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There's no easy part to hairstyles

I recently read that the deep side hair part is back for women, with trendy celebrities sporting the look.

"A part that's an inch or two farther to the side may seem insignificant, but the way in which celebs such as Jessica Alba, Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart are doing it certainly makes a statement that's casual, flirty and reminiscent of a 1980s Valley girl," the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

"Retro glamour that's less formal than finger waves" is how one celebrity stylist described the look in the article. The part is deep to the side but the rest of the hair is loose, wavy, a little undone.

I know a thing or two about parts because I am the mother of a tween. Right now, in our little world, the off-center part is the way to go, I notice.

Not deep to the side. Not in the middle. Off-center.

Now that I think about it, it's been some time since I have seen girls with their hair parted in a zigzag pattern. That look fascinated me. Even when I was young and my hair was long, I honestly do not think I could have perfected that particular style.

In fact, any time I tried to change my part to a different spot -- say side to middle or left side to right side -- the result could best be described as bed head. At least until my hair got used to it.

I've observed other hairstyle trends emerge the last few years. For awhile in third grade, the girls plunked on headbands as if they were putting on a set of headphones. By that I mean they simply popped them on their heads, not bothering to first tuck their hair behind their ears or use the headband to keep their hair in place.

It was a little odd but short-lived.

Brushing a section of hair back from the forehead and clipping it with a barrette at the crown was another big trend for awhile. So were side ponies or, for another look, braiding a few strands of hair into a single skinny braid and pulling it back with the rest of the hair into a low pony.

Colorful hair extensions of various types soon came along for some tweens and teens, followed, more recently, by feather ones.

I can remember years ago watching our niece wrap and twist her long hair into some sort of knot, then securing it with a pencil. She demonstrated this for us several times, at my request.

Now I see other versions of this loose sort-of-messy bun look. I know there is an art to it.

And the bobby pins! We used to not want our bobby pins to show. Now I see girls and young women wearing them, exposed, in their hair.

My daughter recently pointed out a hair tip in People magazine: "Salt water is a great hair-styling product. Scrunch some into your hair and voila! Perfect beachy waves."

We don't plan to visit the ocean anytime soon, I pointed out.

All this makes my head spin. I hope it's not messing up my part.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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