Thinking of joining the Lob Mob? There are many reasons people are lovin’ the lob, or long bob, these days. This tour-de-force hairstyle beloved by celebrities and mere mortals alike is universally flattering, low maintenance and incredibly versatile. Not only that, but it also adds an effortless, slightly rebellious edge to your look without going too drastic. If you’ve been contemplating becoming a lob mobster lately, there are a few things you should know before committing to the chop.
The long bob, or “lob,” is a slightly longer version of the classic bob haircut. The length of this hairstyle sits just above the shoulders, unlike the traditional bob that stops at the jawline. Bobs also tend to be blunt, whereas long bobs are more likely to have layers chopped in. The outline of the long bob should fall somewhere between the collarbone and the chin. At the back, the hair should graze the nape of the neck in an A-line or square shape.
While long bobs might be one of the hottest hairstyles right now, they’re nothing new. Variations of the lob have been worn throughout the 20th and now the 21st century. Jean Harlow and Elizabeth Taylor sported them in the 1930s, which gave the hairstyle a glamorous aura. When Blondie’s Debra Harry rocked the chop in the 1970s and 80s, she added a hardcore punk edge to the classic shortish-longish hairstyle. Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, otherwise known as Posh Spice, introduced us to the “Pob” in the mid-90s. She paired this luxe take on the long bob with designer clothes and oversized sunnies. Now, over a decade later, we see choppy undone versions of lobs all over Insta and the red carpet.
A major reason long bobs are so popular is because they are versatile enough to look good on just about anyone.
Fine hair plus long bob equals volume. The shorter you cut your lob, the more body your hair will have. Blunt ends also add to the illusion of fullness. When you’re heat styling your hair, pull the tong upwards and horizontally as you slide down the lengths of your top layers for added oomph. For thicker hair types, long bobs are all about texture. Using razors and thinning shears to chop in angles gives the thick-haired lob an effortless, lived-in look.
Even if you plan to part your hair to the side, it’s best to request a center part when you get a long bob haircut. This measure ensures that your lob is perfectly symmetrical. It also allows for a lot more versatility in styling, giving you the freedom to part your hair in either direction or straight down the middle. The only exception to this rule is if you have a cowlick that determines which way your part falls.
If you’re like most people, you love the way your hair looks fresh out of the salon—right up until that first shower, that is. Unless you have a knack for hairstyling, a shorter length is easier to manage on a day-to-day basis. It also takes a lot less time to wash, dry, and style. On the other hand, maintaining that “sweet spot” long bob length—not too short, not too long—might also mean more frequent trims at the salon, especially if you’re rocking a blunt cut.
What do you get when you cross wavy hair with a long bob? The “wob.” While long beachy waves are beautiful, a wavy lob will give you the best of both worlds: texture without the maintenance. The best way to wear a "wob" is to make it look as effortless and undone as possible. If your hair is naturally curly or wavy, keep your layers a little longer—at least jaw length—so you have a bit more control.
If your long tresses could do with a fresh start, there’s no better blank slate than a long bob. Years of bleaching, coloring and heat styling mean that frizz and frayed split ends are inevitable. Hair potions might mask the damage, but it’s still there. A trim is good, but chopping off a good few inches is even better.
To chop or not to chop? That is the question. If you’re sick of having long hair but are scared to go all out with a short cut, why not sit somewhere in between the two? The long bob is the perfect solution for those looking to shake things up without straying too far from their comfort zone. Long bobs are short enough that your hair won’t get in the way when you wear it down, but you’ll still have plenty of length to pull it back in a ponytail if you feel like it. If you do end up missing your longer locks, never fear. Your lengths will grow back in no time.
If you’re on the petite side, having long hair can make you look even shorter than you actually are. A lob is more on par with the proportions of a shorter stature. Having your hair length closer to your head draws the eyes up to your pretty face rather than your petite frame. It also opens up your neckline and chest area for an overall lighter—and therefore taller—appearance.