Bobs Are the Trendiest Cut of the Moment—Here’s What to Know Before Getting One

Hailey Bieber with a chin-length bob haircut, viewed in profile

@colorbymattrez / Instagram

In This Article

The Trend Picking a Cut Maintenance Styling

From the red carpet to our feeds, bobs seem to be popping up everywhere—and we’re not mad about it. The versatile cut works for just about every hair type and encompasses a shockingly wide variety of lengths and styles. We feel confident in asserting that there’s truly a bob for everyone.

Considering making the cut yourself? Depending on your hair type and desired maintenance level and styling, there are a few things you'll want to think about before going short. We tapped pro hairstylists Melissa Holinsworth and Wes Sharpton for their expertise on all things bobs. Read on for the ultimate guide.

Meet the Expert

  • Melissa Holinsworth is a cutting specialist and hairstylist based out of Newport Beach, California.
  • Wes Sharpton is the lead brand educator and stylist for Hairstory.

The Trend

Bob haircuts have skyrocketed in popularity due in large part to the number of celebrities who've decided to try out the cut. Two stars in particular have become closely associated with the style: Zendaya and Hailey Bieber.

“I’m loving Zendaya’s hair, and I really feel like it matches the new voluminous bobs we’ve seen trending,” says Holinsworth. “It’s very ’90s, but with a modern layering technique that prevents the hair from becoming an unflattering bubble that cups around the face.”

Zendaya with a fluffy, supermodel-esque bob

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Sharpton is a big fan of Bieber’s take on the cut. “The Hailey Bieber bob is one that I have been loving,” he says. “It has a strong line but is diffused enough to allow the natural, wavy texture to come out without looking too bulky at the bottom. It’s a great look for those seeking a tailored-meets-lived-in look.

Hailey Bieber with a one-length bob

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

Picking a Cut

While celebrity inspo can certainly help you select a bob style and craft an overall vision, Sharpton notes that it’s not usually possible (or ideal) to perfectly replicate someone else’s cut. “We always let clients know that we will pursue that vibe, but cannot replicate the exact cut,” he shares. “Hairdressers aren’t copy machines. We look for inspiration, but the details and final result are all dependent on what’s possible with the client’s hair type and what is best suited for the client’s lifestyle.”


“Straight hair often does best as a one-length bob,” says Holinsworth. “Layering on the haircut can make it look choppy because the ends don’t naturally bevel.” Sharpton concurs: “If your hair is straight and fine, you’re probably going to want a one-length bob,” he adds. “You can then have the hair be a little diffused to give it a little edge, or you could add bangs or curtain bangs. Layered bobs on fine, straight hair can get a little weak looking, so having it all be one length gives your hair more thickness and body.”

Emma Stone at the Golden Globe Awards with a flippy bob haircut

Amy Sussman/Getty Images


If you have curly or coily hair, you have loads of options when it comes to bobs. “I always think of curly hair as being 3D,” says Holinsworth. “Whatever shape you cut into curly hair, it shows more so than straight hair.” Depending on the shape you want and how much volume you’re working with, there are a few key things to keep in mind. “If you add round layers, the bob will look more rounded. If you cut curly hair one length, it will sit like a triangle,” she says. “So, for curly hair, it really depends on how big you want your hair to be. The more layering, the bigger and rounder your hair will become.”

Sharpton also cites length as a consideration for these hair types. “Coily and curly people need to think about shrinkage and [consider it] when pursuing a bob cut,” he says, noting that you’ll want to be mindful of whether you’ll be wearing your hair natural or blown out: “If you’re looking to blow it out, then the hair will be much shorter when it’s worn more natural.”

Yara Shahidi with a curly-coily bob haircut with bangs

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV


Those with thick hair have it easy when it comes to bobs, as they don’t have to worry about it looking too fine or flat. With that said, maintenance will be key here, and you might need to lighten the load. “Some folks with thick hair will get a bit of an unexpected triangle—which is very cool if you’re looking for a triangle bob—but if you’re looking for something leaner, then try layers or weight removal to get it lay the way you want at the bottom,” says Sharpton. “Those with extremely thick hair sometimes do an undercut, where we shave or cut very short below the occipital bone, or even the sides, to remove the bulk and cut the bob.”

“An angular bob usually works best for thicker hair,” Holinsworth adds. “Bringing it to an angle in front gives the hair a slimmer look. Long soft layers can also be nice in thick hair to help remove some weight.”

Actor Christian Serratos with a thick, layered, fluffy bob

@colorbymattrez / Instagram


When it comes to wavy hair and bobs, it’s all about embracing your hair’s natural texture and letting it do its thing—with a guiding hand, of course. “Wavy hair looks great with a long soft layer,” Holinsworth tells us. “This will give the hair movement and play into its natural texture. Plus, if you blow it out, you will get the best bouncy blowout.” Sharpton offers additional advice regarding length, stating, “Those with wavy hair, like curly and coily, will want to make sure the line lands in a place they’re comfortable with when it is dry and natural.” He recommends cutting it a touch longer “to ensure it lands at the right spot for you once it is dry and wavy.”

Actor Laura Harrier, head to the side, with a wavy bob haircut

@lacyredway / Instagram

More Beauty


“To maintain a bob, I recommend getting a trim between 6-12 weeks, depending on how short your cut is,” says Holinsworth. Depending on how short your hair is, you might want to go more frequently, but if you’re down for a bob that transforms into more of a lob every few months, feel free to wait a bit longer. Sharpton also suggests cutting your hair a bit shorter if you want to go longer between haircuts—it’s truly up to you.

In addition to getting haircuts, it’s crucial to keep your hair nice and healthy, especially when it comes to your scalp. Be sure to use a heat protectant anytime you use heat on your hair (whether that’s a blow dryer, straightening iron, or curling iron), and give your locks some extra TLC by using oils and even post-shampoo treatments. Sharpton suggests specifically going in with a cleanser. “I always recommend using a detergent-free cleaner like Hairstory’s New Wash ($44) to [ensure] that your hair and scalp are not stripped and stay healthy,” he says. You can use this to replace your current shampoo and conditioner or use it post-wash—again, totally up to you.


Styling a bob is much easier than you think, and you can use pretty much any tool you desire. Want a slight bend in your hair? Go in with a straightening iron. Into the natural look? Let it air dry. How about some curls or waves? Use a curling iron or even a waver. If you’re into more of a blown-out look, you can always use an Airwrap or blow-dryer and roundbrush.

"When in doubt, go sleek," recommends Holinsworth. "A sleek, straight bob is always in style. This is a style we see on celebrities all the time, like Kim K and Hailey Bieber. Sometimes the bouncy blowouts can be intimidating and end up looking more 1950s than 1990s." (If you're into the bouncy look, trust the process and take your time.)

“To style, you can use a heat protectant like Hairstory’s Dressed Up ($36) and blow it dry, and then use a large curling iron to create a little bend,” advises Sharpton. “Pieces on some curling irons and brushes might be too big for your new length, so make sure you get the right size. You want the hair to wrap around an iron or brush at least twice.”

The 7 Best Short Haircut Types For All Hair Textures

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