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Is a Bob Hairstyle Right for You?

The “bob” hairstyle is a short haircut, usually associated with women. The hair is cut to approximately chin length, all the way around the head. It may be worn with or without a fringe at the front. Since its first incarnation, when women needed short hair for factory work during the First World War, it has persisted in many variations because it is a flattering style for so many women.

Throughout the decades of the 20th century, the bob haircut would fade for a few years, but would always emerge again, in updated form, enjoyed by a new generation each time. Most of today’s bob hairstyles feature tapered ends rather than a more severe “chopped” look. The softness makes this short haircut distinctly feminine and is a great choice for women who are toying with the idea of going short, but aren’t ready for something more drastic. Another great thing about the bob hairstyle is that it is fairly easy to grow out without a lot of awkward “in between” stages.

Variations on the bob cut can be made so that the cut is more flattering with features such as a prominent nose or a narrow face. The cut has to be modified depending on the wearer’s hair texture and degree of waviness or curl. A savvy, experienced stylist knows exactly how long a fringe should be, and where slight layering should be added to adjust hair volume for the best look.

Long Bobs are ideal for round faces.

If you have a rounded face shape, you should go for a slightly longer bob cut with soft layers around the chin. A traditional, more severe bob may make you look pointed on top. If you have a narrow face, a sweeping, soft fringe can make the bob work well for you. The longer, side-swept fringe can also work wonders in diverting attention from a prominent nose.

In general, the younger and more petite you are, the shorter you can go with a bob haircut (check out our short bob hair photos). Chin length bobs with softer, razored ends work better for those who are older and those who are larger. If you’re not sure whether a bob hairstyle is right for you, but are willing to try, ask your stylist for a longer bob, with razored ends for softness around the jawline. The choice of whether to add a fringe is more a matter of personal taste and the shape of your face.

Anna Wintour bob hairstyle

Anna Wintour with the pageboy bob

The pageboy is a type of bob that may be a bit longer, sometimes grazing the shoulders. It’s a good choice for women who have had long hair and aren’t ready for a more drastic change. This is the style that has been worn for many years by Vogue magazine’s U.S. editor Anna Wintour. A slightly longer pageboy with layered ends, with or without a fringe, is also a good choice for women with wavy hair, because the bit of extra weight from longer hair keeps the cut from becoming too “poufy.”

The bob hairstyle may be right for you if you’re ready to go short, but not pixie-short. It can be adapted to just about any hair texture, and with the help of a competent stylist it flatters women regardless of age or face shape.

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