Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul

In defence of the side part

Kelsey Ferencak weighs in on the internet’s biggest beauty debate

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Apparently the fastest way to spot an ageing millennial is to look at how their hair is parted. In the most recent generation­al debate, gen Z told their millennial elders that side parts are for “old people”.

The deep and meaningful thoughts on current hair trends began on socialmedi­a platform TikTok, where user @ladygleep declared, “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.”

What followed was a series of video “clapbacks” and an internet-wide dispute on where to draw the (hair) line. From celebritie­s like model Ashley Graham to leading hairstylis­ts, many have weighed in.

Considerin­g side parts uncool is one thing, but to the say the same of ageing is another – and false at that. According to hairstylis­t and RAW Salon founder Anthony Nader, whose clientele expands across all generation­s, the side part is a classic for a reason: it suits all hair types and lengths. He does, however, say it requires some styling know-how.

No-one’s face is symmetrica­l, so side parts are actually more forgiving and can strengthen or soften different facial features. “The more you move your hair to the side, the more one side of your face is exposed, so if your face shape is small and angular like a square, a side part will enhance and flatter those angles while balancing symmetry,” Nader tips.

It can even lengthen a round face, disguise cowlicks, thin patches of hair, breakouts and also wrinkles. A part also adds volume, depth and movement to flat or thin strands, and hides regrowth and grey roots. Sounds youth-boosting, right?

“Just a few centimetre­s changes your look completely – and for free,” says

Nader. “If you have thin or flat hair, be mindful not to place your side part too low and instead part it closer to the middle of your head. The same goes for thick, textured hair, to avoid it looking too heavy or full on the one side.”

Middle parts require more maintenanc­e. They need to be perfected and tamed, while a side part can be flipped from one side to the other with a flick of the wrist. No wonder Margot Robbie and gen-Zers Zendaya and Anya Taylor-Joy are fans.

Beauty trends are cyclical, but part lines are not. The perm is one of this year’s biggest hair trends – gen Z can thank their grandmothe­rs for that one. Teens have also brought back space buns – and that’s a style I’d like to leave in my Spice Girl dress-up days.

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