Sofia Richie Grainge side part
Photography by Getty Images

Did Sofia Richie Grainge Just Bring Back the Side Part?

"Sofia Richie is wearing a side part again so I'm going to wear a side part again."

With her sophisticated style and ability to turn just about anything she does into the latest trend, there’s no doubt about Sofia Richie Grainge’s It girl status. And the American socialite has proven her influence yet again by wordlessly reviving a bygone (and somewhat controversial) hair trend — the side part.

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In a playful TikTok of Richie Grainge and her friend, comedian Jake Shane, lip-synching to Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice and Aqua’s new collaboration for the Barbie movie soundtrack, the newlywed casually debuted her hair styled with a deep side part that left viewers reeling.

@sofiarichiegraingebarbie world♬ original sound – Young Money

“No side parts are not back you guys don’t look like her,” wrote one commenter. “This is not a drill side parts are back in,” wrote another user. And perhaps no other response captured what thousands were thinking more than this one: “PS. On behalf of all millennials, thank you for giving the side part the justice it deserves. It’s been hard out here!”

But why is the return of this once-beloved hairstyle so divisive?

If you were on TikTok back in the summer of 2020, you’ll surely remember the playful feud that broke out between some Gen Zs and millennials when user @missladygleep said, “Prove me wrong, but I don’t think there is a single person who looks better with a side part than they do a middle part.”

Since then, debate over the once extremely popular hairstyle has continued on social media, but it wasn’t until Richie Grainge’s latest video that people seem to be reconsidering the look — and attempting to emulate it.

For many millennials, side parts (often featuring distinctly swoop-y bangs — think Rihanna in her Pon de Replay era) were a defining aspect of their style identity during their teen and early adult years in the late ’90s and early 2000s. This is directly opposed to many of Gen Z’ers preferred hairstyles, who typically opt for a middle-part these days, often slicked back into “clean girl” buns.

Side parts have their place in beauty history, too. Icons such as Marilyn Monroe and even Jessica Rabbit, for example, were known for their deep, dramatic side parts and pinned-up curls, which are still the standard of vintage glamour today.

According to Pew Research Centre’s definition of the generations, Richie Grainge herself is part of Gen Z, which is especially interesting when you consider how historically unpopular side parts are with the generation. But, as she paired the hairdo with a chic all black outfit and classic Chanel accessories, Richie Grainge proved yet again that her personal sense of style transcends modern trends, fads and even popular opinion.

The hairstyle seems to be a risk that’s already paid off, too. Despite the initial shock from some people, tons of the socialite’s followers are already embracing the new look and trying Richie Grainge’s new side part for themselves.

@aracelisegurav #stitch with @Sofia Richie Grainge ♬ original sound – Araceli Segura

And, if this trend is anything like others that Richie Grainge has set, side parts may just be here to stay — whether we’re ready or not.

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