Hair Parting

Brushing hair
Photo: Shutterstock
Q: Should a girl part her hair on the side or in the middle?
A: Where you choose to part your hair (side or middle) is largely a matter of personal preference, but it can make a difference for those who have features that are unbalancing or prominent on the face.
For instance, a woman who has a larger, hawkish nose, may opt to have her hair styled to part on the side or off-center, so that the line-of-focus is drawn away from the center of the face, and thus away from the prominent feature.
People whose facial features are symmetrical generally look fine with central hair parts, while those of us who have unusual or non-symmetrical features look better with side parts in their hairstyles.
Now, there is a little known tradition of side “preference” when it comes to style among men and women. Most people are aware of the fact that men’s and women’s shirts and blouses tend to have their buttons and plackets connect from the opposite sides of the garment. Men’s buttons are usually found on the left side and women’s button from the right. This tradition has differing “origin stories”.
One explanation is that among women who could afford blouses (and other clothing) with buttons (which were generally very expensive prior to the industrialization of the garment industry and the advent of plastics) also had maidservants who would help them dress, and since most people are right handed, the buttons were more conveniently placed on what would be the maids’ right sides.
Men, traditionally, dressed themselves more often and would prefer their buttons on THEIR right side. Another explanation was that men’s buttons were placed on the right to allow them to open their coats and draw a sword with one hand. There is no verified evidence to state that either story is historically accurate.
Now, the purpose for telling this is that for many generations, it was the social norm that among men’s and women’s hairstyles that featured parting on the side, men’s hair was parted on the left while women’s hair was traditionally parted on the right. This was to correspond to the side-dominance set by the placement of the fasteners on garments.
Whether because of the traditions or simply some other psychological and sociological conditioning, it has been shown that the side of your hair part can have an effect on how you are perceived. According to the brother-sister team of sociologists, John and Catherine Walter, the following ideas about men and women based on their hair part choice is common:
Parting on the Left:
• Women whose hair is left-parted are considered reliable and intelligent.
• Often, men with left-hand parts are successful and popular.
Parting on the Right:
• Men with right-side parts are thought of as radical and open.
• Women who part on the right are considered more feminine and gentle, and often not taken seriously.
People who cannot part their hair (such as bald men), do not part their hair or use a center part often are thought of as trustworthy and wise.
So, here are some things to think of when it comes to hair parting.
See also:
Basic hair parting techniques
Hair part and personality