The Men's Room

The Definitive Guide to Parting Your Hair

PartingWith the popularity of  TV shows, that have led to the trendy “parted” hairstyles of today–more and more men are looking to embrace this look. And why not? There comes a time in a man’s life that this decision has it’s perks both in the business world and the social arena. Besides, if you find the right barber, they can easily cut your hair to fit several hairstyle choices including this one!

The most common and might I say more “popular” place to part your hair is the on the left. Seen often as the choice for men young and old. But, there are quite a few men who often “opt” for the right side as well!

So how do you decide? Easy, let nature decide it for you!

Men who have straight, wavy, or even curly hair typically have at least one “natural” part that they were born with. So here’s how you find it!

  • Wet your hair first
  • Comb hair from the top of your head  (starting from the crown) forward
  • Wait 5-7 seconds and observe which side of the hair separates the most. {Can’t see it? Re-comb}
  • Found it? That’s where your natural part is!

Some men will observe a separation on both sides. This means that they have two, so choose the most flattering of the sides. Also, there is nothing wrong with choosing to go “against nature” and creating a side part on the opposite side; especially if it highlights the more flattering side of your face!

These items can do the trick! _________

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  1. Mike November 20, 2012 at 11:17 am


    Good stuff. I go “against nature” and wasn’t sure if I should be doing that or not.

    What’s the best method for someone with straight hair (it sticks out on the side when it’s cut too short) to tell their barber for a medium length (not buzzed, but not Tom Cruise) cutting style? I usually just say “gimme a regular haircut” but I’m wondering if there are techniques I can suggest to keep the sides slightly longer so it lays down, but also not super long and off the ears or anything.




    • Craig the Barber December 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the comment! There is one technique that you can suggest to your barber to get that done, it’s called “undercutting”. Generally it is a technique used with thinning shears. Have your barber try that technique and see if that works. Best of luck!

  2. Trent February 18, 2013 at 10:18 am


    I’m glad I read of this new way of finding a natural part. I was told once a part should always be on the same side the swirl on the back of the end is, so the swirl and part all flow together. I can see that but my swirl is on my right side of the back of my head and my natural part is on my left, thus not lining up but I suppose it still looks fine in back. Also my other issue with that is in the very front of my hair line I have this natural “cow lick” where this patch naturally grows shooting to my right. So I almost have to part from left to right as this is the way that patch of hair grows and it just makes sense to make all the hair flow in the same direction as the patch will only go that direction. I’ve tried a right side part so it lined up with the swirl but that patch makes this weird wave when I attempt to make it go left, the unnatural way it grows. I can kind of make it work, but if it’s disturbed it’ll stick nearly straight out. What advice do you have for me? Is it ok to keep parting on the opposite side of my swirl? Or was I fed a bunch of rubbish about part on the same side as my swirl??

    Thank you

  3. Ted June 27, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Hey Craig, thanks for the tips. I still have one problem. My natural side part is to the right, however I also have a widow’s peak on the hairline which makes combing and styling this part pretty hard, however, going “against nature” is more easy, but doesn’t flatter me at all. I guess I have to use some serious products in order to go with the natural side part. Any other tips you can share?

  4. kc June 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Well, i go against the nature.. Though it had been seven years i used a comb.. Always had a short hstyle… But. Now i am growing my hairs nd my partion is on the right side… I came here to confirm that does it symbolizes nything….

  5. Lee July 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    So I heard that parting on the left is natural for men, but does that mean my left or your left. Which way is the hair going toward when parting left

    • Craig the Barber August 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Lee,

      The natural side is actually where your hair chooses to part on it’s own. To determine that, you can use the technique described above. If you’ve discovered that your natural side is left, then the part will be on your left-side with the majority of of the rest of your hair being combed to your right. Hope that helps!

  6. Versace August 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    My natural part is to my left so i would have to come right. I would rather stay traditional and comb left but it just seems to make my hair stick upwards. My hair is most natural going right.

  7. Gregg September 25, 2014 at 8:56 am

    My hair is extremely straight, and my natural part is left to right. However, the hair wants to lay especially flat that way. So I go against nature and force a part right to left. That provides “fullness” as the hair tries to stand taller going that direction, and I like the look.

  8. Chris October 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Hi :) nice article. Interesting theories about hair part related to social acceptance. Quick question: the majority of my hair naturally falls to my left side… Does this mean I part on the right or left? It’s a little confusing haha! Cheers.

    • Craig the Barber October 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Chris! great question. If your hair naturally falls to your left then that would mean it would be much easier to style going in that direction. So to answer your question, you would part your hair on the right and style your hair to your left. Hope that helps!

  9. Jonboy November 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Take a leaf out of my book – grow your hair past your shoulders and let gravity do the work for you!

  10. James Richards November 11, 2014 at 6:58 pm


    Great tips! I always learn new things on my trips through the Internet. I part on the left and just doublechecked, that’s where it naturally falls.

    I’m also a big fan of easy hair styling, so I’ll pay it forward to you guys and pass on this little playlist of straightforward hair styles –


  11. Kenny January 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Hey Craig, i just have one question, my hair is long and it goes to the left, in the mirror i look good cuss its to the right, for me to part it to its opposite it direction, would i have to cut it short?? because when i comb it to the right, it looks weird cuss of my bangs

    • Craig the Barber January 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Kenny,

      Since I do not have a picture, I would have to guess that you may have a strong growth pattern close to the front of your head that may be preventing your hair from being parted in the opposite direction. Is that correct? If this is the case, I would recommend that you stick with parting your hair in the direction it naturally grows. Hope that helps!

  12. don February 8, 2015 at 5:42 am

    my hair naturally part from the left and before i used to be close to the middle. everytime i put shampoo on my hair style it to the way i want to part and now it totally on my far left. i dont use gels or pomades so im preety surprised it helped.

  13. Steven March 15, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I naturally part my hair from left to right…but when i do my hair poofs up in the back…even with pomade. My sworl is on the right side but i believe it swirls clockwise. Not sure which way to part. When i part right to left my hair lays smoother. Any ideas?

    • Craig the Barber March 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Great question Steven! Without seeing how your hair actually grows I cannot be 100% certain. However based on your explanation, right-to-left allows your hair to lay smoother. If that is the case, and the back does not poof up, then that should be your adopted styling direction.

  14. Mh April 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    You really have to try both sides for several days to ultimately decide. The one thing I have noticed however, is that if you’re starting to lose your hair a little bit, particularly if you have a receding hairline, then the part on the RIGHT hand side tends to work a bit better.

  15. Ag.Hamizan Nafis April 11, 2015 at 2:02 am

    My hair is originally to my left but since i was 5 years old i comb my hair to the right now my hair is against but my hair won’t sit down . How to overcome this ?

  16. Ag.Hamizan Nafis April 11, 2015 at 2:03 am

    My hair is originally to my left but since i was 5 years old i comb my hair to the right now my hair is against but my hair won’t sit down . How to overcome this ?if you see this comment please reply it .

  17. Rohan July 10, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Hey cuz. This is so funny yet cool. I Googled what side to part my hair and this page was the first result that popped up. I have been exploring a part over the last several weeks by just brushing my hair to create a natural one. Not sure if I want to commit yet by having my barber actually cut my hair and include the part.

    • Craig the Barber July 13, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Hey Ro! Love to here that Google loves my articles. As for a side part, I think it would definitely work on you even if it is the naturally brushed option. Just get your barber to cut you hair so it can be easily established naturally. That way there would be no commitment to a “razor-ed” hair part. Hope that helps!

  18. Ethan September 8, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Hey, good write-up. I’m just a little confused on wrapping my head around what a left part means and what a right part means. So if I take a comb and start on the left-side of my head and comb it to the right. What part is that. And vice versa. Is it where you start or where you end that determines the name?

    This is probably something stupid, but I just can’t grasp it. I tried looking at a picture and facing the mirror, but I got so confused with mirroring and everything.

    • Craig the Barber September 8, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Hi Ethan thanks for the comment! There’s nothing wrong with this question at all. I have clients that ask me this to clarify all of the time. Looking directly in the mirror and combing your hair to the right creating a side-part on the left would be considered a “left-sided part”. I hope that makes sense!

  19. Ed September 24, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Hi there Craig, great article by the way. I want a cool looking side parting/quiff on the fringe but unfortunately I have a calf lick on the right side of my fringe line that swirls anti clockwise, so my fringe wants to go in both directions, any advice please?

    • Craig the Barber September 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Ed that’s a tough question without me seeing your hair and face. However, the easiest way to settle this is to take a hard look in the mirror and choose the side that you like the best. Having two options instead of one, is great. So enjoy the perks if you like both options!

  20. Jesse September 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I have always wondered about this subject. My part is on the left but post shower and towel dry my hair flows from right to left and looks better! I’m going to try the right side part for a while and see how that goes.

  21. Josh December 2, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Hey, just a quick question.
    I have my hair cut from left to right so that the right side of my hair is blended into the shaved part. Because I have shaved sided and back, what would I have to do to switch the way my hair is styled grow it out or just get it cut the opposite way?

    • Craig the Barber December 5, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Hi Josh,

      Based on what I am picturing it sounds like you would have to grow your hair out in order to maintain proper balance. Hope that helps!

  22. Jake January 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Hey I was wonder which side I should part my hair. I heard parting the hair on your left is more masculine assertive etc. My natural part is on my right, but for the last two years ive been going against nature parting my hair on the left. I think its a lot easier to part my hair right to left though.

    • Craig the Barber January 18, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Jake, I can understand your confusion. However, I do not believe in a more masculine approach to hair-parting; just the right way for your hair. I would suggest adopting the way you hair naturally parts. Hope that helps!

  23. George Saynt February 24, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Hey Craig!

    My hair naturally parts on the right but I know it is not percieved positively by others who look at me, and besides, I really want to be a left parting man anyways. So I was wondering…if I were to go “against nature”and part on my left side, could I ask the barber to make the line that runs down the left side and still look good? I’m afraid that if I ask him to do that it will look bad.

    • Craig the Barber March 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Hi George,

      Great question! The best way to test this is to ask the barber to simulate the parting in the exact area you would like. If it looks good, go for it! Worse case scenario, you can part your hair on the other side and cover the side that didn’t work and wait for the hair in that area to grow back. No real harm done, and you’ll know for now on. Hope that helps, and thanks again for your question!

    • Gary September 6, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      Hey George,

      You shouldn’t feel any shame with parting on the right. I’m proud to be a right parting man! I keep the back and sides tapered down to a 0 and and I have my barber cut in my part and I keep it slicked down. My favorite haircut!

  24. Jason February 25, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Great article. I can understand why some men are confused as to which side do you mean by the “left” side. So the way I understand this to mean is when we say “part my hair on the left”, this means that the part line should be placed on side the individual would equate with their left hand.

    One other thing I have noticed is with the various names this hairstyle is called. I’ve heard it referred to as a “Side Parted Contour”, “an Executive Contour”, and “Classic Businessman”, but the worst and most confusin and incorrect being “a comb-over”. When I think of “comb over” I think of a hairstyle often adopted by balding men who try to conceal their hair-loss by combing an unusually long patch of hair over the top of the head from the side. Think Donald Trump, Carl Levin or Rudy Giuliani.

    • Craig the Barber March 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Jason, that’s such a great observation. For me, a “comb over” has always been related to a cover-up. Trust me, I’ve been confused with that description for quite sometime!

  25. Hugh Dubyna May 17, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Craig, I don’t know how you are still replying to comments after 4 years but its terrific! I’ve been told that styling your hair “against the grain” is damaging to the hair follicles and causes grief in the long run. I have very fine hair and when it rests its natural way it is very flat and it exacerbates my wide head. When i go against the grain however, my hair has much more volume on top and gives the illusion of a more oval face which I prefer greatly as it appears more balanced. In your experience, has parting ones hair “against the grain” shown any signs of damage in the long run? Cheers!

    • Craig the Barber June 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hi Hugh,

      Lol! I’m glad to hear that you appreciate my efforts! As for your hair, men with fine hair typically find ways such as you have to create more volume in their hairstyles. As for the fear of breakage, I wouldn’t be too concerned about that unless you are pulling your hair back tightly in a pony-tail (or “man-bun”) for long periods of time. For daily style volume, consider styling with matted puttys like: Sumotech & (or) Fiber. And Bumble & bumble’s- Thickening shampoo. Hope that helps!

  26. Christian June 5, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Hi Craig, I was wondering which side I should part if my hair naturally goes from left to right but I have a cowlick on the left side making my hair hard to work with in the back. However whenever I try to comb my hair the opposite way it doesn’t look good, and it’s harder to style but the hair in the back works better.

    • Craig the Barber June 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Great question Christain! The best way for you to combat you counter-clockwise cowlick is to style your hair in two different ways. (1) Get your barber to use thinning shears to reduce the bulk (1/2″ above the root) in your cowlick region. Next, comb the back (cowlick region) towards the front (towards hairline) allowing the hair to settle in place in the direction the hair grows. (2) Comb the front of your hair where you naturally like it parted and leave the back in it’s resting position. The overall look would have the back flat merging into your comb-over. Hope that helps!

  27. Christian June 5, 2016 at 10:18 am

    And also my cowlick rotates counter-clockwise

  28. Chris June 23, 2016 at 10:21 am

    When I comb hair down to figure which way to part, my bangs become wavey bc of a cowlick on both sides and my temporal region becomes more visible. I part my hair to left but it lays better to the right? Any advice?

    • Craig the Barber July 12, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Hi Chris, it sounds to me that you like to part your hair to the left. However, if your hair lays better (naturally) to your right then I would say that the right is the better option. I hope that helps!

  29. Chris June 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

    When I comb it straight down, it’s starts to form “S” towards my bangs and temporal region.

  30. Jay July 15, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Great article! I have a question: I rock a medium length side part on the right but my barber has layered my hair (bangs) which makes it look messy and hard to style with this annoying bump in the front. I want my hair on one length

    Should i buzz my hair or do you have any advice for me?

    • Craig the Barber July 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Good question Jay! Based on the information you’ve shared, I would suggest that you go back to your barber and ask him re-cut your hair minus the layers. At medium length it sounds like you have plenty of hair. With this in mind, a hair fix would not be as drastic as buzzing that side. Hope that helps!

  31. Marcello August 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

    That’s so stupid! Most men part their hair on the left because most men are RIGHT-HANDED…


    • Craig the Barber August 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Marcello, your opinion is always appreciated. I offer my advice comes from the perspective of understanding symmetry in hairstyles and beard-styles. So now you have another option! But hey, if your that system works for you go for it. Thanks for your comment!

  32. Joseba Iparraguirre September 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Hello, I have hair that is about 3.5 inches in length and is parted on the right side of my head. I style it to the back and to the left since it is parted in the right. I go for a hairstyle that has a lot of volume however I’ve noticed that styling it my left for the past 4 months I’ve lost all of the volume. I usually rotate every so often which way I part my hair but since it is parted on one side and blended on the other I’m undecided whether to go disconnected on both sides or blend both sides. It’s annoying having to grow out your hair in the other side so you can form a side parting. Hope you can give me some suggestions!

    • Craig the Barber September 15, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      Great question Joseba! If I understand your question correctly, I would suggest that you blend both sides. This way you have much more freedom the switch to any side that you’d like, on any given day. Not to mention, having to grow out the other side just to switch has got to be a significant frustration. Hope that helps!

  33. Ben September 13, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this article and for continuing to reply to comments. So I have a clockwise hair whorl on the back right side of my head. I’ve always parted my hair on the left but recently began experimenting with a right part (the same side as the whorl). I’ve read different opinions on where to put the part; some say follow the direction of the whorl, while others say to part on the same side as the whorl. As you can guess, it’s been quite confusing. Especially since the clockwise whorl is on the back right side! Very frustrating. Which side do you recommend, as I am at a loss. Thanks!

    • Craig the Barber September 16, 2016 at 12:02 am

      Ben, I can definitely understand your confusion! Picturing what you’ve described, I would suggest that you place you part on the left side of your head and comb the bulk of your hair to the right. This should make it fairly easy to style and possibly prevent the hump that sometimes forms when you comb it in the opposite direction. Hope that helps, and thanks so much for the question!

  34. Vincent September 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Hey Craig , I originally had my part more to the side of my head but I would always get the part shaved in which overtime made my hair line closers and closer to the middle of my head which I really don’t like I wanted the fuller look so I grew it back out but those hairs will no longer fall to the side of the rest of my hair , it just sticks strait up. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get that to fall over ? Would I need to grow it out longer on the side than it is in the middle so it will fall over ?

    • Craig the Barber September 16, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Hi Vincent! It sounds like you have pretty straight (and possibly thick) hair. The perfect remedy would to sit tight and let it grow out a bit more. The longer your hair grows, the more weight you hair will have to fall over. Hope that helps!
      Good luck, and thanks for the question!

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