of Global Design, Kien Hoang reveals to Byrdie, "The side part emphasizes an individual's facial expressions by opening up the eyebrows and face." This hairstyle creates an effortless look casual enough to wear day-to-day—it requires little styling—yet streamlined enough to make stars like Aaliyah red carpet-ready.
Of course, trends constantly ebb and flow, which is why there was a transition from a '50s side part to a '70s Jane Birkin-inspired middle part, and then back to a deep side part in the '90s. Seeing that this hairstyle has made its way in and out of fashion several times over, it's only natural that the side part is en vogue once again after a few years of the middle part reigning supreme—at least, on the red carpet anyway, as plenty of "real" people stuck to a side swept part.
How it's coming back
As evidenced by Kardashian, in 2022 the classic hairstyle is taking on a futuristic look that involves sleek hair styled into a deep part. Says Hoang, "I love a deep side part, [since] it gives a nuance and can create an edgier look, whether [it's] tucked in or hanging." A deep part can take on a number of styles, like Kardashian's smooth finish, or offer a voluminous edge for a modern-Hollywood rendition.
Although Kardashian's look is breaking the internet, a sleek deep part can sometimes be too editorial for daily styling, or it might not work for your hair type or face shape. Hoang mentions that since there are so many ways to wear a side part, "it's an opportunity for individualism and a way for people to feel more comfortable wearing their natural parts." Hoang predicts people will err on the side of a natural-looking part rather than a strict part, creating a hairstyle that's "less done-up and more effortless."
Hoang says, "the raked-styled side part feels more organic and is what more people seem to gravitate towards." To achieve a raked-styled side part, run your hands through the base of your hair and position it over to whichever side you prefer, letting your hair fall naturally. After that, you can style it as you normally would, with a curling iron, flat iron, or blow dryer.
If this seems too casual for you, Hoang recommends playing around with different techniques, noting that "[a part] can also be more of a side angle that goes into the high crown." This parting technique can give you that effortless part while adding volume to your hair's crown.
However you slice (or part) it, the side part is here to stay, folks. So remember to wear your hair however it feels great for you, whether it's an edgy deep part like Kim K's or a raked-back 'do that screams effortless.