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DKNY Sleek Side Hair

Side Part Waves

Side Part Hair Styles

Wear it left, right, up, down, wet or dry: the question is not whether the side part is in (it's never really far away), but how to wear it now.

It seems odd to describe a particular hair parting as ‘in’ – day to day most women will part their hair to suit the way it falls naturally or to compliment the hairstyle that was imparted to them upon their last visit to a hair salon. In a world of ‘whatever works best’, centre-parts rule. But for those of us for whom fashion is part of who we are, ‘whatever works best’ isn’t good enough. If you’re in such fashionable company, it’s likely that you don’t follow fashion trends but rather understand them, appreciate them, accept them or reject them and, if it’s the former, personalise them and make them an extension of your own individual style.

Style is what it boils down to. Statements too. And when it comes to making a statement of  hairstyles, particularly spring hair trends, it’s going to be hard to overlook the side-part. It’s captured the imagination of catwalk stylists, hair stylists, us.

Side Parted Hairstyles

Wear it left, right, up, down, wet, dry, when you’re in a hurry or taking your time… Wear it if you have short hair or long hair. It matters not. The side part is not only a statement parting, it’s also its universal one. It goes without saying that if you have hair, you can part it to the side – even the tightest of curls will be receptive to a side part provided the right hair product is used. But as universal as this parting is, 2018s take on it isn’t about just any side part. It is, instead, about a few standout hairstyles.

Deep Side Part

Ask someone what a deep side part is and you’re likely to get back one of two answers. Some will tell you it’s a part that sits low and is closer to the ear than it is to the centre of the head. Others will tell you that it’s a part so sharp and obvious that it almost looks like a line has been shaved into the person’s hair. Deep, it seems, is an ambiguous term. So ambiguous that Marc Jacobs’ spring 2013 catwalk fused both interpretations of the deep side part. While working it with everything from an androgynous edge through to a 60s inspired one, Jacobs’ catwalk single-handedly helped secure the deep side part a spot amongst hair trends when the parting was paired with Ruby Jean Wilson’s newly platinum blonde hair colour.

Marc Jacobs Parting

Deep side part with long, blonde hair.

But the influence of Jacobs doesn’t prevent the deep side part from working for either interpretation. Of the two, the sharp side part is the undoubtedly most popular. You could say that’s because it’s the easiest of the two to style, but in truth it’s because it gives you more styling options. On the catwalks Lacoste interpreted the deep side part with a soft feel that lived up to their ethos, Band of Outsiders had similar ideas though favoured waves over the sleek, Suno went for a wet-not-quite-rockabilly version, while both Jason Wu and Rachel Comey kept it tight and sexually ambiguous. In creating a look for Richard Chai Love, hair stylist Kevin Ryan got rather creative, offering up not one but two deep side parts in the single hairstyle and finished it all off with a low ponytail.

Side part and braid

Side part and braid

If, however, you want to see just how perfect the deep side part can be, look no further than Hervé Léger’s spring catwalk hairstyle. Here the deep side part was at times styled with a wet look finish, but it was the back-braid that perfected the look and yet still allowed this perfected deep side part to work for short and long hair.

The soft side part

At the sumptuous end, there can be a real art to the deep side braid. At the other end of the spectrum is the obvious fact that effort was involved. That’s not a bad thing, but sometimes a nonchalant attitude is the order of the day. That’s where the soft side part comes in.

DKNY Slick Hair

Soft side part at DKNY

It was stylist Eugene Souleiman’s work for DKNY’s spring 2013 showing that nailed the soft side part. Perfectly balanced and working in a toned-down hair tuck, everything about DKNY’s side part, right down to the fly-away hair, says soft and says relaxed. You can find a full how to guide for this particular soft side part by following that link. Inspiration for similar looks can also be drawn from Lanvin’s spring 2013 catwalk along with both Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti’s and Derek Lam’s showings where straightened looks kept a soft, casual vibe.

Voluminous Side Part

Marc Jacobs

1960s inspired side part hairstyle

That’s effectively the case here as a deep side part comes into play with volume. Naturally it’s impossible to overlook the influence of Marc Jacobs’ Edie Sedgwick inspired look. Complimenting Jacobs’ spring 2013 collection was a hairstyle whose roots were treated with a volume spray and whose hair was blow-dried straight before being teased to 1960s proportions.

Across Your Forehead

The side part provides an alternative to the dominance of a fringe / bangs, with the length of the hair sweeping across the forehead and the shorter part tucking behind the ear.

Side Part

Side swept side part hairstyle

Akris gave the forehead sweep a soft finish mixing a slick crown and ponytail with hair left loose at the fringe while Band of Outsiders opted for a far more textured finish. Last year, J. Mendel’s showing used the style to great effect with TIGI hairstylist Paul Hanlon creating a look that interpreted the part with a thoroughly modern haistyle of texture, waves and shiny, though not wet, product. When you look at the pictures you’ll see it’s a style that is visually stronger for those with long hair, though not without its appeal for those with a below-the-chin bob ala Arizona Muse.

Side part Mendel

Messy side part

You don’t need a ‘how to’ for the side part in general, with J. Mendel’s 70s interpretation, however, some pointers won’t go astray. Note that if you want to create a slick or wet take on the style, you can find more tips and how-to steps at our wet look hair trend guide.

To get J. Mendel's Runway Look:

  1. First spray the hair with a sea salt spray, then crete a low side part. Tuck the smaller section behind the ear.

  2. Liberally spray the front of the hair with hair spray then blast it with a hairdryer. The side-part that covers the face should be super stiff and a little textured.
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  4. At J. Mendel, the hair team used the trick of pulling a net over the hair and spraying it with more hairspray to really stick down the hair.

Side part how to styling guides and tips

Deep Textured Side Part

Deep, textured side part

Calvin Klein’s spring 2013 catwalk offered up an interpretation of the deep side part that dropped the sleek in favour of texture from the roots. If you’re after a deep side part for textured, long hair, read our textured side part guide.

Natural side Part

Natural side Part

If you want an effortless interpretation of the side part in summer, then look no further than DKNY’s elegant yet effortless interpretation. A version of the side part that leaves room for volume and texture.

Side Braid

Side Braid

It’s stopped being a trend and become something of an evergreen hairstyle, and it’s certainly worth your time. The thick-hair beauty of the side braid makes perfect use of the deep side part

Side Part with Waves

Side Part With Waves

The soft side part gets a dose of evening glamour with Sonia Rykiel’s mix of a 40s and 70s look. Read about this interoperation of a side part with waves and volume for a full how to guide.


Chignon with Sweeping Side Waves

Something of an updo, this is certainly an ‘event’ look. That event is probably going to be a wedding or something else where one is suitably dressed to the nines. If you’re in need of such a look than the chignon with waves and a deep side part might be on the cards.