As summer inches ever nearer, simplified, cropped cuts gain appeal with each increased degree. Though down-to-there lengths do have their aesthetic merits, particularly in regard to beach days (Hello, mermaid hair!), abbreviated styles tend to be a touch more manageable, with the less-is-more looks keeping wearers chill in more ways than one. But what of those with more-is-more manes? When it comes to thick hair, selecting the perfect low maintenance bob requires taking both texture and volume into account, so as to avoid chops that expand in unwanted, unwieldy ways.
The key descriptor here, according to experts, is low maintenance. “With natural texture, the ultimate goal is ‘wash and wear,’” says hairstylist Sam LaBella. Hunter Schafer’s go-to hairstylist, Rena Calhoun, agrees, favoring strategically-shorn bobs tailored with individual attributes in mind, as these are better to distribute weight, minimize styling time, and avoid unwanted frizziness. Once you find the ideal bob for your thick hair, an air-dry (or perhaps a quick round with a diffuser), a tousle, and a touch of the perfect product are all that separates you from insouciant summertime beauty, freeing up your time for fun in the sun.
Here, six low-maintenance bob haircuts for thick hair — just in time for that thoughtful, seasonal makeover you likely have in mind.
Layers and bangs are a seamless way for anyone with thick, curly hair to get in on the bob game—just make sure those layers skew round. “Sun-shaped round layers are gorgeous,” says Calhoun. “Curly hair has the natural ability to defy gravity and removing a lot of the weight through layering will allow for more bounce and volume.” LaBella adds that this soft brand of layering is a great option regardless of curl pattern. “Adding rounded layers and fringe is one of my favorites for tighter curl patterns, while a looser wave has incredible movement and volume with longer layers,” she says.
To style the round sun bob, Calhoun recommends applying Virtue’s Curl-Defining Whip in quadrants, followed by the Curl-Defining Gel, working product through with a wide-tooth comb before air-drying, or diffusing upside down for added volume.
Choppy Layers & Curtain Fringe
If you’re considering cutting your thick, relatively straight mane, these choppy layers offer the ideal amount of swing and visual interest — particularly when paired with bohemian curtain fringe. “Use a round brush to polish the fringe, and a little texture spray to boost volume through the midlength,” says LaBella, who suggests prepping damp jar with a soft mousse — like Aloxxi's Volume Whip — for more dramatic volume.
“The ultra-cropped length is timeless and so chic,” says Macedo, who notes that this style works well on clients with incredibly thick hair with the addition of a slight modification. “[You can] undercut the back up to the hairline to lose some serious density,” she says. “Once that heaviness is removed, hair is way more manageable at this length.” Prep Davines This is a Blow Dry Primer and style with a round brush for a ‘90s supermodel feel.
“A bob with layers to enhance natural texture and remove weight is the ultimate low-maintenance haircut for thick hair,” says hairstylist Kelly Macedo, owner of Interior Hair in Los Angeles. “A bob like this works with any natural wave, so you can just air dry.” For maximum texture, Macedo applies a curl cream on towel-dried hair before twisting lengths in one-inch sections in both directions all over the head, finishing the look with a texture spray (she favors Davines’ texturizing spray) once it’s dry. LaBella loves this option for straight hair, too. “Polished face framing and long interior layering give this cut both structure and softness,” she says. “For super low-maintenance styling, use large velcro rollers throughout the crown and kiss with heat to create polished volume.”
For a cut that calls for little to no styling, opt for a blunt bob. “As the hair is all the same length with no layers, the weight of the hair will keep it from expanding too much and keep it from feeling goofy,” says Calhoun. “To style in the most low maintenance way, I recommend a smoothing leave-in cream.” To achieve the optimal iteration of this chop on straight hair, Macedo bevels ends to ensure a super-crisp shape that’s designed to snap back into place. “I like to remove weight by ‘slicing’ the hair, which takes away density but doesn't look like there are layers in there,” she says, adding that a quick pull of a flat iron will result in perfect polish.
Curly Collarbone Lob
Curls that reach the collarbone make for an artfully nonchalant look. “Keeping the length slightly longer than the shoulders allows for a little bottom weight, which is needed to avoid the triangular shape we so often see with thick bobs,” says Macedo. “I like to cut layers dry on curly hair so I can carve out and remove weight, ensuring a beautifully effortless air dry.” Apply curl cream and diffuse, finishing with Oribe Texture Spray and Davines Oi Oil for a lived-in yet glossy style with staying power.
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