When it comes to hair trends, the options are seemingly endless. From the 'butterfly' haircut (long, sweeping layers) to the 'octopus' haircut (a wearable, modern-day take on the shag), there's a fresh style for all hair types and textures. But it's fair to say that nothing is generating hype quite like the bob.
The bob is a classic cut, but this spring, stylists are getting creative. Lately we've spotted the '90s version (blunt and sleek) and bobs with a French twist (slightly shorter at the front to lift the face). As we edge into summer, though, the 'bottleneck bob' is becoming popular. According to Google Trends, search for the look has increased by an enormous 1,150% this past month.
So what is a 'bottleneck' bob? Well, it starts with a bottleneck bang. The style sits in between a face-framing curtain bang and something a little fuller, but it isn't too voluminous or dramatic. The fringe is a bit more streamlined and blends in with the rest of the hair at the sides, hence the bottleneck name. With bobs and bangs both trending, it was only a matter of time before the two joined forces.
I've had a bob haircut before, but I've never thought about teaming it with a bang. If I'm being honest, I've been terrified of bangs since the early MySpace era. As a result, I haven't strayed much from my classic center parting. But something came over me as I scrolled through the #bottleneckbob hashtag on TikTok and I booked myself an appointment with Grace Amelia at Hershesons Fitzrovia, a hair salon in London.
To achieve the haircut you want, it's always helpful to bring along a reference. I took a screenshot of this cut, created by hairstylist Bobby Eliot for Ella Purnell, and Selena Gomez's new, lived-in bob with bangs, cut by Orlando Pita. We settled on a style much closer to the former, which is a blunt cut and doesn't feature any layers. A heavily-layered cut can make it be difficult to style at home if you're not a pro with a round brush. The whole point of the bottleneck bob is that the bang does all the talking.
Once my hair had been washed and towel-dried, Grace started to snip inches off my ends using the razor cutting technique. Using a haircutting razor instead of scissors achieves a lighter feel and encourage swishy movement so that the finished result has a natural texture to it, rather than looking or feeling blocky.
I have quite a long, oval face shape and I worried that something too blunt or too short might not suit me. But Grace reassured me that bobs can be tailored to suit pretty much anyone. That goes for all hair types — when cut by a professional who understands your hair texture . If you have a lot of thick hair, like I do, your chosen stylist will likely opt for a pair of thinning scissors to take away some weight from the underside of your hair, so you don't end up with the triangle look.
Once the bob was cut, Grace moved on to the bang, which she cut at an angle to blend into the rest of my hair for an effortless, lived-in look. The bottleneck bang is totally different from the swooshy, '70s-inspired curtain bangs that were trending on TikTok. The more streamlined shape means it'll be much easier to grow out, should you want to switch things up in the future.
I can't lie, the bottleneck bob makes me feel like a total badass and I'm glad I bit the bullet, getting a bang for the first time in almost 15 years and going much shorter than I've ever gone before. The cut means I've said goodbye to my frazzled ends, too, so my hair feels a lot healthier and bouncier.
Grace curled my hair ever so slightly to enhance movement, but at home I'm lazy and simply rough-dry my hair, then smooth it down with the ghd Glide Hot Brush, which is a game-changer for thick, frizzy hair. The key to styling bottleneck bangs — or any curtain-esque bang — is to invest in a round brush, says Grace. I love the Denman D75 Medium ThermoCeramic Curling Brush, which has little vents to distribute airflow and to give hair real body.
When my hair is a little damp, I curl my fringe under the brush and blast it with the ghd Helios Professional Dryer, always using the nozzle for precision and on low or medium heat to prevent damage. Then I scrunch up my hair with a bit of styling cream.
Before the cut, I had a couple of blonde highlights peeking through, but like Selena Gomez's style, I think the bob looks a lot more chic when my hair is all one tone. I used a dark-brown semi-permanent hair dye to match my roots and to enhance shine.
The best thing about the bottleneck bob is that you can still pull it up into a claw clip style and let the bang — which should be longer at the sides — frame your face. On days when it's raining or I don't have the time to get out the heat-styling tools, this is how I'll be wearing my hair. The fringe also looks super cute and kinda '90s when I bring it forward and tuck the rest of the bob behind my ears. The inspiration? Prue from Charmed, obviously.
It's fair to say I'm sold on the bottleneck bob and if TikTok and Instagram are anything to go by, the style is definitely going to stick around for summer.
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.
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