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So what do you all think of the "hair part theory?"

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ScOULaris

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So after years of fussing with my thick, wavy hair and styling it with mostly my hands + some product I've recently switched over to more of a comb-over look. Since this was the first time I'd ever bothered to style my hair using an actual brush (combs don't do much with my thick hair), I found myself trying to figure out on which side I should part my hair. After messing around with parting it on both sides, parting in on the right seemed to work the best since it laid more flat on top and held more firmly once combed over toward my left in the front. I looked in the mirror and thought it looked good, so I ran with it.

Then I came across some articles online about a supposed "hair part theory," concocted by some husband/wife duo. Naturally, the theory has little-to-no scientific backing and mostly uses anecdotal evidence to make its case. It argues that a left-side part is seen subconsciously by people as more confident, dominant, and manly while a right-side part is viewed as unusual, feminine, and sensitive. I was skeptical, so I started searching around for pictures of male celebrities with comb-over hairstyles.


Clark Kent has his hair parted on the right while Superman parts on the left. This was apparently deliberate.

What I found was... confusing. Most male celebrities do indeed part their hair on the left side, but then again most right-handed men do so. There are also a few successful male celebrities who are considered to be good looking but happen to rock a right-side part most of the time. Despite the lack of a consistent through-line in my observations, I couldn't help but feel like the celebrities with a left-side part did, in fact, come off as more confident and masculine. It sounds ridiculous and is probably heavily influenced by my exposure to the "theory" beforehand, but I can't shake that perception now.

Now everywhere I go I notice which side guys part their hair on and I find myself evaluating them. I also realized that the way that I see myself in the mirror is actually the inverse image of how I actually look to people, so I decided to take a selfie of myself to see the "real me." I was horrified. I looked friggin' weird, I tell ya! Granted, I think it might be universally off-putting to most people to see themselves in selfies in that manner, but it was enough to stoke my curiosity.

So I decided to part my hair on the left for a few days instead of the right. You know, call me crazy but I kind of think it does make me look a little more masculine somehow. Problem is my hair is much more stubborn when parted in that direction and doesn't lay as flat on my head. I think that a cowlick on my left temple is the root cause of the styling difficulty when parting from the left. So alas, I ended up returning to the right-side part because it is just easier to maintain for the way my hair grows.

So... yeah. Don't look at me like that! I'm not weird, I swear. I'd bet after reading this and thinking it over you'll start noticing how people all around you part their hair too. Just you wait.

Links

 

JTripper

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I heard about this during an episode of Radiolab and thought it was really interesting. I typically part my hair to the right side but never tried left.
 

Fuchsdh

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This is the problem with seeing yourself in a mirror; I have no idea how my hair is parted. Took me a while to figure out it's on the left (I'm left handed but usually comb with my right.)

I think I used to part it on the right but switched because it seemed like my hair went better the other way.

This isn't necessarily as bullshit a theory as you might believe, either.

They've done studies on films with left-to-right versus right-to-left movement and found that this kind of framing can actually have dramatic subconscious impacts on how people perceive scenes and characters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys8-a0yD-MM
 

teruterubozu

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Many folks are also trying to cover a bald(ing) spot, thus a lefty or righty part isn't a matter of choice but more for tactical reasons.
 

Misha

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my left or your left? I part to my left

and since I normally see myself in the mirror, my avatar parts to your left
 

LurkerPrime

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Wait... Superman and Clark have different hair?

I, uh.. never noticed.


Anyways. I part my hair on the left to the right traditionally, but nowadays I generally just comb it back and let it fall into place (where nature intended--with a left-side part). Right-handed.

Hair part theory is bologna.
 

Breads

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Aesthetic sensibilities are developed through repetitive exposure. If they feel that way it's just based on their own observations. Heir parting is usually determined by the direction your hair grows if the majority if the parted hair they came across was from one direction than they will think more positively about it than the less common option.

When I used to part my hair I did it on the right because it generally stayed that while while doing it from the left usually resulted in the front splaying about, eventually becoming undone.
 

PillarEN

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OK I'm confused. We should be referring to hair parted left as in the persons left hand and parted right as in the persons right hand.

If someone tells me I should part my hair to the right side I'm going to assume they mean my right side and not their right side. I mean my right hand doesn't change no matter how someone views me so we should stick to the same when it comes to how hair is parted.

Ok, sorry, sorry. I know that was probably extremely anal of me.
 

Anoregon

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My cowlick won't let me part on the left. I guess I am doomed to a life of subservience to the leftpart overlords.
 

ScOULaris

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SEMANTIC CLARIFICATION:

When I say right-side part, I'm referring to the part line being on the right side of your head from your own perspective, which would mean you're combing your hair over from your right to your left. Inverse goes for the left-side part.

Masculine = part line on your left
Feminine = part line on your right

Or so the theory goes.
 

Alavard

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I'm confused about which left we are talking about here. Superman is clearly parting his hair to the right in the OP.

Clark Kent has his hair parted on the right while Superman parts on the left.

There's only two options. If your initial interpretation of which left is incorrect, change it to the other one.
 

Misha

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I thought your avatar was of Maxine "Mad Max" Caulfield.

Nope, its me; Fakepic February and all. I actually would use a Max avatar normally but that seems to be really popular around here and I'd rather have something more personal

Max happens to part left also :)
 

TwEE-N-Toast

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Our eye likes to start on the left and move right, probably has to do with the way we read and write. So parting in that direction has a nice flow to it that is easy on the eyes.

Why do you think bowl cuts are so popular in countries that write top to bottom?
 

ScOULaris

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Our eye likes to start on the left and move right, might have to do with the way we read and write. So parting in that direction has a nice flow to it that is easy on the eyes.

Why do you think bowl cuts are so popular in countries that write top to bottom?

Well from the perspective of onlookers, it's combing your hair from right to left that is apparently more subconsciously favorable.
 

joelseph

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Our eye likes to start on the left and move right, probably has to do with the way we read and write. So parting in that direction has a nice flow to it that is easy on the eyes.

Why do you think bowl cuts are so popular in countries that write top to bottom?

lol
 

PillarEN

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SEMANTIC CLARIFICATION:

When I say right-side part, I'm referring to the part line being on the right side of your head from your own perspective, which would mean you're combing your hair over from your right to your left. Inverse goes for the left-side part.

Masculine = part line on your left
Feminine = part line on your right

Or so the theory goes.

Got you. Well then. I should just turn into Brian Molko super androgynous beta because my part line is more towards the right. Damn.
 

diablos991

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Right handed, part on the left, very dominant personality, in leadership positions at the workplace.

Seems like I fit the mold.

EDIT: since I am alpha I am qualified to receive the man cards of the right parters. Please leave them at my desk.
 

LurkerPrime

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It only makes sense to refer to the part in first person, doesn't it? (Yes... I studied the Clark / Superman comparison to figure out which way it was being used in this thread...)
Nope, its me; Fakepic February and all. I actually would use a Max avatar normally but that seems to be really popular around here and I'd rather have something more personal

Max happens to part left also :)

Mind blown.
 

ScOULaris

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Got you. Well then. I should just turn into Brian Molko super androgynous beta because my part line is more towards the right. Damn.

R.I.P.

I too thought of myself as a confident, successful male until I realized that my hair parts more easily on the right than the left. Where do I go to turn in my man card?
 

brawly

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Lefty, part on the right. I'll try this tomorrow.

Edit: actually looking at the Goose I have to do this, our hairlines are basically the same; worse on the right.
 
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