Gen Zers and Millennials Finally Agree: This 2-Second Hairstyle Will Define 2023


(Image credit: @symphanisoto)

Were side parts ever truly out of style? When it comes to 2023 hair trends, the answer is a resounding no. After a lengthy debate and discussion between Gen Zers and millennials over a number of social media platforms (I'm looking at you, TikTok users), we seem to have arrived at a conclusion: Sticking to one or the other doesn't have to be a declaration of dedication by the wearer. Even I, as a beauty editor who's jumped between the middle part and a side part with both natural and chemically processed hair, have struggled to claim one over the other.

To prove it, I've scoured the internet and identified 11 ways some of social media's biggest fashion people have opted to style their tresses with side parts. Whether it's styled with slicked-back buns, crimped waves, or diffused natural curls, the side part has been a cornerstone of hairstyling that has continued to defy time. So why not try it out? Keep scrolling to discover 11 fashion person–approved ways to style your side part and every easy-to-use product you'll need to make them happen.

1. The Accessorized Bob


(Image credit: @littleblackboots)

Los Angeles–based content creator Jill Wallace may be rocking a centre part and long locks in most of her Instagram shots, but this accessorized bob with a side part caught my eye. Here, she uses a designer hair accessory (a Prada barrette) to keep her front strands in check while adding instant cool-girl points. It's further proof that timeless style is truly all in the details. If you're looking for an easy way to upgrade your bob, consider investing in a designer hair accessory, like these barrettes from Prada and Khaite.

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2. The Semi-Classic French Bob


(Image credit: @maryljean)

Not every French bob needs blunt bangs and a centre part. Content creator Mary L. Jean's take on the style during her recent Italian vacation is both effortless and exquisite with a barely-there side part. Capturing this French girl–inspired look is easier than you think, only needing a styling spray that can keep your hair smooth and frizz-free and an aluminum round brush to add both shape and movement to the finished look.

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3. Wind-Swept Waves


(Image credit: @mariaisabel)

Spanish singer María Isabel is no stranger to a side part. A scroll through her Instagram reveals she's partial to styles featuring them for major public engagements. Here, Isabel is captured wearing her hair in perfectly tousled, wind-blown waves with a sleek side part for last year's Chanel show in Paris. To re-create the look, focus on adding texture and shine to your tresses.

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4. Glossy, Crimped Waves


(Image credit: @alllisonho)

If textured, wind-swept waves with a side part aren't you're thing, no worries. Crimped hair is also making a slow and steady routine with a more natural-looking finish than what we older Gen Zers and millennials remember from the mid-to-late 2000s. (Take a look at how amazing Allison Ho looks with it!) Before breaking your trusty hair crimper out of storage and beginning the styling process, check out the new generation of crimpers that create more of a lived-in wave look like the one below from Amika. 

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5. Diffused Natural Curls


(Image credit: @symphanisoto)

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still drooling over Symphani Soto's juicy curls. Unlike the first picture of her in this story with a honey-coloured Old Hollywood–inspired coif, here the content creator plays up her gorgeous natural texture with a deep side part that allows her tresses to frame her face. If you, too, have naturally curly hair, consider using a diffuser to pump up the volume and add some bounce and a smoothing styling treatment to effectively block humidity.

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6. The Twist-Out


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

I'm a strong believer in the sentiment of pairing a curly side part with side bangs for peak impact, which model Imani Randolph did during a fun evening out with friends. If you have naturally tight curls and don't want to go for the diffused look, opt for a quick and easy twist-out. Through nearly four years of trial and error with natural hair, I've discovered that combining Melanin Haircare's Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend with Moroccanoil's Curl Defining Cream is a sure way to achieve defined curls every time.

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7. "Wet" Strands


(Image credit: @maryljean)

One of my favorite trends that's come to light over recent months would have to be the "wet hair" look (also commonly referred to as glass hair by TikTok beauty enthusiasts). It remains to be seen whether Jean's side-parted hair is actually wet in this pic of her on a sun-filled vacation in Costa Rica, but you can easily re-create this look by using a glossing rinse and using a wide-toothed comb to carve out your look. I'm also absolutely obsessed with the delicate flower Jean has tucked behind her ear.

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8. Sleek and Straight


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

No matter the length of your hair, going completely straight is an easy way to bring attention to your lovely features while keeping your hair simple and manageable. Here, content creator Aysha Sow shows us how she styles her side part with a flawless bob and wispy side bangs. Before applying any heat to straighten your hair, be sure to use a heat-protectant spray. Oribe's Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Hair Spray has been a consistent favorite among WWW's beauty editors.

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9. The Perfect Side Sweep


(Image credit: @emmaleger)

Last autumn, Emma Leger took over fashion week while sporting a bedazzled printed two-piece set and effortlessly glam side-swept tresses. Her side part, precise and deep, allows face-framing strands to take centre stage. To get this look, opt for a lightweight and flexible hair spray to keep your hair in place while on the go and oil to add max shine.

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10. Slicked-Back Bun


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

For this one, we're taking notes from Sasha Mei on how to pull off the perfect slicked-back bun that's been taking over the internet. The newly married Sofia Richie Grainge even claimed it as one of her go-to styles. The process is simple: part your hair to the side, slick it back with wax, and then pull it into a low ponytail before guiding it into a bun. For extra flyaway control and shine, we love going in with Color Wow's Pop + Lock Frizz Control + Glossing Serum. Save your extra hair pins to try out the next style!

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11. Pinned Precision


(Image credit: @maryljean)

Have we mentioned how much we love looking to Jean for side-part inspiration? In this pic, the content creator wears her signature semi-messy bob in a side part with three black bobby pins to add extra style and intrigue. All you need to try this at home is a trusted brush to work through any tangles and lay the hair down and your favorite bobby pins. Et voilà!

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Up Next: The C-Cut Is The Nostalgic Haircut Trend That's Making a Chic Comeback

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.