The 11 Types of Bob Haircuts and How to Style Them

The 11 Types of Bob Haircuts and How to Style Them

Zendaya, Selena Gomez, and Lizzo with bob hairstyles

Zendaya/ Lizzo/ Selena Gomez

Many of us have had a moment where we wanted to become a “bob person.” And for good reason: Bobs are incredibly chic, making them the perfect haircut for those who want to exude confidence. However, in 2023, it’s not as simple as asking a stylist for a basic bob. You have options, from Italian bobs, to braided bobs, to flippy bobs.

Since there's really no one-size-fits-all bob, we asked professional hairstylists Clariss Rubenstein and Adam Reed to explain the different options, including how they're cut and maintained. Read on for everything you need to know before taking your strands above the collarbone.

Meet the Expert

  • Clariss Rubenstein is a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Jennifer Garner and Alison Brie.
  • Adam Reed is a professional hairstylist and founder of Arkive Headcare.

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The Asymmetrical Bob

The Asymmetrical Bob

An asymmetrical bob features a rounded shape, with one side shorter than the other. It is cut in a downward crescent shape around the head, creating a unique and edgy look. Normally “the shorter side sits heavier on the outline, but by using a texture shear or a razor, you can enhance the asymmetry and add softness to the edges,” says Reed. 

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The Italian Bob

Simona Tabasco with an Italian bob


In the enchanting world of bobs, one style exudes pure Italian charm—the Italian bob. This cut rests just below the chin and above the shoulders, with a heavy-weight line that adds a touch of volume and allure. “It hugs the face a bit and doesn’t have longer front corners like some other bob styles,” says Rubenstein.

The best part? The Italian bob is wonderfully low maintenance compared to its shorter counterparts that require frequent trims. Rubenstein suggests spraying damp hair with the Monat Studio One Volume and Lift Spray ($43), blow-drying, and using a large-barrel curling iron to create flouncy curls. Now that’s amore.

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The French Bob

Zendaya with a French bob in a wavy texture


Speaking of international bobs: Perhaps the French bob is better aligned with your taste. “A French bob hugs the nape of the neck, is usually shorter than chin length, and can be worn with or without fringe,” explains Rubenstein. Regular trims are recommended to maintain the distinctive length of a French bob. When styling this look with your hair’s natural texture, she highly recommends using an air dry cream to give you that je ne sais quoi.

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The Curly Bob

The Curly Bob

Curly bobs are, simply put, bobs for those with curly hair. You can stick to your natural curl pattern or style according to your desired Instagram screenshot.  For the chic, wet-hair look like Lizzo is wearing here, add plenty of mousse and gel.

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The Lob

The Lob

The lob, also known as the long bob, can be achieved through a blunt shear or a shattered edge, says Reed. Generally, the lob falls just off the shoulder or slightly above it. One of the advantages of the lob is that it’s relatively easy to maintain compared to other styles, and it offers versatility as “you can wear it straight, curly, or even air-dried,” he says. Looking for inspiration? Most of our favorite celebrities have sported a lob at one point or another.

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The Blunt Bob

The Blunt Bob

We always love a blunt bob moment. “Blunt bobs are cut with a blunt shear and tend to fall around the middle of the neck or hairline,” explains Reed. When cutting a blunt bob, the hairline is often used as a guideline. 

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The Braided Bob

The Braided Bob

No surprise here—a braided bob is a bob styled in small braids. To achieve this look, Rubenstein recommends visiting a stylist who specializes in braiding techniques. Once the braids are in, minimal styling is required. The longevity of the style will depend on “how quickly your hair grows.”

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The Flippy Bob

The Flippy Bob

As the name suggests, a flippy bob—a style we’ve dubbed the “malt shop bob” as a nod to its ’50s inspiration—is a bob with layers that have been styled to kick outwards. “The length of this bob can vary,” says Rubenstein, offering flexibility in achieving your desired look. She suggests starting with rough dried hair, then using a medium round brush to style the ends outward, creating those playful flips. To hold the style in place, finish with a light, flexible hairspray like R+Co Bleu’s Featherlight Hairspray ($56).

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The Layered Bob

kerry washington with layered bob and nude makeup


Yet another self-explanatory cut, a layered bob is “simply a bob with layers in it,” says Reed. To achieve a layered bob, a stylist (or an individual at home who feels comfortable with the shears) would create the foundational bob shape and then incorporate layers to reduce weight and add texture to the ends. Adding layers to a bob is particularly beneficial for those with fine hair, as it helps create “a softer finish and adds volume to the overall look,” he says.

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The A-line Bob

The A-Line Bob

The A-Line bob is a graduated cut, so it’s shorter in the back (business) and longer in the front (party). To achieve this style, the back of the hairline is “cut and graduated from there, while leaving the front slightly longer and heavier,” says Reed. This technique adds weight and volume, making it ideal for those with fine hair.

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The Flapper Bob

The Flapper Bob

It looks like bobs are in their Jay Gatsby era. The flapper bob, reminiscent of the glamorous 1920s, is a sleek bob that gracefully falls just below the ear, often accompanied by a short fringe. However, before fully embracing this hairstyle, it's important to note that "this look should be cut frequently to maintain its structured style and short length," explains Rubenstein. This means it may not be the best choice for those seeking a low-maintenance look. 

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