7 beautiful short bob ideas that’ll have you speed dialling the salon

Anna Hunter 5 April 2018
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7 beautiful short bob ideas that’ll have you speed dialling the salon

The spring/summer transition normally signals a desire from long, tousled beach waves, but 2018 is a whole different story: awesome women the world over are cutting to the chase and showcasing short bobs- from the sharp to the textured to the curly, anything goes, as long as it’s hovering on or above the shoulders. Celebrity hair stylist and co-founder of  Salon Sloane John Vial  explains the timeless appeal of the bob in a nutshell:

“A bob can consist of any cut from the ear lobe down to the collarbone. It can be curly, it can be straight, it can be layered, it can be graduated, it can be cut with or without a fringe- it can be worn in a plethora of different ways. It’s an incredibly diverse style that has remained in fashion for some time.”

So how to style it out to look modern, not school ma’am?

“Firstly, some invisible layering will give it that modern twist so it doesn’t look like an old 80s layered bob. That what’s really important when keeping it chic. The invisible layering gives the impression that the bob is almost one length- the technique involves layering hair throughout, but you can’t see the layering- that’s the beauty of it. In general, the thicker the hair the better, as it’s easier to layer.”

Without further ado, here’s your short bob moodboard.

Getty Images

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The 20s style bob

Side parted and wavy and blunt all at once, Margot Robbie’s short blonde bob looks ultra modern thanks to the luxe bend in the hair- think of it as an echo of the finger wave for the 21st century. Margot’s cut also showcases invisible layering at it’s best- you have to look closely to know it’s there, but it gives the bob an edge.

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The bronde bob

The shade of your short bob can be almost as crucial as your cut, as John explains:

“One way to make sure that your bob looks really cool is to ensure that the colour is really relevant to you and your skin tone. It’s especially important if you’re wearing your hair shorter.”

See Olivia Palermo’s shiny, caramel flecked short bob for inspo- the gloss and luminosity of her hair colour enhances movement, whether she’s wearing her hair smooth and straight, wavy or half up, half down.

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The wavy bob

Jourdan Dunn’s take on the short bob is less blunt, more rippling, with feathered ends and texture but not too much volume at the roots- KMS Global Style Council Member  Sam Burnett  cites this styling as the perfect template for a more undone summer bob.

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The A-line bob

Jenna Dewan is a bob veteran- whether tousled and choppy, or as in is this case, sleek and polished, she proves just how versatile an above shoulder cut can be. Here she’s gone A-line, meaning that the hair has been cut shorter at the back and angled to frame the face, with longer layers falling almost to her collarbone. Think the Victoria Beckham ‘pob’ circa 2006, but far more subtle.

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The sleek bob

Saoirse Ronan’s neat, minimalist short bob is somehow elfin and ethereal despite the fact that on paper, it’s rather harsh, particularly when worn in a bang-on centre parting. Ronan’s hairstylist Adir Abergel was inspired by a simple 90s aesthetic when creating the style keeping ends blunt and adding shine by way of anti-frizz styling products and a neat blowdry following by gliding the new ghd gold 18K styler  through lengths and ends. Classy indeed.

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The bleached blonde bob

A more grown out, grungy take on the bob, the longer length particularly suits rounded faces such as Selena Gomez’ according to Vial:

“If you have a very round shape face you want to make sure that a bob sits below the chin, and it’s normally best to avoid a fringe, as a fringe cuts the face in half.”

With a low slung parting, irregular waves and deliberate roots, this is the ‘rebel bob’- about as far from prim and proper as it gets. Pass the conditioner for those ends…

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The curly bob

Model Alanna Arrington has been putting the curly bob on the beauty industry map for a good few years now, both with and without a fringe. Obviously she rocks both (because: supermodel), but Vial highlights why the fringe in particular works for her:

“If your face is long and thin, definitely consider a fringe. You really don’t want the bob to be one length, as this will make the face look even longer.”

As for her natural spiral curls, Alanna told American Vogue that she washes them once a week, using US brand Devacurl ’s No-Poo Shampoo and One Curl Conditioner, plus a volumizing mousse for structure and bounce. For a curl-specfic UK alternative, try Bouclème ’s range of moisturising, curl enhancing hair products- they’re all free of sulfates, silicones  and stripping detergents and based on nourishing, fatty acid rich botanicals that soothe the scalp and restore shine and moisture to the hair cuticle.

In terms going for the chop, whether your hair is curly, straight, wavy, textured or somewhere in between, Vial is adamant that there’s a bob to suit:

“Anybody can wear a bob because of its diversity- every single face shape in the world can be enhanced by a bob.”

So there you have it: a bob can be for life, not simply SS18.

Your ‘how-to’ guide to the midi-bob- what to ask for and how to style it

Follow John Vial on Instagram  @johnvialhair  and Anna  @annyhunter