The cool bob is having a moment. From the fashion runway and the big screen to the streets of Mumbai and Paris, you can spot various versions of the chic hairstyle on people. While celebrities such as Kaia Gerber and Dua Lipa popularised the short blunt bob last year, Hailey Bieber’s recent blunt, chin-length bob, Lizzo’s glam bob with blonde streaks and Jenna Ortega’s grungy version resulted in a flood of Instagram Reels on different looks. Actor Deepika Padukone made heads turn with her messy bob (remember Gehraiyaan?). As did Neena Gupta with her straight bob. So what makes the bob so cool and yet so hot?
“The bob retains its popularity for some good reasons,” says celebrity hair and make-up artist Florian Hurel, who works with actors such as Vaani Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan.
First, the cut works for virtually any hair texture and face shape since there isn’t just one way to do a bob, explains Hurel. “There are multiple takes on the cut, from a blunt chin-length bob to a textured bob with bangs, and all of them are customisable.”
The best bob for a round face shape, according to Hurel, should be below the chin to elongate it. For an oval face, on the other hand, chin-length or just beyond works since it’s best to have a shorter length. If you have a strong jawline, a mid-length layered bob defines that line, bringing out the beauty of the strong feature instead of hiding it.
Celebrity hair artist Humera Shaikh believes bobs remain popular because they instantly give an “absolutely modern and different look from the long/medium hair length. The more you chop, your hair will look different. It’s the face shape and the desired look that determines the length and type of bob you choose. It’s important to personalise haircuts for every client to get the most out of the hair transformation.”
A style darling
Shaikh sees a bob as a flexible hairdo that can be worn with or without texture. “Flaunt your natural texture,” Shaikh says. You could blow-dry, scrunch, straighten or curl it. It’s best to let it air-dry completely and then fix the parts which aren’t sitting as desired. “You could also do a top knot or braid the front sections for a cooler look,” suggests Shaikh.
The only product that is a must when you get a bob haircut is a texture spray to define those layers and make it look modern. Besides this, Shaikh suggests that you wear your hair as naturally as possible with a bob, as the look becomes long-lasting and the hair stays healthy—another big reason for its popularity.
A prep product, however, is needed no matter how you style your hair, to take care of flyaways and make your hair more pliable. “Always listen to the hairdresser’s advice for the length because they can visualise and recommend what will suit you best. Get a trim every two months because when the length is short, the shape grows out faster, making it difficult to style,” recommends Shaikh.
The bang effect
Different kinds of bangs, be it a side-swept fringe or curtain bangs, can make any bob hairdo very different from others.
“For wavy to curly hair, a bob with side bangs keeps the look fresh and fun. Or you could add dimension to a wavy bob with piece-y, face-framing bangs. You can even slick down the hair with gel and tuck the ends behind the ears for a look that’s super high fashion and in trend with the wet hair obsession,” says Hurel.
For some extra drama, go for the wet look as it looks good on almost everyone, he suggests.
You can even add a few bends with a medium barrel curling iron for an effortless vibe. Or breathe life into a classic blunt bob with a few tousled bends using the flat iron. You will need a flat iron, a texturising spray, sea salt spray, gel, wax and hairspray to try either of these looks.
But before you try any style or product, consider your hair texture. Hurel suggests using fingers to comb, and combing less frequently.
“Wash your hair every day (when you use a product),” advises Hurel. “Rinse in a blast of cold water for extra shine and reduce your use of heat tools.”
Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based writer.