Print Edition: January 29, 2014
The middle-part hairstyle has made a series of fashion statements in past decades, dating as early as the 1800s. We saw it elegantly framing Elizabeth Bennet’s Victorian brow, backed up with a pinned bun as Mr. Darcy proposed. We saw it making a beeline from John Lennon’s forehead to his crown in the ‘70s, as he sported the coke-bottle glasses and serenaded his fans with the sweet melodies of “Imagine.” We saw it attempt to make a “trendy” comeback in the 90s, but fail miserably — it was defined it by horrific streaks and emphasized with gelled strands of hair.
Alas, the middle part has again come into fashion this season, but I’m not convinced it’s a good thing. I fear we are adopting this hairstyle without realizing that it may be doing more damage to our appearances.
There are biological factors that may be out of your control, and plain stylistic problems which will, unfortunately, lump you into the majority who can’t make the mid-part work. Here is the breakdown.
Widow’s peak: the mid-part won’t work if you were born with a cowlick or a widow’s peak. It’ll be hard to find the middle of your head to create the part, and it will give you an uneven hair line.
You’ll also run into problems if you have a small forehead: some people have a smaller forehead due to a low hairline. If this is you, the mid-part will pinch your head horizontally and make it hard to determine the top of your head from the front of your face.
If you fall under these biological categories, then sorry, guys, you — along with me — are out of luck.
The puppy dog: If you attempt to part your hair down the middle and you have bangs, you’re in for the puppy dog look — your bangs will end abruptly in comparison to the length of the rest of your hair. There will be an awkward chop of hair framing your face. If your hair has extensive volume, a mid-part with poofy bangs will make you look as though you have puppy dog ears.
The a-line: Unfortunately, the mid-part will often give you an a-line shape of head. This makes the face look long and drawn out, like your hair is creating a tent over your face.
The angered eyebrows: most of the people who I see wearing the mid part look as though they are going to eat me with their eyebrows, even if they have a smile on their face. What they fail to realize is that the middle part is speaking louder than they are. The mid-part manipulates their eyebrows into conveying a seemingly evil message. Hey, that’s not fair to your eyebrows — they didn’t have a say.
How it works
Call them “the elite” or call them “the chosen ones,” but in order to be deemed one of the select few who can pull off the mid-part you must possess these qualities: a straight hairline, a mid to high forehead, and long hair with no layers around your face. That’s it!
Although the mid-part can only be pulled off by a select few, it doesn’t mean that it is the most flattering way to wear your hair. Just because it’s fashionable doesn’t it mean it looks good, and just because it’s popular doesn’t mean you should do it.
The mid-part is back. There is clearly no denying it. But, hands down, parting your hair on the side has always said, “Hello, I’m classy and sophisticated.”
The side part has the power to redeem a bad hair day, a way of melting everyone’s heart with its undeniable charm.