Millennials and Generation Z are in a fierce battle over where hair should be parted. To settle the debate, we asked four hair pros to share their take
After years of skinny jeans and side partings reigning supreme, the uber cool Gen Z teens are now declaring that both are cancelled. The debate began after TikTok user @Lady-Gleep shared a video talking about the previously popular parting. In the clip, she says: “Prove me wrong, but I don’t think there is a single person who looks better with a side part than they do with a middle part.”
What followed was a raging debate between Millennials and Gen Z, with both battling it out to defend their style of choice. Hair extension brand Gee Hair has even weighed in on the discussion, conducting a study to find out which parting really is most popular. As of 10 March 2021, there had been 94,400 searches a month on Google for ‘side parting’, where as ‘middle parting’ had just 50,500 monthly searches.
Is the side parting really sticking around? Or is the middle parting waiting in the wings to takeover? To settle the debate once and for all, four hair pros, from across different generations, argued their case. Which parting wins? They decide!
The Gen Zer – Sophie Marcus, assistant at Adam Reed London
“Middle parting is the one for me. I love the fact that it works well for all face shapes. It’s such a versatile style and works if you’re wearing your hair up, down, curly or straight. I find most of my clients ask for a middle parting and then it allows them the option to flip it. A middle parting creates a beautiful effortless finish. It’s my go to parting.”
The Millennial – Nikita Fisher, owner of Palmer Fisher London
“Is the side parting tired and old? I definitely don’t think so! I’ve been a hairdresser for 16 years and have had a lot of people in my chair, with lots of different requests, and there are so many factors that go into advising what parting suits different clients.
I think we all remember the deep side, sweeping fringes from the 2000s, and if you weren’t there for it you would have certainly seen throwback pics of it! I’m totally guilty of rocking that look for way too many years but as trends have shifted and changed, I too have become more confident with a middle parting and as have my clients, but I will always love a side parting too.
Any parting decision should depend on multiple factors, including face shape, hair type, natural hair line, hair colour, lifestyle and daily styling time. Above all it’s about personal preference and what makes them feel their best.
The thought of Gen Z referring to Millennial hair styles as old and outdated is crazy! We’re only in our late 20s and 30s – we are so not old… are we?! I think the idea of ‘outdated’ trends is in itself outdated. These days we all rock looks inspired from different eras all the time, in both hair and fashion. I had so many requests from my clients last year for the ’70s style bangs, which is all about volume and movement. Regardless of what my clients want, it’s important to show them the tips and tricks to change up their look effortlessly between salon visits. This way, they never get bored of their chosen look and know how to manage it at home.
Ultimately, it’s all about making clients look and feel their best, and giving them the best advice that helps to achieve the look that suits them most. So, if you want a side parting that’s what we’ll do, and I’ll make it the best side parting you’ve ever had!”
The Gen Xer – Thomas Hills, director of TH1 Hair
“When it comes to partings I’m biased, as a huge percentage of my creative work in my collections and on my clients in the salon focuses on texture, height and volume, and I prefer a high side part to achieve this.
To me, a side parting is much more flattering. A centre parting has its place of course, especially if you’re looking to create movement, but can be very severe – especially with straight hair. You also need the right bone structure to carry this look off properly, as it can be very exposing and can also make your face appear longer than it is.
A side part allows you to move the hair across your face, and makes the hair more of an accessory. It can completely transform your look depending on how you choose to wear it. For example, you can achieve more volume with more weight to one side, while tucking the hair behind one ear can create a fuller look on the opposite side. For me a side part will always play the leading part.”
The Baby Boomer – Errol Douglas MBE, owner of Errol Douglas London
“The middle parting has always beaten the loudest drum for me, along with both the beauty editor pack and the fashion squad! Very rarely do I get the opportunity to add a side parting to clients’ hair. When I do, and it is incorporated into the the haircut, it brings a wow factor. It really does bring both the hairstyle and the face shape into a whole new dimension, and with it a defined certainty of ‘hey – this is me’ kind of vibe.”
Still unsure which hair parting is for you? Read our guide to decide.