18 Fantastic Bob Hairstyles for Older Women

Updated 09/02/19

The bob hairstyle has somehow earned a reputation for being a safe, somewhat boring choice for a hairstyle. But with so many different interpretations of a bob hairstyle and ways that you can customize it to suit your needs and personal taste, the bob cut is anything but boring. A catch-all term for hair that is cut anywhere from just above the chin or almost below the shoulders, the bob can take on many different vibes, so you're sure to find a great match for your personality and lifestyle.

The best part? Bob hairstyles are a chic choice for any person, regardless of their age or face shape. When deciding on your next cut, the only important factors to consider are your hair texture (fine, thick, or in between), hair type (straight, wavy, or curly), and the amount of work you want to put into styling your hair each day.

Ahead, 18 variations of the bob hairstyle on different textures and lengths to inspire your next haircut.

01 of 18

An Asymmetrical Bob

Linda Fargo with a bob hairstyle

Cindy Ord/ Getty Images

Shorter on one side, longer on the other—the angle of this haircut adds interest to the otherwise simple style. Though it would look equally great worn scrunched or textured, the straight edge emphasizes the asymmetry.

02 of 18

A Versatile Lob

Lauren Hutton

 

D'aprano/Contributor/Getty Images

If you currently have longer hair and are looking to tip-toe into the short hair trend, start with a lob that hits somewhere just above or just below your shoulders. Longer than a traditional bob cut, the aptly named "lob" haircut is a favorite for its versatility. Long enough to pull back if you need, yet short enough to classify as short, the mid-length lob allows you to not feel tied down to any single style. Hair this length looks just as good when you let it air-dry naturally (like Lauren Hutton's style shown here) as it does when you style it with a blow-dryer or flat iron.

03 of 18

A Sleek Bob

Angela Bassett on the red carpet

Vincent Sandoval/ WireImage/ Getty Images

This sleek, rounded bob with minimal layers proves that a simple hairstyle can still be bold and not at all boring. For a finish this smooth, straight, and shiny, use ultra-thin sections of hair when flat ironing it to straighten each strand evenly. Then, warm a little bit of oil between your palms and run it through the ends of your hair to finish the look.

04 of 18

Part Pixie, Part Bob

Tilda Swinton

 

Dominique Charriau/Contributor/ Getty Images

Not quite a pixie cut but not bob, this hybrid hairstyle has all the edginess of a super-short crop but with a little more softness to it. If your hair has a natural wave, scrunch it to style. If you have straighter hair, use a styling wand to give your strands a cool bend like Tilda Swinton's.

05 of 18

A Classic Bob

Eileen Fisher on the red carpet

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

A classic bob this length is perfect for creating volume in finer hair textures that get easily weighed down by longer lengths. Keep in mind that to maintain the shape of a classic bob, you'll likely need trims every six to eight weeks. If you're not someone who likes to commit very much time or money to your hair routine, you might want to consider a more textured look that grows out nicely.

06 of 18

Mid-Length Beach Waves

Finola Hughes with a short wavy bob
Alberto E. Rodriguez // Getty Images

If you want to leave a little more length to your hair, the long bob is an excellent option for all face shapes and hair colors. To get this naturally wavy bob, spray in a salt spray and scrunch your hair as it dries. The slight bend will bring out the dimension of highlighted strands.

07 of 18

A Bob With Bangs

Helen Mirren with a signature bob
Photos: Getty Images, 2nd one by Frazer Harrison

Helen Miren proves the bob cut is more versatile than it gets credit for. Create piece-y texture with a wax pomade for a more lived-in look, or wear it freshly blown out for a softer finish—whichever one suits your mood at the moment.

08 of 18

An A-Line Bob

Yolanda Foster with an A-Line bob

Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images

Yolanda Hadid's cut is slightly shorter in the back than the front, which allows for great movement and an angle that can be seen from the side. Whether you know it as the graduated bob, inverted bob, or A-line bob, this asymmetrical take on the classic cut has a youthful, edgy vibe. To give your hair body and height at the crown, ask your stylist for stacks of layers that are shorter in the back and longer in the front.

09 of 18

A Natural Bob

Viola Davis

Stefanie Keenan/ Contributor/ Getty Images

A look like Viola's is all about embracing your natural texture. Use a combination of curl cream, hair oil, and styling gel to define and enhance your curl pattern.

10 of 18

A Blunt Bob

Anna Wintour with a blunt bob

David M. Benett/ Getty Images

A blunt bob with matching blunt bangs is a bold look that proves the short crop is anything but boring. The length of a classic bob tends to be one to two inches below the chin but work with your stylist to find the length that suits your features best.

11 of 18

A Cool Shag

Tina Turner

David M. Benett/ Contributor/ Getty Images

Possibly the coolest bob style to ever exist, the shaggy bob with choppy layers has a rocker vibe to it, which is why it's perfect for those who find the classic bob a bit too preppy.

12 of 18

A Blunt Bob

Eden Sassoon with a one-length bob

Allen Berezovsky/ Getty Images

Not all bobs have layers or bangs. A simple blunt cut like this is an excellent way to put the focus on your hair color and shiny strands.

13 of 18

A Voluminous Bob

Jane Fonda

Steve Granitz/ Contributor/ Getty Images

Whether you have natural curls or not, you can achieve these defined tendrils with the use of a curling wand—but only after you've built the volume first with a fresh blowout.

14 of 18

A Curly Bob

Gayle King

Dia Dipasupil/ Staff/ Getty Images

 

Who says curly bobs can't have bangs? Have your stylist break up the length of your cut with a few shorter curls around your eyes to frame your face.

15 of 18

A Bob With Subtle Layers

Mariella Frostrup with a subtle layer bob

Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images

If you have straight hair, consider this bob. Although it might appear to be cut all one length, the subtle layering throughout and a slightly shorter length in the back keep the finished look from feeling heavy and weighed down.

16 of 18

A Sleek, Slicked Bob

Maye Musk

Kyusung Gong/ Contributor/ Getty Images

 

The ultimate cool-girl style, a sleek wet look can be pulled off by any hair type and at any age. If your bob is too short to wear in an updo, but you'd like your hair pulled back to keep the focus to be on your outfit, this is one super-cool way to achieve that.

17 of 18

A Youthful Bob

Iman with a youthful bob
Iman.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

This sleek, stylish bob feels both trendy and timeless. The shape perfectly frames Iman's face and brings extra attention to her eyes with her side-swept bangs.

18 of 18

A Smooth Bob

Mary Berry with a full volume bob
Getty Images

Lots of layers don't necessarily make it a choppy haircut—take this smooth, voluminous bob for instance. By having your stylist cut in many layers, it adds volume to thinner hair that might lay a little flat. To blow-dry a sleek lob, begin with a volumizing shampoo and mousse if you have fine hair. Use a large, paddle brush rather than a rounded brush to get the ends to curl under.

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