The side part haircut is one of the few styles that has survived the test of time. It dates all the way back to the 1910s (and possibly before), and you can still see it on thousands and thousands of heads today.

Why has it lasted so long? Well, it’s a particularly versatile haircut. It’s nice for both casual and formal situations, and it’s an ideal haircut for an office job or workplace. It also doesn’t take too much to style, and with a little work in the morning, you’ll have a dapper cut ready to go.

Bradley Cooper side part spiky stubble e1538984192735
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

What Is The Side Part Haircut?

As its name implies, the side part haircut relies on a side part. But there’s more to it than that. The top and sides are cut in a traditional fashion to give the side part haircut its all-around timeless look. The result is a short, neat style.

The side part works best with thicker hair, though it is possible to style with finer hair. Like the comb over and other short cuts, it best suits square and oval face shapes.

Ryan Gosling square by DFree
DFree / Shutterstock.com

How To Get The Side Part Haircut

While the haircut is widely known as the “side part haircut,” many barbers and stylists know it by different names. These include the businessman haircut and a traditional cut with a side part. Because it goes by so many names, we recommend bringing in a picture to show your barber or stylist.

To help further, here are the finer details of the side part haircut so you can specify exactly what you want.

Colin Farrell classic gentleman slicked back side part
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

About 2 to 4 inches of hair on top is best for this cut. The longer the hair, the more volume your hair will have. The sides should be clipped with a razor on a setting anywhere from #3 to #6. You’ll also want a taper or fade on the sides as well as a tapered neckline.

If you’d like, you can also ask your barber or stylist to give you a hard part, which is a shaved line that creates a clearly defined part. This makes the hairstyle more noticeable and contrasts the top with the sides.

side parted skin fade e1538984154628
@zeke_the_barber / Instagram

How To Style The Side Part Haircut

The side part requires a good quality pomade. Suavecito Original Hold and Layrite Original are two of our favorites. Apply the product to towel-dried, slightly damp hair. If you want a shiny, slicked-back look, use a generous amount (one quarter-sized scoop with your finger).

Next, choose a point on the back of your head either on the left or right. You’re going to comb all of your hair to this point. To do so, comb your hair away from your part and backward as well. (If your hair is on the shorter side and you have trouble combing it backward, simply comb it away from your part.)

Jason Sudeikis side part
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Once you’ve combed all of that hair back, comb the sides downward. If you want, you can use a little hairspray to fix the style in place, and you’re finished styling the side part haircut.

Experiment with different amounts of pomade and different ways to style this cut. The side part is a versatile cut, and you can play around with it to see what suits your personal style best.

Ed Westwick’s Ear Tucked Businessman Cut
1/38
Ed Westwick's Ear Tuck

The side part is a classic, simple style, and Ed Westwick’s side part exemplifies those qualities. Combed back and tucked behind the ear, this side part is classy yet relaxed.

Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com
Ryan Reynolds undercut haircut
2/38
Ryan Reynolds Side Part with Undercut

For a refined look, you can’t go wrong by combining two of the most popular contemporary hairstyles: the side part and the undercut.

Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
George Clooney side part hairstyle with grey hair
3/38
George Clooney’s side part

This longer side part style gives the hair a thicker, fuller appearance, but it’s still defined thanks to the prominent part.

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com
Brad Pitt side part hairstyle
4/38
Brad Pitts Classic Side Part

Want a really simple style? Try this one out. You can achieve this look by simply combing the hair in opposite directions, using the part as a divider.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Chris Pine side part with beard
5/38
Chris Pine Side Part with Beard

While most parts are usually very noticeable, they can also be more subtle. Here, Chris Pine’s hair is parted only slightly, and there’s no visible part line. This tends to make the hair look thicker.

Twocoms / Shutterstock.com
Chris Pine classic gentleman comb over side part
6/38
Classic Gentleman Longer Side Part

This gentleman’s cut is a classic for a reason. The elegant side part and neatly styled hair give the wearer a very sharp and sophisticated appearance.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Jake Gyllenhaal side part long hair
7/38
Wavy Side Part

Wavy haired guys can also wear side parts well. A mild part, as shown here, can be used to change the direction of the hair and provide additional texture.

Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Andrew Garfield medium length side part with hair brushed back
8/38
Part with Hair Brushed Back

Parts can be used with other styling techniques to produce excellent results. This haircut uses both brushed back hair in the front and apart on the side for a smart yet slightly messy look.

Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Side Part with Curly Hair and Beard
9/38
Side Part with Curly Hair and Beard

If you have curly hair, check out this side part variation. A prominent part is used to help keep the sides tidy, and the hair on the other side and in front is allowed to naturally spring up and out.

Side Part with Wavy Long Fringe
10/38
Wavy Long Fringe

Here’s a style for hair that is naturally very wavy. The side part helps to draw all the attention to the long, flowing fringe in front.

Slick Swept Zero Fade Hard Part
11/38
Slick Swept Zero Fade Hard Part

This haircut takes a retro style and brings it into the present day with some striking updates. The hard part is something you didn’t see in the 1950s, but it adds undeniable swagger to this haircut.

Sie Part
12/38
Side Swept with Part

It’s hard to go wrong with side swept hair. In this example, you can see how a side part adds a fashionable touch to the side-swept style.

Shutterstock
flat top, high volume, vertical, side part, undercut
13/38
High volume

Here’s a unique way of styling a side part. Instead of using the part to divide the hair, you can use it to frame a high volume look like the one shown here.

Teen boys | Side part, undercut, classic haircut
14/38
Natural Soft Part

This gentle and gradual part gives the hair a casual appearance that’s ideal if you prefer a more laid-back style.

Ivy League Fade
15/38
Ivy League Fade

This is one of the Ivy League’s countless variations. Featuring a high fade and thin side part, this style is an excellent choice for a formal look.

side-parts-patty_cuts
16/38
Comb Over with High Side Part

Creating a part higher up on the head can help to add length to the face and draw focus to the hair on top.

Ewan McGregor Side part hairstyle
17/38
Ewan McGregor’s Side Part

This messy side part style is a loose and casual look that’s great for all hair types. It also requires minimal styling; you can simply brush it into place.

Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Hard Part with Taper
18/38
Hard Part with Taper

While this is a simple style, it packs a punch. The hard part is a bold twist on this otherwise classic haircut, and the taper keeps everything neat.

Side Part Swept
19/38
Side Part Swept Back

Looking for a shorter hairstyle? This short collegiate cut is a good low maintenance option that features a drop fade and hard part.

Clean Taper Fade
20/38
Clean Taper Fade

On the top, this style is a classic gentleman’s haircut. However, the fade on the sides brings this look into the present day. Finally, a prominent part provides a dramatic effect.

Side Part Business Hairstyle
21/38
Classic Side Part

If you like to keep your hair medium length but want something that looks classy and suave, this side part style might be the one for you.

Side Part Mens Hairstyle Red
22/38
Soft Part

A subtle part can be achieved by simply combing the hair into opposite directions. This is a good option if you have thin or fine hair.

Classic Tapered Side Part
23/38
Classic Tapered Blonde Hair

This style achieves an asymmetrical effect by using a blended side part to transition from the short sides into the higher volume top.

Side part short pompadour with middle skin fade undercut
24/38
Side Part with Pompadour

The pompadour and the side part have always gone hand in hand. This pairing is timeless and is still a great choice today.

Flowy Side Part with Faded Undercut
25/38
Flowy Side Part with Faded Undercut

This side part style is different from most of the looks we’ve showcased. Instead of the part separating the short and long hair, it separates two sections of longer hair, while the undercut delineates between the short and long parts.

Benjamin McKenzie’s Side part and Brush-Back
26/38
Benjamin McKenzie's Side part and Brush-Back
DFree / Shutterstock.com
Bill Skarsgard’s Natural Part
27/38
Bill Skarsgard's Natural Part and Medium Crop
Ga+Fullner / Shutterstock.com
Hard Part Side Swept Blonde
28/38
Hard Part Taper Fade Blonde
skin fade hard side part pompadour
29/38
Skin fade pompadour
Zachary Quinto Business man short side part
30/38
Zachary Quinto Business Part
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Mini Pompadour
31/38
Side Part + Mini Pompadour
Side Brushed with Shorter Sides
32/38
Side Brushed with Shorter Sides
Long Taper Haircut With Side Part
33/38
Long Taper Haircut With Side Part
Long Taper Haircut With Side Part, by @mattjbarbers / Instagram
Kathy Hutchins classic side part
34/38
Classic Side Part
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
side part
35/38
Simple Side Part with Shorter Sides
Side Part
36/38
Regulation Cut Look Alike
Side Part
37/38
Side Brush with Thin Part
side part
38/38
Thin Hair with Tapered Sides