Bob hairstyles are back in style, and this time they’re here to stay! But did they ever really leave? Seeing as this is such a versatile haircut that can really flatter any face shape, it’s easy to see why women all over the world love it so much. Bobs are also incredibly low maintenance, very simple to style at home, and look fantastic in any situation. But you knew all that!
What you might not have know is the history of bob hairstyles. Where they came from, and why are they called bobs? Also, how to style them, what type of a bob should you wear for your face shape and tips on how to maintain this awesome haircut. Here’s the scoop!
Rose Blonde Bob Hairstyles
Non natural colors have been the height of fashion for quite a few years now. So much so, in fact, that drugstore brands have come up with their own dyes in non natural and neon shades that help you get the color you want right at home. Some of them are permanent while others last between a few days and a few hours. That’s how big this trend has gotten!
And no color has been more loved than rose blonde and its sister shade rose gold. There’s just something about this dusty rose that speaks to our hearts! If you want to get it, you will have to bleach your hair first and then apply the rose dye!
Where Did Bob Hairstyles Come From?
As you probably already know, most people associate bob hairstyles with the flapper girls of the 1920s. Their image has become incredibly iconic. Therefore, we now believe that they are the ones who started this trend. But that’s not exactly true.
It so seems that in 1903 two college girls from Bryn Mawr bobbed their hair so that they could play basketball.
A short while after that, more women in Greenwich Village started to wear bob hairstyles. It appears they were influenced by Russian intellectual girls who wore bob hairstyles as a disguise for the police. This happened in 1913.
There is evidence that the bob haircut was already a trend by the following year, 1914, thanks to an article that appeared in Vogue at that time. It spoke about an American dancer who was famous at that point in time. Her name was Irene Castle and the article points out the following:
(she) ‘did the newest thing in coiffures when she bobbed her hair.’
However, an interesting fact to note here is that, even though bob hairstyles were gaining in popularity massively in that decade, most hair salons did not want to perform them. In fact, they blatantly refused. Therefore, women used to go to barbershops to get the bob they wanted so much.
Platinum Blonde Bob Hairstyles
Yes, platinum blonde is still going strong. Of course, it had its little moment in the sun a few seasons ago when everyone seemed to be going platinum. All at the same time, no less! The trend has dwindled down a little bit since then. But that doesn’t mean that platinum blonde isn’t still a dreamy color. Women have been doing it since the 1920s and they are not going to stop now!
Just remember that going platinum blonde will involve you bleaching your hair several times. While it might sound tempting and less expensive to do it at home, bleach is a very dangerous chemical. Its misuse could result in you damaging your hair, your scalp, and possibly your eyesight. Please see a professional if you want to bleach your hair!
Initial Reaction to Bob Hairstyles
It may not surprise you to find out that bob hairstyles were not received well in the beginning. While women loved them, the rest of society didn’t think so highly of them. Short hairstyles generally meant that girls were trying too hard to act like men or that they wanted to change the classic standards of sexuality. Bob hairstyles were now associated with what people called ‘shocking behavior’ coming from a young woman. Other examples of such behavior included drinking alcohol, showing their knees or wearing too much makeup. The world was changing.
Bob hairstyles represented a message and a clear sign that women were seeking freedom. Here is what actress Mary Gordon had to say to the Pictorial Review magazine in 1927.
“I consider getting rid of our long hair one of the many little shackles that women have cast aside in their passage to freedom. Whatever helps their emancipation, however small it may seem, is well worth while.“
In fact, the whole of society was so much against bob hairstyles and the emancipation of women through them that they started taking action immediately. Preachers held sermons against the haircut. Some distributed pamphlets with the information that a bob haircut could lead to diseases. While schools all over banned girls from wearing it.
But there was absolutely no stopping bob hairstyles. Historical records now show that women went so far as to get medical notes from doctors showing that their hair was falling off so they had to get a bob. Other simply wore wigs in the shape of a bob just to follow the trend.
Taylor Swift Shaggy Bob
Singer Taylor Swift turned heads when she debuted her shaggy bob hairstyle. Everyone was used to the pop girl wearing her signature vanilla blonde and sweet curls. Whereas this shaggy bob in a very dirty blonde shade was sexy and daring.
But everyone can agree that she looked absolutely fantastic! Especially when paired with smokey eye makeup and nude lipstick. It just goes to show that bob hairstyles are incredibly versatile and can be used to send any message you want!
Bob Hairstyles in the 60s
While many women continued to wear bob hairstyles during the decades that followed its conception, it wasn’t news in the Western world anymore. However, bob hairstyles made another major comeback in the 60s. And it was only natural they would. The 60s were a decade when women were once again trying to liberate themselves from the conventions and traditionalism of former years.
But bob hairstyles in the 60s were not the same as classic ones. In 1965, the iconic hairstylist Vidal Sassoon came up with the angled bob or the five point cut.
Some other incredibly famous bob hairstyles you might recognize from that era are that of Jackie Kennedy, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Mary Tyler Moore. Those were called the bouffants. And they became the inspiration for what can only be described as millions of housewives across the Westerns world.
Once respectable women such as housewives started to wear these short hairstyles, the bob finally became an acceptable haircut. It only took 55 years.
Jennifer Lawrence Wavy Bob
Another celebrity who caused a stir with her radical hairstyle change was actress Jennifer Lawrence. The entire world had gotten used to the beautiful Jennifer as a next door girl with long, brown hair. But we got to see a whole new side of her when she walked the red carpet with a platinum blonde, wavy bob hairstyle.
It cannot be denied that the new haircut suited her better than anything else. Platinum blonde is definitely her color, making her look like one of the screen sirens of old. While the bob hairstyle compliments her face shape.
Bob hairstyles in the modern age
Moving on to the 70s, bob hairstyles starting getting just a little longer and a lot sleeker. You can think of Faye Dunaway in the classic movie Bonnie and Clyde. Later on, Debbie Harry of Blondie would introduce the messy version of the bob. Women all over were hooked on the bob.
Still, some of the most famous bobs in the history of this hairstyle came in the modern age. Examples include Jennifer Aniston who sported ‘the Rachel’ throughout the first seasons of Friends. Thousands of women took to this shaggy version of the bob and immediately copied the actress. The Rachel became so popular that it entered pop culture. People still talk about it today, and they still ask actress Jennifer Aniston about it, 25 years after she wore it.
Another famous modern bob came from Victoria Beckham, otherwise known as Posh Spice. When she started her career with the girl band Spice Girls, Victoria wore a rebellious, dark and sleek bob that became instantly famous and recognizable.
And, of course, women have never stopped wearing bob hairstyles. Some of the most iconic ones still rock the red carpets of the world today. Just think of Anna Wintour and her eternal sleek bob that absolutely everyone in the world knows.
Why Is it Called a Bob?
The answer is simpler than you might think. In the beginning, back in the 1910s and 20s when women started to wear bob hairstyles for the first time, society believed they were acting like men. And that short hair on any woman or girl would make her look masculinized and almost like a boy. In American slang, young boys are called or used to be called ‘bobs.’ Hence the name. Women were getting the same haircuts as ‘bobs.’
How to Take Care of Bob Hairstyles
A bob hairstyle is, in essence, a short haircut. Therefore, you must treat it exactly as such and change your hair care routine, especially if you haven’t had short hair before. Here are some tips that will help you out.
Stop brushing your hair so much
The need for brushing your hair comes from the idea of keeping it from tangling or matting. But that doesn’t usually happen when you have short hair such as a bob. Not only that, but excessive brushing can lead to weakening the hair strands and even make your hair more prone to breaking.
Therefore, try as much as possible not to brush your hair while you are sporting bob hairstyles. Instead, you can run your fingers through your hair to style it casually and shake it back into its natural pattern.
Stop using heat tools
This includes blow dryers, flat irons, and, everyone’s favorite, hair curlers. But most professional stylists state that women today completely over style their hair. This means that women go for complicated hairdos even when they don’t have to.
They straighten or curl their hair on a daily basis instead of going for a more natural approach. While it does look beautiful, these styling tools reach very high temperatures that are extremely dangerous and unhealthy for the human hair. Especially when used on a daily basis.
As a consequence, specialists advise you to stop over styling your hair when there’s really no need to. And if you absolutely can’t stop using heat tools, at least use them on very low heat!
Cotton buds fix flyaway strands
Sometimes when you have short hair or bob hairstyles you will wake up with the proverbial cowlick. Or you will wake up only to realize that your hair simply doesn’t want to collaborate and it is sticking out weirdly. That’s one of the curses of short hair.
Of course, the best thing to do here would be to hop in the shower quickly and shampoo your tresses. But you don’t always have time to do that. So here’s the solution. Dip a cotton bud in a little water and gently dab at the strand of hair that is giving you a hard time. It will moisturize it and make it stand back in line.
Bob hairstyles need to be tamed
Ok, let’s get real for a second. As magnificent as bob hairstyles are, the reality is that they will be gigantic in volume. In fact, the shorter they are, the bigger they will get. The moment your bob starts going past your jawline upward, the hair simply begins to mushroom. Don’t worry, that’s a natural process. Short hair sticks out.
But it also means that you will have to tame all that frizz. This is where moisturizing and texturizing products come in. The first thing you need to do is hydrate your hair as best as you can. This will make it soft and compliant.
First of all, do not use shampoos that create a lot of lather. If they do, it means they have a high quantity of detergents in them. This is the ingredient that dries out your hair and scalp. Instead of helping, it will actually harm you.
Use a high quality conditioner every single time you shampoo. After you’re done, apply a leave-in conditioner while your hair is still damp. You can use a lightweight hair oil as well.
Texturizing hair products come in the shape of spray, such as salt water spray. It is usually used as a natural solution to create beach waves away from the beach. But you can use it just as well to tame your mane of hair. It will make it crunchy and keep it in place all day long. Not to mention it’s organic!
Go for a regular trim
Bob hairstyles require a little more maintenance than other haircuts. The reason is that you will have to go back to your stylist on a regular basis to get a trim. This will maintain the bob’s shape and texture. It all depends on how fast your hair grows. But a good rule would be to do it every three or four months.
Shampoo every day
This is not so much a tip or a piece of advice about bob hairstyles as it is something you will notice for yourself once you get one. Short hair and especially bob hairstyles will require you to wash your hair every single day.
The reason is a combination of factors. Short hair usually gets greasy a lot faster than long hair. The oil from the scalp covers your short strands easier than normally. Plus, women tend to use a lot more products to style their bobs than with longer or shorter hairstyles. As a result, a wash per day will be needed to get rid of the excess oil and hair styling products you have been using.
Bob Hairstyles – Pros and Cons
As with any other haircut that women have tried over the ages, bob hairstyles too have their ups but also some points that might make you think twice before getting one. We think every woman should get a bob haircut at least once in her lifetime because it’s such an amazing and liberating experience! But contemplate these pros and cons first.
- Bob hairstyles come in many forms and lengths that will accommodate all face shapes.
- A bob can work with any type of hair from fine and thin to curly and kinky.
- You can get a bob haircut if you have fine hair because it will give the illusion of volume.
- Bob hairstyles have been in fashion for more than 100 years, which speaks volumes about how well-loved this haircut truly is.
- As a short haircut, the bob is super easy to wash, dry, and care for.
- The bob is a superb choice for women with a very active lifestyle, including women who love to practice sports or go to the gym regularly. It’s a style that will allow you to do all that without any hassle.
- A bob does not require too much styling. Women usually maintain the styling shape that has been proposed by the stylist.
- Bob hairstyles are very office friendly and are considered to be corporate appropriate. This is great news for women working in this type of environments who have to comply with dress codes.
- Bobs are preferred styling choices for spring and summer when the hot weather allows for shorter hairstyles. But they can be worn all year long as well!
- Even if it is low maintenance, a bob offers very little in terms of styling or variation. If you get a bob haircut, be prepared to wear the same look every single day until your hair grows back.
- Women with curly or kinky hair have stated that bob hairstyles make their hair very unruly and difficult to deal with. You can counteract this by using high quality moisturizing and texturizing products, as shown above. However, they will involve a completely new hair care routine that could take a long time to perform every time you wash your hair. This might also put a strain on your budget if you’re not prepared to supplement all these products every month.
- The hair length is usually right in the middle, meaning a little too long so it’s in your face but a little too short to tie it back. Therefore, consider the idea of wearing berets or hair clips and see if that matches your style or aesthetic.
- Even though classic bobs such as the original ‘flapper bob’ are very beautiful, they do not fit everyone. Jaw length bobs or ear length bobs accentuate exactly the place where the strands of hair end. Therefore, if you have a square or oblong face, they might not be the best choice for you. The same goes for heart shaped face. Bobs add a lot of volume on the sides, which is the very thing you should be avoiding.
- Growing your hair out after having a bob will be quite difficult. Most often than not, the hair in the back is shorter than the strands on the side. Therefore, you will have to see your stylist every month to even your hair out until it grows back.
How to Style a Bob Haircut
Some girls are so lucky that all they have to do is run their fingers through their hair and the styling is done. But the rest of us need just a little more work which typically involves hair products, styling tools, and some serious skills. If you’re in the latter category, here are some tips that will help you style your bob easier and better.
How to blow dry bob hairstyles
- Start by shampooing your hair as usual. When you’re out of the shower, dry your hair with a towel. Tip your hair upside down and dry it like that so as to create as much volume as you can. Spend some extra time on your roots because that’s where all the volume will be.
- Section your hair by creating layers. There is no rule to how many you have to make. Just create as many as you need to be comfortable when handling them later on.
- Using a brush, pull from underneath in an outward motion as well as down. This is the motion that will responsible for giving you volume and that blow dry look you want.
- When you get to the ends or tips of each strand, turn the brush in a rounded motion and inward to create that perfect shape all classic bob hairstyles have.
- Use a brush with natural bristles because it will help defrizz the hair. As a result, your bob will look shiny and sleek instead of messy and frizzy. It’s a bob worthy of summer months when you want to show it off!
- If you want to part your hair in the middle or on the side, you can do that too once you’re finished. But don’t use the brush. Instead, go for a comb!
- Spray some glossing agent that will make your bob shine!
How to create wavy bob hairstyles
- Start from the bottom and create as many layers as you feel comfortable working with.
- Apply the hair straightener to a hair strand. Make sure that it’s not too close to your scalp to burn you. The hair straightener should always sit at least a few inches away from your head.
- Twist your hair straighteners at a 180 degree angle.
- Do not allow the hair straightener to sit in the same spot on your hair for more than a few seconds. If you want, you can count as much as five and start moving it away. But no more! Remember that hair straighteners get very hot incredibly fast. And yes, they have the ability to melt right through your hair! That is not a myth.
- As you are styling your bob hairstyles, move the straightener down the length of the hair strand. Move it to the right and left so you can get the beach wave pattern you desire.
- When you release it, you can work the curls some more with a comb until they look the way you want them to.
- Continue the same process on all the hair strands until your bob is wavy!
- When you’re finished, don’t brush your hair! Move your fingers through your curls instead so that you don’t break the newly created pattern. Spray everything with some fixing agent!
What do you think?
Have you gotten the bog chop yet or are you still pondering it? Bob hairstyles have been a symbol of freedom for women since their inception. Which is why every girl out there should try one at least once. Let us know in the comment section if you have!