We've all felt the urge to book a haircut in the midst of a major life change. It's the reason bangs suddenly feel so tempting right after a breakup, or why so many brides chop their hair the minute the wedding's over (sometimes sooner). It's also why, weeks into the current social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, so many people (celebrities included) are turning to at-home haircuts.
According to Temur Hamilton, a hairstylist at Manhattan's Sally Hershberger Salon, we can predict a surge of appointments once salons open their doors again. "You'll want a haircut — any cut, really — just to get rid of the dead weight," he says. "If I had to choose a specific style, it would be a variation on the bob, which is a classic favorite for spring, summer, and almost always feels refreshing."
Coupled with the fact that short hair tends to surge in popularity during times of economic downturn, it's not a stretch to assume that many of us will be looking at losing some length in the coming months. If you can already tell that's going to be you, here are six ideas to pre-book with your stylist. (Take it from us and don't try these at home.)
The Blunt Bob
Ask for: a blunt cut that floats above the shoulders, and invisible layers for texture
When you're trying to send a message with your hair, why not be blunt about it? Hairstylist Sal Salcedo tells us that these bob cuts are incredibly popular in L.A. "It's perfect for those with finer hair, since the bluntness of the cut creates the illusion of density," he explains, before explaining how he styles cuts like the one seen here. "To spice it up, spritz a little salt spray on the top, and scrunch it in — this gives the illusion of layers without having them."
Unite stylist Dominick Serna of the Chris McMillan Salon in Los Angeles explains that your natural texture will determine how much your stylist cuts into the hair to achieve the look. "With fine texture, you don't need to cut into the hair as much to create a heavy line," he explains. "Whereas with thicker hair, you need to cut deeper into the hair to create the desired softness. With styling here, less is more." We love the piecey, undone texture of this effortless bob.
The Triangular Bob
Ask for: a structured, angular cut that falls above your shoulders
Curly, soft, angular bobs look even better with bangs. "Ask your stylist for a curly bob and if you're interested in bangs, let him or her know how long, short, or side-angled you want them," Deanna Brown, stylist at NYC's DevaChan salon, tells us. "Bring images of the kind of bob and bang variations that you love."
A triangular cut is a great option if you're in the process of transitioning your natural hair. "The angular bob is my favorite way to transition curls," says Brown, who created this style. "You can still do a protective style — like a twist out or Bantu knots — to recreate a pattern that may no longer exist in the front, without taking off too much length if you aren’t ready for a big chop."
The Blurred, Swing-Line Bob
Ask for: a soft, A-line cut with internal layers and no more than one-inch difference in length from front to back
Salcedo calls this style the "it-girl" bob. "It's an airy bob for the girl that wants that effortless texture," he explains, referring to this photo as a starting point. "The haircut has a lot of internal movement, which makes the style fall with ease — the best way to wear it is to move it around with deep side parts and a little tuck behind the ear."
Tim Dueñas, stylist at L.A.'s Nine Zero One Salon tells us that the key to achieving this look is to focus on the blurred line, which gives the ends that lived-in finish. "Creating a slightly softer perimeter helps make this classic more modern," he says. "It’s also a cut that works on both thick and fine textures."
The Parisian Bob
Ask for: a blunt cut that falls between the cheekbone and the chin with a slight A-line finish
"The French-girl bob is a great choice for women looking to try something new with shape," says NYC-based hairdresser Erickson Arrunategui. He's the stylist behind Parisian model Taylor LaShae — the muse behind the popular cut. "Tell your stylist to aim for the cheekbone or jawline as a point of reference for length and then you can play with your fringe.”
The best part of this cut is that you can take a hands-off approach. “Less is more when styling," says Arrunategui, who also styles the banged bob of NYC fashion influencer Alyssa Coscarelli. "Don’t fuss over every piece of hair. Add a little product — I love the Bumble & Bumble Dryspun Texture Spray — and just worry about the surface pieces and move on."
The Choppy Bob
Ask for: a length that falls between the ear and chin, with gradual, feathered layers
"This cut can be as short as ear level or as long as chin length," explains Howard McLaren, the co-founder and creative director of R+Co. "It floats somewhere between the 1920s and 1940s era, and now, it’s everywhere. The cut should be tailored to the individual — you can add bangs or a long fringe — but the texture element is paramount, especially if you have thin or fine hair that has a tendency to fall flat, because this allows for versatility in styling." Fashion influencer Xenia Adonts nails the look here.
"Product plays a huge role with this cut, as different formulas allow you to change the look daily," explains McLaren. "Ask your stylist to show you three ways to wear the cut, and choose products that will give you options to change your look." This airy style, as seen on actress Rowan Blanchard, comes courtesy of a few flat-iron bends and good golden-hour lighting.
"This fall is all about the rounded bob, with the length below the chin, hitting around the collarbone," says Darby Backes, stylist at Brooklyn's Whiteroom Salon. "The shape is instantly stylish while still being wearable. If you have curly texture, there should be a fair amount of weight removal, so the ends look lived-in and to frame the face, then maybe some long layers to avoid a shape that's too angular."
The Shaggy Bob
Ask for: a shoulder-length bob with a fringe bang and soft, face-framing layers
The shag haircut has had numerous moments through the past few decades, and this is a play on that ever-evolving look. This style is all about working with your natural texture, Salcedo tells us. "A soft fringe with a little framing around the face gives this cool, shaggy look with curls," he says. "The layers are distributed throughout the top, which creates an illusion of a choppy, layered style that's balanced by the longer length of the cut."
With natural curls, a softly-rounded shape frames the face beautifully, while the recommended longer layers create that cool, shaggy, undone texture.
Imperfect, wonderfully messy curtain bangs add a flirty feeling and dimension to the stylish shag cut, as seen on model Alanna Arrington.
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