Middle vs. Side Part: What’s the Deal with this Generational Feud?

Side or middle? Where do you land on the hair part spectrum?

You may have seen this debate floating around your social media and the Internet, which is better: the middle vs side part debate, but where did this even start? Trends are constantly changing every season, but it’s pretty clear that the hair part trend isn’t based on season, it’s a generational preference. It appears that Millennials tend to prefer a side part, while Gen Zs can’t wrap their heads around the side part and only want a clean middle part.

Let’s take a closer look at this divide to determine which part truly is the best. We’re breaking down the differences between these styles to help you figure out which direction you’ll go: down the middle or to the side.

Find out all about the big debate between middle and side parts.

Gen Zs vs. Millennials

middle vs side part side by side
Which team are you on?

Even though the trend being debated is a middle part vs a side part, the people on each side mainly come from different generations. Side parts were a staple of the early 2000s-2010s and have been the comfortable hair part for so many millennials over the years. While the older crew has been comfortable parting their hair at the side, it seems that Gen Zs have switched up the norm for the younger generation and insist on a strong middle part.

How it Started

So how did this topic even become trending and why is everyone so heated and protective of their parting choice? Once again, social media can be targeted as the drama culprit, with TikTok creating the hot video trend of sharing what you look like with a middle vs side part. The Gen Z social app had thousands participating in the trend, and the conclusion was clear: Gen Zs are over the side part and the middle part is here to stay.

While many may style their part based on their age and what those around them are sporting, it could be helpful to hear out both sides, test the parts out yourself, and make the decision based on what flatters you the best.

Not sure if a side part is the. best parting for you? Find out what face shapes it’s most flattering on and why we love this look.

middle vs side part side part
Side parts help create volume. Photo credit: Pouriya Kafaei

What’re the positives of the side part in the battle of middle vs side part? For one, side parts aren’t an exact science. They’re much more laid back and they allow you to flip your hair back and forth throughout the day. It’s possible that many Millennials are devoted to the side part because a middle part is actually nostalgic for them, as it was a quick trend in the early 2000s that many just couldn’t get into.

When looking at what face shapes side parts are best for, they’re most flattering on face shapes that have strong, defined cheekbones. This structure is mostly seen in diamond face shapes.

No matter where you fall on the age spectrum, here are reasons you may want to consider a side part:

1. It creates volume.

middle vs side part volume
Pump up the volume with a side part. Photo credit: Mathilde Langevin

If you suffer from flat hair, a side part is a quick fix to create loads of volume. Having more hair on one side obviously adds volume to it, giving you the appearance overall of having more hair. Make sure to add more volume by using the right wash duo.

Wash with TRESemmé Full Fiber Volume Shampoo and conditioner for a lightweight hydration and advanced lift for that extra grip and volume.

You can also add even more volume to your look by spraying your side part style with some TRESemmé Pro Pure Volume Invisible Styler.

2. It can flow with a cowlick or conceal it.

middle vs side part cowlick
Use a side part to work with your cowlick.

If you’re working with a cowlick, you can work with it and create a side part to match its flow. If that doesn’t work for you based on the direction, a side part can also help conceal it altogether.

3. It can minimize the appearance of larger foreheads.

middle vs side part larger foreheads
Conceal your larger forehead with a side part.

Looking to minimize the appearance of your forehead? A side part will help create the illusion of a smaller forehead and help give the feel of proportionality.

If you’re thinking about hopping on the middle part bandwagon, we’re here to help you make that decision. Find out the face shapes this parting style is most flattering on and more reasons why we’re fans of this trend.

middle vs side part middle part
The middle parts are bold and all about symmetry. Photo credit: Willspirit Sbin

The middle parts have been revived by the Gen Zs, and this bold parting choice is here to stay. When it comes to the middle vs side part, the middle part is the complete comfort zone for the younger crew. Smooth and sleek are major trends right now. This plays into why middle parts are so perfect–they help maintain an evenness that’s needed for a sleek and smooth style. Symmetry is an aesthetic that man Gen Zs strive for, making the middle part the natural parting they gravitate toward.

If you’re unsure if the middle part is the right pick for you, we’re here to help. A middle part is great for framing the faced is most flattering on oval face shapes. This parting style can give a youthful appearance to your look because it conceals the hairline more.

Whether you’re a Gen Z or not, here are reasons why you might want to give the middle part a chance:

1. It adds sophistication and preciseness to your look.

middle vs side part sophisticated
Middle parts just scream sophistication. Photo credit: Sonnie Hiles

For a younger crowd, the middle part isn’t reminiscent of a failed trend in the 2000s, it’s a sophisticated style that leaves your face uncovered, with nowhere to hide any insecurities. This part is a great way to build confidence. Get an extra clean part by using the end of a rat tail comb. Having a perfect part adds an element of chic without putting in very much effort.

Maintain that sleekness by styling with a little bit of Suave Smooth Performer Anti-Frizz Cream.

2. It can help sculpt rounder faces.

iddle vs side part rounded faces
Create the illusion of a longer face with a middle part. Photo credit: Marcus Lewis

If you have a rounder face and want to create the illusion of slimmer, longer features, try a middle part. A middle part will equally cover the sides of your round face, making your face look thinner. Just changing your part to the middle can create a whole new look and face shape–why not give it a try?

3. It works best for symmetrical haircuts.

middle vs side part symmetry
Middle parts are necessary for a symmetrical haircut. Photo credit: Wesley Tingey

Symmetrical cuts are all the rage right now, most likely because they require a middle part. If you’ve been eyeing the curtain bangs trend or some bold, chunky layers, then a middle part will give you the most dramatic and successful version of that cut!

Well, there you have it, the origin story of the great middle vs side part debate. Remember that trends a cyclical so these have both been around before. You don’t have to choose one based on which generation you were born in. Try them both out and see which you prefer better, or switch them up on the reg!

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