If your face is symmetrical, part your hair in the center.
If your face is asymmetrical, part your hair to the side.
Of course, no one’s face is perfectly symmetrical. The question is whether your face appears relatively symmetrical, overall.
To see which is better, you need to see the two options side by side.
Try parting your hair in the center. Take a photo of yourself in the mirror. Then part your hair to the side, take another photo, and compare. Over time, you’ll probably realize one way is more flattering than the other.
The best hairstyle for you is the one that suits the lines of your face. In a beautiful portrait, the painter uses the art principles—balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, rhythm, unity, and variety—to create harmony. The idea here is to do the same with your appearance.
To look your most beautiful, you must choose lines in hair, makeup, and clothes that harmonize with the lines of your face.
So how do you find the right lines? Figure out your image archetype.
There are seven archetypes, corresponding to seven types of line:
- Classic. Simple, elegant beauty. Moderate, balanced circle shapes. (Like Grace Kelly’s smooth, shoulder-length bob.)
- Dramatic. Striking, powerful beauty. Elongated, sharp, straight lines. (Like Kim Kardashian’s long, pin-straight ponytail.)
- Ethereal. Gentle, otherworldly beauty. Elongated, gently curved, S-shaped lines. (Like Blake Lively’s loose mermaid waves.)
- Gamine. Youthful, boyish beauty. Short, diagonal, zigzag lines. (Like Halle Berry’s choppy pixie cut.)
- Ingenue. Youthful, girlish beauty. Small, tightly curved circle shapes. (Like Shirley Temple’s neat ringlets.)
- Natural. Friendly, down-to-earth beauty. Elongated, broad, blunt straight lines. (Like Lou Doillon’s manelike shag.)
- Romantic. Womanly, sexy beauty. Full, lushly curved circle shapes. (Like Marilyn Monroe’s glamorous Old Hollywood waves.)
When you know your image archetype, it’s easier to find your best hairstyle.
Center parts suit classic faces.
Center parts also suit dramatic faces. The strong vertical line emphasizes the center line down the face, which highlights a strong nose.
Side parts flatter romantic faces.
That’s because romantic beauty is asymmetrical. Think of Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford, and Eva Mendes. They each have a single mole (or beauty mark)—a beautifully asymmetrical feature—that’s part of their signature look.
Ingenues and gamines can wear side parts, center parts, or no part, depending on the apparent symmetry of the face.
But ingenues look best with neat, “done” hair. If there is a part, it must be a straight line. Gamines can pull off choppy lines and wild zigzag parts.
Naturals don’t need a defined part. They look good with loose side parts, or no part.
If you’re a natural, you can run a hand through your tousled hair and flip it to one side—to amazingly seductive effect—like Cher (Alicia Silverstone) in Clueless (1995).
Also, consider your hairline
Your hairline affects your hair choices. Some women can wear a side part with hair swept across the forehead.
But this won’t work if you have a widow’s peak. Your hair will naturally sweep up and away from your forehead.
This look emphasizes the dramatic effect of the widow’s peak.
So if you have a widow’s peak, keep in mind that a center part—or no part—might be more comfortable, because your hair is more inclined to “stay” that way.