Truth: the bob is one haircut that never goes out of style. From the the flapper era to the ’60s mod movement, the bob has seen it all. And it’s still going strong. Britney Spears just bobbed it out this week. J.Lo debuted a slightly longer version last month. And Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams joined bob forces on the red carpet a few weeks back. If you’re starting to feel bob-worthy yourself, you may have a few questions before you chop it all off. Don’t worry, here’s everything you need to know.
What Makes The Blunt Bob So Modern?
In the past, we used to wear A-line style bobs much more dramatically. Victoria Beckham circa 2008, anyone? We would often leave about three inches or more between the length in the back from the length to the front. And when we would create layers, we would focus more in the nape of the neck, creating dramatic, stacked layers that only existed from the occipital bone down to the nape. Then, we would leave the front more one length and dramatic against the shorter, heavily layered back.
Now, we focus more on total balance. There’s less volume at the crown (which was created from the shorter layers in the back in the past) and there’s more distributed weight throughout. The idea is to play up the natural fall more, letting the perimeter and the mid-length take center stage, just as they would naturally with a bedhead kind of feel, instead of focusing on the crown. The heavy ends also create a very modern shape because they swing so beautifully over the shoulder with a nice, clean, minimalist line. Think Karlie Kloss or Jessica Alba’s style.
Why is it the new timeless style?
This particular style is so popular among women for so many reasons. It can activate texture in wavy or curly hair without giving too much body and volume and without creating the dreaded triangle shape. It also adds just enough weight to pull out frizz. On the other hand, it can give straight and fine hair a thicker appearance. It’s also incredibly precise with the shorter pieces in the back pushing towards the longer length in the front creating a very natural swing along the perimeter line. Technically speaking, this is the perfect way to create a modern shape with little effort on lots of different hair types.
Most intriguing however, is the way this haircut is so effortless yet sophisticated. It grows out beautifully and requires very little maintenance in between cuts. It is the perfect “off duty model” hairstyle and any hair type can pull it off with the right finishing and styling technique.
What Keywords Do I Use When Asking For It?
A great hairdresser should be able to talk you through a consultation to come to the perfect idea of what you want for your haircut. However, these keywords will help you to understand potential questions your hairdresser might ask you when deciding on this cut. And they will also empower you to understand and own this haircut during the process of having it created on you.
Perimeter Line- The base line of a haircut. This is the part of the hairstyle that dictates where the length will sit. It can be blunt or textured, depending on the desired shape of the overall haircut.
Blunt- The ends should be cut bluntly, meaning they should be left heavy and untouched from the first initial cut line at the perimeter. Some women have used the word “chunky” to describe a blunt texture when sitting in my chair, but if you really want your hairdresser to understand what that means to you, use the word blunt instead.
A Line- The back should be about an inch shorter than the front, creating an A-line shape. Some clients have called in before a haircut with me and requested an “asymmetrical” style thinking this is what they are describing. To be clear, asymmetrical means one side is shorter than the other around the face. A-line simply means the back is shorter than the front.
A traditional, European style blunt bob lays about an inch below the base of the neck and swings forward to either just graze the collarbone or sit just below it. Of course, you can create different variations of it based on your face shape or body type, but most women look perfectly feminine and chic in this length with the right amount of texture.
Long Layers- This type of layer sits about one to two inches up from the perimeter line giving just enough shape to activate some movement, but not too much that it overly redistributes the weight of the style. I typically recommend long layers in a blunt bob because they can allow for some versatility in styling. They take just enough weight off the ends that they can allow for ease with getting curl to hold, but they don’t add too much texture that you lose the shape. In wavy hair, they can be dramatic enough to get rid of that triangle shape that can appear from having no layers and a blunt perimeter. In straighter hair, they can be enough to add texture and take enough weight from the roots that you get more volume without taking too much hair from the interior out.
One length- Meaning there are no layers in the hair and the entire shape of the haircut is built upon the perimeter line. This shape can look really great in a blunt bob, but only on fine, straight hair where no layers are needed to activate more volume. In thicker hair, it would be too heavy and distribute the weight too much towards the perimeter of the haircut that it wouldn’t look balanced.
How Do I Perfect The Styling?
With this haircut, styling should be minimal. Remember the goal is a laid-back, bedhead feel to the entire look. It should be styled, but intentionally a bit messy and undone, especially in wavy hair. Follow these steps to get the perfect look for any texture:
Wavy hair- On hair that’s 70% dry, spray a sea salt texture product and scrunch in. Use a larger barrel curling iron to touch up extra wave if necessary.
Straight hair- Comb a smoothing mousse through damp hair. Dry with a smoothing, boar brush back and forth across the crown and in the front, bring sections forward toward the face. Finish with a volumizing powder through the roots.
To add wave to straight hair- Blowdry with Kevin.Murphy’s Anti.Gravity in the hair or any product that can add body and texture. Do not brush through with a comb because you want to maintain texture to hold the wave. In vertical sections, use a wand to add bend to the mid-lengths of each section. Let the hair cool and then once cool to the touch, blow-dry vigorously with cool air to break up the curl pattern and set the wave in place by locking the cuticle layer shut.
To straighten wavy hair- Comb a volumizing mousse through the hair and pre-dry with your fingers until the hair is 80% dry. Then, working in smaller sections, round-brush the hair with a boar bristle brush and give the ends just a slight bevel. Finish with a spritz of shine spray for added hydration and shine.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on how to ask for this haircut, if you need tips on how to style it or if you are questioning whether it’s for you! I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback and questions!
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