There comes a time in every woman’s life to get The Big Cut. Unlike the trims and dustings that make up most salon visits, this is a dramatic change. Maybe you’re inspired by a recent breakup, the birth of a child, or a pit-of-the-stomach urge to shake things up. Whatever the case, though, your luxurious mane is about to get cropped.
Although they may be short, bob haircuts make every inch count. The smallest snip or highlight makes a serious impact when it’s on less length—trust us. Bobs are bouncy and playful without sacrificing sophistication. There’s a good reason this particular look never seems to go out of style.
When your Big Cut day finally comes, you’ll be liberated from length happily. Check out our favorite bobs to see why this cut is such a classic.
Ah, the standard bob. This vintage cut has been in and out of style so many times that it makes us a little dizzy. All it takes is one trendsetting star who walks the red carpet with a cropped ‘do and we’re losing our minds trying to book salon appointments.
When cut correctly, the standard bob should fall just under your chin. If it’s been years since you gave your ends a little curl under as a final touch in the morning, now is the time to seriously brush up on your curling wand skills. With this cut, you’ll need them!
The stacked bob isn’t at all the modest style your mom always wears. Instead of relying on a single length, this cut plays with layers to create the illusion of thicker strands. In other words, it’s an excellent pick for women with thinning or fine hair.
On long hair, layers are often distributed throughout the mid-lengths and ends of the mane for maximum movement. By contrast, the stacked bob brings those layers to the back of the head. Although the length is customizable, you’ll successfully build a voluminous crown. Bye-bye, bad hair days.
We’ve noticed a very strange phenomenon when it comes to trendy cuts. Often, stylists are seem so focused on the layers and length that they forget the whole reason for the appointment—making your face look good.
That’s why we’re such big fans of the angled bob, a tapered cut that puts all the attention to that adorable mug of yours. Your stylist will gently shape the style so that your shortest pieces are at the back (amping up the volume) while your longest sit on either side of your face (slimming it down).
Single Length Bob
In recent months, there’s been a serious uptick in blunt, dramatic cuts that look youthful while remaining professional. Besides being the reason you get out of the salon with 20 minutes to spare before your dinner date, this style is breezy and uncomplicated.
To keep the single length bob looking its best, return to your salon for a dusting (a barely there cut that maintains the shape of your ‘do) every six to eight weeks. If keeping your bob looking beautiful isn’t enough to convince you, take note: Regular cuts keep split ends and damage from getting out of control.
Inverted or Graduated Bob
The inverted bob—often called the graduated bob—is one of those cuts that flies under the radar. It’s never exactly the height of style, but it’s eternally popular enough that you’ll regularly see it on the streets and in your office. For this look, you’ll want your stylist to trim the hair just slightly shorter in the back than it is in the front.
Rather than create the impression of a dramatic slant (like the A-line bob), you’ll have a gently angled cut that looks textured and has tons of movement. For this reason, we usually recommend this cut for women with very curly or wavy hair. The texture breaks up the bottom line of the cut a bit, resulting in a style that’s looks relaxed and feels bouncy.
Finally, we’ve reached the short haircut that undeniably rules the hair world at the moment: the lob. Too long to be a real bob but too short to qualify for shoulder length status, the lob has the unique ability to exist in a category all its own. In the past year, we’ve seen every possible take on the cut.
If you’re considering going short, the lob is an excellent way to transition into the style without feeling like you’re totally giving up on the femininity of long hair. For maximum youthfulness, ask your stylist for choppy layers that can be waved or blow dried straight (it all depends on your preference).
While we’re on the subject of texture, we’re eternal advocates of the wavy bob as a way to embrace whatever curls your hair decides on that day. Whether you like to sleep on wet hair or diffuse each strand to perfection on a daily basis, the wavy bob works because it always manages to seem effortless—the best kind of cut.
Hunting for a way to add even more oomph to the look? Any kind of wave looks best when it’s paired with gorgeous hair color, so consider a subtle balayage or highlights—nothing that strays too far from your original hue. With a bit of extra brightness, your wavy bob will be the envy of all your gal pals.
Like many of its fellows, the asymmetrical bob just never goes out of style. Perhaps that’s because it’s so useful for slimming the face, a bonus that we all can appreciate. After dividing your hair with a deep, crisp side part, your stylist will set about creating a cut that’s longer on one side than the other. As a result, you’ll have a dramatic, face framing swoop on one side.
If asymmetry isn’t enough panache for you, ask your stylist for blunt baby bangs. The trend plays nicely with bob cuts, and helps to set off your face.