Introducing the hard part, a contemporary spin on an old school favourite.
What is it?
The classic side part divides your hair along a natural ridge on the top of your head — and the hard part, also known as the razor line or the side part line, enhances that definition even more. This isn’t just an ordinary part — pick a barber with a steady hand to pick up a straight razor that shaves a line that creates a much sharper contrast between the fade on the side of your head and the longer follicles on top.
The hard part is essentially made up of a severe skin fade — blending from skin to hair as you march up the sides of the head — which meets the straight line that has been shaved to establish the border of the part, then the longer hair on top styled with a product that offers strong hold and shine. Irish UFC megastar Conor McGregor and Real Madrid football icon Cristiano Ronaldo — two of the most stylish sportsmen on the planet — are two of the most famous examples.
How to pull it off?
Ignore those YouTube tutorials — this isn’t a style you can DIY in front of the mirror. Trust your barber to choose the path of the razor line — normally following the hair’s natural part, just to the side of your temple — then comb the part and shave the fade.
Because the hard part itself isn’t a style per se — it refers to the razor line, and the severe parting — the length of the hair on top can vary greatly. The side part line can add some extra definition to a normal side part, or a slightly longer pompadour or quiff, or even a top knot if you have the confidence to rock it. Hold your locks in place with a gel or pomade for that slick finish.
The downside of the hard part is that it demands plenty of maintenance — the hair along the razor line grows back quickly, and stubbly strands don’t look or feel good. You need to have the patience to make plenty of trips back to the barber as well as a deft hand with your product.