So, you want to get a bob. Who doesn’t these days, right?
Bella Hadid, Rowan Blanchard, Tessa Thompson — they’ve all got ’em, why shouldn’t you? But like lipsticks or foundations, bobs are not a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Instead, you’ve got to find what works for you, your routine, and your hair type.
To navigate the perfect bob haircuts, we turned to two top hairstylists for their expert opinions:
Leanne Citrone, co-owner and stylist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles, and Jon Reyman, founder of bicoastal salon Spoke & Weal. Both Citrone and Reyman categorize the trendy length as a shock-proof cut that won’t leave you in tears, and might even inspire you to try more risk-tasking lengths in the future. Reyman likes to call it the “gateway drug” to different, more dramatic cuts.
And how do you know if you should take the plunge? “When you’re ready, you’re ready,” says Citrone. Sound like you? Ahead, all the answers — and inspo — you need.
If you have: long, chunky layers. Try: a soft, A-line bob.
Layers can be a trap when you have long hair: Not only do they require a lot of styling to look good, but they can easily make you think you
need length to pull off a lived-in, bedhead-y style. The solution? “Bring up the length so the bottom layers live closer to the shortest layer, so it has a stronger perimeter line,” Reyman says. “It’s a big step, but you will still be able to get that messy, lived-in look.” Photo: Barry King/Getty Images.
Translation: Have your stylist chop off your long layers and leave the shorter ones. The result will be fairly low-shock, since you’ll be able to pull off the same styles, minus the “mullet-y” back that heavily layered long hair can have, Reyman explains.
Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/ Getty Images.
For some people, the shorter the better. If you’re ready for the big chop, go all out and opt for an A-line while you’re at it. Ask your stylist to bring your length up an inch shorter in the back, like Jourdan Dunn’s cropped bob. When styled, you’ll be left with some face-framing volume and an edgy finished look.
Photo: Jeff Spicer/WireImage.
Once your layers are chopped and even, you’re set for months with a low-maintenance style that easily transforms into an effortless lob.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Looking for lightweight movement even if your hair is crazy thick?
Copy Rowan Blanchard’s new style for the cool-girl cut of the moment.
If you have: sleek, one-length hair. Try: a bob with strong fringe.
A long, one-length look is often the byproduct of avoiding any kind of cut or trim, Reyman notes, but it’s still one of the most striking ways to wear long hair. Therefore, you need something that will be just as arresting — like Saoirse Ronan’s side-swept fringe — to allow you to continue wearing your hair as an accessory.
Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Images/Getty Images.
“You could play it safe with a lob,” Citrone says, “but a really sharp, straight bob with bangs is dramatic and beautiful.” This cut will give you the same look-at-me effect as your long, swingy strands, while the bangs will maintain that mysterious long-hair quality you love.
Constance Wu’s longer bob proves that even a grown-out, shoulder-grazing cut is just as striking as something that just sits below the chin.
Photo: J. Merritt/Getty Images.
Depending on your texture, this cut will likely require the same amount of styling, but no new techniques, so lazy girls and hair novices alike will be happy.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Blunt bobs are way more versatile than you think, and they work best when you let your natural texture be free. This look on Yara Shahidi may only be wig, but the effect is just as powerful. (And yes,
curly hair girls can rock bangs.)
Zendaya’s Joan of Arc-inspired bob doesn’t prove this blunt cut is a power move ( BDE, if you will), we don’t know what will. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images.
If you have: one-length hair with a few face-framing layers. Try: a sharp, blunt bob.
Good news for anyone who has a few face-framing layers on their generally one-length cut: You’ll transition beautifully to a sharp,
blunt lob. Why? While a blunt cut can be startling for anyone, the length of this chop will frame your face even better than your layers do and give you the thick, one-length look you like. Our favorite example: Pippa Middleton’s summery lob. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage.
celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess, Lauren Conrad often goes shorter and shorter every time she visits the hair guru. Keeping a few layers for volume, Ess made sure to make the bottom layer of hair as blunt as possible for the coolest take on last year’s raddest trend.
Jessica Chastain’s layered lob proves that a trusted air-dry routine can do a style some good. Ditch the hot tools and you’ll
really get to see what your natural texture can do.
To ease into it, Citrone suggests you cut hair just past the collarbone and keep it a little longer in the front. “That way it’s still long enough for a topknot, but it’s still short and cool,” he explains.
Like most celebrities these days,
Hailey Baldwin loves a textured bob — and her latest, which sits just above the collarbone, is no exception. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
If you have: long, mermaid waves. Try: a chin-length, A-line bob.
For many — definitely not all — having long,
Victoria’s Secret -inspired waves is all about feeling sexy. And a textured cut that hits the chin will deliver that same feeling with even more volume. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
“Nineties is the new old Hollywood,” Jen Atkin, who usually styles
Bella Hadid, told us at a Bulgari party with the model in Rome. “Spread the word.” Indeed, this short and sharp one-length bob reminds us of decades past — in a good way. Photo: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images.
can turn down the volume. Tessa Thompson didn’t add lots of waves to her bob — instead, she slicked back her hair and added a deep side part. PHOTO: J. MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES.
Kelly Rowland is a master at switching up her short, chin-length hair, but this simple, sleek blowout with a center part is one of our favorite looks on her.
Photo: Via @kellyrowland.
Part your jaw-skimming bob in the center, and you’ve got an instantly sleek look — just like J.Lo at the Billboard Music Awards. Whether you go straight or keep your natural texture, this look works for anyone.
Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock.
“This is for people who are ready for a
big cut,” Citrone says, adding that the best way to wear it is with the waves tucked behind one ear, like Dua Lipa.
Want more proof that it can work for you? Check out how versatile and sexy this look is on Rihanna. Try it for yourself and you can expect less daily styling — and
tons of compliments. Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
If you have: long layers. Try: a shaggy lob with a side-swept fringe.
A shag will give you lots of movement and shape, which is the hallmark trait of a long cut with layers, Reyman says. Then, if you’d like, add side-swept bangs for a bit of interest. This cut allows you to style your hair smooth and voluminous or with some texture spray for something more modern, like Dakota Johnson. Be sure that your stylist “thins the bangs” so you can part them on the side, Reyman advises.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/ Getty Images.
Those with fine hair can benefit from a slightly more blunt finish at the ends, which will still provide movement, but will also make hair appear fuller.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
And if your hair is of the thicker variety, like
Priyanka Chopra’s, the shaggy, blunt ends also look killer. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images.
If: all of these cuts are still giving you anxiety. Try: a softly layered, mid-length lob.
Still scared of the scissors? Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. Like Reyman says, the classic lob is the gateway drug to shorter cuts. But “the best thing about the lob is that it becomes a haircut
and a style,” he says, which means that it can be styled in any way and still feels fresh and modern. And, most importantly, you can still pull it into a ponytail or a bun. (And if for some reason you hate it, the grow-out process won’t be nearly as painful.) Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Reyman suggests you ask for some light layers so you can wear it wavy (his preferred look with a lob), and because it makes air-drying easier, no matter your texture. “A lob makes any hair more pliable and gives you tons of options; it’s versatile,” he says. “Just make sure that whoever cuts it is able to manage your length and your density.”
Another way to play up your bob includes softly
flipping your ends, 2000s-style. Photo: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock.
Bobs transition seamlessly into this longer length, which looks gorgeous with
beachy waves. Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
Piecey waves with a center part and maybe a little texture spray — this cut can take you from a casual lunch to a fancy dinner with no extra effort.
Photo: Dave Benett/FFR/Getty Images.
A-list celebrity hairstylist
Sunnie Brook gave Elisabeth Moss this gorgeous lob — and we’re so here for it. A deep side part and loose, beachy waves make this cut look elegant and alluring. @ sunniebrook
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