Why your hair part matters
One of the great equalisers in life is that we all have endured at least one hairstyle that just…didn’t work. For me, it was a centre-part bob in college that was supposed to accentuate my heart-shaped face, and oh boy, did it ever. My wavy type 2 hair fell equally on both sides of my face, and according to my generous brother, it gave me the appearance of a Lego head. Luckily, as the style grew into a lob, I was able to use the length to play around with different hair parts, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it changed my entire facial appearance.
Gen Z’ers recently declared side parts to be “over.” Perhaps they have not yet had this humbling experience, because anyone who has knows what a gift from heaven a side part can be, especially when recovering from a serious hairstyle mistake. It’s also a very forgiving type of part that works with most face shapes. But women with oblong and rectangular faces, beware: a deep side part can elongate a face, depending on your hair type, so if your hair skews straight as an arrow, it’s best to spritz a salt spray in first for some extra movement.
Best part for a round face
Visually lengthen your face by drawing more attention to the centre with curtain bangs, suggests hairstylist Matt Fugate. These bangs are parted in the centre and angle down to get longer toward your jawline. By leaving a bit of forehead exposed and tapering at your jaw, the eye focuses on the middle of your face instead of the round sides. “Instantly you change the [face] shape to more of a diamond,” says Fugate. If bangs aren’t your thing, try a deep side part, suggests stylist Mackenzie Day. Creating more volume at the top of your head will make your face seem longer.
Best part for round with textured hair
If you’re looking to use hair as an optical illusion to make your face appear slimmer, one definite no-no is having too many layers when sporting a middle part. Those layers will add volume, rather than elongate. If your hair type is a temperamental 2, celebrity stylist Larry Sims reminds us to first “check the weather before you invest in a blowout.” For dry, sunny days, rock a middle part with straight hair, but on a rainy or humid day, “lean into your natural hair” while opting for a deep side part to create a stylised look.