Children Mending Heart's 7th Annual Empathy Rocks Fundraiser
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

When Lucy Hale (aka Aria Montgomery) refused to dye her hair pink during a recent flashback on Pretty Little Liars, the star’s luscious brown locks were chopped in her sleep. While this was meant to be another one of “A’s” elaborate punishments, the results were a gorgeous, chin-length bob–one that we’ve been seriously considering copying ever since.

In real life, though, Hale has been happily changing her look, gradually cutting her hair shorter and shorter since the end of last year. If you’re nervous about trying a shorter style, this is a method her hairstylist, Kristin Ess (who’s also responsible for Lauren Conrad’s chic crop), says can help mentally prepare you. “I think it's good to feel out shorter lengths before going for the full chin-length chop,” she tells InStyle. “It's a serious commitment. There's an awkward stage when you grow out a bob and if you can master that first then you can have a bob, in my opinion.”

Don’t think a bob will suit your features? Ess disagrees. “Bobs used to be considered best for those with a slim neck and strong jaw and perfect hairline because they used to be done in such a severe way,” she says. “I think we've done away with that now by adding texture and softening the ‘harshness’ formerly associated with the bob. I have cut a bob on every face shape and jawline imaginable at this point and I think that stigma is officially gone. A bob can look gorgeous on pretty much anyone.”

Aside from cutting down on styling time (she spends no more than 15 minutes on the star!), getting to play around with texture, the pro says, is one of the haircut’s greatest benefits. Here’s how you can achieve the star's signature tousle at home: Start by washing your strands with body-building products like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Conditioner ($25-$27; Then, towel dry your hair, adding a bit of Oribe Grandiose Mousse ($37; or Oribe Thickening Spray ($32; all over, Ess says. “Once the hair is air-dried, you can decide on adding waves or enhancing your natural texture. If you choose to add waves, use a beveled flat iron to add a little bend here and there, or use a 1 1/4" curling iron if that's easier for you. Then finish it off with a serum/pomade combo,” she adds.

Stumped on the exact products to use? Ess recommends mixing Kerastase Elixir Ultime ($42; with Oribe Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste ($36; “Add a dab of each, blend in between palms and work through your hair,” she tells us. “If you don't want to add waves, spray a light veil of Sachajuan Ocean Mist Texturizing Spray ($28; and scrunch!”

RELATED: The Hairspray InStyle's Kahlana Barfield Can't Get Enough of