3 New Ways to Style a Bob or Long Bob Hairstyle

Let's look to Leighton, Karlie and Kate for inspiration.
Michelle Villett
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Let's look to Leighton, Karlie and Kate for inspiration.

The last time I had bobbed hair I was 12 years old. Maybe that's why I still think I'll look 12 if any hairdresser dares chop my hair above my shoulders. (I know, I know, someday I will see that as a good thing.)

So I've always pretty much had long-ish hair (or, right now, "stupid long" hair—I REALLY need a trim.) But even though I'll only ever cut off a couple of inches, that doesn't mean I don't love the look of a bob or a lob on other people. I did say 2012 was the year of The Bob, after all.

And you know what's also great about these hairstyles? They are so freakin' fun to play with. If you have a bob or a lob, and you're guilty of always doing the same thing day in, day out, then you need to check out this trend-setting trio. This is from a Target and Neiman Marcus holiday event last week... holiday hair inspiration, here we come!

Leighton Meester - Target Neiman Marcus event 2012

First up in today's bob/lob showcase is Leighton Meester... my former hair idol. I don't know how I missed this news, but she's gone short now!

And to be honest, I don't know if I'm 100 percent happy about it. Not because I don't think she's wearing it well, just that it doesn't inspire the extreme love in me that I had for her long look. (Are you with me on that? Just go look at this post... memories!!)

Anyway, of course she still looks amazing—and looking at the hair specifically, it's a great example of how to switch things up for evening. While you might not ever dream of slicking long hair straight back like this—and it would probably end up looking a bit too weird and "runway," comme ça—in a bob, it totally works. The key, I think, is in the prep. You want to get busy with a flat iron to make your hair super-sleek and straight and smooth before you go in with some hairspray or gel to slick back the top and sides.

This is really cool new product that I suspect would do the trick (since everything Shu makes for hair is incredible). It's specifically made for short hair and adds hold and shine.

Shu Uemura Extreme Urushi Timeless Fixing & Lacquering Sap

Next is the freshly shorn Karlie Kloss, already demonstrating that a bob does NOT equal boring...

Karlie Kloss - Target Neiman Marcus event 2012

It was only a few weeks ago that she showed off her new cut backstage at the Victoria's Secret fashion show—talk about ballsy!—and was wearing it in a straight, sorta un-styled way with bangs. Here, it's like she's a different person. Well, she IS a model after all, so I guess that's the whole point. But what a difference some volume and waves make! Suddenly the bob is super-seksi. Notice also how she's pushed her bangs over to one side so that they naturally fall into the tonged curls at the front. The whole thing has a rumpled, bedhead texture and it's not too perfect.

Seriously, you could easily DIY this. Mousse, dry shampoo and a good curling iron need to be your BFFs. (Do I even need to mention which dry shampoo you need? Ahem...)

Dove Dry Shampoo

Don't forget to separate but not brush out the curls; you want to look a bit messy instead of "done."

But if you prefer something on the totally opposite end of the spectrum, check out Kate Bosworth with a longer length in a super-sleek style:

Kate Bosworth - Target Neiman Marcus event 2012

To be honest, this is even making me re-think my own length (!!), since I share her volume-challenged hair texture. This cut doesn't try to make her hair anything it's not, which is why I really like it—and it looks way sharper on the red carpet than a straggly boob-length style.

To get this look, it's obviously way easier if you're starting with straight hair to begin with... otherwise prepare to wrestle with your hair dryer and flat iron 'til your arms hurt. But even with already straight hair, you still need to do some smoothing to make it this sleek—it's a fallacy that straight-haired people don't also need to flat iron. So do that all over and maybe flip out the ends ever-so-slightly as you drag the iron through. Create a sharp, deep side part and tuck behind one ear (spray with a non-crunchy hairspray like Elnett to keep the part in place).

Finish with a light shine spray or serum to control any flyaways. Did I mention it needs to be light? Repeating that because applying one that's too heavy (or even just applying too much of it) can quickly turn you into a fine-haired greaseball... so proceed with caution. I really like the scent of Oscar Blandi's jasmine one, but one drop is plenty:

Oscar Blandi Olio di Jasmine Hair Serum

Anyway, to sum up this look: sometimes understated is very, very okay.

Tell me:

Do you have—or have you ever had—a bob or a lob hairstyle?
Did you find dressing it up a challenge, or did you wear it in a bunch of different styles like these ladies?
Which one of these looks is your fave?