While all haircuts can be tailored to your face shape, today we're here to talk about super-short snips. After all, as much as we love mermaid-length manes, chin- and collarbone-length bobs are still having a moment.
Here's the thing: When you're working with shorter ends, you might think that there's little that can be done to customize a cut to your face shape. But au contraire, according to some of the industry's most renowned stylists, it all comes down to knowing the exact length, when to layer, and whether or not bangs should be a part of the mix.
Of course, we don't expect you to understand these simple concepts with just that tidbit. As such, we chatted with said stylists to come up with your ultimate guide to the best bob for every face shape.
Whether you have round, oval, square, or heart-shaped bone structure, ahead you'll discover the most flattering bob for y-o-u. You can thank us later.
Round: Long Bob (AKA a Lob)
“The best bob for a round face shape should lay below the chin to elongate it,” Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown says, touting Selena Gomez and Emma Stone as prime examples. “A deep side part and light face-framing highlights [like Stone's] will highlight features on a round face.”
If you've got natural hair but are looking for a pin-straight finish, never underestimate the power of a quality flatiron. Not only will it give you silky-smooth strands, but it will also keep them healthy. To get Gabrielle Union's sleek look, her stylist recommends Bio Ionic OnePass Styling Iron ($199).
According to L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Colombini, long bobs elongate round face shapes to draw the eye longer. From her middle part down to her cascading waves, this romantic cut and style certainly complement Penelope Cruz.
To recreate Demi Lovato's textured lob, “I recommend using wave spray to give the lob some movement with this face shape,” says Colombini. First, apply the spray—may we suggest Ouai Wave Spray ($26)?—to damp or dry strands for added bob movement. Simply spritz, grab a handful at the ends, and scrunch upwards. Alternatively, you can use a flat iron to create S-waves. Seal the look with texture spray and you're good to go.
According to Angela Soto, a hairstylist and the owner of Baja Studio in NYC, lobs help bring length to the face while slimming down the width. Her favorite celebrity renditions of the cut include Chrissy Teigen and Kendall Jenner. “Worn super smooth, in a center part, or styled in tousled beach waves with a side tuck behind the ear are the best styles.”
If on the shorter side of a long bob, consider adding an angle or a touch of length in the front since this can help to elongate a round jawline.
Oval: Chin-Length (or Just Beyond) Bob
“Just the opposite of round face shapes, it’s best to have a shorter length bob with an oval face shape,” Colombini explains, noting that Jessica Alba used to rock the cut flawlessly. In terms of a specific length, he says to opt for a chin- or just-below-chin-length.
To recreate Alba's flipped ends, use a flat iron and curve outwards once you reach your mids and ends. To keep strands free of damage, especially when exposed to high temperatures, don't forget to use a heat protectant before styling.
Prefer flipped-under bobs? Let KKW be your muse. “My personal favorite for someone with an oval face shape is a blunt, chin-length bob like the one Kim Kardashian West wore in 2018,” Brown shares. For added gloss, we recommend applying a shine serum like Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum ($21) or trying a DIY version when the mood strikes.
You can also add bangs to the mix. Soto says that since oval shapes tend to have more length in the forehead, they have the ability to wear a full fringe with their bob without it closing in on the face. We're loving this textured take on Kelly Rowland.
“This style is best blown-out with a round brush for volume for a retro ‘80s-inspired look, best referenced by Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface,” Soto notes, adding that Bella Hadid and Katy Perry have brought the popular cut into the modern-day.
Jourdan Dunn's piecey chin-length bob looks lovely with her oval face shape. While shorter hair can at times appear too voluminous (think: poufy), by adding soft layers and working with hair's natural texture, you can achieve a look that is face-framing and flattering. The effect is both edgy and effortless.
Square: Mid-Length Layered Bob
Soto says square face shapes can’t go wrong with strong, mid-length bobs. “Because of the strong jawline, this length defines that line, bringing out the beauty of this strong feature as opposed trying to take away from it,” she says, pointing out that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Hailey Bieber have rocked the look.
Jennifer Hudson's tapered lob is très chic. By pulling hair halfway back, she nails an asymmetrical style without having committed to actually cutting her locks. Did we mention that this style also allows her to show off those gorgeous hoops? Well done.
If you, like master stylist Sergio Pattirane, fawn over Katie Holmes, it’s time to consider an airy, layered bob. Switching up your part is an easy, yet effective way to change up your look (while also reflecting your personality, allegedly). For extra Holmes flair, Pattirane says to sweep your hair into a side part to draw attention to your cheekbones.
If you prefer to soften your jawline, as opposed to drawing attention to it, Brown says to consider a textured, piecey bob worn à la Julianne Hough. To copy the look, part your hair down the middle and use a wide-barrel wand or curling iron like Remington Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand ($19). Once cooled, run your fingers or a comb through your curls to loosen them up a bit. Finish with a flexible-hold hairspray.
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to transform your look but aren't convinced by going under the scissors, you might want to take note of Zoe Kravitz's tucked-in hair. This technique gives the illusion of a lob with the help of a high collar and is a fun and fast way to keep things fresh.
Heart: Lob with Long Layers or Bangs
“A lob is the perfect choice for heart-shaped faces,” Colombini says. He suggests opting for a more lived-in texture—like Khloe Kardashian’s wet look—over something more structured. A mix of hair gel and hair oil like R+Co Motorcycle Flexible Gel ($26) and L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil ($6) can help you to achieve her style.
Rowan Blanchard's textured lob creates fullness around her jawline which serves to bring balance and symmetry to her face. Also, by keeping a bit of length with her 'do, she avoids the boxy appearance that can accompany a shorter cut—say, a bob, for instance—given her heart-shaped face.
Looking to add another style element to the mix? “Adding fringe to a bob is a great way to soften and balance heart-shaped faces,” Brown explains, noting that Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Richie have all shown how it’s done. Rather than wear a blunt bang straight across, which can bring attention to the widest part of your face (read: forehead), Zendaya opts for broken ends which add softness by texturizing.
Celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa says that the key to the heart-shaped haircut looking balanced is to have something across the forehead (whether fully or side-swept) and something to fill in the negative space between the chin and shoulders—as Reese Witherspoon does, above. “That’s why the lob is great,” she exclaims.
“A huge part of a haircut is making sure you have the extra hair on the sides that are long enough to fill the gap, especially when you have a bang or long layers,” says Potempa. Ciara's long, choppy bangs hit right above her eyes, making them stand out. Softly textured bangs also serve to complement her wavy hair.
If you don’t have lots of extra volume and/or if you have fine hair, adding a clip-in hair extension to fill in the front and sides will complement a heart-shaped face.