Is Hollywood's "Sci-Fi Bob" Trend A Nod To The Future Of Feminism?

Kim, Chrissy, Selena, Bella — it seems as if every Hollywood "It girl" has turned into a clone of the last over the past few months, debuting nearly identical blunt bobs in quick succession. It seems odd, since being unique is a major key to maintaining stardom (and no one wants a new cut to match the woman dating their ex), so how the hell did this happen? Turns out, it might go deeper than just what's en vogue.

The look is perfectly timed for our uncertain political climate: a cut that feels sharp and strong, with a futuristic finish that's as no-BS as it gets. Is it a nod to feminism? The anti-damsel in distress? For those of the belief that life imitates art, it's both.

In La La Land, character archetypes abound. The woman with long, soft waves gently tucked behind one ear? She deserves the leading man. Big, frizzy curls? Someone get that woman a makeover! (Just how problematic this all is is a whole other story.) So what does a sharp bob convey to Hollywood insiders? To start, they call it a "sci-fi bob."

This beauty trope says you're sharp and smooth, and it's often paired with short bangs to create a helmet-like shield of strength. It's used to depict a futuristic woman who is strong, powerful, and has reached gender equality — or is fervently fighting for it. Some believe that popular culture has programmed us to think of this style as progressive, rebellious, and ready for anything, even zero gravity. Think: The Fifth Element, Star Trek, and Aeon Flux. The stylists who are doling out these styles for the A-listers off-screen didn't disagree, either, when we asked them to weigh in on the trend.

Ahead, everything you need to know about Hollywood's subtle, but powerful, resistance cut.

This story was originally published on May 26 2017 and has been updated to reflect the growing trend.

The Haircut
"For years, there was a Victoria's Secret, 'pretty girl' hair thing, but in some ways that is shifting," says Jon Reyman, editorial hairstylist and co-owner of Spoke & Weal salons. "Women are having really strong, empowered conversations. I think it's about self-expression. I think there's a punk side to all of this, like a 'fuck you, damn the man' kind of thing, which I like."

For Reyman, it's been a long time coming."There was a period where people were trying to do this a couple years ago, but it didn't really take," he says. "Normally, I like movement, texture, and softness, but I think this one-length bob is right on for right now." His followers agree: His posts average a few hundred likes; this one got over 1,700.

As for the cut, all our experts like something a bit different. Reyman prefers a slight A-line (shorter in back than front) that's totally blunt. And whatever you do, don't pick up a curling iron, or you'll ruin the look. "Either straight or natural is the way," he says. "Less is more."
Another of our favorites — which we've raved about before — comes from L.A. hairstylist Sal Salcedo. He turns out gorgeous cuts daily, but it's this chop that he calls a favorite for the exact reasons we love it, too. In fact, he's very passionate about the role hair can play in equality.

"More than anything, it's a sign of empowerment and freedom," Salcedo says about the current short chop trend sweeping L.A. "Women are taking charge of the way their roles are being set and also changing the expectations from society. Machismo has been imposed unconsciously, and so naturally, without us even realizing it. It's time for change — and I'm all about it!"

For him, shaping trends has been a chance to even things up, if only on the head. "My goal is to make guy's hair longer and girl's hair shorter to bring about equality and erase the stigma of roles," he adds."Hair is our connection to society and with it, we let society know what we think." He sees it as mirroring a past era steeped in change: "I've been comparing this trend to the roaring twenties," he continues. "More and more woman are changing the perception of what women's hair should be like. Slowly but surely, we are showing the world that we are all equal."

As for the cut, ask for a short A-line with invisible layers only if needed. The trick to the bang is simple: "The fringe should be above the eyebrows and get slightly longer at the temples so that it blends right into the length."
Justine Marjan got her start under Jen Atkin, so it's no wonder she's become a major fan of the chop. (Atkin's given the cut to half her client roster, which you'll see ahead.) She gave this pristine version to former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo.

To score the cut, ask for blunt bob that's "below the chin and jawline, but above the shoulders with a very clean, blunt finish," she says. "For the most flattering finish, the angle of the bob should be similar to the angle of your jawline and the length will depend on your face shape." Bonus? "The blunt ends make the hair look healthier and fuller," she adds.

Now, you may be feeling the fire of feminism, but ease in when it comes to expressing it on your head if you're making a big change. "Make sure you go to a stylist you trust to take your hair short and always start longer," she says. "It’s better to gradually take your hair short to a length you know you’ll love than to go too short and regret it."

Keep clicking for a look at the celebs rocking the sci-fi cut right now, then tell us what you think in the comment section below.
The latest star to get the chop is Nina Dobrev, who debuted the textbook sci-fi cut on hairstylist Riawna Capri's Instagram.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Selena Gomez's cut is one of the longest of the bunch, paired with killer shine and a dramatic A-line for the Met Gala this spring.
Kerry Washington makes a case for adding bends and waves.
Bella Hadid's been wearing her new sci-fi bob a variety of ways, proving there's no shortage of inspiring ways to get futuristic.
So smooth, we thought it had to be a wig. Get it, Kim Kardashian.
Sharp and slicked back, we can't think of a more badass way for Serena Williams to wear her blunt bob.
The sci-fi bob is normally worn straight, but don't get it twisted: There are no rules. Take your cue from Olivia Munn and sport it textured and messy, too.
Prefer to ease in? Follow Chrissy Teigen's lead and go a little longer at first to avoid an oh, shit! moment. Paired with a dramatic A-line, this long lob gives the illusion of a shorter length.
Hairstylist Riawna Capri gave Nina Dobrev this chop months ago — and we still love it.
A sharp side part is giving Vanessa Hudgen's new cut major life.
You already knew that Taraji P. Henson can do no wrong.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!