No doubt about it — the bob is one of the most popular hairstyles around. Not only does the cut exude power, but it also has a classic appeal that’s hard to deny. At some point in time, you’ve probably even sported a version of the look yourself. While the haircut works well on everyone, Black women are behind some of the most iconic bobs of all time — think Rihanna’s asymmetrical version from her “Umbrella” era, Lori Harvey’s sleek and simple cut, or Angela Bassett’s shoulder-length curls. With so many different types of bobs for natural hair, the options truly are endless.
One of the reasons the bob is so beloved in the natural hair community is its versatility when it comes to protective styling. With a shorter length and defined part, it’s the perfect cut for quick weaves and wigs — even braids take on a unique look when woven into the length’s signature shape. There’s never a bad time to get a bob, especially if you don’t have to actually cut your hair to enjoy it. If you’re on the hunt for a way to spice up your look, consider giving one of these chic options a try.
Named for its full and round shape, the mushroom bob is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The curved cut has been seen on celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, and was famously worn by Keri Hilson and Rihanna during the early aughts. But the style has longstanding roots in ‘60s culture as one of the looks that defined the mod era thanks to its unique shape. With a simple middle part, inherently voluminous nature, and chin-grazing ends, it’s the perfect bob for long and oval-shaped faces.
Among the many different types of bangs, a blunt-cut fringe is the most daring. But when paired with a bob, the combination makes an alluring look that’s hard to ignore. Sometimes called a “Cleopatra cut”, it also makes the style one of the best options for natural-looking wigs. With the thick bang and layered back pieces, you can fully conceal your braids underneath. If you’re wanting to spice things up, opt for a few blonde streaks throughout the fringe and through the front pieces — they’ll frame the face.
Is there anything more commanding than an asymmetrical bob? Actually, there is — just take a cue from this longer version cut at a sharp angle. Much like a traditional bob, this look relies on blunt ends and a razor edge to bring the drama. But it’s the added, tilted length that makes this look feel so unique. It’s true that the asymmetrical look isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been wanting to try the cut without sacrificing all your length, this option is the perfect compromise.
Bobs and braids may just be the best combination yet. Popularized in the ‘90s by songstresses like Brandy, it’s just as stylish today — plus, it has tons of range. You could go the box braid route for a classic look, but this boho version with loose tendrils feels timely and modern. Take a cue from this stylist and add a few decorative beads or cuffs.
This flowy look is a similarly asymmetrical shape with longer front pieces and a stacked cut in the back. With light layers placed throughout the style, it lends itself well to elegant curls and loose waves alike. Even better, both can easily be created with a flat iron, as shown in this clip. Simply use the edges of the tool to add a touch of volume, then lightly tousle for a lived-in look.
Curly & Cropped
A bob is one of the most stylish ways to rock your natural curls. The key is getting them cut into a shape that’s ideal for your face shape — and making sure you work with a stylist experienced in curly hair. For a more traditional look, opt for a fuller crown and chin-length strands in the front. This will help create a defined frame and show off your best attributes.
Much like the asymmetrical bob, this style relies on blunt cut ends to create a bold statement — but it’s the short length that really brings the drama. Together, these elements deliver a sharp look that’s elegant and edgy. If you’ve been on the fence about trying a bob, this may be the style for you. Not only does it tick all the traditional boxes, but with no layers and a streamlined cut, you can avoid that awkward grow-out period.
For silk presses, a bob can be a great way to show off soft layers and healthy hair. While straight styles are nice, tousled waves give the simple cut a romantic feel. It’s also extremely easy to recreate at home. Just add a few loose curls throughout your hair and gently pull them apart with your fingers. The result is nothing less than effortless and chic.
The angled bob is a classic style seen in almost every hair salon for one reason: versatility. Not only is it ageless and appealing to high schoolers and grown women alike, but it’s easy to create and style on natural hair. The stacked bang and deep swoop adds volume and height to the look, while the blunt-cut ends create the illusion of fullness. Plus, a simple silk wrap and quick brush-down is all that’s needed in the morning to bring this bob back to life.
Ah, the classic French-girl bob. Simple, elegant, and forever timeless, it has an allure that’s hard to resist. Even if you’re not a bang person, the wispy fringe of this style is easy to master and provides the perfect frame for showing off your eyes. The beauty of this cut is that it’s capable of variation. Whether you prefer a long version that falls below the chin or a closer-cropped look, there’s no denying the appeal of this bob.