The bob is a classic, easy to maintain cut that looks good on practically every woman. Which is why we've rounded up the best bob hairstyles that'll no doubt persuade a future chop.
Bobs - the word on the street is that this style is back and bigger than ever in 2022. And is it any wonder women are considering it again when it comes to cutting our hair (opens in new tab)? Grown up, sophisticated and easy-to-wear - it's been crowned by hair industry experts as one of those hairstyles to suit a long face shape that'll make you look younger too. And whilst it's understandable to be nervous – especially if you’re used to having longer hair - we encourage you not to rule this cut out. With our guide including additional advice on how to tell if a bob will suit you (aka the 2.25 inch rule).
"Bob hairstyles are really in at the moment - layers and shaggy textured bobs in particular. Although A-line bobs are also starting to make a bit of an appearance too," celebrity hairstylist Jason Collier tells us. "Slicked back bobs are coming back in as well, thanks to Emily In Paris. So there's never been a better time to face the chop."
25 of the best bob hairstyles to inspire your next cut:
1. Ear-length bob (French bob)
This super chic bob is great for those who want to experiment. They're cut daringly short, usually along the mouth line and accompanied by a straight, brow-skimming fringe. Classy and low maintenance, this style is a win win.
"This cut is definitely in at the moment, especially with added layers to achieve that undone finish," Ellie Hogan, hairdresser and founder of Loxies Hairwear (opens in new tab) tells us. "This is a perfect style if you have a natural wave in your hair, all you’d need to do is add a texture spray or mousse to get rid of frizzy hair (opens in new tab) and leave to air dry.
"If you have straight hair you can achieve a similar chic look by adding a wave with either your tongs or straighteners. Adding a dry shampoo to your roots after styling will also help achieve this style."
2. Chin length bob
A classic chin length bob is simple but elegant, and suits most face shapes. This style is also super versatile, as you can have your hair cut layered or blunt, and can wear it wavy or straight. This makes it one of the best bob hairstyles if you want one that's guaranteed to suit you.
Ellie Hogan says: "I’d add lots of choppy layers to this cut to make it easier to style and to keep it looking modern and youthful. We’re definitely seeing more un-done styles rather than super sleek cuts at the moment, which is great if you prefer a low maintenance do. This is great for medium-fine textured hair as it can give the appearance of thicker locks."
3. Collarbone bob
If you’re not quite brave enough to go for a short bob, the collarbone length is one of the best bob hairstyles for you. Actress Rose Byrne shows off this style perfectly.
"This length is great if you aren’t sure a short bob will suit your face shape," hairdresser Ellie Hogan tells us. "It’s very in at the moment and is a perfect length to give a more youthful appearance. It’s important that the front of the bob does not round off and doesn’t appear shorter than the back as this can give a ‘pageboy cut’ look.
"I’d recommend a voluminous cream and a large blow dry brush alongside your best hair dryer (opens in new tab) to style this length. The large brush allows you to get more volume in the roots giving a more modern look."
4. Short straight bob
A short, sleek bob is one of the best bob hairstyles for those with naturally straight hair as it will be relatively low maintenance. Style into a centre parting for a retro 90s look, like Dua Lipa.
Ellie Hogan says: "This is a very sleek style and is great for straight hair. This also looks great on oval face shapes. If you have a rounder face shape I’d add some face framing layers to flatter your face. If you are going to be straightening it often, a heat protection spray is a must have. You can also finish with a lightweight oil to add some shine."
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5. Short to medium bob
If you don’t fancy constant trips to the hairdressers, this length is perfect. Get it cut slightly shorter at your salon visits, but let it grow out to the medium length between cuts.
"This style is lower maintenance than shorter bob styles because it grows out much softer meaning you won’t need to trim as often to keep it looking fresh," says stylist Ellie Hogan. "I’d add some long layers to add a modern twist to this bob. I’d also style in a loose wave with a curling wand to add some texture.
"Blow dry (opens in new tab) as normal at home and use your curling tong to add some curls in random sections keeping the ends straight. Comb out with a wide tooth comb and add some shine spray to finish."
6. Long bob (Lob)
For one of the best bob hairstyles that celebs love, try the long bob. The likes of Emily Ratajowski, Kate Middleton and Holly Willoughby have all sporting the 'lob'. Flattering on most women, this trendy style is both versatile and chic.
Ellie Hogan says: "These are making a huge comeback this year, especially with the return of the 90’s big blowout style. And they're flattering on every face shape. I’d add some short layers and some long bangs to add more body, which would make it easier to blow dry.
"To style at home, use a big blow dry brush and finish with some big Velcro rollers for a bouncy finish. Try using some volumising spray and a flexi-hold hairspray to finish."
7. Graduated bob
This bob has more length in front and more volume at the back. A-List celebs such as Victoria Beckham, Keira Knightley and Katie Holmes have all donned this classic haircut, which looks great for all occasions.
"A graduated bob is a lot more high maintenance as it needs styling every day to keep its shape," hairdresser Ellie Hogan tells us. "A less angled, graduated bob would still be nice if you want to try a bob but would like to keep some length in the front. It’s a great transitional cut from long to short hair.
"I would shape the back in slightly and pull the front sections to the back to get a nice angle. I’d recommend using a styling wax on the back to help hold the shape."
8. Asymmetrical bob
This is an uneven bob, where one side is longer than the other - like Frankie Bridge used to rock. Making a big comeback this year, this hairstyle caters to all types of faces and hair textures, without needing too much maintenance. It’s great for women looking to add something extra to a classic bob.
Ellie Hogan says: "This one is quite edgy, kind of between a pixie cut and a bob. I would keep one side short around the ear and leave one side chin length. This style would need regular trims to keep tidy. To style at home, use a paddle brush and finish with some texture powder and hairspray to add some shape and hold."
9. Undercut bob
If you’re looking for an edgy do, the undercut bob is one of the best bob hairstyles. And it's achieved when part of your hair is cut relatively shorter than the other. A great way to highlight those facial features.
"This one is great if you want to try something different," recommends Ellie Hogan. "Undercuts also look great with patterns cut in, but it does depend on how much space you have. Use a small detailed clipper to create patterns, such as diamonds. I would section off in a triangle shape from the nape of the neck to just below the occipital bone. Undercuts are easy to style and need minimal product, just add some texture cream to the ends and you’re good to go."
10. Bob with block fringe
For a longer face shape, getting bangs cut in makes this one of the best bob hairstyles. Bella Hadid’s stylish bob paired with a thick fringe perfectly demonstrates how flattering this style can be.
Ellie Hogan says: "This type of bob is best suited to an oval or heart face shape. I would tend to avoid a block fringe if you have a square or round face shape as it can look quite harsh. To cut the fringe (opens in new tab), I would section off a wide section at the front to create a heavy fringe, then cut the rest to one length with a middle part to give a blunt and sleek finish.
"Remember you’ll also need regular hair appointments to keep your fringe nice and tidy. To style at home, try using a shine spray and some serum to give the ultimate shine and prevent flyaways."
11. Bob with curtain bangs
A bob with curtain bangs is one of the most versatile bobs there are - as you can style the fringe in different ways, which will frame your face nicely. This style works best with a middle parting, as actress Lucy Hale shows.
"I’d recommend curtain bangs on a longer bob," Celebrity hairdresser Jamie Stevens (opens in new tab) tells us. "It’s all about disconnection, so from where the hairline starts in the middle, I’d take a 2 inch section back on both sides and comb all of that forward, cut shorter in through the nose area and as you drop down to your cheekbones accentuate longer, but not connect anywhere into the length of the bob. Products such as thickening sprays and texture creams will give it a bit more oomph."
12. Deep parting bob
For a fresh, modern look, try a bob with a deep side parting. The deep parting can also give the illusion of a fuller hairline.
Jonathan Andrew (opens in new tab), award-winning hair stylist and Fudge Professional Global Ambassador, says: "This is a great look for a bob as you can add volume at the front and wear it brushed backwards, or even sweep across the face. This is definitely more of a fashion forward look. Your hairdresser needs to avoid too much roundedness in the side, or it may age you and look not so on trend."
13. Mid-parting bob
A Kendall Jenner style bob with a strong centre parting is one of the best bob hairstyles for framing your face. If you’re looking for a dramatic bob, this is the style to go for.
"This is probably the most versatile bob and works well with oval face shapes," says stylist Jonathan Andrew. "You can mix up the style too, i.e. go for a longer bob, or have softer layers cut to allow you to play with the styling. Whatever your age, this is a great bob for you. This is a classic bob that doesn’t go out of fashion and you’ll always see it on the red carpet."
14. Wavy bob
A wavy bob is super easy to achieve and maintain, making it one of the best bob hairstyles to go for if low maintenance is your thing. They’re also flattering on most face shapes and can be styled in many different ways.
Katie Hale (opens in new tab) is Senior Master Stylist & Head of Colour at Charles Worthington Salons. She tells us: "Wavy bobs are simply blow dried with volume (using mousse or blow-dry sprays) with a round brush. A wave is then added in using a wand, stylers or a tong. If the hair has a natural wave, sometimes just scrunching in salt spray can create a wave effect."
Spray evenly onto towel dried hair. Scrunch it through with your hands and let your hair air-dry. Style tip: For extra texture, use the spray on dry hair from root to tip until it is slightly damp. Twist your hair into strands and blow dry strands into messy waves.
15. Curly bob
Curly haired girls can rock a bob too. As Rita Ora has sported in the past, a curly bob is a great way to add texture. And the best part is, if your hair is naturally curly, then it's super easy to maintain.
"Layers stacked upon each other are great for curly bobs as they create volume and allow the natural curls to move," says Katie Hale. "Keep in mind when cutting the length, that tighter natural curls will jump up once dried. The curly bob can be styled either using a diffuser or simply finger curl/scrunching and left to air dry.
"For curly bobs, the more product the better! Oils should be used to reduce frizz and mousse to hold in the curl and define its shape. For more of a wet look, l’d use a gel/curl creme."
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16. Permed bob
The term ‘perm’ might scream 80s, but they’re well and truly back in for 2022. Similar to a curly bob, a permed bob style can give short hair more volume and texture.
"Perms are a huge trend again now but they’re a lot more versatile. The solution is more gentle and predictable for stylists to get different results," Jamie Stevens tells us. "Plus there’s a variety of rod sizes that can be used to add in anything from a defined curl, to a beauty wave, to just a little lift at the root.
"I’d recommend a permed bob style for people that want more volume in their hair to give the illusion of thicker hair and to make it easier to style and get that more undone look. Don’t think that perms mean no effort though, you still have to be prepared to scrunch and style."
17. Blunt bob
One of the more traditional bob styles, the blunt bob is a go to when it comes to celebs. Kourtney Kardashian and Margot Robbie have both rocked the blunt bob beautifully.
Katie Hale says: "This style is classic, chic and timeless and can be worn both sleek or wavy. This is a one length cut, with no layers to give off a super blunt finish. Finish this style with a sleek run over with the straighteners and a spritz of ring light spray for a glassy finish. A slight bend in the middle of each section (using the stylers) can create a slight texture without committing to a full on wave."
18. Rounded bob
This is another classic bob, which is shorter at the back and angled at the front to create a softer finish. It can be hard to achieve, but looks great for special occasions.
"This style is great for those seeking movement and volume in the hair and also great for finer-haired clients," Katie Hale tells us. "If you have thicker hair, you can add in a graduation at the back and really go in with the texturing scissors to remove weight. The more weight removed, the more texture the haircut has."
19. Vintage bob
This is the ultimate Hollywood glam look, perfect for red carpet events. But it’s one to be wary of - as according to our experts - this style won’t suit everyone.
Jamie Stevens says: "Made famous by Louise Brooks in the 20s and 30s, this was an iconic look that personifies the era, but it is quite a statement style and wouldn’t suit everyone. Petite faces best suit this look, which accentuates the cheekbones and frames the face."
20. Layered bob
Layered bobs are one of the best bob hairstyles thanks to their versatility when it comes to styling. Celebs are a big fan of this style too; take Julianne Hough for example, who looks stunning with her layered 'do.
"If you have thick hair I would advise some long layers, keeping the length slightly longer & even suggest a collapsed layer - also known as a soft undercut," says Jamie Stevens. "I would never take layers too short on a bob as it can completely take away from the bob style. If your hair is very fine I would avoid layers."
21. Choppy bob
A more extreme version of the layered bob, a choppy bob is bang on trend and a perfect option for those with natural waves or movement in their hair.
Saivo Ierna from London salon The Bohemians (opens in new tab) sums this look up in one sentence. "A choppy bob is great for those with thick locks as it creates movement, making thick hair feel and look lighter, whilst offering gorgeous texture,” she says.
22. Swing bob
This style is 1920s inspired, perfect if you love a vintage look. This is cut shorter in the back with stacked layers and gets longer around the sides, allowing the hair to fall naturally forward, as if it's “swinging” forward. This style also looks great when curled with a wand.
"For a swing bob you just change the angle of the cutting line and add layers for movement," hairdresser Saivo Ierna tells us. "For layering, once you finish the line, you take a new section that can be diagonal, vertical or horizontal - depending on what suits the face frame - creating a layered look."
23. Shaggy bob
A shaggy bob is one of the best bob hairstyles if you have thin hair, as it can give the illusion of texture and thickness. Try layers that are waved towards the end for a playful look that thickens the hair.
Hairstylist to the stars Jason Collier (opens in new tab) tells us: "For shaggy bobs, the product I love to use is a salt spray, as you can create the look at home. Blowdry your hair in a bit more of a natural style, rather than poker straight, and spray in the salt spray to create this texture that's very in at the moment."
24. A-line bob
Gwyneth Paltrow’s iconic A-line bob is a perfect example of how this bob hairstyle can look simply stunning. This style works best on straight hair, as it really shows off the angular finish.
"An A-line bob works on most and is great for creating a contemporary look," stylist Saivo Ierna says. "Firstly, I’d find the right parting for my client's needs. Then follow the parting and continue back to the centre of the nape of the neck. Starting from the back, take diagonal forward sections, sectioning both sides, brushing the hair as it naturally falls and cut the desired length. Create a line above and repeat."
25. Slicked-back bob
A slicked-back bob is one of the trickier bobs to style, but when it’s done right, it looks stunning and can work on a variety of bob hairstyles. Just look at Gigi Hadid.
Saivo Ierna says: "Most bob styles are great slicked-back as they are super contemporary and fashionable - really good for a night out. A fresh haircut and the right product is key - try a strong hold gel for that on-trend wet look."
system. It attracts moisture to the scalp and holds it in while also taming frizz. Like all our styling gels, its weightless and will leave your hair with a healthy shine & superior hold.
How to tell if a bob will suit you:
There are several ways to tell if a bob will suit your face shape - one way is to try the 2.25 inch rule. This is a test created by the A-Team at John Frieda, and can be done in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a pencil and a ruler.
- Firstly, place a pencil under your chin horizontally in line with your shoulders.
- Then hold a ruler vertically under your ear and record where the pencil intersects the ruler.
- The 2.25 rule states that if the measurement is less than 2.25 inches, your face would suit a short hairstyle, such as a bob. If the measurement is more than 2.25 inches, your facial structure is less likely to suit short hair.
However Katie Hale, Senior Master Stylist & Head of Colour at Charles Worthington Salons reminds us that test results aren't everything: “There is a style for everyone, whether you have a round or square face shape, curly or straight hair or thick or fine hair. I predict more people will take the chop and the trend will take over 2022."
Do bob haircuts make you look younger?
According to celebrity hairdresser Jamie Stevens, a bob haircut can make anyone look younger - as long as your hairdresser knows what they’re doing. "A bob is probably the most versatile cut that when tailored, can suit everyone, every age," he tells us.
"It’s up to your hairdresser to advise on lifestyle, face shape, hair density, colour, texture and whether to have a fringe or not," Jamie adds. "There are so many options; you can have a flat bob, straight, wavy, bouncy, fringe, side sweep curtain bangs.
"It all depends on what face shape you have. But I believe that if the consult is done right and all features are taken into account, a bob can make you look younger. They’re great at emphasising features such as eyes, jawline, cheekbones. Plus a strong fringe is a much cheaper option than botox to hide those forehead lines!"
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Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.
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