Alright kids. Let's start out today's history lesson by clearing the air. It's a common misconception to call this mens hairstyle a "Comb over." This classic mens hairstyle is officially known as"The Side Part." Much classier.
And it is the quintessential, timeless hairstyle for men.
Side Parts have been around since the 1940’s and likely even earlier. Emerging just around the birth of film, it projected class and elegance and became a staple in classic barbering technique. And it still lives on. Because of it's versatility, the Side Part works for both mens short hairstyles and long hairstyles and has withstood the decades.
It is a building block for most mens hairstyles. Whether you're going for the messy-bed-hair look or the clean high and tight, the root of most styles is the Side Part. The classic style is one of the most popular hairstyles because of its ability to work with all hair.
Start with the Right Haircut
The side part, perfectly executed, is always going to give you timeless style. But this is not a cut you get in 15 minutes at the quick-serve place in the mall. The keys here are shape, balance and dimension. Our Barber Stylist MaryAnne Bergeman recommends asking your barber for a classic taper haircut with shears-only or a clipper-over-shears cut. She recommends avoiding a clipper taper unless you are aiming for the Low and Tight.
Parting the Way
Look for where your hair parts naturally on the side so you know where to comb it down and where to comb it to the side. It really doesn’t matter which side you part. Well, then again, maybe it does. That is a different story called “The Theory of The Hair Part.” Seriously, some believe which side you part your hair makes a difference in your personality and whether or not you have a chance with the blonde on the sixth floor. We digress.
Balance and dimension, remember? You don’t want to look like Pee Wee Herman. Or maybe you do, but you’ll never get that blonde on the sixth floor…or the fifth…or the fourth or even in the elevator for that matter. Balance on the top and symmetry on the sides. Sounds simple enough and yet, details matter. It’s why you need a skilled barber with the time to get it right. Seriously. As Milanese Barber Franco Bompieri says “It’s your hair. Don’t let it get cut badly.”
Product really separates the Side Part from the dreaded comb-over. You’ll need a firm holding pomade to maintain that lift or by 2:00 in the afternoon you’ll be sporting the Pee Wee, flat on your head. If you’re intention is retro, think high shine finish. If you want a more contemporary style look for matte or low shine, high hold.
There you have it, traditional barbering technique blended with contemporary style to give you classic and timeless elegance.