Beauty Clinic: How to put a bad bob right
Q. I had my long hair cut a few months back into a short bob all round but with longer bits below. I am growing it out but I'm left with this hard line from the bob and I don't know what to ask the hairdresser to do about it. Please help!
A. This is a real bugbear for Jonathan Soons, Creative Ambassador at Headmasters (headmasters.com) who we caught up with in London recently. ‘Growing out this kind of style can be tricky as essentially it’s two cuts in one,’ he explains. ‘It sounds like this reader has a growing out bob with a longer undercut flicking out on the shoulder. The best option would probably be to remove the flick and turn the haircut into a modern undone bob’ [as in the picture above].
These days, bobs don't have to look sharp and hard – like Coco Chanel’s famous bob. ‘The most flattering bob is a squared-off cut that finishes above the jawline or just off the collar. Getting the right angle that highlights your features is key,’ says Jonathan.
‘A bob will suit most people but on round face shapes it can be tricky. It’s the length of the neck that is most important,’ according to Jonathan. ‘The bob needs to swing so people with shorter necks and low hairlines should opt for a midi length instead.’ (We wrote about this in our first Beauty Bible, now online, explaining the best length for different face shapes and lots of other tips; it’s all here.
Jonathan adds that ‘Modern bobs are about encouraging a lived-in texture with choppy or blunt ends. Think Dua Lipa’s mussed up, undone look (see it here) – or Lily James’s new un-princessy blunt chop’ (see it here).
Depending on your hair type, you should aim for low maintenance. ‘Leave hair to dry naturally then wrap a few pieces around a tong for easy day-time styling. The key is not to over-do it,’ says Jonathan.
If you’ve ended up with a heavy layer that looks like a bad ‘Rachel’ cut (gosh! remember that?) then ‘invisible layers’ are the only option, weaving in texture to reduce the weight of the layer, according to Jonathan. ‘Invisible layers are the updated way of giving hair the movement and lift it needs without the stepped effect that traditional layers give. Invisible layers are more subtle, longer and work with the natural texture of hair so it feels more lived-in and less blocky. They’re perfect for all hair lengths from a bob to midi to long.’
For Jonathan, ‘invisible layering is the ultimate universal cutting technique as it suits everyone, helps the cut last longer and gives lots of styling options.’ (For pictures see here).
Once you’ve got over this hiccup and found the cut that suits your face shape and lifestyle, you might want to try out the Headmasters Healthy Hair Micro Trim (from £49; read about it here). This is a maintenance cut that removes minimal length and ends but takes off any split ends. ‘It’s ideal if you want to keep the length you have or grow it longer while keeping your hair really healthy,’ says Jonathan Soons. (Lots more about this technique here