While we’ve all probably whipped our hair back and forth at some point, if you’ve settled on a signature hair parting that you’re sticking with, you could be doing your hair an injustice. That’s because, alongside being able to add phwoarr volume, sexy movement and a whole vibe-shift, according to the experts, swapping your parting can impact how healthy your hair and scalp is, too.
“Changing your parting occasionally is actually good for your hair,” confirms Neil Moodie, Pureology UKI ambassador and founder of Neil Moodie Studio, while Stephanie Sey, afro hair specialist and expert trichologist for Nizoral explains: “having the same parting is likely to make the hair a little weaker in that area and more susceptible to breakage.”
Here’s all the ways changing your hair parting can help with your hair health as well as how it can boost style…
It can limit heat damage
For one thing, if you’re styling your hair in the same spot, particularly if it requires heat, the same strands will be taking the majority of the brunt of those high temperatures each day. Namely: your fringe or face-framing strands and the top layers on either side of your parting “Not allowing hair to fall into the same position every day, allows the roots to breathe and gives certain areas a break from your drying and styling routine,” says Neil. “Too much heat in the same place causes the porosity to decrease, allowing for dry spots, and it can encourage breakage,” he adds.
It can avoid traction damage
This depends on where you style your parting and whether your placing strain on your strands to get it there. “If you wear your hair down in your natural part, wear your hair up loosely, or use minimal tension when you style, your parting isn’t going to make much of a difference,” says Anabel Kingsley, brand president and consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “However, if you are working against your natural part, you will probably require more tension, manipulation and heat to keep it in place,” she says. If this is the case, it’s worth rethinking or switching up your parting. “Changing your parting is a good idea if you wear your hair up as you will avoid placing traction on the same areas of hair and scalp,” explains Anabel. “Putting stress on the same areas of hair and scalp day after day can cause a type of hair loss known as ‘traction alopecia’ which can result in breakage and even permanent hair loss,” she says. “Hair can be prone to breakage around the parting area when parted in the same place all the time, so moving it around allows any weakened hair on the previous part to strengthen and possibly become more dense,” adds Neil.
It can help with UV damage
We’re on the receiving end of UV rays year-round (though they heighten in summer), which means if you stick to the same parting each day, the same strip of scalp is getting exposed to the elements on repeat. “ Having the same parting can mean that one area of your scalp is constantly exposed to sun’s UV rays and oxidative stress,” Stephanie says. So “changing up your parting will help prevent the skin on your scalp from burning,” says Anabel. But, she warns this shouldn’t be your only tactic. “You should not use this as your only method of sun protection. In all instances, apply a factor 50 sunblock to any areas of exposed scalp, or wear a hat.”
It can add volume
Of course, along side boosting our hair health, our parting placement can also offer up dreamy styling opportunities. “A centre parting generally makes hair look flatter so switching it up to the side will not only be a change but also allow some volume through the top. Hair parted on the side tends to feel a little more glamorous and styled,” says Neil.
It can create structure
And you parting placement can also help frame and emphasise your features. “The wrong parting can drag down features. The right parting can be rejuvenating. So, check your parting is in the best place for your style and face shape. Instead of a hard lined parting, try keeping it a bit more natural and zig-zag looking. This will instantly soften your face and make your hair seem a little fuller at the roots,” says Neil.
How often should you change your hair parting
When it comes to switching up your parting, it’s best to feel it out and consider how much strain you put on your hair, or whether it’s already pretty healthy. “This will differ person to person depending on individual hair health, but changing your parting regularly will allow your roots to breathe,” says Stephanie. “The longer you wear your hair one specific way, the more you’ll be weighing it down and cause tension, resulting in breakage. Plus, if you’re using heat tools daily in the same spots, the damage can double,” she adds. “If you adopt tighter updos, or heat style on a high heat, changing your part every couple of days is a good idea,” says Anabel.
How far should we change our parting?
Before you swap your centre parting for a deep side flip, there’s no need to be quite so dramatic (unless you want to). “Even by changing your parting moderately by a few millimetres will help, and wearing different hair styles will also reduce the tension on your scalp,” says Stephanie.
For more from GLAMOUR’s Beauty Editor, Elle Turner, follow her on Instagram @elleturneruk
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