Shape matters, so be sure to choose the right angles for a look that's customized to you.
The Bob–defined as a short, angular cut that falls somewhere between the ears and shoulders—has been a symbol of independence for women since its popularity in the 1920s. And women have been sporting the versatile hairstyle to show their more daring sides for years. Picture Montgomery, Alabama-born Zelda Fitzgerald's flapper-style locks in the Roaring Twenties; the curly crop of feisty leading character Idgie Threadgoode in the classic movie Fried Green Tomatoes; and Miami native and Blondie front girl Debbie Harry's eighties rocker cut. Even modern-day Southern belles like Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, and Carrie Underwood have experimented with the hairstyle. Debating going short? We asked Holly Dear, co-owner of the Dallas salon Dear Clark, to share her expert tips for tailoring the look to you.
"It's the ultimate, classic short haircut—it will never go out of style," says Dear. "There are tweaks for every face shape and hair type that will make it work for anyone. Because it can be done in all different lengths—as short as the ears or down to the shoulders—it's also a good choice for easing into a shorter style."
Choose the Classic Bob
"If a client has a square jaw, I recommend she go with a classic or slightly angled bob, because it won't be too harsh. It takes the focus off the jawline, and for older women, it can be an especially flattering cut when jowls start to become an issue."
Choose the Square Bob
"You can pull off this blunt cut easily. Often, people with heart-shaped faces also have a widow's peak that pushes the hair in one direction. Make sure you're working with it, not against it, by cutting with a side part in the direction your hair naturally falls."
Choose the Swing Bob
"Go with a longer vertical panel (the piece in the front that hangs below the chin) with this angular style. It helps lengthen and narrow the face. The key is to cut the front longer than the widest part of your face; otherwise it can make your face look rounder."