I spent all of 2021 trying to grow out my hair. I did the aloe trick, tried hair elixirs, laid upside down to get “blood flow to my head”—you name it, I tried it. I lusted after long, luscious locks. And then, like magic, one single photo popped up on my Instagram feed, and I made an appointment for a chic, short bob haircut 15 minutes later.
The photo in question? This gorgeous bob by Clay Hawkins (known for doing Olivia Rodrigo’s hair) on Elizabeth Olsen. It has bangs, it has texture, it has volume—and it checked all the boxes I’d been wanting in a long cut that actually suits my hair type and texture (straight and fine).
But as I began delving into the universe that is the bob, I discovered it’s great for just about any hair type or texture. “A neck-length bob is timeless but also super trendy right now,” said celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein. “[It’s] not a move you’ll ever look back and regret! This cut can be worn on many hair textures, blown out or worn natural, and is always the epitome of chic.”
Now, it feels like everyone is taking a hint from the Parisians and trying this style. Selena Gomez unveiled a blunt bob on TikTok and Kourtney Kardashian is rocking it too. If your feed has been taken over by short, blunt haircuts this fall and you’re considering a chop, you’ve come to the right place.
Who is a good candidate for a bob haircut?
According to Kylee Heath, celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member, because there are many types of bobs out there, pretty much anyone can rock it. “A French bob can work on almost any face shape,” she said. “A neck-length bob is timeless and also trendy right now. This cut can be worn on many hair textures, blown out or worn natural.” For straight and/or fine hair, she recommended a bob with a parted bang, especially if you have a natural wave to your hair and like to air dry. On the other hand, if you like to style your hair often, the chic ’90s bob that stops right at your chin is a trendy style you can easily straighten or press, curl, or wear natural. Heath also recommended a baby bang (AKA short bangs above your eyebrows) if you have straight hair and want an effortless, “just-rolled-out-bed” look.
“If you have wavy to curly hair, a bob with bangs can be a great look,” Heath said. “I suggest only combing the hair while it is soaking wet, then scrunching in a curl or air-dry cream.” Using a diffuser on a low setting can help keep your curls intact and give your hair some shape. “Curly bangs with a curly bob are so effortless and chic.”
What to ask for
There are many different kinds of bobs out there: blunt, asymmetrical, with bangs, without bangs, with layers, without layers—it can get confusing. First, talk to your hairstylist. They’ll have insight on how these different cuts might work with your hair type and current cut. If you already have a ton of really short, shaggy layers, cutting a blunt bob might not be possible; on the other hand, if you have curly, coily, medium, or thick hair, you might want to add in some piecey layers for movement.
If you want to wake up and go without having to style your hair, this is the ideal cut—it’s so low maintenance. You can wear it messy with waves or your natural curl pattern or sleek and straight. This cut can be anywhere from chin-length to just resting on your shoulders. A shorter cut will look more striking and bold while a longer bob is sweet and bouncy. Regardless, it’s always chic.
"A couple subtle tweaks in the front with a flat iron or small curling iron can make a big difference when styling bobs," Heath said. This will create those sleek and straight strands, or it's perfect for folding your hair under for a blowout-look (less Coconut Head, more chic).
Create soft waves with this bigger curling iron by separating your hair into a few sections and curling in opposite directions.
Use this before you heat style to get your hair extra shiny and frizz-free.
This gel will make your natural curl pattern more pronounced and add extra hold to your style.
For the days you want to skip the blow dryer, use this to add volume and texture without the heat. Heath also recommended this for air drying wavy and curly hair for scrunching your hair.
This mist will add volume to the roots and mid-lengths on any hair texture.
With Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs blend seamlessly with a short bob because it often looks quite structural, whether your bob is on the short side or enters lob territory. A bob naturally has a round shape that curtain bangs mimic and flow with well. You can go piecey and wispy or full ’70s.
This blow dryer is king for shaping and styling curtain and full bangs—trust me.
For a '70s look, use this hot brush to create those perfect swoopy bangs.
With Full Bangs
Ah, this cut has the je ne sais quoi. A bob with bangs is one of the most classic Parisian cuts. It’s practically timeless. Obviously, bangs add a little extra maintenance to your styling, but the extra bit of interest is worth it.
Use this small thermal round brush to create volume and shape to your bangs by flipping them up and down.
If you're a pro with the round brush (jealous), use this smaller version with your hair dryer to perfectly shape bangs.