Thinking about trying one of the winter bob trends this season? While the cold weather often sees us taking fewer risks with our wardrobe, leaning instead towards cosy knits and layers, our hair is still one department where we can still be daring - and what's daring than a bob?
Though the "faux" bob is 2023's genius answer to avoiding haircut regret – because as the name suggests it's a non-committal, fake bob – there's still a case to be made for short crops, particularly when it comes to the styles creeping up the list of winter hair trends.
If you ask us, bobs are the definition of chic and no matter your hair type, texture or style preference, there are plenty of iterations of the classic bob to suit your aesthetic and refresh your look. So, to help tempt you towards your next big chop, we've enlisted the expertise of trend forecaster, hairstylist and International Creative Director at Evo, Tom Smith and celebrity hairstylist, Edward James on which bob styles we'll be seeing everywhere this wintertime...
Tom Smith is a leading trend forecaster and hairstylist as well as the International Creative Director at Evo and an Olaplex artist, who has shared insights on the upcoming winter bob trends of 2023
Edward James is a celebrity hairstylist with salons based in Battersea, Putney, Balham and Richmond. James is also the co-founder of the retail platform The Hair Consult and as a hairstylist, has worked with the likes of Cara Delevingne, Joanna Lumley and even a few members of the royal family – and has shared predictions for the bob styles we'll be seeing this winter.
The 6 chic winter bob trends we're loving
Expert's pick for boosted texture
Recommended by hair stylist Edward James, this spray is perfect for boosting the volume and texture of your chosen bob style, especially if your hair is on the thinner side.
Expert's pick for a healthy scalp
The winter months can cause havoc on our scalps no matter the style you wear your hair in. Tom Smith suggests a scalp treatment, like this one from Living Proof.
Expert's pick for a style refresh
Another recommendation for Smith is this detoxing shampoo from Olaplex, which will help put the oomph back into your bob between washes.
Though the autumn bob trends brought many a stylish hairstyle, this season's must-have looks promise to up the ante even further, with short-short lengths and French-inspired crops set to be the most popular.
Even celebrities cannot resist the bob's appeal, with stars like Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Connolly debuting fresh trims in recent weeks. As for why Bob styles are having such a renaissance this chilly season – despite short cuts often being synonymous with hotter weather – Tom Smith says, "the cosy winter aesthetic with hair tucked into oversized coats is one a lot of people are attracted to this time of year, a bob cut gives a similar illusion to this while also making a statement."
So, without further ado, these are the cropped styles we'll be seeing everywhere in the coming weeks, plus tips straight from the experts on how to style and upkeep your own cropped look...
1. Le Petit Bob
The "Le Petit bob" or the French bob, as it's also known is touted to be this season's must-have look. As for what it entails, Smith explains that "the key defining feature of le petit bob is the soft and choppy graduation at the nape of the neck and the slight turn up of the length towards the face carving between the cheekbone and jaw."
As for what face shapes best suit this tres chic cut, Smith says: "Le petit bob is great for those with heart-shaped, long or oval faces because the shorter length adds subtle width and contour to the face, while the soft voluminous silhouette can balance a wider forehead or a narrow face."
2. The Italian bob
TikTok's favourite Italian bob is also sticking around for winter 2023 thanks to its versatility. As James notes, "the Italian bob sits just below the chin and above the shoulders and is often fuller at the bottom for a voluminous look that enhances the neck and jawline. It is a cut that provides more flexibility in styling due to the longer length, which allows it to be worn up, waved or smooth and straight and works best on all hair textures.
"Owing to its slightly longer length, the Italian bob offers ample styling options. It lends itself well to more polished styles. One can straighten the hair for a sleek, refined appearance or introduce curls for more added volume."
3. The Skinny Lob
Beloved by the likes of Daisy Edgar Jones and Stella McCartney, the skinny lob is set to top the winter bob trends this year.
Elaborating on the look, Smith says: "The beauty of a long bob has been getting steadily more popular throughout this year and the final evolution of this shape for 2023 is a slimmer, head-hugging, stretched-out shape, which is undeniably a lob but with straighter sides and softer ends."
Smith explains that the skinny lob is "almost reaching a ‘short long haircut’ thanks to the lack of blunt lines" and is best suited to those with 'wider, rounded or heart-shaped faces.'
Smith also remarks that this is the ideal length for those wanting to achieve that "cosy 'tucked-into-a-large-overcoat' look which pairs nicely with this season’s trending puffer jackets and oversized scarves." So basically our winter aesthetic in a nutshell.
4. The Faux bob
As mentioned, the faux bob is the non-committal crop of our dreams because as the name suggests, it's not a real bob. It just requires a bit of hairstyle trickery to fashion your hair into a shorter look, without actually having to trim off any length.
You can accomplish this style by wearing your hair in a low pony, rolling it under and securing it in place with grips to create that bob-shape illusion.
5. The Blunt bob
James predicts that the timeless blunt bob will also make a comeback this season and for good reason. "The blunt bob is one of my favourite styles and is characterised by its even length all around the head, giving a sleek and straightforward edge to the traditional bob, with no layers to soften the look, just a clean, sharp cut," James says.
While this cut might seem fairly straightforward style, don't be fooled as James notes that it requires skill to "create perfect balance and sharp line to the cut," so it's not a trim we'd advise trying at home.
As for styling, James recommends this look for those with straight hair, but adds, "For textured hair, you will need your stylist to take into account the length so that when it is styled it doesn’t shrink and become distorted."
6. The Butterfly bob
For those who favour soft and bouncy layers, we have good news – the butterfly bob is also tipped to make an impression this season.
Breaking down the look, James explains, "The butterfly bob has an unstructured, airy feel, with shorter layers at the front that frame the face much like the wings of a butterfly, offering a softer alternative to the classic bob shape and it has a hint of 70s style."
As for who this style will suit, "It works well on wavy and textured hair and it also looks amazing when worn straight or with some flicks around the face," James says.
Our bob styling tool kit
If you're tempted by any of the bobs on this list, we've rounded up a few styling essentials to ensure your hair looks its best...
If you're chasing a sleek, frizz-free bob this de-frizzing spray from Living Proof is an essential. It instantly works to tame any unruly flyaways by smoothing your hair and boosting shine with its unique five-oil blend. The formula works to mimic the oils naturally found in your hair and dries instantly, without ruining your hairstyle.
Protect your strands
If your bob style requires a certain amount of styling with tools, be sure to invest in a good heat protectant, like Moroccanoil's Perfect Defense. This no-hold spray works with all hair types and styling tools to protect your locks from temperatures of up to 230°C.
Perfect your style
This styling brush is ideal for those with mid to short hair lengths and works to boost volume whilst simultaneously drying and smoothing your hair. It's ideal if you're a lover of bouncy blowdries, or have a layered bob cut.
What are the best fringe and bob styles for your face shape?
Your face shape plays a big role when selecting the perfect length and style of bob, especially if you plan to add a fringe. Thankfully though, hairstylist James has lifted the lid on the best looks to go for to find the perfect hairstyle for your face shape...
- Oval: "Choose either a blunt fringe for a striking effect or a soft, swept-back fringe for a more relaxed look."
- Round: "Avoid blunt fringes that shorten the fact," James notes and instead, "opt for sweeping fringes or micro-fringes to add length.
- Square: "Soft, face-framing fringes work better than blunt cuts. Longer bobs that extend past the jaw are preferable."
- Heart: "You can take your pick from bold, blunt bangs to gentle, sweeping fringes. Bob lengths can be at the jaw or longer."
How should I style my bob for winter?
How you style your bob will depend on things like your hair type and the style you've chosen. If you're someone who prefers their bob to have a silky swish, James recommends a keratin blow-dry, a semi-permanent treatment that smooths and de-frizzes hair for up to six months. "Alternatively using a smoothing product such as Color Wow’s Dream Coat will keep your hair smooth and groomed," he adds.
For those who favour texture and movement – and for those with wavy hair – James says to use "texture products such as Aveda’s texture tonic to create separation and movement or a curl enhancer to create separation and movement." If you're looking for maximum volume, James also recommends a spray like Color Wow’s Raise the Roots to "create volume but with touchable texture."
Making sure you're caring for your hair properly is even more important than normal at this time of year. "Hair can dry out more easily in the winter so upgrading your conditioner to a moisture-based mask is a great way of keeping your hair healthy in cold and damp weather contrasted by hot dry indoor air," says Smith. Investing in one of the best hair masks is definitely a good idea to keep your strands moisturised.
Smith also adds that keeping your scalp clean is vital, "as the contrasts in temperature can play havoc with your scalp microbiome. Opt for lightweight shampoos like authentic beauty concept deep cleansing, leave-in scalp serums."
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Naomi is a Beauty Writer from Woman&Home, where she covers everything from skincare to beauty trends, as well as reviewing products and sharing her personal shopping recommendations. She specialises in feature and e-commerce writing and has previously worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok trends to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. During her time on this title, she also reviewed beauty and skincare products and was commissioned to design some illustrations for one of the team's relationship features.
Before that, Naomi also worked across both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2021, after always having a passion for writing.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on the best perfumes and must-have beauty buys, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.
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