Style TikTok Teens Have Spoken: The Side Part Is Dead
Inside the business of Hype House and Sway LA's fitness trainer who's become a TikTok star himself
Fitness influencer Alex Hager, 24, trains some of TikTok's biggest stars, including residents of the Hype House and Sway LA. Hager has built an audience of around 250,000 TikTok fans by regularly posting videos with some of the app's top creators. He uses TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to promote his digital fitness program, "Six Week Shred." "My sales went up within two weeks of posting TikToks with these guys and then getting into YouTube and then posting [Instagram] Stories all the time," Hager said. Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter: Insider Influencers.
A few hours before I set out to write this story, I had ascheduled.
The stylist listened patiently as I described what I wanted. And when it was his turn to talk, he asked, casually, “Would you consider trying a new part?” He lifted a sheet of my hair from where it has sat since approximately 2005 and flicked it across my head. And just like that, a line of exposed flesh ran down the center of my scalp. It was the iconic, the long-bullied, the recently redeemed, the literally polarizing middle part.
Addison Rae on Faux Freckles, TikTok Fame, and Her Go-To Glowy Makeup Look
Watch Addison Rae reveal her beauty secrets, from fragrance and faux freckles to her go-to sun-kissed makeup look.Prepping her canvas, Rae—who notes that she picked up many of her tips and tricks from her mother, a former makeup artist, as well as during the years that she spent onstage as a competitive dancer—reaches for Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Foundation followed by concealer from her recently released cosmetics brand, Item Beauty. “I just really wanted to make products that would make people…feel like the best and most confident version of themselves,” she explains of the driving force behind launching her own line.
The middle part is not only back, but it’s ploughing a straight line down the generations—hearty Gen X on one side, fearless Gen Z on the other, and Millennials caught in between, anxiously playing with our hair.
“Someone needs to write an article about TikTok teen's obsession with hating on the side part,” feminist writer Jessica Valention October 21. Being in the business of writing about cultural trends, and also wondering if the teens think I look stupid, I leapt into action—meaning I opened TikTok, for work purposes.
And here is what I found: middle-part after middle-part after middle-part. A woman with a center part and choppy blue hairto a message about trauma and self-healing. A college student with hair falling evenly on either side of a perfect middle part about the pain of online modules. A 20-year-old with a sleek center part and tight coils next to her astrological signs. It didn't matter the genre of video, just so long as a Gen Z woman was in it, there, too, was a middle part.
TikTok bans ads for fasting apps and restricts those promoting 'negative body image'
TikTok says it will ban advertisements for fasting apps and weight loss supplements and is increasing restrictions for ads that "promote a harmful and negative body image."These sorts of ads have become commonplace on TikTok, which has a substantial young audience. According to The New York Times, more than a third of TikTok's 49 million U.S. daily users are younger than 15 years old.
The center part was a staple of the 1920s, the 1970s, and the 1990s. And then, it was not—the side part’s domination was ruthless. In the 2000s, taking half of your hair and slipping it over the side of your head showed that you were. You were a beach goddess like Lauren Conrad, a cool Disney Channel teen, or maybe wanted to look a little emo (not to be confused with ). The understanding was that a side part balanced your face and made your hair look more full. Literally every celebrity—and by virtue, —had one, typically paired with a sharp set of side bangs that often obscured one eye, pirate-like.
And now, it’s over. At least if Gen Z has anything to say about it.
“When it’s side-parted it feels a bit like…2013?” says Phoebe Langwell, a 19-year-old TikToker in Portland with over 400,000 followers, whose comedy features(and a center part). “I don’t mean to sound rude, but side parts ruled for so long that it feels like an early 2000s staple,” Langwell adds.
Kawasaki Introduces Its 2021 Motorcycle Lineup In Full
"Starting the week with a warrior mindset aligned with the beauty of the sunset ✨" the singer wrote on Instagram
“I believe middle parts give a more professional or styled look that gives the impression that you gave effort into doing your hair,” says Yudy, a 16-year-old TikToker whose, which is followed by 700,000 people, promotes her pet duck, Aflac. She’s been parting her hair in the middle for three years, she says, likely influenced by celebrity middle parts.
, a 19-year-old TikToker from Atlanta, parts her hair on the side. But she says she sees people with middle parts as “more confident and more outgoing.” People who wear side parts, she says, seem more “intellectual and introverted.”
Style is cyclical—every trend is a time traveler from the past that resurfaces seemingly out of nowhere and establishes itself so fully that we can hardly remember when it was new and weird. The same people who grew up fearing center parts and are now being encouraged to cherish them were also told toand apply streaky orange faux tanner, both styles that are now considered not just unpopular, but cursed.
“When I was growing up, it was a crime to have a center part,” said TikTok user Marissa Viviann in a late-July video tagged “#90s kids” and “#over25.” “TikTok has me questioning my core values.”
10 Best Food Subscription Boxes for Health-Conscious Foodies
Remote learning for little ones, Zoom meetings, home upkeep, incessant dog walking, the deafening construction going on next door, and a near-constant demand for homemade meals = a life lived on the brink of constant hanger… if you aren’t well-stocke
Center parts are to popular girls on TikTok what velourwere to popular girls in the cafeteria 15 years ago. The most followed person on TikTok, , has a center-part so severe it looks like an NFL chalk line. So do and , the third and fourth most followed women TikTokers ( , number two, does occasional side parts).
You can see a slight difference on Instagram, which has an older demographic group. Think Insta-girls likeand OG influencers like . There, the top five most-followed women—Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé—are famous enough that we’ve seen all of them in every kind of part. But in the past year all of them, even staunch have started opting for center parts more regularly.
Santi Vazquez, a stylist at thenear Los Angeles, credits celebrities like Kardashian and Jenner for bringing the center part to its current heights of popularity. Drawing a straight line pointing down your face and still looking symmetrical is a sign of “social status,” he says. “It says, ‘Look how perfect I am.’ But don’t be fooled—they use makeup to contour to make their faces look even more symmetrical.” And, don't forget, filters and too.
TikTok star Bryce Hall under LAPD investigation for fighting restaurant staff who told him to leave for vaping in a seating area
Footage shows Hall fighting with staffers and being yelled at by an employee of a Mexican restaurant in LA.Video footage obtained by TMZ shows Hall, who is 21, with his friends at a Mexican restaurant called Cinco LA on Monday during the daytime. Hall, who has more than 14 million TikTok followers, appears to be involved in a physical altercation between members of his party and staffers at the restaurant.
While center parts provide a dramatic frame for symmetrical features, they’re not just an opportunity to flex, according to Vazquez. “Something I like to tell people is that not only does it give you a really great look, but if your hair's a little bit thinner on one side, a middle part can make it look a bit fuller.” He also likes to add highlights on a center part. “When you take that symmetry and then go from left to right, all of a sudden you have a—it’s super versatile.”
That takes us to late this summer, when parting discourse came to a head (sorry) on TikTok with the #MiddlePartChallenge, a trend that can be traced back to, 23-year-old Glorianna Restrepo.
“Prove me wrong, but I don’t think there is a single person who looks better with a side part than they do a middle part,” she says, entreating TikTokers to try parting their hair in the center. She was willing, she said to be proven wrong. “But I think the middle part is just far more supreme,” she concluded. The #MiddlePartChallenge now has 18.6 million views. Search TikTok for “middle part” and you’ll find #middlehairpart, #sidepartmiddlepart, #fuckthemiddlepart, #middlepartgang, #middlepartflop, #middlepartwtf, and #middlepartcheck with millions of combined views.
Restrepo, who only wears a center part herself occasionally, admitted to Glamour that she doesn’t actually believe her extreme statement, but she wanted people to feel motivated to prove her wrong. “I just wanted to challenge people to try something new really, I don’t think any parts look better than any other,” she says. Nobody should be left out of the fun, she argues.
Threatened with ban in the United States, TikTok obtains a reprieve
© NICOLAS ASFOURI The United States Department of Commerce decided on Thursday to postpone the application of a decree that would have banned the light video platform TikTok on American soil by the end of the day The Trump administration decided Thursday to postpone the application of an executive order that would have banned the TikTok light video platform on American soil shortly after midnight Thursday.
“The claim that ‘everyone looks better with a center part’ is so, so overwhelmingly false,” says Noelle, a 25-year-old on TikTok who has worn a side part since 2010, and thinks side parts have an “edgier vibe.” Face it, she argues: “I think side parts look nicer on people for the most part.”
Jesse Lynn who, at 24, is just between Gen Z and Millennial, happily admits that her choice to start parting her hair in the center was influenced by TikTok. “I’ve always parted my hair to the side and never thought too much about it,” she says. “I definitely didn’t think I could ‘pull off’ a center part. Seeing people with faces of all different shapes and sizes rock the center part and look amazing inspired me to try it out. I’m pretty much exclusively a center part gal now. I feel confident and chic and cool!”
Under Valenti’s tweet about TikTok parts, one teen responded that her generation might associate side parts with Republicans, and center with Democrats. This, you can imagine, riled up commenters on Twitter, where both hair discourse and political discourse are often fraught. (“I refuse to surrender the side part,”one user.)
But further investigation seems to dispute the correlation: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tends to part her hair in the center, but so does Ivanka Trump. Kellyanne Conway and Melania Trump part their hair on the side, but Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama do too. Being a member of Gen Z seems like a better indicator—Joe Biden’s granddaughters often wear center parts, as does Tiffany Trump. If anything symbolizes how part-politics are as influenced by personal style as they are by age, think of this: Meghan Markle, 38, wears a center part, Kate Middleton, 39, wears a side part.
So if there’s any other parting wisdom I can give you, it’s this: If your hairstyle was popular in high school, you will live long enough to see teens making fun of it on the internet. Trends are fickle, no one should get too smug.
“The next big thing is going to be a severe, severe side part,” says Vazquez. “I guarantee you.”
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on.
This Man Makes Pancake Art Videos That Are Going Viral on TikTok—and You HAVE to See Them .
Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, joins the 3rd hour of TODAY to discuss the devastating effects the pandemic has had on the restaurant industry. With cold weather setting in and COVID-19 cases surging, he emphasizes the need for federal aid to keep businesses afloat.