Not only is it perennially chic, it’s also one of the most universally flattering haircuts – meaning there’s little chance that “the big chop” could go wrong.
It may change your view of yourself.” These are the words that the editorial hairstylist Christiaan uttered while hovering over my head, shears in hand before lobbing off five inches of my long, blunt bob a few months back. What I was not anticipating, on the other hand, was how much the cut would affect everything else about my look—from my proclivity for no-makeup makeup to my collection of barely there necklaces and the strict lines of my tried-and-true Carven summer shift. For example, pre-haircut, my wardrobe staples included a collection of crisp Acne Studios tunics, tomboyish Alexander Wang shorts, and quietly draped silk suits from The Row that gave a welcome hint of masculinity to my so obviously feminine long hair—but post-haircut, these boxy silhouettes read less fashion and more Golf for Women against a choppy crop. When I explained my predicament to hairstylist and owner of NYC’s Wonderland salon, Michael Angelo, he put it in terms I could understand, “Think of the shape of your haircut in the same way you would the silhouette of a skirt or handbag.
Of course, a classic one-length cut is still a chic move, but if you’re looking to relinquish the hair straighteners, consider something choppier that works with your natural texture (see: Rihanna).
“The bob works on all hair textures,” Chris Appleton, celeb hairstylist and Global Artistic Director of Glam Seamless notes, referencing his recent swishy cut on Kim Kardashian. Whatever your texture, this cut calls for high-shine hair.
To get a glossy finish, reach for Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray, made with argan oil and lemongrass, as your final styling step. Nelms is partial to a layered bob for fall, like she did on Kat Graham. A curly, layered bob (like Jurnee Smollett Bell's, done by Nelms) is the perfect low-maintenance cut for those who prefer to let their natural texture shine. “You don’t have to do a lot to style it,” Kimble tells us.
“The new version of the bob is above the earlobe, and sometimes with short, chopped bangs — think Louise Brooks in the 1920s.” For this look, Garren says that baby bangs are essential — or you can sweep it all back like Lana Condor, who cut off all her hair for an upcoming movie role. “If you’re wearing it naturally curly, try cutting it into a longer bowl cut,” Garren notes.
“I like to keep the length below the brow so when it curls, it’s not too short.”.
Then, pull the bottom section of the hair towards the back of your head, and secure in a low messy knot, fixing with hairspray. Rose Byrne has been a champion of the ‘lob’ (long bob), and here she wears it beautifully with a single soft wave. ‘Then, take random sections of hair, twisting them with your straighteners first one way and then the other, before brushing through and adding sea-salt spray,' says Maria. ‘To create this look from our collection, start by brushing hair to one side with a low parting,’ says Maria.
‘Next, use your hands to scoop the top section of the hair backwards, then twist the end and secure using pins. Sienna Miller’s look takes her boho vibe to the red carpet, and is a clever way of dealing with a fringe as it grows out.
Susan Sarandon can do no wrong in our eyes, and wearing her bob with a dishevelled, lived-in feel puts her bang on trend. ‘Take one to two-inch sections and, using straighteners, start at the roots and twist through the hair, keeping the styler pointing downwards.
Style queen Diane Kruger manages to look polished but not too ‘done’ with this cool updo. ‘Gather the hair from the other side of the head and begin to work that into the braid at the back, pinning into place. To copy her look, start by working a heat protection cream or spray through the hair, before blow-drying with a medium to large round brush.
James advises finishing the look with straighteners, and adding a spritz of hair spray to the root area to maintain that lift. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
While bobbed hair always has an air of modernity, there's still something that's undeniably classic about the look. Flappers helped to perpetuate this image, and, almost a century later, a drastic change in the length of a woman's hair is still known to raise a few eyebrows. Most people trace the popularity of bobbed hair in Western fashion back to the 1920s, thanks to the haircut's close association with the image of the flapper. However, the cigarette-smoking, flask-wielding flapper of the 1920s didn't exactly start this trend.
 Oh, Vogue! [Left]: Louise Brooks, 1927, Photo: Wikimedia Commons; [Right]: Clara Bow, date unknown, Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Regardless of when it originated, bobbed hair was certainly ideal for the lives of rebellious young women in the 1920s. — trying to "act like men" by going against traditional gender roles and beauty standards.
Of course, plenty of women still sported bobs in various styles throughout these decades, but the once-revolutionary style became less newsworthy in Western fashion, until it became associated with rule-breaking style once again in the 1960s. The gradual transformation between the conservative fashions and hairstyles of the 1950s into the younger, sportier looks of the 1960s is somewhat similar to the changes in fashion during the 1920s. The simple bob also inspired the super-voluminous and sculpted hairstyle, known as the bouffant, that was sported by Jackie Kennedy, Mary Tyler Moore, The Supremes and millions of suburban American housewives. By the start of the 1970s, the classic bob had transformed into the longish, sleek bob made famous by Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde, as well as the messier version that Debbie Harry rocked in the early years of her career.
In 1988, Jody Shields, a former editor at Vogue, published an article titled "Call Me Garçonne" that recounts the bob's history as a symbol of feminism. From Courtney Love to Posh Spice, various versions of the bob were worn by rebellious female celebrities during the '90s and early 2000s. While the popularity of the hairstyle has come and gone in mainstream fashion over the past few decades, it's never really disappeared, and somehow it's never lost its strong connection with high style and female empowerment. Although scores of women have adopted bobbed haircuts throughout history, the style still manages to disrupt mainstream, patriarchal beauty ideals in Western society in a way that makes it one of the quintessential symbols of feminist fashion.
 “Advertisement for A. Simonson.” Vogue. “Call Me Garçonne.” Vogue.  “Vogue of Bobbed Hair.” New York Times.
Part and parcel with the rebellious flapper mentality, the decision to cut it all off was a liberating reaction to that stodgier time, a cosmetic shift toward androgyny that helped define an era. Early on, when women wanted to emulate that look, they couldn’t just walk into a beauty salon and ask the hairdresser to cut off their hair into that blunt, just-below-the-ears style. Many hairdressers flat out refused to perform the shocking and highly controversial request And some didn’t know how to do it since they’d only ever used their shears on long hair.
As the style gained mass appeal—for instance, it was the standard haircut in the widely distributed Sears mail order catalog during the ’20s—more sophisticated variations developed. The finger wave (S-shaped waves made using fingers and a comb), the Marcel (also wavy, using the newly invented hot curling iron), shingle bob (tapered, and exposing the back of the neck) and Eton crop (the shortest of the bobs and popularized by Josephine Baker) added shape to the blunt cut.
Although later co-opted by the mainstream to become status quo (along with makeup, underwear and dress, as earlier Threaded posts described), the bob caused heads to turn (pun!).
We've had a love-hate relationship with long hair over the past 12 months as the salons have opened and closed with the ebb and flow of pandemic restrictions. If you're anything like us, you've been to scared to give your hair a DIY chop, and have spent the past few months resembling the girl from The Ring.
But which look should you be plumping for to really stand out from the crowd when summer rolls around, and our social lives can fully resume post-21st June? Well, stylists are predicting those of us with long hair will be tempted to throw caution to the wind and take some serious length off our ends, signalling a fresh start during what's been a pretty full-on year.
You can forget bowl cuts or cringe-worthy page boy hair, the jaw-skimming styles that have already done the rounds with the likes of Kaia Gerber, Kim K and Dua Lipa, feel modern, refreshing and a little bit sexy (see the sliced bob and blunt bob for reference). It's no wonder the bob style recently took the crown as the most popular in the world with 222,580 average monthly searches (followed by the bun). Inspired by the late Princess Diana, whose beauty look has been brought back to life via Emma Corrin on The Crown and Kristin Stewart in Spencer, this is the modern bob 2.0. There's also the longer-length bobs, made popular by the likes of Olivia Palermo and Daisy Edgar-Jones, whether that's sleek or slightly shaggy, it's perhaps.
Jonathan Soons and Redken UK Ambassador Larry King have offered up a little advice. However, there are definitely styling tricks that suit different face shapes and textures, so it’s important to take all of that into consideration before getting started,” says Larry.
This means they get the length while it’s wet, but cut in the layers and shape as the curls start to develop as it dries,” advises Larry.