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12 Before And After Photos Show Just How Important Your Hair Part Is

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Switching up your makeup is easy -- and it wipes away in a flash. But most of us approach changing our hair with a little more trepidation. After all, you can't erase a haircut. And dye -- even the semipermanent kind -- lasts longer than an evening. Which is why we're here with the gentle reminder that the simple act of changing your part can be completely transformative. Oh, and it requires zero commitment. Zero.

Countless articles have told us that a good part can make or break a look. Scientists have even developed the Hair Part Theory, which suggests that parts subconsciously highlight our mental attributes. A part on the left might send the message that we're more left-brained, while a center one might show that we're balanced or neutral.

Although this theory seems tidy and appealing, choosing the part for you isn't just about face shape (or whether you consider yourself right- or left-brained). "It all depends on the impact you're trying to make," says stylist Matt Fugate from Serge Normant at John Frieda. "Sometimes you want something that is just super-flattering, and sometimes you want something that's very model-esque and high-fashion."

In general, a center-part will highlight the angularity of your face, but it will also be less forgiving of any asymmetry -- so your cat-eye better be on-point. Side-parts, on the other hand, work to soften your features by adding a bit of asymmetry.

This doesn't mean you should stick to one part. "Ultimately if you're going to switch your part, you're going to accentuate another part of your face by opening it up," Fugate says. "You might draw attention to your cheekbones by adding your part right where your cheekbones rise."

So how can you find the part you'll love? Take a lot of selfies. "Before you change your part, do a fun experiment where you start your part far off to the side, take a picture, and slowly start moving it to the center," Fugate says. "Then, you can flip through the pictures and see what it does to your face. Pictures are honest, so it'll be eye-opening for you to see what it does."

The best part about all this? You can change your part in a snap -- and you're never tied to it for longer than you want to be. Just look to any of the 12 stars ahead, whose looks were transformed with a single flip. Click to see their transformations, with commentary and tips from Fugate.

1. Before: A center-part makes J Lawr's face look longer,

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After: While a side version adds curves. "Its like you took a rectangle and softened it with a sandstone."

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2. Before: A curly middle-part accentuates Solange's forehead.

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After: "[A side-part] draws a perfect line from the high point of her eyebrow to her smile." Fugate said.

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3. Before: Kim Kardashian's deep side bangs put her lips on display.

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After: But a sleek middle part narrows her face and adds balance: "It's like a beautiful curtain"

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4. Before: A middle-part frames Emilia Clarke's smile.

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After: But when you swoop her hair up and over, "you can see her jawline which draws attention to her face."

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5. Before: A jagged side-part accentuates the cheekbones and chin,

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After: But a sleek center-part narrows Jennifer Aniston's face and brings the attention up to her gaze.

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6. Before: A middle-part hugs Mila Kunis' round, symmetrical face,

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After: while a side-sweep lengthens her jawline and lifts her brows.

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7. Before: A side-part feels youthful on Karlie Kloss,

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After: and a sharp middle-part adds regal flare. "It makes her more square adding strength and structure."

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8.Before: A side-part highlights SJP's eyes,

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After: while a middle part emphasizes the height of the face and lengthens her neck.

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9. Before: Bangs cover Hilary Duff's forehead, creating a heart shape,

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After: But swept to each side, they frame her face and evenly flatter her cheekbones.

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10. Before: Rihanna's voluminous hair works well with a side-part,

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After: but a chic, sleek middle-part shows off her face more. "The side-part closes off her face" Fugate says.

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11. Before: A side-part emphasizes her square face,

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After: while a center-part lends softness to Miranda Kerr's cheekbones.

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12.Before: A side-swept look is romantic and mysterious on Zendaya,

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After: while a center-part is grown-up, sophisticated, and structured.

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By: Jessica Chou.