“I love doing a clean, sculptural part,” says Christian Wood, the stylist who creates effortless waves for the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kim Kardashian. “Even if the rest of the hair is undone or a bit messy, a structured part makes the whole look more chic.” We’d be hard-pressed to disagree, but unsurprisingly, the simplest styles like this also happen to be the hardest to recreate, so we caught Wood in a rare free moment and had him break down the center part process in layman’s terms.

STEP ONE
Start at the bridge of your nose, gently pushing the pointed end of a tail comb into your hairline, straight up toward the back of your head to get a super sharp middle part.

STEP TWO
Take the front three inches of your hair on either side of your face and blow dry with a round brush, pulling the hair forward and pointing the nozzle in a downward motion. “By pulling the hair in front of your face, you create that ‘60s and ‘70s ‘pushed forward’ look,” explains Wood. “It softens the front of the face, covering the forehead a bit so the hair doesn’t look so flat.” Add a bend with a curling iron, or leave the texture loose and natural.

STEP THREE
After your hair is dry and styled to your liking, Wood recommends applying a combination of texturizing spray and dry shampoo at the root. Section your hair about ½ inch to an inch underneath the part, evenly spraying both products throughout. “Once you’ve sprayed, go back in with a hair dryer and blast through to remove any oil, harsh water or remaining residue. It gives you that textured, matte effect that will last all day long,” says Wood.

STEP FOUR
The finisher? “Often times when people part their hair in the middle, the pieces are always in their face,” says Wood. “An easy way to combat that is to tuck one side behind your ear, that way you can still get that supermodel part, without feeling like your hair is falling in your face all day.”

Because your hair color is just as important as its styling, try a tinted mousse to keep brassiness at bay.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards

Credits

Hair
Christian Wood
Makeup
Monika Blunder
Photography
Getty Images