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Feature - Defining The Bob Shape

Text by Jules Chan // Published Thursday 06 December 2012

Whenever I think about Bob shapes I automatically think of Vidal Sassoon. Sassoon, to me will always be the Master of Bobs.

When clients come into the salon to ask for a Bob, but are not sure on what type, I first introduce them to the 4 main different types of Bobs. Thereafter, the rest is a variation and combination of layers, fringes, lengths and technicality. Technicality plays a large role when choosing Bob styles because as you know, Bobs can be done either with very clean and precise lines, or nowadays, we find the Bob shapes to be looser and more razored looking, staying away from the dreaded soccer mum look! Finding out exactly what type of Bob the client has in mind is very important and coaching them during the consultation will result in a much happier client.

The images demonstrate the classic Sassoon Bob shapes along with my choice of an updated version of the shape, and again showing you the Hollywood celebrity version alongside the Sassoon shapes. You can see how each shape has evolved and progressed over time. We've delved into the MHD archive to find our versions of these cuts, so you can achieve them in your salon.

One Length Bobs - Kate Bosworth and Model with purple hair

Great for clients who would like a simple cut with no layers to it. Works well on straight smooth hair but if your client has very thick wavy hair this might not be such a great look, as it would add width to the face. If there were texture in the hair, it would either need to be blow dried to get a sharper look, or if the hair is not too thick, you can leave it to dry for a messier look. Length can vary from hairline length to the top of the shoulders, and the other varying factor is whether the bottom part is cut blunt with the scissors or razored through.

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Bobs with Layers - Scarlett Johansson and B/W Asymmetric layered bob

This style can be suggested to clients if they like the look of a Bob shape, but their hair is too thick for the classic one length, Layers can be added to the hair and can vary from short to longer fuller layers. Length too can vary from hairline to top of shoulders. This works well on straight, wavy or curly hair.

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Bob with Graduation - Katie Holmes and Blonde model

A great shape that can be adapted for most hair textures, works particularly well for fine hair as the graduation can help build up the shape of the hair, creating more fullness throughout. As we all know, the term ‘graduation’ means to build up weight from short to long. With an expert cut, the hair falls into place and adds body to the hair even without blow-drying.

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Graduated Bobs - Rhianna and B/W sharp fringe model

This shape is great for clients who want more definition with the shape, think Louise Brooks and Mary Quant.  The angle of the haircut can be varied to suit the individual, depending on how defined they want the back shape to be. With this shape the side lengths can be taken shorter as the back is shaped into the neckline from the occipital bone down to the hairline. Clients need to know that if they don’t have a nice soft hairline, the back could jump up, especially with Asian hair, and should be prepared to go shorter.

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Learn More >> 

I would like finish with a huge ‘shout-out’ to Vidal Sassoon and thank him for giving us the techniques to create perfect Bob shapes!

Find out more about Jules >>

Visit Jules' website >>

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