Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt that something was just off? And after scrutinizing the shape of your eyebrows, the undertones of your foundation, and the color of your blush, you still couldn't put a finger on it? Well, friends, it's time to take a closer look at your haircut.
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-Shaped: Long Bob (AKA a Lob)
According to L’Oréal Paris celebrity hair stylist Jonathan Colombini, long bobs, like the one seen on Demi Lovato above, elongate round face shapes to draw the eye longer. “I recommend using wave spray to give the lob some movement with this face shape,” he says.
To recreate Lovato's look, apply the spray 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.
“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.”
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. “If on the shorter side of a long bob, an angle or a touch of length in the front also helps elongate a round jawline,” she adds. “Worn super smooth, in a center part, or styled in tousled beach waves with a side tuck behind the ear are the best styles.”
Oval-Shaped: 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. Don't forget to use a heat protectant.
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.
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. “This style is best blown-out with a round brush for volume for a retro ‘80s-inspired look, best referenced by Michelle Pheiffer in Scarface,” Soto notes, adding that Bella Hadid and Katy Perry have brought the popular cut into the modern-day.
Square-Shaped: Mid-Length Layered Bob
If you, like master stylist Sergio Pattirane, fawn over Katie Holmes, it’s time to consider an airy, layered bob. 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. Once cooled, run your fingers or a comb through your curls to loosen it up a bit. Finish with a flexible-hold hairspray.
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.
Heart-Shaped: Bob (or Lob) with 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.
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.
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.”
If you don’t have lots of extra volume, don’t fret. Potempa says that if you have fine hair, adding a clip-in hair extension to fill in the front and sides will change everything for a heart-shaped face.