Parting ways: The return of the side part and how you can get the look at home

6 June 2024
By Amberley Colby

Everything you need to know about the divisive hair trend that’s taken over the red carpets and runways.

Tory Burch FW24. Image:

Chances are, it’s been a long time since you contemplated changing up your hair parting. While it might seem like a minor adjustment, altering the direction of your hair can significantly impact the appearance of your face shape and overall hairstyle. We know that beauty trends come and go, often coming full circle after a few years, and the same can now be said for the side part. Though previously deemed to be passé by Gen Z, if the recent runways and red carpet events are anything to go by, it seems as though the middle part’s reigning era may well and truly be over. 

Evolving from the sweeping side parts we became so familiar with during the early 2000s, the side parts of today have taken on a much cleaner, sleeker aesthetic. Seen prominently on the fall/winter 2024 runways of Tory Burch, Fendi and Max Mara, models’ hair was parted from the side and swept back into no-nonsense buns and braids. On the red carpet, many celebrities have been adopting more of an ‘old Hollywood’ style side part, where the hair is smoothed from the roots and curled into loose, bouncy waves.

The side part has its roots in ’90s runway glam and then morphed into a 2000s icon, a peak period for cool bratty women.

If you’ve been wanting to switch up your look in 2024 but aren’t ready to take the plunge with a full chop or colour change, a new hair part might be the perfect solution. Easily achieved without a trip to the hairdresser, we consulted salon owner and senior hair stylist Lauren Gunn of Colleen for her expert tips on perfecting the side part at home. “Gen Z have taken over as culture influencers and are throwing all the Millennial style rules straight in the bin. The side part has its roots in ’90s runway glam and then morphed into a 2000s icon, a peak period for cool bratty women,” she told FQ. “It was rich time for female expression and there’s a lot to love about that period in time. It’s no surprise that it’s having a moment.”

Read on for our how-to guide:

Fendi FW24. Image:
Fendi FW24. Image:

How to style a side part:

  1. Before trying out a side part, Gunn recommends making a visit to your hairdresser to achieve the best results. “For starters, you are gonna want some layers cut into your hair at your next appointment with your stylist.”

  2. The best time to try out a new hair parting is immediately after washing and towel drying your hair. If you don’t have time, drench your hair with a spray bottle of water — focusing on the roots — and choose which side you’d like the part to be on. 

  3.  Using a stylist comb, take the metal tail end and gently trace out your part starting from the arch of your eyebrow, and drag diagonally backwards. A shallow parting that goes back to 2-3cm from your forehead will give the illusion of more voluminous locks, while a deeper parting will create a more sleek, low volume ’do.

  4. Use clips to keep your part in place. “Mousse is your new best friend for lift and bounce and of course a heat protector is a must have,” says Gunn. Apply mousse to the hands and work through the hair. 

You will need:

GHD Anti-Static tail comb, $34, from Sephora.
Briogeo 'Grip & Clip' Alligator hair clips, $28, from Mecca.
Oribe Grandiose hair plumping mousse, $66, from Colleen.

4. Take a round brush and blow dry the hair one side at a time from the part to the ends.

5. There are multiple ways to style a side part, according to Gunn. “If you’re going for a Pepsi-Era Cindy Crawford-style side part, you are styling it bouncy and big and casually tossed to the side,” she says. “This a great look for anyone with natural wave or curl.” For those with straight or fine hair, she suggests “wearing it flat to one side, with a little wispy fringe and maybe with a cute clip.”

6. To finish, Gunn says “you can go to town with a shine spray to lock in your look.” A generous spritz should keep your locks looking sleek and glossy all day long.

GHD Ceramic Radial brush, $55, from Sephora.
OUAI Matte Pomade 50ml, $53, from Sephora.
Davine's shimmering mist, $61, from Colleen.

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that Fashion Quarterly may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. This is at no extra cost to you and helps fund future editorial content. 


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