The Early '00s Baby Part Hairstyle Is Back. Here's How To Pull It Off

The early 2000s have been capturing our hairstyle imaginations for the past few years, and now we are getting into the deeper cuts of this iconic era. While we've been caught up with the middle part versus side part feud, the early aughts have been patiently waiting to remind us of the perfect hair part solution: the baby part.

The baby part is the ideal compromise for when you want to have the appearance of parted hair without fully committing. As the name suggests, the baby part style involves parting your hair — usually in the middle — in only the front of your head near your hairline. A baby part usually stops at the halfway point or shorter on the top of your head, and adds just the right amount of flair to an ordinary updo. This style is sophisticated yet understated, giving the vibes of an off-duty model. Here are the simple steps for getting the baby part look.

Part your hair

Start by making a full part in your hair. This style usually looks best with a middle part, but you could also try an off-center or side part instead. Since the part will be the star of the show, be precise and use a comb to get as straight and even a part as possible, paying special attention to the part at your hairline.

Section the front

Using your comb, divide your hair horizontally, with the smaller section in the front. Be careful to maintain the middle part in the front section. Since the front section is where your baby part lives, you will need to decide how far back you would like the part to go. You can keep the section as small as half an inch, or make your baby part more prominent and make it go back a few inches, depending on how much hair you have and the style you're trying to achieve.

Brush out the back

Once your hair has been divided into sections, you can brush out the back. This is the portion of your hair that won't have a part, so brush backward, eliminating the part and creating a voluminous crown. If you plan on leaving your hair down, you will have to take extra care during this step, fully brushing out your part while not making your hair too frizzy. However, most baby part styles involve an updo, so if that's the case, temporarily secure the back with a small clip before moving on to the next step.

Secure with hairspray

To pull off the baby part, the tiny part in the front section needs to stay distinct from the back. Keep the brushed-out back section of your hair secure by holding the hair in place as you spritz on a light coating of hairspray. If you want to maintain your hairstyle for a special event, you may need to be extra aggressive with the hairspray, especially if you are wearing your hair down.

Incorporate the front section

For a traditional baby part style, gently pull back the front section and incorporate it with the rest of your hair, while still keeping the part visible. Depending on your hair texture and density, it may take some careful manipulation to get the hair flat without losing the part. An alternative approach is to pin the front strands of hair behind your ear, which gives you the same slick, throwback look without having to pull back all your hair.

Style the rest of your hair

With your baby part nicely arranged, you can pay attention to the rest of your hair. If you're leaving your hair down, you're all done. For updos, you'll want to make sure that your hairstyle is in harmony with the baby part. You can try a classic Y2K look and put your hair in a spiky, messy bun, or you can have a sleeker, more contemporary style and do a slicked-down ponytail or bun.

Smooth it out

No matter how you style your baby part, smoothing out the hair around the part is essential to properly achieving the look. Since the part is so small, it's easy for it to get lost in the rest of your hair. To prevent this, use a styling product — such as gel, mousse, or hairspray — to smooth down flyaways. Texture is gorgeous, but for the purposes of this style, the area around the baby part should stay flat.

Baby parts with face-framing pieces

Don't forget, you can always leave some face-framing pieces out of your baby part updo. If you don't feel like fully showing off your forehead, or if super slicked-back looks aren't your thing, leave a few pieces out when pulling back the front section of your baby part. A few loose tendrils will make the style more relaxed and flatter your cheekbones. Plus, if you're growing out your bangs, the baby part will give you a chance to incorporate the shorter pieces of your hair into your style.