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Ariel Love - Fashion Journalist and Collaborator at Bahia Kids Magazine

What is a bob haircut? From the undone bob to the “lob,” there are so many takes on the bob cut it's hard to keep up. So what exactly is a bob if there are so many lengths and styles? Generally speaking, a bob is a short haircut style cut at the neckline typically going along the jawline, says hairstylist Laurabeth Cabott. In more recent years however, the “bob” haircut has evolved, and many stylists consider the shoulder-length “lob,” or a long bob, to fall within the bob category as well. There is no one "best" length for a bob, since it primarily depends on your own personal taste. "Bobs vary in length and can be longer depending on the desired look,” Cabbott clarifies. “Depending on if you want a more chic style or something that you’re able to play around with and style differently from day to day, can help you determine what length to cut your bob.”

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Which bob haircut is best for my face shape? If you're worried whether a bob haircut will suit your face shape, you're in luck: Bob haircuts are considered to be one of the most universally flattering styles. “A classic bob haircut, where the length falls between the chin and shoulders, can look great on any face shape," says Jennifer Korab, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in Hillsborough, New Jersey. "A bob can be customized with different lengths and textures to suit your individual style.” For example, if you have a round face shape Cabbott says that having a bob can help elongate your features. If you have an oval face, however, Dan Williams, expert hairstylist and colorist, recommends a chin-length, blunt bob with waves. “You're really going to want to accentuate the texture and pull the hair out a bit to complement someone's elongated jaw,” he says.

For heart-shaped faces, which is defined as a broad forehead and cheekbones with a narrow jawline and chin, you might want to consider a jaw-length bob that flips outward. “What works best is a bob or lob-length cut that opens up the area around your narrow jawline,” says Michelle Cleveland, master color expert and owner of Hair Addict Salon. ”Avoid short haircuts that close in the chin, such as a graduated bob.”

If you have a square or rectangle face, however, celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis recommends a shoulder-length French bob or lob with blunt bangs. “People who have squarer faces tend to be recommended shorter cuts since longer ones can accentuate the length rather than complement it,” he says.

How to maintain a bob haircut Finally, there's bob haircut maintenance: Is it really as much upkeep as it seems like? Depending on your long-term hair plans, like if you're planning to grow your hair out, you might not need to do any more than regular trims. But if you want to keep your hair at a consistent length, Cabbott recommends seeing your stylist every five to seven weeks to maintain the cut's shape and desired length. Feeling inspired? See 50 bob haircut ideas ahead, and get ready to screenshot and show your stylist.

1 Preppy Bob “The ultimate hairstyle is the ’90s-inspired preppy bob,” says celebrity hairstylist Kieron Justin, who points to Hailey Bieber’s chop as a prime example of the look. “Not only is it one of the most on-trend haircuts at the moment, but it is also versatile and wearable.” It’s also especially low-maintenance and versatile, he adds. “This staple look can go from natural to chic in seconds and is suitable for most hair textures.”

2 French Bob The French bob was one of the most searched haircuts of the past year, and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. “A French bob is typically shorter than your typical chin-length bob we’ve been seeing a lot of lately,” says celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown. “It has a bit of a ‘wedge’ look to it, and is so chic and stylish.” When getting the cut, be particular about where you want the length to hit (chin? jawline? cheeks?) and explain to your stylist how you plan on styling it every day. And as always, bring plenty of photos that exemplify your hair type and texture so you’re not disappointed.

3 French Lob If the French bob is a little too short or dramatic for your taste, you can test the waters with a French lob. Ellis especially loves this medium-length haircut for people with square and rectangle face shapes. “I recommend shoulder-length or shorter,” he says. “A nice lob is great or even a shorter French bob.”

4 Flipped Bob Ideal for heart-shaped faces and anyone looking to open up the area around their jawline, the shoulder-length flipped-out bob is supercute, retro, and flattering.

5 Undone Bob Essentially a more lived-in and textured on the French bob, the undone bob is chic, edgy, and shockingly low-maintenance. It's no wonder so many celebrities are obsessed: Hailey Bieber, Aubrey Plaza, Kourtney Kardashian Barker, Sabrina Elba, and more have all rocked undone bobs over the past few months.

Ariel Love

Fashion Journalist

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