There are hundreds of ways to wear bob hairstyles, but they all have one thing in common. The key to all short bob hairstyles for women is to ensure your look doesn't appear too 'done'. This can be achieved with a combination of a great cut and clever styling using the best hair dryer. A fringe is optional (but we all know this cut can take years off!) and the effect is to look fresh and modern with a natural, sometimes wavy style.
Sophisticated long bob hairstyles (known as the 'lob') is becoming the hairstyle to be seen in amongst celebs both sides of the pond, and with the news that the bob is the most hygienic hairstyle option for a world still in the middle of a pandemic, there's never been a better time to go for the chop.
If you're looking to opt for a new bob hairstyle but aren't too sure about heading out to the hairdressers at the moment, why not opt for a mobile beauty service like Blow Ltd. They're the UK's leader in mobile beauty services and can bring the salon to you.
Do bob haircuts look good on everyone?
The simple answer to this question, is yes! Bob hairstyles can look good on everyone with the right styling.
"The bob is so versatile," says Caroline Sanderson from Ego Hair Design, Inverness (winner of awards including Scottish Hairdresser of the Year).
"You can wear it with or without a fringe, with a short fringe, long fringe, side fringe - it can be adapted to pretty much every single face shape.
What's important to remember is that there are many different types of bob. So when it comes to selecting a new, shorter hairstyle you should keep the type of bob you want in mind.
What are the different types of bobs?
Bob hairstyles are versatile and varied, so there are many different types of bob! From 'the lob' which has been especially popular over the last few year to the asymmetrical bob that has been on trend for 2020.
Other types of bob include:
- Layered bob
- A-line haircut
- Graduated bob
- Inverted bob
- Stacked bob
- French bob
- Textured bob
- Shoulder-length bob
- Blunt bob
- Blended bob
- Heavy bob
You don't need to know the technical names of all the different types of bobs to pick which cut is right for you though. Simply look through our selection of the best bob hairstyles below and pick your favourite. Then take it to your hairdresser and they will be able to advise on the style and how it might work for you.
What face shape suits bob hairstyles?
Hair expert Caroline Sanderson believes all face shapes suit bob hairstyles. You just need to know which style of bob will suit you best and flatter your face shape:
"For someone with a longer face it’s very flattering with a fringe, on a rounder face you can wear it longer to elongate the face. It can be cut to emphasise or soften a square jaw. It’s timeless and spans all generations."
Whatever your face shape and hair type, there's a perfect bob hairstyle for you. Some of our favourite celebs have gone for the chop, sporting pretty blonde 'dos, wavy chin length bobs and longer shoulder length cuts - each just as flattering as the next.
Are bob hairstyles still in style?
It's been a few years since the Duchess of Cambridge chopped her locks into a chic bob, but a shorter, chic haircut is still very much in style.
Leading London salon Jo Hansford included the bob in their annual Trend forecast, saying, "The bob, the shoulder-grazing style that be relaxed and choppy or sleek and jaw skimming and can suit almost every hair type if it’s cut correctly.
A bespoke service is something Jo Hansford prides itself on, and The Bespoke Bevelled Bob is a remastered version of the classic bob but tailored to different hair types."
The Bob is a classic haircut that will truly never go out of style and the celebrity bob hairstyles below show there are plenty of ways to style a bob to keep it looking fresh and modern.
Will a bob make my hair look thicker?
"A heavy bob with a strong heavy line is a great way to give the illusion of bulk," says Adam Reed, Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professional and owner of Adam Reed Salon London."The best cut to make hair look thicker will maintain weight at the ends as much as possible - think a strong blunt Alexa Chungbob."
Siobhan Jones, Headmasters Colour Ambassador for L’Oréal Professional agrees that a bob can work wonders at making hair appear fuller. "The new French girlbobis ideal for giving the illusion of fullness on short to long length bobs. The edges are cut blunt which then gives the impression of bulk and defines the outline of thehaircut. This technique of blunt cutting makes the hair appear more full and weighty."
How to maintain bob hairstyles
Award-winning celebrity hairstylist Dionne Smith says, "People often make the mistake of thinking a bob is hard to style.
However a bob can be an easier to style, with less hair to work with. Creating a subtle curl or wave in the hair is a great way to add volume to a bob. Curling the edges of the hair inwards can create a stronger structure to the face giving the illusion of sharper cheekbones and by adding bangs you can frame the face making it look elongated and slimmer.
"I would recommend regular trims from the hairdressers to keep it in shape and looking good. A quick trim at 3-6 weeks will ensure that your bob is kept clean, sharp and at the perfect length."
What is the best way to style a bob?
Keep your bob looking thick and swingy with Adam Reed's blow dry tip. "It’s an old one but a true fail-safe, if you blow-dry hair upside down it helps to add root lift. ApplyL’Oréal ProfessionnelTecni.ARTRebel Push Up Mousse and comb through from root to end, the comb helps to evenly distribute and really spread the products perfectly through the hair and enhancing the lift to give the illusion of thicker hair."
Dionne Smith recommends "Using a little sea salt spray for beachy and tousled texture.",
Shrub Sea Salt Texturising Spray
If you don't have tie have time for a blow dry, heated rollers or even a quick backcomb, the new breed of volumising powders give lift in a flash, and are teeny-tiny enough to be taken everywhere.
Just tap a sprinkling into fingertips, and massage into roots.
Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder
And to keep it looking chic when straight, you'll need a paddle brush. These smooth as they detangle and distribute natural oils for shine.
Denman D83 Large Paddle Styling Brush
Now, if you're feeling inspired and brave enough to take the plunge - scroll down through our favourite bob hairstyles for inspiration below ahead of your next salon trip...
Best bob hairstyles for women in 2020:
Looking for bob hairstyles as inspiration for your next cut? Take these pics to the salon next time you visit to inspire a stylish, shorter 'do.
Lorraine Kelly has been championing shorter hair for decades. Her current cut, styled in soft waves, looks feminine and natural, and is a good cut to keep thinning hair looking thicker and healthy. Award-winning hairdresser Lee Stafford says, "Textured waves are the style trend to go for if you have slightly longer hair that needs some oomph and shape putting back in and Lorraine has nailed it. Her hair has movement and body which is really flattering on her face."
The Loose Women star has worn her hair in a flattering shoulder-grazing bob for years, styling it in a mixture of ways. This glamorous curly look can be achieved by drying hair into a deep side parting then tonging it with a wand, beginning just above the ears. Once curled rake through with fingers to make it a little more 'imperfect' and set with hairspray.
While Holly Willoughby's hair is a little long to be classed as a traditional bob. The TV presenter's slightly longer crop is a great transitional style for anyone who wants to take their hairstyle a little shorter without cutting it all off at once! The soft waves keep it feminine and not over over-styled whist the multi-tonal shades of colour break up the cut and keep it looks natural and healthy says Charles Worthington. This style is easy to maintain so a great one for women to adopt.
We're used to seeing Michelle with a curve in her hair but for the Obama's last bash at the White House last weekend, the first lady debuted a straighter sleeker do. Chopped above the shoulders with a youthful centre parting and blunt ends, this very modern cut accentuates sky high cheekbones. Hair guru Phil Smith said, "If you are broad shouldered the combination of long, thick hair can look heavy whereas shortening the length creates space and lightness which is more flattering. For a set style like this, fly-aways aren’t an option. Finish using my Cocolcious Firm Hold Hairspray to tame hair into a sleek, smooth texture the will stay all day."
Helen keeps her hair looking fabulous by maintaining a short, healthy bob with a side swept fringe. Her hairstyle not only frames her face but keeps her thin and fine hair looking thicker. Red carpet hair stylist Charles Worthington says, Helen's colour is great against her skin tone as it doesn't wash her out and looks very natural. The length suits her face shape, shows off her cheek bones and doesn't draw her face down. This look is more for those that want to soften their face and keep it more feminine. See more of Helen Mirren's Best Hair Moments HERE
The Grey's Anatomy and Killing Eve star makes the most of her curls by wearing them in a bouncy long bob with a flattering broken-up fringe. "Curly short hair with bangs was seen on the recent catwalks and after isolating people will be ready for the big chop!" says Wendy Iles of Iles Formula Haircare. "Chanel, Celine, Saint Laurent shows all showed us the 70’s spirit. Letting heavy, gorgeous, natural-looking hair fall like a curtain is luxurious. The key is to nurture natural hair so we can officially say goodbye to over-styled and over tonged locks."
Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge’s bob had everyone talking when she first debuted the look at Wimbledon in 2017. Chicly snipped and expertly styled into soft, face framing waves, it’s no surprise that many were quick to copy Catherine.
Hairstylist to the stars Paul Edmonds explains why Catherine’s new crop is such a stylish, yet practical, haircut for so many, “A short choppy haircut is great for finer hair types. The front can be worn relaxed and loose, wash with Shu Uemura Murota Volume Shampoo to give lift at the root the Himalayan salts provide essential minerals and volume to the hair. And, to open the face and glam up for the evening, the front of the hair can be swept back.
In June 2016 Victoria Beckham unleashed a brand new look on Instagram - a long bob. The style icon who has been named in the Queen's New Year's honours list, swapped her long glossy hair extensions for a natural tousled lob. The low-maintenance cut was crafted by British hairdresser Luke Hersheson, the subtle asymmetric ends give the illusion of a slender neck whilst the soft waves highlight Victoria's enviable bone structure and visibly knocks years off the former Spice girl. Hair guru Phil Smith says, "The loose curls compliment her angular bone structure while the slightly longer bob length draws attention to her collar bones and décolletage. Adding a wave or curl to a bob automatically softens the look making it less harsh and more ‘lived in’ and casual. Shiny hair will help achieve the expensive, chic appearance that Victoria Beckham is known for."
If you want Golden Globe-worthy volume, follow US actress Viola Davis' lead and curve the ends of your hair at the nape of your neck. This kicks out the sides and takes the weight off the bottom. The subtle hair flick gives her bob hairstyle volumes and look less harsh.
2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
Reese Witherspoon, 44, first credited celebrity hairstylist Lona Vigi for her "new summer cut” - a shoulder-grazing ‘lob’ (a.k.a long bob) – in 2019 when she went for the chop and swapped her signature long blonde locks for a style that was shorter and chicer. Talking about styling Reese's hair, Lona said: "We talked about keeping Reese’s hair feminine and strong yet still soft."
Actress Felicity Kendal looks fab at 72 with this youthful, multi-tonal bob. Blow-dried to add extra volume and with a soft fringe to frame the face this cut is both flattering and easy to maintain. Andrew Barton, celebrity hairdresser says, "Felicity Kendal is renowned for her signature full and bouncy hair which defies her age and knocks off the years. Hair that swings and has bounce is always more youthful than straight flat hair. Avoid styles with too much lift on top and opt for styles like this one with natural volume and lift throughout the hair."
The British-born editor of US Vogue has worn her hair in the same iconic style for as long as we can remember. Never wavering from her glossy blow-dry, blunt fringe and jaw-length style, Anna knows what works for her and sticks to it. Phil Smith said, "Anna Wintour’s bob is iconic - an extension of her personality and style. Her hair is thick and the cut sharp which creates a structural quality to the look which frames her face perfectly, always skimming her chin and jawline. Blow-dry using a wide barrel brush to create the curve and sleek finish."
Jane Fonda is the ultimate bob-wearer, having rocked a bob hairstyle for most of us her career. Not only are bobs flattering at every age, you can style it just about any which way you want - with curls, like Jane here, straight or even slicked back. It's super versatile and easy to maintain too.
Rosamund Pike's lightly tousled lob is the epitome of the 'undone' hairdo stylists were falling over themselves to master last year. Low-maintenance and chic it's a no brainer whatever your hair type. Phil Smith says,"Rosamund Pike has a strong, classic look that can carry a range of different cuts. This affords her the luxury of changing up her haircut and trying something different as her features can pull off something striking or quirky. Her a-symmetrical bob is modern but feels classic paired with her style and timeless beauty. With this style, regular appointments with your hairdresser is imperative to keep on top of the length which is key for this cut looking it’s best."
Emma Thompson has long sported a short bob, and we adore it! It's a fabulous, low-maintenance style, and looks great styled however you wish - slicked back, or fluffy and straight like this picture.