Bob hairstyle inspiration: stars from Ariana Grande to Kate Middleton rock our favourite short haircut

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Kayleigh Dray

From Ariana Grande to Kate Middleton, we’ve decided to take a look back at the A-listers who went for the chop and made the iconic bob haircut their own.  

Originally a symbol of liberation, modernity and boldness, the bob captured the imagination of the world when it was first created by Polish-born hairdresser Antoine de Paris in France in 1909.

Since then, it’s remained a firm favourite with women everywhere (the list includes the likes of Debbie Harry, Diana Ross, Twiggy, Whitney Houston, Courtney Love and Victoria Beckham, to name just a few), although there’s no denying that we’ve seen the bob go through a number of reinventions over the years. 

Think the shaggy bob, made famous by Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, and the ‘Pob’ (otherwise known as the inverted bob). A messy, textured and heavily-layered version of the bob was favoured by punk rockers in the Seventies, while women in the Eighties opted for permed crops. And let’s not forget the shoulder-grazing choppy ‘lob’ (or long bob), which has been seen all over this year’s red carpets. 

Essentially, the ever-versatile bob is an incredibly chic and accessible look, which really can be tailored to suit any face shape or style.

Don’t believe us? Get ready for some serious short hair inspiration…

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has said “thank u, next” to her iconic ponytail. The singer may have been sporting her look for years, but she’s decided to take the plunge and go for the chop at the hairdressers, swapping her long tresses for a sleek midi-bob hairstyle. 

Taking to Instagram to show off her new haircut (and a bunny-themed filter), Grande shared a snap of herself sitting in a car and tilting her head forward.

“This filter took my eyebrows away but I promise they’re there,” she joked. 

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen has given her hair a shake-up for September, swapping her mermaid-length locks for a short, textured bob. And yes, she may have debuted her shorter ‘do on the red carpet at the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmys, but we got our first proper look at her own unique take on the bob style at the launch of her kitchen collaboration with Target (13 Sep). Anyone else suspect that this is going to be  the ‘new short’ style of the season?

Lana Condor

Condor is the star of the Netflix smash hit To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, possibly the most perfect rom-com of the last few years. In that film, her hair – long, thick, raven-black and impossibly shiny – was so striking that it almost felt like a character in itself.

Now, though, Condor has lopped off her hair into a laid-back textured bob that frames her face perfectly. On Instagram, the actor revealed that the unexpected haircut is for her role in upcoming Eighties action-thriller TV series Deadly Class

Sophie Turner 

Sophie Turner has spent the last few years dyeing her hair red for her role as Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

So, while she has been sporting long blonde locks recently, the actress decided to celebrate the show’s big finale with a stylish new haircut.

Her new stylish shoulder length-hair bob is providing fans with serious lob inspiration, and she has dyed it a very Mother of Dragons-esque icy blonde.

Turner shared a snap of her new style on Instagram, and captioned it: “New beginnings, new #WellaHair!

“Thank you @sonyadove and @cwoodhair for transforming my look with @wellahairusa. #AskForWella #ad.”

Cara Delevingne

If there’s one celebrity who enjoys a hair transformation, it’s Cara Delevingne. Over the years, the 25-year-old model has rocked an array of styles, from long brunette waves to a platinum-hued buzzcut.

Now, Cara has unveiled a new look for a campaign with Puma. Her hairstylist Mara Roszak posted a snap of the model sporting a golden blonde bob with blunt ends and wet-look waves. Alongside the picture, she wrote, “New work and NEW HAIR with this beauty #CaraDelevingne for @puma.”

While this look is one of our favourites from Cara, it’s highly likely that her bob isn’t real. She was seen at the Met Gala 2018 last month with a pixie she’s currently growing out.

Mara also shared a compilation of images showing hairstyles she’s done on Cara in the past. She added, “Here are some of my fav hair and very different looks I’ve done with Cara over the years! Soooo fun.”

Emma Roberts

The Scream Queens star has always been a fan of short hair, but she’s just unveiled her shortest look yet. 

Taking to Instagram, hairstylist Chris McMillan shared a series of photos of Roberts’ new look, coining her blunt hairstyle the “hairline bob.”

Sharing his tips on how to recreate the style at home, McMillan revealed that he had “combed Emma’s hair into shape with Sebastian mousse and put [her] under a dryer” for 15 minutes.

Then, all that’s left to do is “run your hands through” the locks (which is ever so “easy on the hair, and FAST!!!!”) and voila, you’ve got the ‘new short’ style of the season.

Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke has joined the bob brigade and chopped her long ‘do into a blunt, middle-parted style.

While originally relying on a hairpiece to create the icy aesthetic for her role as Khaleesi in Game of Thrones, last September Clarke took the plunge and gave her hair the authentic peroxide treatment. Unsurprisingly, the bleach caused some serious damage, and now she’s had to rescue it with a cut.

“This new bob is the chicest way to style out some burnt out mother of dragons split ends…#everypunintended #whenyourendslooklikeawildlingsitstimetochop,” Clarke wrote on Instagram.

Created by celebrity stylist Jenny Cho, the elegant but low-maintenance bob is ideal for the incoming summer weather. 

Mila Kunis 

Mila Kunis has never been afraid to experiment with her hair in the past: in the past, she’s switched up her brunette tresses with waves, straighteners, highlights and, of course, a pair of scissors.

Now, though, she’s debuted a new take on the classic bob, opting for a chic angled look that is much shorter than any style she has had in the past.

In a similar fashion to Victoria Beckham’s classic “Pob”, the cut is longer in the front (just slightly clearing her shoulders) and shorter in the back, framing her face and giving her tresses more movement and texture than a classic bob might. 

The result? A fresh new look, ideal for summery climes. We have a feeling that Kunis’ new style may inspire more than one person to book an appointment with their hairdresser this weekend…

Leighton Meester

Best known for her stand-out turn in Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester’s chestnut tresses are almost as iconic as the ever-stylish Serena’s wardrobe. Now, though, she has switched up her look in a big way with a bold cut and colour.

“Having a blonde moment,” she captioned a shot of her new blonde hairstyle on Instagram.

In an interview with People Style shortly after undergoing the seven-hour dye job, Meester said she was thrilled about the drastic change.

“I don’t even feel comfortable saying that I just went blonde. It is a totally different colour of hair! But I love it” she shared.

“I’ve had long, natural hair for a long time. The length it got to felt like the exact opposite of what I wanted to go for. I really felt like something that was a stark difference would be invigorating and fun.

“I like to try different things and experiment. So when I wanted to change my hair, I just thought, ‘I should just completely go for it!’”

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel has, for as long as we can remember, kept her hair long. But the New Girl star took to Instagram earlier this week to debut a drastic new look: a blunt lob that hits right above her shoulders.

Naturally, though, she kept things familiar with her signature fringe in place.

“Meant to post this weeks ago: thanks @mararoszak for my big time hair cut!” the actress captioned her selfie. 

Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad has always been famed for her long blonde tresses, but the former The Hills star unveiled a short and choppy new bob for winter 2017.

Her hairdresser, Kristin Ess, shared a photo of Conrad’s new ‘do on Instagram, writing: “Last week we travelled three years back in time and returned to the chop that kicked off my bob and lob obsession on my original queen. #ClearTheShoulders.”

It’s certainly a chic twist on the lob: think lots of choppy layers, beachy waves and shimmering golden highlights.

And, when asked what had inspired her to go for the chop, Conrad explained to People that her reasons were entirely practical.

“Yeah, I just cut it off,” she said. “Honestly, it’s more of a time saver. I have to blow dry my hair while my son is napping and it doesn’t always last that long so less hair is less time.

“I don’t have time for a lot of hair.”

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively is famed for her long beachy waves, so fans were stunned when she stepped out at the Open Road Films special screening of All I See Is You in Los Angeles with a long bob. Just brushing her shoulders, the style featured a deep side parting and screamed old Hollywood glamour. However, there’s a chance it could be a clever faux lob, created with curling tongs and wizardry – especially as she was seen the previous day with her usual long locks.

  • Emily Ratajkowski

    Ratajkowski had a striking new haircut when she attended the 2017 Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball, the annual gala thrown in aid of Rihanna’s charity. The model and actress has previously worn her dark hair long, wavy and California-girl casual, but this is a chop for a woman in the city: sharp, sleek and very chic.

    Celebrity hair colourist Aura (the woman responsible for Zoe Kravitz’s bleached crop and Elizabeth Olsen’s pink hair) also gave Ratajkowski’s dark bob a shimmering wash of autumn-appropriate hazel brown.

  • Jenna Dewan Tatum

    Dewan Tatum has had long to mid-length hair for a while, but she recently went short. The Step Up actress shared a post-chop photo on Instagram Stories, showing her dark locks cut into a wavy bob with golden ombré highlights.

    It’s a look that hits the ideal sweet spot between blunt and relaxed – and if you’ve already screenshotted this picture to show your hairdresser, we can guarantee you’re not alone.

  • Caroline Flack

    Caroline Flack’s sun-kissed waves were the envy of many a Love Island viewer, but the TV presenter decided to switch up her look in time for autumn 2017. Chopping her locks into a chic chin-length bob, she also coloured them a deep, rich chestnut brown colour, too. 

  • Sarah Jessica Parker

    Sarah Jessica Parker has always been bold when it comes to her fashion choices, but, when it comes to her hair, she tends to stick with a tried-and-tested formula (think long, wavy, and sun-kissed tresses). So, understandably, we were pretty surprised when the Sex and the City star hit the streets of New York with a chic ash-blonde bob this week. It’s unclear as to whether or not SJP’s makeover is for her new romantic drama Best Day of My Life, or just a brand-new look for the summer. Either way, we have a feeling that her new mini-mane may inspire a few of her fans to go for the chop too…

  • Kate Middleton

    Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has always stuck to her guns and kept her head full of long, dark, curls over the years. However, when she stepped out at Wimbledon 2017, royal fans were stunned to see she’d chopped her hair into a long, sleek, and elegant bob, which just sits on her shoulders. Of course, it goes without saying that she made sure to inject some volume and bounce into her new mini-mane with her traditional Chelsea blowout.

  • Selena Gomez

    This isn’t the first time that Selena Gomez has worn her dark hair short, but it is her most dramatic – and edgiest – cut to date.

    The singer, mental health awareness advocate and 13 Reasons Why producer posted a photo of her choppy, Nineties-inspired bob on Instagram, where she has more followers than any other account. 

    The caption was left intentionally blank, allowing the photos to speak for themselves.

  • Olivia Wilde

    Olivia Wilde’s long brunette tresses have always inspired hair envy among her fans. But, in February 2017, the actor decided that it was time for a change – a big one.

    Cue an edgy platinum bob, with a unique ombré twist.

    The Vinyl actress shared a photo of her new ‘do on Instagram, and captioned her look: “Oh what's up, BLONDE LIFE?”

  • Katie Piper

    The campaigner and businesswoman has never been shy about trying out different hair colours, but Katie Piper rarely veers away from her trademark long locks.

    However, in the winter of 2016, she decided it was well and truly time for a change. And, speaking at the Military Awards in London, Piper admitted that her new bob had been a spur of the moment decision.

    “[I cut it off] yesterday, in my kitchen - with no mirror in front of me,” she said.

    Adding that she was a huge fan of the sleek asymmetric style, which sits neatly at her jaw-line, Piper finished by saying: “My friend did it for me - it’s kind of like, really short.”

  • Kendall Jenner

    Kendall Jenner's long sleek locks have long been her trademark, but this summer the model decided it was time for a change.

    Chopping her hair into a shoulder-skimming bob, Kendall has been rocking tousled waves, messy beach hair (her proximity to Malibu helps with this no end) and topknots, proving that a dramatic cut doesn't have to mean less versatility.

  • Cara Delevingne

    Cara Delevingne’s beauty look has always revolved around those iconic eyebrows and her flowing golden tresses, but the model-turned-actress decided to bid ‘so long’ to her long locks this week.

    And, after teasing the big chop on Instagram, it wasn’t long before the Suicide Squad star was stepping out at San Diego’s Comic Con 2016 to show it off in person.

    Her choppy shoulder-length bob was left tousled and relaxed, styled simply with a sweeping side parting – and it definitely seems as if the supermodel is a big fan of her new look.

    “Thank you for the [chop],” she told her hairdressing team on Instagram.

  • Vanessa Hudgens

    Vanessa Hudgens, of High School Musical fame, is best known for rocking long flowing mermaid locks. But, earlier this summer, the actress removed her waist-length extensions in favour of a shoulder-skimming bob.

    While many may think of the bob haircut as a sleek and precise haircut, Vanessa has added her own fresh boho twist to the style, keeping her natural tousled waves centre stage. We love it.

  • Mila Kunis

    Mila Kunis rocked a dramatic new look at the NYC premiere of her new movie Bad Moms, showcasing a flirty, wavy bob to the masses.

    However, while there’s no denying that the short style suited the actress, Mila later revealed that her style transformation wasn’t quite all it seemed…

    That’s right; it was a faux bob!

    Explaining that she opted for the pinned-up style to help combat the heat, she told Entertainment Tonight: “It is called New York humidity.

    “This is what you do when it is humid in New York, suck it in.”

  • Emma Roberts

    Emma Roberts opted for a dramatic change in June when she stepped out on the red carpet with a chic blonde bob. It’s a very different look from her former flowing copper tresses, but there’s no denying that she looks incredible.

  • Kylie Jenner

    Kylie Jenner left fans startled when she unveiled her new mini-mane on Instagram, seemingly confirming that she had cut off several inches of her long locks.

     But, alas, the chic bob turned out to be nothing more than a wig – leaving many of the reality star’s fans dismayed.

    Nevertheless, it’s still sparked a clamour for bobbed hair on social media – and we can’t help but wonder if Kylie will go for the chop for real next time.

    Watch this space…

  • Eva Longoria

    Shortly after her wedding in June, Eva Longoria - better known to Desperate Housewives fans as Gabrielle Solis - showcased a sleek shoulder-length bob. The honey-blonde highlights lift her look, adding texture, depth and some serious gloss, making her 'lob' feel perfectly on-trend for summer.

  • Hilary Duff

    Blonde, brunette, ombre, blue, pink, grey - there isn't a hair trend Hilary Duff hasn't got behind. Last Christmas, presumably as a special present to herself, the actress headed to the hairdressers to chop off a good few inches.

    "Soooo it's pretty short. Thank you @cynthiavanis chopping," she wrote on Instagram

  • Serena Williams

    The tennis superstar has sported long hair for as long as we can remember. From sleek and straight hair at red carpet appearances to a scraped back afro on the court, we were so used to her hairstyle that we nearly did a double take when we saw her working a bob last year. The tousled look was chic, choppy and totally badass.

  • Adele

    For years Adele has rocked a big, bouncy blow-dry. Much like her almond-shaped nails and dramatic feline flick, it was a part of her beauty uniform. But not any more. On X-Factor 2015 she debuted a chic, straightened, long bob - and she hasn't looked back since. 

  • Emma Watson

    Emma Watson is no stranger to short hair, opting for a dramatic new hairdo was at the end of the Harry Potter film franchise with a pixie crop. And, last year, she did away with her long brunette tresses again, swapping them up for a wavy bob instead. 

    The star's publicist took to Twitter to reveal her new look at the time, saying: "Amazing woman. Amazing new hair."

  • Emilia Clarke

    After revealing her new cropped hair on Instagram, the Game Of Thrones star hit the red carpet in Berlin to show off her locks in person. It was very different from the Mother of Dragons' flowing blonde tresses, but her timeless style went down a storm with fans all over the world.

  • Mindy Kaling

    Mindy Kaling said goodbye to her long locks in favour of a shorter crop back in 2015. 

    Alongside an Instagram post of her new look by celebrity hair stylist Christopher Naselli, the actress and comedian wrote: "Short hair don't care. Just a girl in her housedress drinking mini bar vodka, getting ready to go to her book publisher's party. Thanks @cnaselli for the dreamy cut."

    Image: Instagram

  • Dakota Johnson

    The Fifty Shades of Grey actress waved goodbye to her long locks and welcomed a shoulder skimming new crop in 2015, but decided that she wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to her signature blunt fringe.

  • Kim Kardashian

    We couldn't believe our eyes when Kim chopped her long black locks off last year - and, since then, she's been sported everything from waist-length hair to peroxide blonde curls. But we have to say we have a soft spot for her shorter, more grown-up, bob hairstyle of old. 

  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

    The model showed off a shorter do back in 2015, with celebrity hairdresser George Northwood doing the honours and getting rid of her trademark blonde tresses in favour of a sleeker style.

  • Jourdan Dunn

    The British model cut off about a foot of hair for the chic new do, which she revealed at the 2014 VMAs. She softened it with ombre dye.

  • Beyoncé

    The a-lister shared a series of snaps on Instagram of her new cheek-skimming waves, a look she first wore at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

  • Rita Ora

    Though the singer's hair length changes by week, we loved it when she ditched her extensions for a blunt and angled bob back in 2014.

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Following her drastic pixie cut in 2013, the Hunger Games actress grew her beachy blonde hair into a loose and wavy bob.

  • Lena Dunham

    "Change is good," wrote the Girls star on Instagram after she reshaped her short hair and dyed it platinum bold.

  • Emma Stone

    From ombre layers to chic red crop: Emma Stone kick-started the shorter hair trend at the Venice Film Festival 2014.

  • Zosia Mamet

    In 2014, the Girls actress appeared at the Golden Globes with a freshly cropped hairdo.

  • Kristen Wiig

    Back in 2014, the comedian and Ghostbusters actress transformed her hair from long brunette, to a sharp brown bob, to a softer blonde crop. And, yes, she suited every single style.

  • Jennifer Aniston

    The Friends star chopped her shoulder-length hair in winter 2013 after Brazilian-style blow dry treatment damaged her hair, and, in 2014, she displayed her long bob at a premiere in Los Angeles.

  • Kate Mara

    As 2013 drew to a close, the former House of Cards actress trimmed her hair shorter and shorter, eventually rocking a chic bob that skimmed her jawline.

  • Lily Collins

    Lily Collins is never afraid to experiment with her thick strands, working almost every style perfectly. But we have a soft spot for this retro Lily look, which saw her trim her locks to just above her shoulders.

  • Clémence Poésy

    In the Harry Potter film adaptations, Poésy's fluid long locks were a crucial part to the role of silver-blonde character Flour Delacour. The French actress debuted her shorter length at Paris Fashion Week in March 2014.

  • Michelle Williams

    Michelle Williams looked beautiful with a pixie crop, but, when she grew her mini-mane out into a bob for May 2014, we were blown away. She looked phenomenal, didn't she?

  • Hayden Panettiere

    Having gone for a drastic pixie cut in 2010 and grown it out again, Panettiere opted for the long bob in January 2014.

  • Karlie Kloss

    The model has become an ambassador for the new crop, even convincing Taylor Swift to take the chop in February 2013. "I met Taylor Swift last night," said Kloss in an interview with The Cut at the time, “and she said, ‘Ohhh, I want to cut my hair. Karlie, if you see me in a few months with that haircut, know it's because of you.’”

  • Cate Blanchett

    The Hollywood icon rarely leaves her hair lose - opting for up-dos while out and about and on the red carpet - but she channelled a wavy new crop at Cannes Film Festival 2014.

  • Reese Witherspoon

    The actress has rocked a shorter length for years and is living proof that a long crop can look both modern and classic.

  • Michelle Dockery

    The Downton Abbey star, much like a modern day Lady Mary, was one of the first stars to take the chop and keep it. The bobbed style framed her face perfectly.

  • Fearne Cotton

    The radio presenter prefers a short cut, and, whenever it grows out, she even keeps things looking chic with a faux bob. A true bob devotee.

Images: Rex Features, Instagram


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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