Spring 2011 Hair Trends: The Center Part

Why it's hot -- plus find flattering center-parted styles for your face shape.
Fashionistas are embracing the center part for its effortlessly chic feel. Love the retro-esque middle part at Derek Lam's Spring/Summer 2011 show but don't know if you can pull off the look? Don't worry, just check out these flattering center-parted styles for different face shapes -- you'd be sure to find one that suits you.

Derek Lam's hippie center-parted style is a re-creation of the sixties West Coast casual imperfect hair, with its signature sexy, subtle bump. To achieve this style at home, just blow-dry your hair with a large round brush and use a volumizing product (hairstylist Orlando Pita used T3 Plump) if your hair is prone to flatness.

The center part versus face shape

Center parts visually divides the face and so creates the illusion of length. Therefore it works great on face shapes that could use a little length -- like round and square faces. Bonus: A center part also complements a strong jawline (famous examples include Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Fergie who are loyal fans of the center part.) The key is to find a style that flatters your face shape.


Far from boring, center parts are actually very versatile. Case in point: Actresses Penelope Cruz and Rachel McAdams who were spotted at the recent 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival with different down-the-middle styles. Wear it long and sleek for a sophisticated look a la Cruz, or go for shorter layers in the front like McAdams.

Variations to try:

  • For a super-straight finish like Cruz's, smooth ends using a straightening iron after blow-drying. Be sure to mist hair with a shine spray and brush with a boar-bristle brush to coax shine.
  • Try a variety of center parts to see which one works best for you: A sharp part, a middle zig-zag part or slightly off-center.
  • A center part can work for longer face shapes, too -- just add fullness at the sides (think soft waves around the face) to add width.
  • If your face is round, opt for length in the front to visually slim full cheeks.
  • If you have a heart-shape face, avoid volume around the temples but keep your hair fuller at the cheekbones and jawline to balance your features.
  • Try experimenting with different textures -- for example a sharp part mixed with casually tousled length.

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