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.
How to get the Hard Part
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. The 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…
How to style the Hard Part
As you’ve surely guessed by now, the ‘hard part’ isn’t really a haircut on it’s 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 fool proof 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.
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:
- The Quiff is a style we’ve written about in a previous article (A Comprehensive Guide to the Quiff Hairstyle) that can complement a hard part.
- The Undercut is, well, a cut, that just happens to work wonderfully with a hard part, and a tad of confidence. Naturally, we’ve written about this incredibly popular haircut in another article (A Complete Guide to the Undercut Hairstyle).
- The Flat Top (The Flat Top Hairctut) can also be styled with a hard part, giving an awesomely unique retro look.
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.
The Perfectly Twisted Top with Thin Hard Parted Fade
The hard part on this style looks really pronounced thanks to the dense volume and texture of the top. You’ll never go wrong with this classic look.
Tapered High fade and Hard Part
This style features a hard part a little deeper on the side, right next to where the high fade starts. The top is long and voluminous with a bit of a wave, which makes a stark contrast to the bare side.
Try a hard part with long wavy strands at the top for a rockabilly vibe. Then pair it with a skin fade for a more structured look.
Side Hard Part
Here’s a fancy hard part style that you can try. Team it with a mid fade and a brush up with a feathery texture.
Taper Faded Side Swept
A perfectly sculpted haircut will always catch the eye. Pair your hard part with a side-swept crown, then brush the front part up for a cool multidirectional look.
Strictly Gelled Hard Part
You’ve probably seen this gelled style a thousand times before. But don’t you think it looks a little edgier this time around because of that hard part?
Blonde Side Swept with Fade
This style got creative not only with the hard part but also with the angular hairline and fade. Together with the gelled, voluminous top, this is one cool and unique hairstyle indeed!
Inverted Elephant Trunk with Faded Sides
If you think the elephant trunk looks impressive, check out the inverted elephant trunk. The flippy style and extreme height totally adds flair to hair!
Hard Part Brushed Back Undercut
This look features a voluminous brushed-back top paired with an extra-wide hard part. We think it’s a fresh take on a simple and classic style.
Pushed Back Quiff with Temple Fade
Now this quiff definitely sits on the cooler end of the hair spectrum. The pushed-back top and temple fade look awesome but we’re loving the 3D look of that hard part as well.
Undercut Hard Part with Tapered Sides
That little angular detail on the temple is what brings the wow factor to this look. The super slick top is not bad either.
Skin Fade Hard Part
This is yet more proof that hard parts work work really well with long, textured tops. The skin fade looks flawless and there’s a nice shape to the temple as well.
As you can see here, adding a hard part certainly adds life and extra neatness to a simple slicked-back ‘do.
Hart Part + Side Swept
If you’re the rugged type, here’s something we think you’d like. The long, messy top, the part, and the angular temple definitely give off bad-boy vibes.
Razor Part Loosely Styled Pompadour
If you have thick hair and like rocking the pompadour, adding a hard part can give a bit of structure and neatness to your look.
When you have all that hair densely piled at the top of your head, it’s a good idea to punctuate it with a hard part. It adds shape and makes the entire look more interesting.
Hart Part + Quiff
Love how the pin-straight part contrasts nicely with the waves on this quiff. Plus, the skin fade provides the perfect finishing touch to this sleek-meets-messy look.
Hart Part + Pompadour
For a look that really catches the eye, team a towering pompadour with a sleek part. This is like James Dean but slicker and cleaner.
Military Hart Part
When you want it really flawless, try a military cut like this. From the rigid top to the straight part and high fade, perfect!
Hard Part with Side Brushed Fade
Hard parts are great territory markers with a tendency to make them look stylish. Here it is nothing different, with its amazing tapered sides the top looks so distinct and well crushed to the side with that hair dye it is one great look!
Hard Parted French Crop with Tattoos
The French crop is like a crown here with a hard part elegantly separating the top to the sides. The claw slit shave adds that subtle element of the trend with tattoos is a very hipster combination. The beard is also tamed with some grizzle that balances the face quite well.
Afro Buzz Cut with Thin Side Parted
Thin hard part on a buzz cut is quite exotic and turns out quite well. The sides have been high faded with the beard blending in quite perfectly. The volume on top is quite dense yet the length is short for maximum neat style.