Whether you’re keen for a chin-grazer or something longer, here’s all the bob inspiration you’ll ever need this year, courtesy of some of London’s top hairstylists.
The “mushroom” bob
Michele Antiga, signature colourist and stylist at Gielly Green, predicts that the “mushroom” bob (smooth, sleek and rounded, just like a mushroom) will reign supreme this year. Much like this cut on Carina Pranz, the length sits at the chin, but the key to this style, says Stéphane Ferreira, expert stylist and colour specialist at Live True London, is the rounded ends which are flicked under using a round brush or straighteners. The mushroom bob is a cut that Anita Rice and Stephen Buller of Buller + Rice hair salon are putting on a pedestal for 2024, too. It doesn’t have to be super short, though. This is the kind of bob that looks equally as good when it grows out and tumbles nonchalantly around your face, say Rice and Buller: “It should look polished and full, but have a tousled quality to it,” they add. Fashion accidentally perfect waves like these with a curling wand such as ghd Curve Classic Wave Wand, £149, or Hershesons The Wave Maker, £149.50.
The baroque bob
The Renaissance provides inspiration for the baroque bob, which embodies the ornate curves and intricate filigree work on imposing European architecture and artwork in the form of voluminous curves and waves, says Antiga. “This kind of hair artistry lends an expensive look,” he adds. Ask your stylist for a blunt cut with face-framing layers, which you can flip to the side and style with a blow-dry brush like BaByliss Keratin Shine Volume Hot Air Styler, £33.
The micro bob
“The micro bob is set to be a major trend this year,” says Neil Moodie, founder of the Neil Moodie Studio in London’s Spitalfields. “It’s essentially the shortest bob before entering ‘short hair territory’, resting delicately between the jawline and cheekbone and grazing the bottom of the ear,” says Moodie. This is a style that took the late ’80s and early ’90s by storm, adds Moodie, but it’s still as wearable today. “It offers timeless appeal,” says Moodie, “and there’s the option to pair it with a fringe, whether at eyebrow length or shorter.” The best part? “As it grows out, you can explore various other bob styles,” says Neil, like the “box” bob or the blunt bob.
The soft box bob
Ask any stylist, and they’ll likely tell you that the box bob was one of their most requested bob haircuts in 2023. “Characterised by a sharp, box-shaped cut with clean lines and no layers, it was embraced by influencers and celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Elsa Hosk,” says Moodie. It can be worn straight, wavy or curly, which further cements its timeless appeal, but this year, a softer version will be on the cards. Look to this cut by hairstylist Miki. It’s still blunt and boxy, but the ends have been swept under. Wispy curtain bangs lend the otherwise chunky cut an airy feel.
The grown-out French bob
The classic French bob sits just above the jawline, boasting chunky ends and effortless waves, but it requires regular trims to keep it so sharp. This year, it’ll assume a longer length, which means it’s a little easier to keep on top of. “The result is a versatile, edgy and low-maintenance hairstyle that suits a variety of face shapes and hair textures,” says Moodie. “Unlike traditional bobs, which require frequent trims to maintain their shape, the grown-out version is more forgiving when it comes to upkeep.” Don’t get us wrong, regular trims are still necessary to prevent split ends, but the 2.0 version means you won’t need to book quite so many salon appointments, says Moodie. We love this mid-length French bob on model Amy Julliette Lefévre.
The Italian bob 2.0
The Italian bob is going nowhere fast, says Younes Khassal, director for Taylor Taylor London at Liberty London. “Working particularly well for wavy hair, it’s similar to the French bob in that the length lands around the jaw, except the layers mean that you can sweep it over to the side.” The 2.0 version looks just as good worn in the centre, like this cut on author @yobabycharchar by The Hair Bros. “The weight is more in the ends,” says Khassal, “which makes it more casual and allows it to be styled in lots of different ways — with lots of volume.” This cut looks especially cool packed with some volumising mousse or texturising spray to bring out your natural wave or curl pattern, adds Khassal. Try Pantene Perfect Volume Heat Protection Hair Mousse with Biotin, £5.25, or Living Proof Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray, £31.
The chopped bob
This bob by precision cutting specialist Sam Oxford on Chloe Miles is an edgier version of the French bob. The hacked ends and soft fringe create the right balance and encourage a natural wave to do its thing. Invest in a salt-free air-dry spray, like Hershesons Air Dry Spray, £16, for lots of mussed-up texture without the dry feel.
The “kitty cut” bob
The “kitty” cut is the wolf cut’s softer, wispier counterpart, and stylists are incorporating it into the classic bob. We love this cut by hairstylist Miki, which sits just above the shoulders and boasts both face-framing layers and a fragmented fringe. A hot tool like Shark FlexStyle 5-in-1 Air Styler & Hair Dryer, £299.99, will help you achieve those blown-back bangs.
The flipped bob
The flipped bob, a favourite among The Hair Bros and stylists at Hershesons in London, has a retro quality to it, and complements wavy and curly hair especially. It consists of chunky ends and a handful of subtle layers throughout the top section of the hair. Take a leaf out of hairstylist Aina Avao’s book.
The “jellyfish” bob
The “jellyfish” haircut is essentially two styles in one: a short crop on top and long layers throughout the mid-lengths and ends. If the longer length version isn’t for you, try the jellyfish bob, which is a subtle, more wearable take on the trend. This cut by hairstylist Ryusei Wada hits the nail on the head.
The braided bob
The grown-out bob
“2023 saw lots of people going for the big chop with the French bob making a comeback, so in 2024, it’s inevitable that slightly longer, grown-out bobs will be back in,” says Khassal, who suggests asking your stylist for an A-line cut, where the front is a little longer and the layers are concentrated more towards the back. “This gives a super-stylish, face-framing finish and it allows you to add texture,” says Khassal. Happily, it works for all hair textures, especially wavy hair. Like this style on Gabrielle Alys, Khassal suggests flicking out the ends. Use straighteners like ghd Platinum + Hair Straightener, £229.
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