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There comes a moment in most of our lives when we take a good look at our shapeless hair and just think, cut it. For lots of us, spending the evening scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, longing for a shorter style in the hope that it’ll give us a new lease of life, is something of a hobby. While there are countless haircut trends out there like the “kitty” cut (a softer version of the shaggy “wolf” cut) and the “sachel” (the shag meets The Rachel), it’s the bob haircut that reigns supreme.
In fact, in my 32 years on this planet, I have never met someone who has cut a bob and regretted it. Bangs, yes. A bob? No, and looking at the trends that continue to push through each season, having a shorter style is still very much in vogue for the foreseeable.
I’ve had many iterations of the bob. Think the “Italian” bob (chunky-ended and flipped to the side) and even the “mushroom” bob (rounded and sleek, just like a mushroom). Sometimes it hasn’t been my choice. Rather, the result of a stern word from my stylist as they hold my split ends up in the mirror, begging me to cut away the breakage that’ll inevitably travel upwards.
So when I got the trending “baroque” bob recently, I think I was both influenced by my hairdresser and the countless selfies flooding social media. Actually, I had been saving so many blunt, thick and voluminous bobs to my mood boards, that it just made sense. (I also knew my hair needed a good cut to rid it of the remnants of hair color from nearly two years ago.)
What is the “baroque” bob?
So where exactly did the name for the trend come from? “The term ‘baroque’ refers to 17th and 18th century architecture with elaborate style,” explains Sian Roscoe, UK ambassador for hair brand, Indola. Imagine the elaborate curves and ornate filigree work adorning imposing buildings in Paris and Rome. Ultimately, it is simply a blunt-cut bob that hovers just above the shoulders, but the styling is what sets it apart from other bobs. “When you translate this into hair we’re talking about the styling and the finishing of the bob haircut the most,” echoes Roscoe. “It’s inspired by the Renaissance; think big, sculpted waves and smooth finishes.”
This is exactly what drew me to the style; I’d been stuck in mid-length hair limbo and the baroque bob offered me no choice but to serve glam. It’s coiffed and curled in an alluring fashion that screams red carpet. The volume is intentional in an old Hollywood kind of way. The polished feel swayed me (though in reality, this kind of swishy styling is a petrifying daily task for someone who barely washes her hair every 10 days).
How do you style the baroque bob?
Luckily for me, I have very thick, textured hair and I wear it blown-out most of the time. In other words, the serious volume that characterizes the baroque bob is pretty natural for me. Happily, it makes styling a tad easier as noted by my hairstylist, Lorraine Dublin, who actually cut this bob for me. Rory Antonio, owner of Rory Antonio Hair & Beauty Labs, agrees: “This cut is perfect for those with curly hair or a natural wave who are looking for a shorter style without pledging themselves to short layers or a high graduation. Its versatility makes it easy to grow out, too.”
What is the upkeep of the baroque bob?
Surprisingly the baroque bob has been one of the easiest haircuts to work with on a daily basis, and my Dyson Airwrap has been invaluable. For a mid-week refresh, I either use the small barrels around the frame of my face to enhance the shape and to reignite volume, or I use the round brush attachments to just curl the hair under for a sleek bob look with flicked up ends à la my forever muse, Laura Harrier. If you’d rather spend less, try BaByliss Hot Air Styler.
Some days, when I don’t have the time or energy to style my hair in bouncy waves to achieve the baroque look, I can let it sit chunky above my shoulders, and this is equally as stylish (look to Chelsea-based hairstylists, The Hair Bros, if you need convincing). If you aren’t a pro at adding waves or curls to your hair, this is something to consider before booking in: the baroque part is really in your hands. That said, a blunt, chin-length bob is easy. Thanks to its sharpness, it tends to look neat with minimal effort. Plus, you can tie it back when you are edging closer to hair-wash day.
Does the baroque bob work on all hair types?
If you have medium-thickness or fine hair, the style isn’t a write-off, but you might need a few extra products to give your hair some extra lift. “Simply blowdry with your favorite volumizing mousse and leave it in Velcro rollers,” suggests Antonio. I particularly like Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer. Lastly, “Spray plenty of texture spray at the roots and dress curls out with a soft brush to achieve that true Hollywood glamour finish,” adds Antonio. Try a Nylon Paddle Brush and Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.
Like with every bob hairstyle, you will need to have regular trims to keep the length short and sharp. To help in between cuts, I nourish my hair with Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil on the tips every other day. If you have finer hair, a light serum like the Virtue Healing Oil, will keep your hair strong.
Before my baroque bob, I was bored with my hair, but this chunky-ended cut is a welcome revamp.
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.