When it comes to the most iconic hairstyles ever, a bob inarguably takes the cake. A quick history lesson: Though it first debuted in the 1890s on French actor Polaire, the cut really picked up in the ‘60s, thanks to its revival from hairstylist Vidal Sassoon (think: a sharp angular style). And through the decades, a slew of variations have been adopted by Hollywood’s top A-listers. In fact, search in Google for your favorite celebrity following with the words “bob haircut” and odds are, they’ve tried it at some point. (Read: It’s so good that Anna Wintour has been wearing the look since she was a teenager.)
As for 2021, stars are continuing to prove just how iconic (not to mention, versatile) a bob is. “Artists like Billie Eilish have taken the oh-so-popular ‘wolf cut’ from earlier this year and shortened their hair into a look I like to call the ‘bobcat’ cut,” Sunnie Brook, a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Elisabeth Moss and Amy Poehler, tells TZR. “I think the silhouette of this haircut flatters many face shapes and has inspired those looking for a change to make the chop.”
Plus, this trendy hairstyle is also a great change for the health of your hair. “Coming into fall and after the summer it’s nice to give your hair a new look and get rid of those ends that got a little damaged from the sun,” Bobby Eliot, a celebrity hairstylist who works with Sydney Sweeney and Julia Garner, explains to TZR. (Yes, the sun can cause split ends to form.) To keep your hair looking its best, it’s a good idea to get a trim come fall, so why not go daring with a bob?
Ahead, take a scroll through the 13 most iconic celebrity bob haircuts for a bit of inspiration. Plus, find the current styles that are trending, according to celebrity hairstylists.
Barbra Streisand’s Bob With Bangs
Legendary singer Barbra Streisand was the queen of the bob haircut back in the ‘60s. For this particular look in 1969, she rocked a flipped-in style complete with bangs. According to Johnny Wright, a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Michelle Obama and Tamron Hall, you might want to show your hairstylist this throwback look. “The bob with bangs is something I see trending [right now],” the expert tells TZR. “It’s for women looking to really switch up their look without going too short.” But, if you want to go short, don’t be afraid to do so.
Twiggy’s Wavy Middle Part Bob
Basically, everything Twiggy did in the ‘70s made a statement, and her bob was no exception. In this 1971 image, the model rocked a retro-looking wavy bob with a middle part. This classic style is a great starting point if you’re new to the bob game.
Diana Ross’ Voluminous Bob
Though she typically gravitated towards curls back in the day, Diana Ross tested out a bob hairstyle in the ‘70s as well. This chic look, which just touched her shoulders, was full of volume and bounce.
Beverly Johnson’s Soft Lob
Here’s a prime example of the trendy lob (more on that below). In 1985, model Beverly Johnson was seen with a cut that just grazed her shoulders. She could probably get away with throwing her hair into a ponytail with this long style.
Natalie Portman’s Baby Bangs Bob
The bob continued to reign supreme in the ‘90s, as exhibited in tons of iconic films from the decade. Just look at Natalie Portman's version for the movie Leon, which featured brow-skimming baby bangs, or Drew Barrymore’s blunt bob in the film Scream.
Scarlett Johansson Mullet-Bob Hybrid
If you can believe it, ultra-layered mullet bobs, like the one Scarlett Johansson wore back in 2003, are coming back today. “A rock-and-roll mullet is the ultimate cool-girl haircut,” Cynthia Alvarez, a celebrity stylist who works with Shakira and Becky G, tells TZR “You can rock it with bangs or short choppy layers.” Her expert advice: Maintain the texture by using Biolage Curl Defining Elixir and scrunching with your fingers.
Jessica Alba’s Side Part Bob
Still loving a side-part hairstyle? Take notes from Jessica Alba’s polished bob in 2011. The actor-turned-entrepreneur’s elevated side-part shoulder-length bob will always be in style (sorry, Gen Z).
Hailey Bieber’s Beach Wave Bob
Hailey Bieber (or, Baldwin back at that time) proved just how modern a bob can be with her style at the 2018 Billboard Awards. For the event, the model went with short beachy waves. This look is perfect for the transition between summer and fall.
Kaia Gerber’s A-Line Bob
“Geometric bobs à la Sassoon are great cuts because they make a bold statement and exude confidence,” Alvarez says. “There are no rules when wearing this bob because it’s all about showcasing your personality.” Gerber gave the look a whirl in 2019 with a very bold cut that featured longer hair in the front and shorter in the back for an A-line effect.
Maisie Williams’ Fringe Bob
According to Eliot, fringe bobs like the style Maisie Williams wore at Paris Fashion Week last October 2020, are going to be huge this fall. “Think blunt ends and longer curtain bangs that are shorter in the center and longer towards the corner of the eyes,” he says. “This shape is flattering on pretty much everyone!”
Denise Bidot’s Blunt Bob
“I am so in love with that bob that is mid-neck and more blunt than soft,” Ted Gibson, a celebrity hairstylist whose client roster includes Denise Bidot and Serena Williams, explains. The hairstylist has been cutting this length on many of his clients, like Bidot (shown above).
Lily Collins’s Super Sleek Lob
“I always love a long bob, AKA, a lob,” hairstylist Corey Aaron Scott tells TZR. In fact, he says a lob is drastic enough for a whole new look, especially now for fall. “It’s long enough to still put in a ponytail, and you’ll be able to grow it out by next summer. It’s truly an iconic and versatile haircut.” Just last month, Lily Collins showcased a very sleek version of the lob at a Cartier event.
Halle Berry’s Cheeky Blunt Bob
Halle Berry is no stranger to a short ‘do, and that includes a bob. The actor turned heads with her super short look at the 2021 Oscars. Brook describes this up-and-coming iteration of the bob as cheeky. “This cut is for the brave-hearted,” she explains. “This length sits just at the cheek, bold and blunt, but is long enough for a sweet ear tuck.”
As you can see, a bob haircut isn’t a one-size-fits-all style. Hopefully, these iconic celebrity looks will give you some inspiration for your new fall ‘do.