With the sleek combover in full comeback mode, men are commonly wondering which side they should part their hair on. While the question, “which side to comb”, seems simple enough, the answer can be fairly involved depending on who you ask. The simplest advice is to locate the natural separation in your hair and then comb accordingly. On the other hand, some experts get downright anthropological about hair parting. Those folks suggest that the manner in which you part your hair – or perhaps more specifically, the type of side part hairstyle you rock – will have a direct effect on the way you’re perceived.
Since there’s clearly more to the process than a simple “part right” or “part left” solution (we won’t even get in to “part middle”), we’ll break the whole thing down and discuss the ins and outs of each of the side part hairstyles for men. First, we’ll go over things every male should know, like how to locate the hair’s natural separation and then how you should keep your crown on the opposite side of combing. Then we’ll dive into the benefits of parting on one side vs the other regardless of which way those follicles grow. It is our hope, that we can finally settle the age-old debate over “what side should you part your hair”.
If you are deliberating on which side part haircut is ideal for you, read on to find out.
This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.
Locating Your Natural Part
For men who don’t want to overthink which way to part hair, it’s easiest to part your hair on the side where it naturally separates. To discover which side that is, there are actually a few methods. The first method is:
- Wet your hair.
- Start at the crown and comb forward.
- Wait about 5-7 seconds and locate the side of your head on which the hair naturally separates.
- If it separates more on the left than on the right, you should part on the left and vice versa. If it separates equally on both sides, that means you have two natural parts and can choose which side you want.
Not feeling the above method? Well, there’s also a second method you can employ. It involves locating the cowlick (i.e. the outward spiral) at the top of your head toward the back. The direction in which the cowlick spirals can actually tell you the direction your hair grows. That means if the spiral grows counter-clockwise, you should part your hair on the right. If it grows clockwise, you should part your hair on the left. If you have two cowlicks, you’re free to part your hair any way you’d like.
Forming the Part
Creating a part is a pretty straightforward process once you’ve determined which side of the head you want the part on. Here’s a general rule of thumb: when combing away from the top (i.e. toward the side), keep the crown on the opposite side of combing to work the natural line. Also, consider applying some hair product even when you’re parting on the side that naturally separates–this will keep everything tight and prevent stray follicles from popping up. That’s more or less all there is to it!
Side Part Style
So you’ve located a natural separation on the right and kept the crown on the opposite side of combing when moving away from the top. As a result, your part is looking all kinds of sharp. However, when you stand in front of the mirror you simply just aren’t feeling that right side part. Convinced that the laws of hair are fixed, you shake your fist in the air and holler, “Damn you right side separation! You’ve cursed me to a life of right side parts! I wanted the left! The leeeeeft!”
First things first: there’s no need to worry. For starters, with the hair products they have these days pretty much anything is possible. Secondly, your instincts might be onto something. According to at least a few industry experts, the side on which you part your hair could potentially have a direct impact on the way you’re perceived.
More specifically, a left side part is (allegedly) associated with masculine tendencies like assertiveness. Don Draper rocks a left side part for example. And in the original Superman films, when Clark Kent became Superman his part would transfer from right to left, which is pretty much all the evidence you need. By contrast, the right side part is supposedly associated with feminine tenants like sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Hence, if you’re worried about coming off as anything short of a man’s man, by all means slap on some pomade and work that left side part!
Is all of this stuff an exact science? Not even a little. In fact, it could all just be pure speculation backed by a few intriguing examples. So, if your hair naturally separates on the right there’s definitely no need to go out and buy tons of hair product just because Superman parted his hair on the left. Of course, if you’d rather play it safe then there are plenty of pomades and hair pastes that will get the job done right.
On the lookout for more men’s hairstyles, haircuts and pointers? Be sure to check out our article on 10 Faux Hawk Hairstyles & Haircuts for Men or Long Hairstyle and Haircut Tips for Men. This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.