7 Ways To Wear A Bob, And The Products You Need To Style It

by Jessica DeFino
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If all of the baggy jeans, shrunken crop tops, and platform sneakers are any indication — the '90s are back, lounging on a checkered La-Z-Boy, and here to stay. Not just with clothes and accessories, though: sleek, chin-length cuts are also resurfacing. “The bob works on all hair textures,” Chris Appleton, celeb hairstylist and Global Artistic Director of Glam Seamless notes, referencing his recent swishy cut on Kim Kardashian. But unlike the rigid formula that most people stuck to back then (cough, cough... The Rachel), today's bobs are way more versatile. Celebs like Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, and Julianne Hough are adding variation by way of length, layers, bangs, parts, and finish, proving that the bob can't ever be boring, even if it tried.

That said, the thought of a major chop job might be intimidating — it takes confidence to go short when you're used to length. But according to celebrity hairstylist Nikki Nelms, you needn't worry: a bob haircut stays stylish from the time you chop, and well throughout the grow-out process. “I have clients that like to go short with their bob cuts so that they can enjoy each stage longer, before having to get a trim,” she tells me.

Still not convinced? Let the seven examples, ahead, change your mind... because there's truly something for everyone.

Laser Layers

“I’m really into glossy, futuristic bobs,” Appleton says. “I like the laser-cut look.” When worn straight (like Kardashian), the style is swishy and sexy; when worn curly, it’s fresh and modern. “It’s achievable for all,” he says.

Whatever your texture, this cut calls for high-shine hair. To get a glossy finish, reach for Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray, made with argan oil and lemongrass, as your final styling step.

Wavy Layers

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Nelms is partial to a layered bob for fall, like she did on Kat Graham. “Don’t forget to factor in whether or not you plan to wear your new cut curly or straightened,” Nelms advises. “This will help in deciding on the shape that will work best for both ways.” If you love the look of a curly, layered bob, make sure to keep a little bit of extra length, as curls tend to “shrink” as they dry.


“The real key for fall is the fringe,” Garren, celebrity stylist and the co-founder of R+Co, says. But there’s good news: any kind of bang — like Julianne Hough's brow-grazing look — works well with a bob. “Whether it’s really long or really short, it’s a play on the shape of your face,” he says. A few blasts of R+Co’s Neon Lights Dry Oil Spray helps keep shorter pieces separated, yet shiny.

Tousled With Texture

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Kim Kimble, a hair stylist for Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, suggests keeping your fall bob sleek and straight... or you can add a few fun bends, like she did with Gabrielle Union.

“For sleek hair, I recommend using a silk vapor iron,” Kimble says. And argan oil always helps to add smoothness and shine. Just apply a few drops from root to tip after styling, and go.

Natural Curls

A curly, layered bob (like Jurnee Smollett Bell's, done by Nelms) is the perfect low-maintenance cut for those who prefer to let their natural texture shine. “You don’t have to do a lot to style it,” Kimble tells us. “I recommend using a curl revitalizer like my Bounce Back Curl Revitalizer to keep it fresh."

Around The Earlobe

“A lot of people are taking chances and making it drastic, rather than wearing long, shaggy hair,” Garren says. “The new version of the bob is above the earlobe, and sometimes with short, chopped bangs — think Louise Brooks in the 1920s.” For this look, Garren says that baby bangs are essential — or you can sweep it all back like Lana Condor, who cut off all her hair for an upcoming movie role. "[It] saved me so much money now on shampoo and conditioner," she captioned an Instagram. See — the bob's benefits are endless!

Halo Cut

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Another silhouette to consider is “the halo,” as seen at Miu Miu SS19: it's structured to be shorter at the nape of the neck, with fullness at the top — hence the name. “If you’re wearing it naturally curly, try cutting it into a longer bowl cut,” Garren notes. “I like to keep the length below the brow so when it curls, it’s not too short.”

While there’s no wrong way to rock a bob for fall, Nelms has one universal style suggestion: “The haircut pairs really well with a turtleneck,” she says.