Best bob hairstyles for women—75+ ideas from short crops to lobs

Our beauty team edits the best bob hairstyles for every face shape and hair type

Chrissy Tiegen with one of the best bob hairstyles, a lob, on the red carpet
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

There are so many options when it comes to bob hairstyles, but they all have one thing in common: versatility. This not-too-short and not-too-long cut is the perfect happy medium hairdo, so it's no surprise that the bob has been tipped as this year’s most popular hairstyle.

The key to bob hairstyles is ensuring your look suits your lifestyle. Bob hairstyles should always be easy hairstyles, whatever that means to you, be it easy air drying or lots of options for intricate styling. Bangs hairstyles are optional with the bob, as are layers or graduation of length. Whatever you prefer, there's a bob out there that will make you feel amazing, be it long or short.

“The Power Bob gives the wearer power! It’s a classic, one-length, blunt cut, which has exquisite movement when styled smooth," says Nick Willis, Master Stylist at Charles Worthington Salons. "This bob is a true classic, stemming from the early 1920s, and 100 years later, it still looks absolutely divine.” Not up for a big chop? Not a problem. The big question of should women over 40 cut their hair simply because of age can be answered by a simple no. "We’ve seen lots of lobs happening recently—simple, low maintenance styles that still have length but look chic and sophisticated," explains Charles Worthington Salons' Peter Russell. "This is the perfect cut for girls on the go as there is not much work that goes into the upkeep." 

Catherine O'Hara with a bob hairstyle

Catherine O'Hara with a long bob hairstyle

(Image credit: Getty images)

How to pick the right bob hairstyles for you

Much like long hairstyles and medium hairstyles, bobs look good on anyone with the right cut. "There is a bob for every face," agrees Ava Holland, Artistic Director at Gielly Green Salon. Consider the following:

  • Face shape: "If you have a round face, then something lighter and layered is more flattering,” says Zoë Irwin, Creative Director at John Frieda Salons, “if you have an oval face, long layers work well to lift, especially with a fringe." For square face shapes, Adam Reed of Adam Reed Salon London, recommends long bobs with soft layers, and for heart face shapes, “keep the front section longer to highlight the jawline.”
  • Hair type: "The best cut to make fine hair look thicker will maintain weight at the ends—think a strong, blunt Alexa Chung bob,” says Reed. The experts agree that thick hair or curly hairstyles are better suited to a longer bob that is more manageable. 
  • Trends: It doesn't matter if you're a cutting-edge fashion follower or simply looking for flattering short hairstyles for women over 50, a nod to what's modern is always a good idea. "The French girl bob is ideal for giving the illusion of fullness; the edges are cut blunt, which gives the impression of bulk and defines the outline of the haircut,” says Siobhan Jones, Headmasters Color Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. If want low-maintenance short hairstyles for women Reed recommends the new wave bob—"it feels light, airy and looks as if you’ve just woken up from a French-chic film."

Knowing how to style a bob is as important as picking the bob itself, agrees Holland. "I think about what the hair type is; can I achieve the look you want on a daily basis? Would it suit your lifestyle? Do you need to be able to tie it up? That will then determine what length bob you go for as well."

75 bobs we love for every hair type and texture

Short bob hairstyles

Short bob hairstyles can be seriously elegant and can be tailored to suit just about any hair type and face shape. The golden rule is to get your hair trimmed every four to six weeks to keep those ends looking fresh, it'll be worth the effort for easy everyday styling. It's worth noting that shorter bob hairstyles can also make some of the most flattering short hairstyles for women over 50, as they look particularly chic on gray hair.

1. The sharp jaw length bob

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: fine to medium

These blunt ends look fabulous but do require regular trims to stay extra sharp. To create this sleek texture with movement, try swapping flat irons for the best hair straightener brushes.

2. The undercut bob

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: thick

The strong graduation of length here creates flattering, face-framing sections with plenty of shaping around the nape of the neck. 

3. The super short bob

Face shape: any, particularly heart | Hair type: fine to thick

Beautiful, cheekbone-skimming bobs like this also work well with a bit of texture, either natural or added in with the best curling irons for shorter hair. 

4. The short curly bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: curly, coily

Defined curls help this bob look glossy and healthy. Follow the curly girl method for a similar definition.

5. The short tousled bob

Face shape: oval or heart | Hair type: fine or thick

This relaxed style has a certain 00's indie appeal to it. Ask for longer jaw-skimming sections at the front and plenty of shape at the back. 

6. The above-jaw rounded bob

Face shape: square or heart | Hair type: thick

Thick or naturally textured hair suits this swishy, glamorous bob hairstyle. Flip it into a side parting to create a flattering eye-skimming sweep. 

7. The short bob with long layers on top

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine 

A cute, pageboy style that suits anyone with delicate features. For extra root lift work a little dry shampoo into the roots and tease with your fingertips. 

8. The short French girl bob

Face shape: oval, heart or round | Hair type: medium to thick 

A more daring style that relies on expert haircutting skills to ensure the shorter fringe length hits in the perfect spot—visit a stylist you trust! 

9. The short beach wave bob

Face shape: heart or round | Hair type: fine, medium and thick

A razor-sharp center parting and beautiful balayage hair color makes this style look chic and modern. 

10. The short curly pixie bob

Face shape: heart or round | Hair type: curly, coily

This ultra-short crop works as a pixie style with this naturally curly texture, but then if the hair is worn straight and smooth, hits the jawline as a cute short bob. 

11. The side parted coily bob

Face shape: heart, square or round | Hair type: curly, coily

This cleverly tapered coily haircut allows for versatile styling, including this side parting which you can recreate with a tail comb and some styling cream.  

12. The French-girl bob with curls

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: curly, thick

Large tousled curls add an insouciance to a French girl bob. Work a tiny amount of waxy pomade into the hair using your fingers to add volume and texture. 

13. The 'flipped' blonde asymmetrical bob

Face shape: long, heart, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

The combination of ultra-sharp cut and tousled texture works so well here. Ask your stylist for blunt edges and subtle graduation of length for a similar effect. 

14. The wispy side-swept bob

Face shape: any | Hair type: fine

Longer sections around the side and front help create this flattering side-sweep. This style works particularly nicely for fine hair as it builds movement. 

15. Copper tousled short crop

Face shape: heart or round | Hair type: wavy, curly

If you don't have naturally wavy hair it can be challenging to get texture into a short bob like this. Try using slimline hair straighteners instead of a tong to create cool bends in shorter styles. 

Long bob hairstyles

A longer, grown-out style doesn’t require such frequent trips to the salon to keep it looking fresh. A long bob, or 'lob' as it's more commonly known, is another great option if you want to elongate a rounder face. Long bobs are also versatile, and can easily be styled into wavy hairstyles or popped up in a messy bun

16. The heavy long bob with side part

Face shape: oval or square | Hair type: thick

Ombre hair color adds depth and dimension to this longer at the front, shorter at the back long bob. Blow dry upside down and use a waving wand to fake this texture if you don't have beach hair waves naturally. 

17. The super sleek long bob

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Sleek, swingy, and super glossy, read up on how to get shiny hair and blow dry it smooth with lots of tension to create this statement style. 

18. The long bob with tapered ends

Face shape: heart, square | Hair type: medium to thick

Graduating the length slightly softens this sharp bob and ensures it flatters the face. This is a great cut for making thinning hair appear thicker too. 

19. The classic blunt long bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval or heart | Hair type: medium to thick

This look will never get old and works best with hair that's in great condition. Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep it healthy and glossy. 

20. The shoulder length wavy long bob

Face shape: any, particularly heart | Hair type: Fine to medium 

A great entry-level bob, this would suit if you are not sure about going too short or too blunt. Ask for plenty of layers and curtain bangs for interest. 

21. The long bob with layered ends

Face shape: any, particularly oval or heart | Hair type: medium to thick

This classic long bob has been dried with a round brush to create flattering flicks at the ends. Our Revlon Hair Dryer Brush review will introduce you to the ultimate cheat's blow dry tool. 

22. The asymmetric long bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: fine to medium

A softer take on the traditional bob hairstyle, this shoulder-grazing style is great for anyone who can't get in for trims every six weeks as it grows out beautifully.  

23. The tousled French girl lob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick

When having a curly bob hairstyle like this cut in, ask your stylist to cut the hair when it's dry to ensure curls and coils hit the perfect length when they spring back up. 

24. The flicked out lob

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: fine to medium

This retro style is best achieved on a bob haircut that has plenty of layers, to show off those glamorous flicks. 

25. The long bob with bangs

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Sophisticated and timeless, this cut is a little bit more forgiving than a classic French girl bob—ask for shoulder-grazing length and an eye-skimming fringe. 

26. The twisted long bob

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: natural, protective

Protective twist hairstyles look so elegant at a bob length and adding in a hair charm takes the look to the next level.  

27. The 'S-wave' lob with bangs

Face shape: square, heart, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

This blunt cut can really help make fine hair appear fuller. Use a hair-waving device like the Amika High Tide Deep Waver Tool to recreate this texture. 

28. The retro shag with curls

Face shape: square, oval | Hair type: curly, medium-thick

This closely tapered style has a retro appeal that would perfectly offset 70s makeup looks. Ask for graduated layers and plenty of weight through the front. 

29. The long bob with face-framing layers

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick

A classic, easy and flattering style for all sorts of face shapes, this longer-length bob is given shape with cheekbone and jaw-skimming layers through the front. 

30. The heavier-on-top curly long bob

Face shape: oval, round, heart| Hair type: any

There is a whiff of the mullet about this rock n' roll style, but the gorgeous texture and eye-grazing fringe makes this more 2022 than 1983. Ruffle with a bit of salt spray for that grungy-glam vibe. 

Curly bob hairstyles

"A curly bob and a textured bob is the dream!" says Holland. "I personally love a short jawline curly bob, it looks really cool and doesn’t take long to dry. Curly hair is big in 2022 and I think whatever length people have, they will want it to be curly." 

31. The long curly bob with center part

Face shape: heart, square | Hair type: wavy, curly

It's amazing how much difference a parting makes. This sharp center part gives this classic curly bob hairstyle a contemporary, youthful feel. 

32. The tapered coily bob

Face shape: any, particularly heart or square | Hair type: curly, coily

This sort of ultra-glossy and defined curly style relies on the hair's condition. To get the most out of your natural texture, try sleeping with one of the best silk hair wraps.

33. The chin-length curly bob with side part

Face shape: round, oval | Hair type: curly

This classic bob length with a curly hair texture will never go out of style. Learn how to use a diffuser to create touchably soft curls like this. 

34. The curly shoulder-length long bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: curly

A slightly longer and therefore more versatile length of bob, this can be worn in updos and ponytails (ask for shorter layers through the front for gorgeous face-framing strands)

35. The chin-length bob with loose curls

Face shape: any, especially oval to square | Hair type: wavy, curly

Large tousled curls look youthful and fresh. Ask for a cut that's almost all one length so that that weight 'pulls' the curls into sitting as beautifully as this. 

36. The curly chin length bob with side part

Face shape: any, especially oval | Hair type: curly

Volume, volume, volume is the name of the game with this style. Apply mousse before drying the hair upside down with a diffuser to get the look. 

37. The short coils

Face shape: all, especially oval | Hair type: curly, coily

The shape of this style is what makes it so special, so you will need trims every six to eight weeks to keep it looking on point. We think it's so worth it! 

38. The very loose short curls

Face shape: all, particularly oval | Hair type: fine, curly

Sophisticated shorter bob hairstyles like this are ideal for anyone who is experiencing hair thinning. Scrunch through with an airy texture foam before you dry. 

39. The short curly bob with side bangs

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: curly, coily

Coily curl types work best with this beautifully volumized bob, while having light curtain bangs cut in creates a flattering shape around the eyes. 

40. Textured choppy curly lob

Face shape: all, particularly square | Hair type: curly, coily

This curly cut is hiding a multitude of layers, particularly around the front. The beauty of having varying lengths like this is you get weight through the back and bounciness around the top. 

41. The long bob with ringlets

Face shape: all, particularly heart and square | Hair type: fine, curly

This fluffy halo of curls works best if you start from a place of definition, then lightly ruffle it up and finish with dry texture spray. 

42. Side-parted perm rod bob

Face shape: heart, oval and square | Hair type: natural

Showing just how versatile styling a bob can be if you know how. Flip the hair into a deep side part, then crisscross metal slides to create a pulled-back accessorized section. 

43. Crochet braided bob

Face shape: long, oval | Hair type: natural, braided

Crochet braids look fabulous at bob length. Tie the front section into a high pony then pull forward to create these eye-grazing faux bangs. 

44. The natural texture bob

Face shape: any | Hair type: natural

Embrace what nature gave you with this beautifully fluffy, shaped bob. Using lightweight hair oils daily and deep conditioning treatments weekly will keep this style feeling beautifully soft. 

45. Glam beachy ringlets

Face shape: any | Hair type: fine, curly

A halo of ringlets looks so pretty, while the sharp jaw-length bob hairstyle feels modern and cool. A little bit of baby frizz can actually enhance this style, try using dry texturizing sprays and teasing with your fingers. 

Layered bob hairstyles

Layered bobs are set to have a major moment. If you have fine hair, it’s best to keep the layers long so as not to remove volume, and learn how to style layered hair. While thick hair lends itself really well to lots of choppy layers, rounder face shapes are the perfect match for blunt layered bobs, and square shapes pair well with lots of rounded layers.

46. Thick and choppy layered bob

Face shape: all, particularly oval and heart | Hair type: thick

This '90s style choppy cut is set for a resurgence, ask for lots of layers throughout and plenty of movement to get the look. 

47. The graduated bob with layers

Face shape: round, oval, square or heart | Hair type: fine to thick

Graduated styles like this are the easiest way to create volume at the crown, especially in fine hair. If your hair is thicker, having some weight cut out through the ends keeps the look soft. 

48. The short bob with subtle layering

Face shape: heart, oval or square | Hair type: medium to thick

This is an easygoing style that works for anyone who prefers not to faff around with heated tools. The natural movement and body air dries beautifully. 

49. The tousled layered bob

Face shape: all, particularly oval or round | Hair type: medium to thick

This bob hairstyle is full of light and beautiful layers, which gives it movement. Blow dry with a scrunch of mousse to create this beachy texture. 

50. The short layered bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Super-sleek and chic, these sort of bob hairstyles work best on hair with shine. Finish with serum then run over with your best hair straighteners to create a reflective finish. 

51. The round bob with side part

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: thick

This swingy, rounded bob is the result of a great cut and bouncy blow dry, use round vented brushes to create a curved shape like this as you dry.  

52. The side-swept bob with layered ends

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick 

Glam bob hairstyles like this are all about a great blow dry. Use round brushes or a hair dryer brush to create plenty of root lift, then sweep with your fingers and finish with hairspray. 

53. The choppy short bob

Face shape: any, particularly oval or heart | Hair type: fine to medium 

Feathery fine and ultra-short, this suits those with petite or delicate features. Try this zigzag parting if you haven't had your color done in a while, it makes root regrowth look like a cool statement.

54. The long layered tousled bob

Face shape: round, oval or heart | Hair type: fine to medium 

The layers are mostly concentrated around the front here, which perfectly compliments this nod to retro, swept-back blow dries. 

55. The choppy curly lob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium, curly or coily

Enviable bob hairstyles like this command attention. Dry with a diffuser attachment then muss it up using thicker styling products such as creams and waxes. 

56. Sleek layered-front bob

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Sleek and grown-up, this is a touch high-maintenance but has so much impact. Ask for a blunt lob with layers around the jawline plus a super volumized blow dry. 

57. Layered box braid bob

Face shape: any | Hair type: natural, braided

Box braids work beautifully in bob hairstyles, not least because this length is less heavy and time-consuming to have braided in. Adding charms and threads means you can create a bespoke look. 

58. Layered curly short bob

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: curly, coily

Bouncy and glossy curls with a mid-length airy fringe perfectly complement a jaw-skimming bob. Keep curls in top condition with conditioning masks.  

59. The copper chop with bangs

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: any

Feathery ends and choppy layers stop this statement cut from looking severe. This copper hue is one of the top 2022 hair color trends and we can see why. 

60. The feathered '90s short bob

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick

Like a modern update of Courtney Cox's iconic choppy cut from the early seasons of Friends, this is soft, romantic, and playful. Recreate this glassy shine by blow-drying sleek then applying serum sparingly through the ends. 

Bob hairstyles with bangs

Whether you opt for soft curtain bangs or full bangs, they can really elevate your bob hairstyle of choice or add a little something to a style. The number one thing to remember if you want to get bangs? "Let the stylist advise you—think about the commitment fringes come with and the time they take to grow back!" says de Angelis.

61. The blunt bob with wispy bangs

Face shape: round, oval, heart | Hair type: fine to medium

A chic, crisp cut that helps make fine hair appear thicker. Book trims every six to eight weeks to keep this from growing out in to a lob. 

62. The curly lob with bangs

Face shape: any, especially oval or heart | Hair type: curly

Curly bangs have the cool factor, as well as being super flattering compared with a traditional full fringe. Use curl cream sparingly to style them in place. 

63. The jaw-length bob with side bangs

Face shape: round, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

A great way to fake thicker hair, the tapered shape of this short bob and layers build up the bouncy volume on top. 

64. The coily curls with side bangs

Face shape: any, especially oval to square | Hair type: curly, coily 

Tapered coils with full bangs are a real winner. This clever take on the style uses a side part to create a sweeping opening to make it super easy to wear when the head is tipped back. 

65. The bob with soft curtain bangs

Face shape: round, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Ultra-sophisticated, this chic choppy bob is modernized with curtain bangs. Blow dry by flicking outwards for eye-opening effect.  

66. The French girl bob with bangs

Face shape: heart, oval or round | Hair type: fine to medium, wavy

This daring micro fringe is for the confident only but teamed with this cute cropped bob it is gamine perfection. 

67. The pixie bob with side bangs

Face shape: long, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Smooth, sweeping bangs blend nicely with the tapered ends of this bob haircut, they also suit a long face shape nicely, sweeping over a pronounced forehead. 

68. Curly modern mullet

Face shape: all, especially oval | Hair type: curly 

Don't panic, but the mullet is back! This time, it's subtle with slight graduation of length offering flattering volume around the front and top.

69. The sleek short bob with bangs

Face shape: heart or round | Hair type: fine to medium 

This sleek look oozes sophistication. Blow dry smoothly and run over with flat irons to create a glass-like reflection. 

70. Long bob with bangs

Face shape: any, particularly square | Hair type: medium to thick

We love the natural movement in this layered style, with smoothed-out bangs at the front and rolling waves at the back. 

71. Blunt bob with bangs

Face shape: long, oval | Hair type: fine to medium

This full fringe can suit almost anyone as long as they are up for a little bit of styling and trimming maintenance. Cordless straighteners will help you keep it sleek. 

72. Short box braid bob with bangs

Face shape: round, oval | Hair type: natural, braided

Chic box braids create really full and healthy-looking bangs with this short style, have them braided in a little shorter than you'd like to give the style longevity as it grows. 

73. Tapered coily bob with bangs

Face shape: square, oval | Hair type: natural, coily

Perfectly-cut coils help us achieve bob hairstyles that are full of movement, while gently drying the curls forwards helps create this light, eye-framing fringe. 

74. The high-volume side swept bangs style

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly

This gorgeous throwback style on Kim Basinger looks just as great today. Mousse mousse and more mousse is the trick to high-volume curls that'll hold this side-swept bangs style. 

75. The center-part bob with curtain bangs

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine to medium

Curtain bangs are a great way to update your bob without committing to a full fringe. This center-parted style looks modern and a little bit grungy-glam. 

How to style every type of bob haircut

Short bob
"This is for those who are feeling brave as it is a drastic length change, you need to be sure you want to do it and that it will suit your lifestyle," explains Russell. "This look needs to be styled with lots of sea salt spray to give it texture. And it’s important to use hair protection cream to keep it looking healthy and nourished." 

Our beauty editor recommends...

Sachajuan Ocean Mist  |  RRP: $26/£18
This manages quite a rare thing for a salt spray, which is providing texture and grit without being too crunchy or sticking the hair together. It looks and smells lovely too.

Long bob
This is one of the most versatile bob hairstyles, and looks beautiful styled into loose, beachy waves. "Tong sections of your hair with a medium to small wand, or use a mermaid waver. Make sure not to separate the waves too much so that they keep their defined shape" says Willis. 

Our beauty editor recommends...

Beauty Works Waver | RRP: £70 (UK only)

The ultimate lazy person's hair tool. Press large sections between the barrel-shaped wavers (the less unform the better) and out pops a cool-girl textured wave.

Curly bob
As any curly girl knows, styling a perfectly textured bob is all in the drying technique. "Avoid rough drying your hair if it’s curly as it will go frizzy," explains A-List stylist and Shark STYLE iQ Hair Dryer ambassador Aaron Carlo. "Make sure you have the correct kind of curl cream for your hair texture and comb it through with a wide-tooth comb. To really maximize those curls, a diffuser is key. This is because it diffuses the airflow speed which prevents curls being disturbed whilst drying, and therefore stops frizz."

Our beauty editor recommends...

Babyliss Universal Diffuser | RRP: $13.99/£7.15
This clever adjustable diffuser can be attached to a variety of hair dryers to help gently dry, separate and define curls. 

Layered Bob
Many of this year's coolest bob styles are choppy and layered, but they can also be the most tricky to style. The secret, explains Charles Worthington Salons Stylist Jess Johnson, is to enhance layers by "going for lots of soft lines and lots of volume." To style, she recommends, "plenty of volume spray. Use with a big, round brush on the root to add lift and extra volume." 

Our beauty editor recommends...

Hair by Sam McKnight Modern Hairspray | RRP: $30/£22

Not your average hairspray. This ultra-fine mist from hair guru McKnight offers unsticky hold and a hit of volume that's perfect for creating choppy layered bob looks. 

Bob with bangs
The trick to easy fringe styling is realizing you don't need to do your whole head in the process. "Dry shampoo is now your best friend," explains Hannah Munford, Advanced Stylist at Mayfive Hair. "As your fringe falls forward onto your face it has a tendency to get oily quicker and you’ll be tempted to touch it a lot. You can also pin your hair back and wash your bangs separately. Restyle to look as good as new."

Our beauty editor recommends...

Klorane Organic Dry Shampoo with Flax | RRP: $17/£9.50
A brilliant everyday dry shampoo that makes bangs feel fresh but won't weigh hair down or make it feel powdery. 

woman&home thanks Jess Johnson, Peter Russell and Nick Willis of Charles Worthington Salons (opens in new tab), Hannah Munford at Mayfive Hair (opens in new tab), Ava Holland of Gielly Green Salon (opens in new tab), Zoë Irwin of John Frieda Salons (opens in new tab), Adam Reed for L’Oréal Professionnel (opens in new tab) and of Adam Reed Salon London (opens in new tab), and Siobhan Jones of L’Oréal Professionnel (opens in new tab) for their time and expertise.

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week. During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists.