I Got Instagram's Coolest Cut, The Bob – But It's So High Maintenance

From Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber to Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron, it seems everyone is jumping on board the bob haircut bandwagon. A flick through Pinterest proves the chin-skimming style has officially usurped beachy waves and the shag to be crowned 2019's most popular cut. Forget hashtags – there are entire Instagram accounts dedicated to the look, serving as the ultimate inspiration for those thinking of going for the chop – and those already sold on the idea.
Of course, the bob has never just been about aesthetics. The style was born much earlier than the 1920s but during the age of the flapper, bobbed hair became a strong symbol of female resistance and rebellion as much as it was about style. Women rejected traditional gender roles and fashion and beauty standards followed suit, with long locks making way for androgynous crops. The bobbed haircut soon became wildly fashionable, with film stars including Louise Brooks and Mary Thurman at the helm. It has remained a classic cut, for all hair types and textures, ever since.
Advertisement
However, my relationship with the bob has been a rocky one. Growing up, my hair was a thick ball of frizz, and despite being a professional hairdresser at the time, my mum lopped it into a triangular bird's nest that stopped at my jaw – with a matching full fringe to boot. I spent years growing out that short, unruly crop and vowed never to cut that many inches off again. But after a bad break-up at university, and in an obvious moment of poor judgement, I paid a backstreet Cardiff hair salon exactly £13.50 to do it again. Naturally, I hated it, but at least the bad haircut tears distracted from the heartbreak... Fast-forward to the start of 2019, and I started to dabble in the idea of the bob once more. I grew tired of my long, nothing-y hair and at first, considered an A-line lob – shoulder-length hair that's a little longer at the front than the back. But glimpsing Kim Kardashian's chin-grazing, glasslike crop completely swayed me and I booked an appointment at Charles Worthington salon the same day.
Bringing in a picture of the style you want to emulate is recommended by most professionals, but having not suited my previous bobbed 'dos, I was certain Gorka, my hairstylist, would steer me in another direction when I whipped out that paparazzi snap of Kim in grey sweats. Luckily he didn't, and an hour later my hair was snipped, blow-dried and straightened into the sharp, sleek bob of my dreams.
Advertisement
To say I'm obsessed with my new, improved bob is an understatement. It emphasises my eyes and cheekbones and has the power to totally revamp a casual outfit, adding edge to my classic tee and jeans combo. The bob speaks for itself and I feel as though I can get away with wearing much less makeup than usual, which my acne-prone skin loves. There is one gripe, though. It's definitely more high maintenance than I'd imagined.
Firstly, there's the rain and humidity (thank you, British summer), which means I've had to switch up my hair routine to keep my bob as silky smooth as possible. I now use Amika's Normcore Signature Shampoo, £14, and Conditioner, £14, which makes my hair soft and much, much easier to manage. After absorbing most of the moisture with an Aquis Hair Towel Lisse Luxe, £30, I rake through three to four pumps of Redken's Frizz Dismiss Instant Deflate, £29.20. The oil-in-serum formula helps smooth frizz and flyaways and makes hair easier to style without ever weighing it down. Because I put a good amount of heat on my hair, a blanket of Aveda's Heat Relief Thermal Protector And Conditioning Mist, £26, is a must. If my hair feels a bit dry or damaged, I look to L'Oréal's Smartbond Step 3 Conditioner, £17.40, as a mask once a week, and this usually reinforces any fragile strands.
Styling is also a bit of a challenge. I recently fell in love with ghd's Glide, £139, a professional hair smoothing brush, which perfected my longer hair in minutes. But my bob requires more precise straightening to make it glassy. For that reason, I've switched over to the Platinum+ Styler, £175. The heat is capped at 180 degrees, significantly reducing damage and subsequently split ends, but it takes a little longer to smooth out the odd wave at the back. To finish, I apply a tiny bit more Frizz Dismiss to the roots and ends to minimise any fluffiness.
Even though my hair is a good few inches shorter, the super blunt ends mean a little kick is inevitable. To stop the ends from flicking out in different directions, Gorka recommended tucking them under with straighteners, but because my hair is much healthier after the dramatic chop, it's like it has a mind of its own. I've gone one step further than shaking up my hair product arsenal and invested in a silk pillowcase to keep unruly kinks on lowdown. When that's in the wash, I consult my Silke hair wrap so that my hair stays straighter and knot-free for longer.
If going for the chop has taught me anything, it's that maintaining a glossy bob is demanding, especially if your hair is on the thicker, frizzier side. Be prepared to give it a little more time (and patience) than usual, but know the compliments are well worth it.
Advertisement

More from Beauty

R29 Original Series