The Right Bob Haircut for Your Face Type

Shannon Boyce
sleek bob

Bob haircuts are classic, stylish, and versatile. Not only are they consistently on trend, but they transition perfectly from season to season, adopt slight changes with the greatest of ease, and can be styled in a variety of ways. Best of all, there is a type of bob to suit every face shape.

Bob Haircuts With Enduring Style

The world of fashion and beauty is constantly changing. Few things manage to retain their popularity for longer than a few months. The bob hairstyle is a notable exception, as it can be updated to suit a current trend or worn simply for a classic finish. People choose this hairstyle for its ease of styling and head-turning appearance.

There are many variations of this haircut, including:

  • An angled bob, which is usually blunt and cut above the shoulders. It may be slightly longer at the jaw and shorter at the nape.
  • An inverted bob is a trendier version of the cut. The back is tapered and stacked while the front is longer with more fullness on top.
  • A layered bob can be any length, but looks especially chic when it is cut to the chin. This offers lots of volume and movement.
  • A shoulder bob is chic, stylish, and has plenty of versatility. Long, face-framing bangs are a wonderful addition to this textured style.

Each one of these haircuts can be tailored to suit a multitude of special occasions. Curled or flipped out, the bob becomes an elegant look for a big event. Worn loose, clipped back, or with a headband, it is great for everyday wear.

Finding the Right Bob Haircut

With so many possibilities, there is a bob that is suitable for everyone. The trick is to make sure the cut suits your face type and complements your features.

Heart Face Shapes

A lob (long bob) is one of the top haircuts for heart-shaped faces. Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and supermodel Jourdan Dunn have all worn different versions of this look. While a traditional bob stops at or just below chin level, the lob is much longer. This is ideal because it softens the narrowness of the jawline and accentuates the shoulders. People with this face type should avoid a shorter bob as it can create the illusion of a dramatically pointed chin.

The lob is flattering and easy to achieve. Simply ask your hairstylist for a long bob with lots of layered pieces. Side bangs are worth considering as well since they add balance to a wider forehead.

This look can be styled in many ways. Due to longer length, it is possible for the hair to be pulled back into a ponytail, styled with accessories, or worn straight. To create a textured lob, start by:

  1. Adding a heat protectant (like the TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray, about $7) to the hair.
  2. Dry completely and spritz on dry shampoo. This will make it easier to achieve texture and waves.
  3. Use a curling iron to curl random sections of hair, being careful to avoid the ends. (You want to create texture in the center.)
  4. Break up curls with your fingers for a relaxed and effortless appearance.
    heart-shaped face
    Heart-shaped face

Pear Face Shapes

If you have a pear face shape, then the jawline is wider than the hairline. (Think of stars like Kelly Osbourne and Minnie Driver.) The long bob can be flattering but so can a more traditional bob length. The latter creates balance and reduces the appearance of the jaw. To determine which length is best for you, consider styling time. The lob is lower maintenance than that slightly shorter 'do.

Talk to your hairstylist about a bob with lots of volume on top. This shape can be achieved with a layered cut and the use of styling products. You may also want to add on bangs, as they make the forehead appear wider, resulting in a more balanced shape. In terms of styling, curls are a great way to disguise a wider jawline, whether they are worn in tight ringlets or are loose and beachy.

By focusing your attention on volume and curls, this face type will instantly become more balanced. Combine texture and curls by:

  1. Using a texturizing spray. Apply it to the roots for lots of lift.
  2. For an extra boost, add texurizing spray to the length of the hair as well. Just remember to focus the volume on the upper half.
  3. Curl the ends using your curling iron or flat iron. This will balance out the volume on top without drawing attention to the jaw.
    pear-shaped face
    Pear-shaped face

Oblong Face Shapes

If you have an oblong face, it is longer than it is wide, and has a more prominent lower half. A few examples include A-listers like Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, and Iman. Chin-length bobs look fantastic on individuals with long faces as it creates the illusion of fullness and width. It is important to avoid a bob that is too short or too lengthy as it can make this face type appear long and out of proportion.

Be sure to ask for a chin-length cut when you visit the salon. If your forehead is long, opt for bangs as well. They create balance by making the face seem shorter than it really is.

When it comes to styling, waves and curls are a must. They add some much needed width to the face. To style a chin length bob:

  1. Use a set of hot rollers to achieve extraordinary curls. Wrap medium sized sections of hair around each roller.
  2. Leave on for a half hour (always follow manufacturer instructions) and remove.
  3. Apply a flexible hairspray, like the Garnier Fructis Style Flexible Control Hairspray (about $5), to set.
    oval-faced bob
    Oval-shaped face

Square Face Shapes

If your face is square, then the primary concern is adding softness. A textured razor cut parted on the side is ideal for achieving a less severe look. Something with lots of movement will create curves and smooth the edges of the face. Well-known actresses like Demi Moore and Angelina Jolie both have this face type.

A great haircut is key, so make sure you ask for a cut that hits you at or just below the jaw line. Keep it soft yet trendy by wearing a graduated bob. This will leave you with slightly shorter hair in the back than in the front. Get razor cut layers added through the length to achieve lots of movement.

Once you have the right cut, styling this short 'do will be quick and easy. For a soft look:

  1. Run mousse through damp hair.
  2. Use your blow dryer and a round brush to create shape as you go.
  3. Apply a styling wax, working it through the length with your fingers, creating a textured style.
  4. Add a small amount of hairspray to finish.
    Square-shaped face
    Square-shaped face

Rectangle Face Shapes

Many people confuse square and rectangular face types, but they have significant differences. While both are characterized by a square jaw and hairline, the rectangle is much longer in length. If you are unsure, just think of celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Kristen Wiig and Gwyneth Paltrow. The best style to suit this shape is a medium bob with layers and waves.

Avoid wearing a very short bob style or a harsh angular cut if possible, since both accentuate the corners of the face. Ask for a mid-length bob with bangs instead. According to The Beauty Department, softly parted curtain bangs are an ideal choice for rectangular faces because they create a more rounded shape.

Once you have the cut taken care of, it is time to focus on styling. Keep things soft and sweet by:

  1. Applying a smoothing cream to damp hair.
  2. Blow dry using a round brush to create a curved shape.
  3. Use your curling iron and curl the ends out. This will give your locks lots of movement and ensure the volume is not focused on the top. (That can make the face appear longer than it is.)
  4. Spritz on a flexible hold hairspray.
    Rectangle-shaped face
    Rectangle-shaped face

Triangle Face Shapes

A triangular face can be seen on stars like Christina Ricci and Giuliana Rancic. It is characterized by a wider forehead and a narrower jaw. A common concern is narrowing the forehead while softening the appearance of the jaw. Shoulder length bobs create the most flattering silhouette. They disguise the natural jaw shape by drawing the eye to the hair around the face instead of to the jawline itself.

Not only is this cut stylish but it also extremely versatile. It can be worn straight and sleek or wavy and romantic. Head to the salon and ask for a shoulder length bob with long layers. Additionally, a side bang is a chic option for those with wide foreheads. It widens the appearance of the cheekbones.

Since this cut is on the longer side, it is fairly straightforward to style. All you need to do is:

  1. Apply a heat protectant to damp hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair completely.
  3. Use a flat iron and straighten the length section by section.
  4. Create a rounded shape by using a flat iron to curl the ends inward.
    Triangle-shaped face
    Triangle-shaped face

Oval Face Shapes

The great thing about an oval face type is that it can suit countless styles. Since the face is in proportion, the focus is less on creating balance and more on keeping things balanced. Stars like Emma Roberts, Jessica Alba, and Megan Fox all have this face shape - and have played with a variety of hair lengths over the years. Emma Watson is an example of celebrity who has rocked both long and short styles.

When it comes to flattering hairstyles for oval faces, there are several options to choose from. The first is a shaggy a-line bob with lots of layers. Keep the length above the shoulder but below the jawline. Another flattering haircut is the grown out pixie. This is significantly shorter than the shaggy a-line, with more hair on top than at the back. Whichever look you prefer, talk to your stylist before taking the plunge.

If an edgy a-line bob sounds like your perfect look, all you need to do is:

  1. Use a texturizing spray (dry shampoo can also be substituted) and apply it all over the hair.
  2. Work the product through with your fingers by scrunching, twisting, and pulling in an upward motion. This will create a messy and on trend syle.
    Emma Watson
    Emma Watson rocking a bob

Round Face Shapes

A slightly longer bob is an appropriate choice for rounder faces. This helps minimize the width of the face and create the illusion of a slimmer shape. Full bangs and center parts are not recommended, as they add fullness. Another cut that works well is an a-line bob or inverted bob haircut, where the hair is longer in the front and shorter in the back. To look like your favorite celebrity (Khloe Kardashian, Kirsten Dunst, and Kelly Clarkson all have round face types), be sure to avoid volume on the sides.

Keep your inverted bob straight and simple or add on side swept bangs. Just be sure to ask your hairdresser for her professional opinion beforehand. When it comes to styling, avoid curls as they add excess width.

To create a picture perfect hairstyle, give your long inverted bob plenty of polish. Begin by:

  1. Applying a heat protectant to damp hair.
  2. Blow dry until the hair is completely dry.
  3. Use your flat iron to remove any waves, curls, or natural texture. This should leave you with a super sleek finish.
  4. Add on a shine spray, like the Garnier Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray (about $3).
    Kirsten Dunst
    Kirsten Dunst

Achieve the Perfect Bob

Once you have determined the style best suited to your face type, book an appointment with a hairstylist. Arm yourself with detailed photographs of your preferred cut. This step is important, as it helps the stylist get a better understanding of the look you want, and gives her the opportunity to make suggestions. A professional knows how to create the most appropriate (and flattering) style for you.

Bob haircuts are trendy, versatile, and suitable for all. By taking your face type into account, it is possible to choose a style that looks good and makes you shine. Whether you prefer an edgy look or something soft and sweet, a bob is all you need.

The Right Bob Haircut for Your Face Type