Your Definitive Guide to Every Type of Bob Haircut

Save these cuts for your stylist.

Your Guide to Every Type of Bob Haircut
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Haircut trends come and go with every season, but the bob remains a staple in Hollywood and across the country.

The bob retains its popularity for a few good reasons: the cut works for virtually any hair texture and face shape as there isn't just one way to do a bob. In fact, there are multiple takes on the cut, from a blunt chin-length bob to a textured bob with bangs, and all of them are customizable.

So, whether you've been influenced to go short after seeing all of your favorite celebrities do it or you simply want to switch up your existing bob, there's a style out there for you.

Ahead, we define every haircut in the bob lexicon to prepare you for your next visit to the salon. Keep scrolling to find out which bob works best for you, along with how to style it.

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Blunt Bob

Lucy Boynton at the Chloe Womenswear Fall/Winter 2022/2023 during Paris Fashion Week
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The Cut: When you picture a bob, this classic take on the cut probably comes to mind. "The blunt bob is a classic, super straight and strong look that is all the same length the way around," says James Earnshaw, an Amika Artistic Ambassador. "Classically with no layers, it is just one length of hair cut straight."

Who Should Get It: The beauty of the blunt bob is that it can work across a number of hair textures. For fine hair, Earnshaw suggests a shorter-length bob to fake the illusion of thicker hair. For thick or curly hair, the stylist suggests adding some layers to remove some weight.

How To Style It: If you're styling your blunt bob sleek or enhancing your waves or curls, Earnshaw recommends prepping hair with frizz-fighting, heat protectant like Amika's The Shield Anti-Humidity Spray before using any hot tools.

Curly Bob

Jurnee Smollett attends the 6th Annual InStyle Awards
Amy Sussman/WireImage

The Cut: "This cut could be a variety of lengths, depending on hair texture and preference, but a curly bob is all about embracing your curls and the volume of your hair," says Earnshaw.

Who Should Get It: Anyone with curls can get a bob, but you'll want to adapt it to your hair texture. Those with fine curly hair may opt for a shorter length bob to boost volume, while those with thick curly hair may keep it longer. "You could try having a slightly longer length at the front [and] shorter at the back to remove some of the weight in your hair," Earnshaw adds.

How to Style It: To enhance your curls, use a combination of curl creams for definition. The stylist recommends using Amika's Curl Corps Defining Cream and Curl Corps Enhancing Gel on wet, freshly-washed hair to minimize frizz. "You can air-dry your hair, but I prefer to use a diffuser to get maximum volume into the hair," he says. "The best way to do this is to not touch your hair at all and let the diffuser do all the work. Once the hair is completely dry use a wide-tooth comb to expand the volume and shape."

Layered Bob

The Cut: If your ideal cut is one that'll make your hair appear thicker and fuller, look no further than the layered bob. "Layered bobs have a variety of lengths," says Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Stylist & Celebrity Hair Artist. "If you are looking to create shape, volume, and movement, this version of a bob haircut is great for you."

Who Should Get It: Redway says a layered bob is ideal for both curly hair and finer hair types.

How to Style It: To best show off the layers in your bob, Redway suggests prepping hair with a blow-dry balm, like the Nexxus Weightless Style Smooth & Full Blow Dry Balm, then rough-drying the hair upside down to get the most volume.

Braided Bob

Amandla Stenberg attends the 10th Annual AAFCA Awards
Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Cut: This protective style is a great way to switch up your go-to braids for the summer. Bonus: Add in statement plaits in any color as Amandla Stenberg did with her icy blue braids.

Who Should Get It: The beauty of this style is that it works with any type of braid – the choice is yours.

How to Style It: To extend the life of your braids, Earnshaw recommends wrapping your braids before going to bed. Pattern By Tracee Ellis Ross makes the perfect satin cap to do just that.

A-Line Bob

The Cut: "It's a bob that goes from shorter in the back and gradually gets longer towards the front of the haircut," Redway explains. The stylist calls out Rihanna's hair in the "Umbrella" music video because the style skyrocketed in popularity after its release. And the A-line bob is still going strong in 2022, take Selena Gomez's sleek take on it for example.

Who Should Get It: Redway says those with straighter hair types fare better with this cut as its angles won't be as prominent on curlier textures.

How to Style It: Dry your hair with a flat brush, like Tangle Teezer's Blow Styling Smoothing Tool, for the best results. "Blow dry laying the hairs flat to your head from one side to the next, and alternate direction so the cut falls symmetrically once it's dry," Redway suggests.

Bob With Bangs

The Cut: Any type of bangs will instantly transform an existing cut, including all styles of bobs.

Who Should Get It: Bangs, like a bob, can be customized to suit your hair type and face shape, whether you're adding blunt bangs to a blunt bob for an even bolder look, or soft fringe to give a textured bob a retro vibe like January Jones.

How to Style It: Cowlicks are a common struggle for those with bangs. To get unruly hair in the direction you want it to go, celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend suggests using a clean mascara wand while blow-drying your bangs. "I take a reusable mascara wand on really wet hair, and use it to pull the bangs straight to get them in the right direction." he previously told InStyle.

Asymmetrical Bob

Taraji P. Henson attends Paramount Pictures' What Men Want Premiere at Regency Village Theatre
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

The Cut: "The asymmetrical bob is a cut that features one side of the hair is longer than the other," Earnshaw says. "Usually, one side will be jaw length and one side will be down towards your collarbone. This look is definitely making a return with its early '00s vibe."

Who Should Get It: Anyone looking for a bold cut that's versatile. The styling possibilities are endless with an asymmetrical bob. A few options include a subtle side part with a little extra length on one side or extreme lengths on both sides. "I like to see it tucked on the one side with more length on the other for a chic vibe," the stylist shares.

How to Style It: "You can wear an asymmetrical bob as sleek, messy, or wavy," Earnshaw says. "I like to see this look with texture, so I would recommend styling it with a soft wave, then tilt your head upside down and spritz with Amika's Un.Done Volume and Matte Texture Spray to create cool-girl texture."

Sliced Bob

The Cut: "A sliced bob creates internal movement by taking the weight out," says celebrity hairstylist Anh Co Tran previously told InStyle. "It's great for clients with thick, bulky, and coarse hair. It also helps keep the shape and prolong the cut."

Who Should Get It: Anyone with thick or coarse hair who loves the look of a blunt bob, but doesn't want their cut to look clunky.

How to Style It: Like the blunt bob, the sliced bob can be styled in a myriad of ways. If you're going for a beachy, lived-in texture, Co Tran recommends using a curling iron and spritzing a dry texturizing spray like Milbon Dry Texturizing Spray from roots to ends to break up the waves.

French Bob

The Cut: "It's a chin-length bob which I think is so flattering for angular face shapes," Redway says of one of her favorite haircuts. "It's usually texturized so you see plenty of movement as you style."

Who Should Get It: While all bobs are versatile, this one takes the cake. Redway says it can be tweaked to suit your face shape. "The adjustments can be in the weight left in the haircut, she shares. "For rounder face shapes, keep the weight heavy around your face and a strong weight line at the bottom of the haircut. For more angular face shapes, texturize around the face."

How to Style It: This cut is all about enhancing your natural texture. If you do use heat tools while styling it, Redway suggests treating hair with a protectant, like Nexxus's Weightless Style Prep & Protect Leave-In Hair Spray, to prevent damage. "It has multiple benefits and can be used as both a heat protectant spray and a detangler spray to weightlessly moisturize hair," she says of the product.

Lob

Jennifer Lopez at the 'Hustlers' premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The Cut: Whatever you want to call it, the lob or long bob is perfect for anyone who wants to go short but not too short. "A long bob is anything that touches your shoulder and neck area," Redway says. "Anything chin length and above is what I consider a short bob."

Who Should Get It: Unsurprisingly, this cut is pretty universal, too. Redway says it works well on most hair textures.

How to Style It: While styling products are important for achieving your desired look, a good hair day starts in the shower. Redway recommends washing hair with Nexxus' Ultralight Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner for lobs (and bobs). "This combo is especially great for shorter hair and bobs during the hotter/more humid summer months, as they're created to enrich your hair with a Protein Fusion Blend that strengthens hair from within and forms a weightless, invisible barrier around every strand to block out humidity and frizz, if you'd like to decrease it or avoid it," she adds.

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