Thinking about making the chop? Want to switch up your look? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of bobs and what to ask for in the salon!
The bob: it’s a timeless look that flatters all face shapes and adds an instant “it-girl” cool factor to any style. But this classic cut has come a long way from its start as a 1920s flapper girl staple.
In the past 100+ years, the bob has been reinvented time and time again—from the closely cropped, finger-waved version of the 1920s to the short, feminine cuts of the 40s and 50s to Vidal Sassoon’s completely new and original take on the look, the five-point cut, in 1963. Now, the bob haircut is as popular as ever, and there are seemingly infinite variations.
The Classic Bob
The classic bob features a straight, square outline, with hair falling anywhere from below the ears for a more dramatic effect to just below the chin. The cut works for most hair types, from straight to wavy to curly. If you have fine hair and want to add the appearance of more volume, go for a blunt cut. Have coarser strands? Ask your stylist to razor the ends to remove some of the weight and soften the look.
The Jagged-Edge Bob
The jagged-edge bob, also known as the “choppy” bob, is one that is heavily layered. The look is textured and “piece-y,” with more dimension than the classic bob. If your hair is naturally wavy or curly, this is a great way to embrace the short look. If you want something dramatic, ask your stylist for layers. If you like to keep things a bit more subtle, ask for a graduated bob.
For anyone with a little edge, the undercut adds just the right amount of cool to the classic bob. The look typically features a section of shaved hair just above the nape of the neck. Top layers can be left long to cover the undercut or cropped short for those who want to show it off. Another take on the look involves an asymmetrical cut with a section of hair in front of the ear on the shorter side shaved close to the head. In either case, stylists can add an extra dose of edginess by shaving a design into the undercut section. We recommend asking your stylist to show you some of their work for inspiration.
While the jagged-edge bob and its cousin, the choppy lob, seemed to be everywhere the past few years, the Castle bob is coming back in a big way. First made famous by Irene Castle, who chopped her locks into a short crop back in 1914, the new Castle bob is all about angles and straight lines with a distinctly fashion-forward twist. Both sharp and smooth, with endless versatility, the style has an effortless, “just-woke-up-like-this” air. To get the look, ask your stylist for a blunt cut with minimal layers.
The Modern A-Line
A classic staple, the A-line bob is great for creating a fuller, more voluminous look. Recently designated an "undercut", the cut is shorter in the back and gradually becomes longer around the face, with front layers typically falling below the chin. To keep the look modern and fresh (read: not too “mom”-like), ask your stylist for less graduation with medium to long layers. Texture throughout can also add movement and a longer all-over cut will keep the style looking “young.”