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20 Hard Part Haircuts: Reviving an Old Classic

An explicit guide that will surely inspire you for the next dazzling haircut

written by Danny Puopolo

The hard part is a modern spin on an age old classic — the side part (The Side Part Haircut: a Classic Style for Gentlemen). The side part divides your hair into two sections, along either of the natural ridges at the top corners of your head.

While the side part typically involves styling the hair on either side of the ‘part’ in opposite directions, the hard part trims the hair right down to the scalp. Typically, the sides are left quite short with this cut, while the top is kept at a moderate length. This gives your facial features an incredible amount of definition, hence its popularity with all those who sport sharp face shapes. You might also hear this cut referred to as the “razor line” or “side part line”, describing the final appearance of the hard parting.

Styles/Cuts for the Hard Part

Of course, everyone knows that you’re free to do whatever you want with your hair — but that isn’t really too useful when looking for tried and tested styles. Here are a few suggestions for haircuts or hairstyles that can be coupled with a hard part:

We’ve collected a few images of hard part haircuts and styles that really work, in our honest opinion. Take a look below and you’ll save yourself some time searching for inspiration for this particular effect.

Getting it

The hard part isn’t really a great cut to do at home (all the less so after a few drinks!), even with the help of a friend. This is because the actual parting requires that the hair be shaved right down to the skin, which is very risky — one small movement and the only fix could be trimming all your hair off!

As for the barber/hairdresser route, simply go in and ask for a ‘hard part’, or any of the other names mentioned above. If there’s any confusion, you can always show your hairdresser a photo of the final look you’re trying to achieve.

As for the length of the hair, feel free to choose whatever you want, or ask your barber for suggestions. Haircut Inspiration is always a great place to find different cut ideas, so do your research first!

The rest is quite simple — just try to sit still when your hairdresser is hard at work on the parting…

Styling it

As you’ve surely guessed by now, the ‘hard part’ isn’t really a haircut on its own, but more the name given to styles involving that clean, sexy parting. As such, there are no requirements or strict guides for styling a hard part.

The most common route — and a foolproof one at that — is simply styling your long-ish top hair away from the parting with your hair product of choice (e.g. a gel or pomade). Your sides shouldn’t really be long enough to warrant any styling, so just try to even out any tufts that may form.

Another popular alternative is combing all of your top hair back, while still letting the sides run with their natural grain.

Danny Puopolo is an expert that works at Rakis, a professional hairdressing salon in Melbourne. His work has been featured in a variety of publications such as OK Magazine, Vogue, and INSTYLE. He has also managed classes for Shu Uemura Australia and Loreal Professional.