Originally a symbol of liberation, modernity and boldness, the bob cut captured the imagination of the world when it was first created by Polish-born hairdresser Antoine de Paris in France in 1909.
Since then the bob haircut has 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 cut go through a number of reinventions over the years.
Think the shaggy bob hairstyle, made famous by Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, and the ‘Pob’ (otherwise known as the inverted bob haircut). A messy, textured and heavily-layered version of the bob cut was favoured by punk rockers in the 70s, while women in the 80s opted for permed crops. And let’s not forget the shoulder-grazing choppy ‘lob’ (or long bob haircut), which has been seen all over this year’s red carpets.
Should you opt for a bob haircut?
Essentially, the ever-versatile bob hairstyle is an incredibly chic and accessible look, which really can be tailored to suit any face shape or style.
Celebrities with bob hairstyles
Karlie Kloss, Millie Bobby Brown, Celine Dion, Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lopez, Julianne Hough, Ciara, Lucy Liu, Michelle Williams, Leighton Meester, Jesy Nelson, Lily James, Fearne Cotton, January Jones, Kaia Gerber, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon and countless others have all fallen for the bob this year. Here, we have collated just some of our favourite twists on the classic haircut, so get ready for some serious short hair inspiration…
“Once you’ve chopped you can’t stop ,” Fearne Cotton once told her Instagram followers, and she certainly wasn’t kidding. While the Happy Place presenter has been sporting long blonde waves for several months now, it seems she couldn’t resist the allure of her classic blunt bob for autumn. With a little help from celebrity stylist Paul Percival, she got herself ready for balmy summer climes with a razor-sharp blunt bob, which just skimmed her chin and framed her face perfectly.
“Old Percy scissor hands has been at it again. Thanks @paulpercivalhair best blunt bobber out there!” she wrote.
No wonder, in less than an hour, the post had racked up a whopping 40,000 likes!
Another day, another beautiful bob haircut. Taking to Instagram, Karlie Kloss posted an image of her sleek and polished take on 2019’s biggest hair trend. She captioned it simply: “*cuts hair mid fashion week*.”
Kloss, as fans of the supermodel will no doubt be aware, has worn her hair short on and off for much of her career. Her new chin-length cut, though, is her shortest ‘do yet – and Instagram is so here for it.
“LITERALLY THE BEST,” wrote one fan in the comments.
“Hot damn!” added another.
And still one more said: “Wait, what? LOVE this!”
Roll on another wave of people rushing to the salon requesting a bob, this time waving a photo of Karlie Kloss’ short style as #hairinspiration for their hairdresser…
Millie Bobby Brown
Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has never been afraid of experimenting with her hair (she shaved her head for her role as Eleven, after all), so we weren’t surprised to see her swap her long extensions for autumn 2019’s most requested haircut: a textured, wavy bob cut to sit just above her shoulders, and peppered with honey-gold highlights, for maximum movement.
To celebrate the opening night of her ‘Courage’ tour in Quebec, Canada, Celine Dion decided to go for the chop. The singer debuted a blonde bob which had been cropped to sit just under her jawline – and the short hairstyle felt sleek, chic and stylish.
All in all, the perfect way to usher in a new season – or, y’know, kick off a world tour.
In 2001, Jennifer Aniston’s signature ‘Rachel’ style received a sleeker update – and now, as we celebrate Friends’ 25th anniversary, supermodel Bella Hadid has resurrected the iconic haircut for London Fashion Week.
That’s right: the supermodel – who walked the catwalk at the s/s 2020 Burberry show – dyed her dark brown hair a golden honey blonde earlier this year. And now she’s had her long locks chopped into a sharp bob, which strongly resembles Aniston’s iconic 2001 ‘do.
Considering the mid-length bob has been the haircut of 2019, we’ve no doubt whatsoever that Hadid’s twist on the trend is going to inspire a lot of people to visit their hairdresser this autumn.
Courteney Cox has never been one to stray too far from the long, deep brunette hair that she’s well known for. However, while she was on a recent trip to London she paid a visit to George Northwood, the man behind Alexa Chung’s iconic bob and the person who styled Meghan Markle’s evening hair on her wedding day.
Here’s what it looks like:
The caption read “Somebody had some free time today in London. Thanks @georgenorthwood and @sallynorthwood”
The actress also had some subtle blonde highlights added, along with a grown-out fringe. We have no doubt this very hair cut is going to inspire a few similar hair cuts over the next few weeks - us included.
Although she has experimented with blonde hair dye before, Selena Gomez is mostly known for her long, raven locks, which she tends to wear in an up-do on the red carpet. However, to mark the change in seasons, the star debuted a choppy fringe on her Instagram feed in September. It sits an inch or two above the shoulders, giving a seriously fresh look for the autumn.
Let’s take a look:
She shared it alongside another photo taken earlier this summer, showing her long hair tied up in a ponytail. Autumn is a popular time for getting the chop, so Gomez’s do will no-doubt inspire a few hair appointments this month.
She may have a new look, but she’s still Jenny from the block. That’s right, Jennifer Lopez – as famed for her long honey-blonde tresses as she is her films and music – sent shockwaves rippling through social media when she debuted her twist on the classic bob haircut at a photo call for her upcoming film, Hustlers.
Sitting just below the collarbone, J-Lo’s new look is the definition of a ‘lob’ – and she wore hers sleek and straight, with flipped-out ends. While the beret looked great, it did make it tricky to see her new ‘do in all its glory – so you’ll be happy to hear that her stylist Chris Appleton shared a snap of it on his Instagram, too.
Check it out:
“Long to short real quick,” Appleton captioned the shot, leading some to suspect that what looks like a fresh new cut is actually the work of an extremely clever blow dry.
Real or not, though, fans quickly fell in love with J-Lo’s look.
“Super classy,” commented one.
“Love it, it looks fantastic,” agreed another, before adding that “JLo always looks sensational, [no matter what].”
And still one more said: “Her hair looks super cute like this!”
We have a feeling hairdressers all over the world are going to see a sudden spike in ‘lob’ requests for autumn, don’t you?
Julianne Hough has never been afraid to switch up her look. Over the years, we’ve seen her try any number of styles – from short to long – and dye her hair a beautiful array of colours, too (think copper and honey blonde, to name two). This time, though, she’s debuted a heavily textured and choppy chin-length bob – which she’s had coloured an icy shade of platinum blonde, keeping her roots dark for added depth and volume. Consider us fans.
If there’s one look we never expected Hailey Bieber to try, it was cutting off her signature beachy, blonde locks for a blunt, black bob. Having always been known for her California-girl aesthetic, this is totally new territory for the model and we love that she’s embracing something completely new.
Bieber debuted the drastic change on her Instagram, giving no further explanation, and leaving her fans wanting more.
As well as celebrity friends like Ashley Graham liking the post, Bieber’s followers have been commenting on how much a darker shade suits her. One Instagram user, for example, wrote: “Ooo the dark hair looks good!”
Ciara loves to experiment with her hair, sporting everything from voluminous, waist-length curls to a super sleek high pony tail, but this chic bob could be one of our favourite looks on her yet. Not only does the style look effortless (and so shiny), it’s a strong move, particularly with Ciara’s orange sports-luxe outfit.
The singer posted this picture of her bob on her Instagram account, and of course, her followers have been going wild for it.
“The BOB,” one social media user wrote, clearly very excited by Ciara’s new do. While another said: “Oh my god what a look!”
The Oscar-nominated actor might be famous for her platinum blonde pixie cut but if her appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers is anything to go by she appears to be growing it out. Williams appeared on the talk show to promote her new film After the Wedding, in which she stars alongside Julianne Moore.
Fans noticed that the actor’s hair was significantly longer than her trademark pixie crop, falling in a sharp and sleek bob on either side of her face. Williams had pinned back part of her hair with a small clip, ensuring that her new hairstyle was the perfect combination of two of the summer’s biggest trends.
“These looks could kill while promoting Why Women Kill today at TCA,” noted Lucy Liu, alongside several close-ups of her choppy, wavy and textured new bob hairstyle (in a slightly lighter brunette hue).
As the actor has been sporting a long, dark, poker-straight ‘do for some time, the haircut came as a surprise to many of her fans – although, judging by the Instagram comments, they’re all major fans of the look.
“GORGEOUS!” wrote one.
“That hair though,” agreed another.
And still one more noted: “Love the short cut on you, Lucy.”
For a while now, Leighton Meester has been rocking platinum blonde locks or a lightly balayaged crop. But a recent trip to the hairdresser has changed that, with Meester returning to the dark, rich chocolate brown colour of her most iconic Gossip Girl character Blair Waldorf. (The only thing missing was a Blair Waldorf-approved headband.)
Celebrity hairdresser Justin Anderson, beloved of actors including Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot and Miley Cyrus, helped Meester go back to her dark roots, while a separate hairdresser gave her hair a trim into a perfect choppy bob, just in time for summer.
Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson is almost famous for her signature long hairstyle as she is her powerhouse vocals. However, after a summer weekend away in the Cotswolds, Nelson took to Instagram Stories to show off a sleeker, shorter bob haircut – which she had coloured a deliciously deep chocolate brown.
“Mmm I want to live in the Cotswolds,” she captioned the shot.
Sandra Bullock has been sporting long bronde (that’s not blonde, not brunette, but somewhere really pretty in between) tresses for a while now. However, the Hollywood star debuted a new look at the 2019 ESPY Awards on Wednesday night, where she presented Megan Rapinoe and the United States Women’s National Team with the award for Best Team. We’re talking, of course, about that lob (long bob), which she’d teased into messy layered waves that hung around her face and just brushed her shoulders. We’re particular fans of that oh-so-chic chocolate shade and caramel highlights combo: ideal for summer.
Kerry Washington decided to debut her blunt bob at Cannes 2019, and gave her fans some serious #shorthairgoals in the process.
“Beautiful,” wrote one.
Another added: “Amazing – I need to go short!”
Kaira Gerber debuted her new jaw-length bob on Instagram, where she promptly dubbed it “the drama cut”.
On 5 June, Reese Witherspoon shared a boomerang from the salon of celebrity stylist Lona Vigi.
“Thanks for my new summer cut,” the Big Little Lies star captioned the video, which saw her flicking her blunt bob – cut to fall just below her shoulders, with plenty of texture and minimal layers – back and forth.
The look proved a hit with fans, with one writing: “That’s my favourite style!”
Another added: “Awww, I love it Reese.”
Anyone else have a feeling that plenty of folks will be rushing to their own hairdresser with Witherspoon’s Instagram post in hand as #shorthair inspiration?
From Mamma Mia to Cinderella, she’s had long blonde waves in pretty much every big screen venture she’s been in so far. However, on 30 May, Lily James confirmed that she’d cut her hair into a short, blunt bob – and her new ‘do is effortlessly cool.
“Chopped it off,” she captioned the post. “Thank you to my gorgeous glam team!”
January Jones has been growing her hair out for as long as we can remember, but she recently decided that she missed having a short, chic bob.
Taking to Instagram to show off her new cropped cut, she captioned the post: “So I changed my mind again. @bridgetbragerhair you’re a dream.”
Naomi Watts has always been happy to experiment with her hair, so it makes sense that she decided to go for the chop ahead of 2019’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Taking to Instagram Stories, the Hollywood star unveiled a glamorous new blunt bob, which had been chopped to follow her jawline perfectly.
“New haircut,” she said, showing her mini-mane off from all angles. “Kind of loving the short hair!”
Us too, Naomi. Us too.
Sarah Hyland is never afraid to experiment with her hair. In the past, she’s experimented with blonde waves and sleek lobs. Her newest look, though, is one of our favourites: think a deep chestnut brown bob, cut into shaggy layers and finished off with a sweeping side fringe.
“New hair, who dis?” she captioned the first photograph of her new look on Instagram.
Is anyone else getting major Joan Jett vibes?
Irina Shayk swapped up her long choppy bob for a short, blunt, poker-straight number at the 2019 Oscars. Closer inspection shows her hair has been chopped clean to the nape of the neck in the back, and graduates to just past chin-length in front, which allows for that sleek A-line silhouette.
Charlize Theron’s long blonde tresses have provided us with beachy hair inspiration for years, so the actress left many shocked when she debuted a luxe rich brunette bob at the 2019 Academy Awards. Apparently, her stylist Adir Abergel (@hairbyadir) took inspiration from two iconic Seventies films: Michelle Pfeiffer’s sleek and beveled bob in Scarface and Julie Christie’s iconic asymmetrical bob in Shampoo. Regardless of the hair muse, though, there’s no denying that this blunt, side-swept look is serious bob goals.
Chrissy Teigen has given her hair a shake-up for September, swapping her mermaid-length locks for a short, textured bob cut. And yes, she may have debuted her shorter hairstyle 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’ hairstyle of the season?
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 hairstyle that frames her face perfectly. On Instagram, the actor revealed that the unexpected short haircut is for her role in upcoming Eighties action-thriller TV series Deadly Class.
Blake Lively mid-length bob
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.
Jenna Dewan short bob
Dewan 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 short bob
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 bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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 short bob
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 short bob
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 long bob
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 long bob
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 mid-length bob
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.
Emma Roberts mid-length bob
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 short bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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 mid-length bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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 mid-length bob
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 short bob
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."
Dakota Johnson short bob
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 long bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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.
Rita Ora short bob and fringe
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 short hair
Following her drastic pixie cut in 2013, the Hunger Games actress grew her beachy blonde hair into a loose and wavy bob.
Lena Dunham short bob
"Change is good," wrote the Girls star on Instagram after she reshaped her short hair and dyed it platinum bold.
Emma Stone short bob
From ombre layers to chic red crop: Emma Stone kick-started the shorter hair trend at the Venice Film Festival 2014.
Zosia Mamet mid-length bob
In 2014, the Girls actress appeared at the Golden Globes with a freshly cropped hairdo.
Kristen Wiig short bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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 short bob
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 mid-length bob
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 short bob
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 long bob
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 long bob
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 short bob
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.
Michelle Dockery short bob
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.
Images: Getty, Rex Features, Instagram