Cowlicks? Don't know her.
Growing up, my mom was very dedicated to maintaining my side part. Perhaps too dedicated. In recent years, I've struggled to switch my side part to a middle part, and it wasn't always an easy or fun process, but I finally did it, dent- and bump-free. If the recent declaration by Gen Z that side parts are totally over made you panic-switch to a middle part, only to find your hair doesn't agree with such a swift change, you don't have to suffer like I did. I tapped a few key hair experts for advice on how best to get a middle part, and their advice will make the transition so much easier.
The most important thing to know is that, if your hair has been parted a certain way for quite some time, there will be a little unevenness to a new part as your hair gets used to it. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are middle parts, it turns out. To start, Tina Malhotra, a hairstylist at Mia Wagner Studio in New York City, recommends you start by figuring out where your middle part should lay — because, yes, there are several types of middle parts, and not all of them can or should look like a perfectly straight line down the center of your head. Getting the most even part will work best on wet hair with a tail comb, like The Hair Edit's Section and Style Comb ($4, Ulta Beauty). "Drag the comb from the beginning of the part at the forehead all the way to the top of the scalp, and allow the hair to fall into place naturally," Malhotra tells Elite Daily. "Don’t fight the cowlicks. Finding your ideal 'center part' may result in something slightly off center, as all scalps are not created equal."
Once you find your part, you can either let your hair dry naturally or blow dry it into place. In order to avoid that new-part-bump — you know, when one side of your hair is flat on your head and the other is, like, 5 inches high — Paula Pedersen, a stylist at Boho Hair Salon, says to use non-crease clips, like the Kristin Ess Setting Clips ($10, Target), right at the top of your head near your part to really hold each side in place if you plan to let your hair air dry. However, if you're all about blow-drying, Pedersen says to use a round brush like T3’s Micro Round Hair Brush ($35, Amazon) for the best, most even results. She says the heat will help with smoothing down any possible creasing that could happen. Just be careful not to blow your hair back to its original part.
Once you've found and started your middle part, Pedersen says it'll take about a month for your hair to begin falling into it naturally. Yes, that means you just have to live with it for a little, in all its potential unevenness. Rather than loading your hair up with hairspray, which can leave your hair feeling crunchy and looking greasy, Pedersen suggests using a dry shampoo like Floof Dry Shampoo ($14, Billie) to keep your texture and hold your middle part in place. If your hair is super soft with a ton of slip, the lack of texture makes it easy for it to return to its old part.
Middle parts are all the rage right now, and if you, too, have been a lifelong side parter, switching to a center part is an easy way to completely reinvent your look sans a cut or color appointment. If it takes a little bit longer for your hair to rest comfortably in your new part, that’s totally normal. Work with it using the above tools, test out some new styling techniques, and enjoy all the hairstyles you get to cycle through in between. To get started, shop the expert-recommended products below:
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At just $4, The Hair Edit’s Section & Style Comb serves a number of purposes, like helping you tame hair bumps and flyaways, section hair quickly and efficiently, and get an incredibly precise part in the process.
Not only will the flat design of Kristin Ess’ setting clips keep hair in place without creasing no matter where you stick them, but the cute tortoiseshell design might just make you want to keep them in.
Well-loved by experts, the T3 Micro Round Brush, when used while blow-drying, provides easy smoothness, body, and volume to the hair. The non-slip handle ensures a seamless blow dry, while the vented brush allows for prime hot air flow.
Everyone loves a good dry shampoo, and Floof delivers. With biotin to smooth and plump strands and rice starch to really give your hair the “I just washed it” look, Floof will give you the volume and texture your hair loves.
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