What’s the one look hair stylists insist works on everyone, can make hair appear healthier and happens to be perfect for the steamy summer season?
READ: Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon Go For Old Hollywood Glam at Oscars
Meet the lob, or the long bob.
“The lob, also known as the demi bob, is the hot new trend for this season,” reveals Eugene Smith, senior stylist at Ted Gibson in New York City. “It’s a chic new look that has gotten really popular for the girl who once had long hair, but isn’t ready for the big chop of the traditional bob.”
Unlike the bob, which is ideally cut at jaw-level, the lob skims the shoulders, making it long enough to be worn in a ponytail or bun, but also short enough to create a sleek look without hours under the blow dryer.
You don't have to be a celebrity to look like one. Here's how to get the look for yourself:
One of the many reasons why the lob is so popular now? “It looks great on everyone, whether you pair it with a side part, middle part, bangs, wavy or straight hair, but never curly,” says Smith, who loves the lob on socialite Olivia Palermo. “Ask your stylist to keep the ends light and wispy to avoid a pyramid look."
Do your locks lay flat no matter how much hairspray you add? If so, it might time to add bangs. “A bang-lob combo works best on finer hair with a slight wave,” explains Giovanni Mele, owner and artistic director of Philadelphia-based Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “This can work on both a long oval face and a smaller round one.”
There’s no miracle treatment to make thin hair grow quickly, but you can give it new life. "The lob is especially great for ladies with thinner hair because a blunt edge can help make their hair appear thicker, but you can also opt for piecier ends with your cut if you have thicker hair,” says Los Angeles-based groomer Julia Papworth who looks to actress Jessica Alba as a lob-spiration. However, if you do suffer from thin hair, make sure your hair is trimmed slightly above the shoulders. “If you go any shorter, you will be getting a bob haircut, which has much less versatility,” warns Papworth.
The lob is one of the most versatile styles there is. “The lob is ideal for most women since they can adjust the part, angle or length to best suit their face shape,” says California-based hairstylist David Babaii. “Another bonus is adding a fringe. This can be a longer swept to the side bang (like singer Ciara pictured here) or a blunt Cleopatra one.”
“Whether it is angled or just pin straight, long bobs can soften and elongate the face, which works well for people with strong facial features or with an oval facial shape,” explains Angelo David of New York City-based Angelo David Salon. “Should you wish to proceed with this look, keep in mind to give emphasis to the section around the face. You want to create soft layers around that area to create a beautiful frame for the face.” David also adds that “whenever I think of lobs, I think of Jennifer Aniston, whose angled long bob created a new wave of hair trends back in 2011.”
For hair in dire need of shine, skip the pore-clogging oils and hair products. According South Beach-based stylist Danny Jelaca, it's best to opt for the lob, like “Mad Men” star January Jones, who is a fan of the cut. “This style makes hair look so healthy and shiny with a lot of movement without feeling too short,” he explains. “You can ombré the front to give it a current feel. It’s best when the hair rests on the shoulders and the front is dancing just at the collar bone.”
Lobs can be easily accessorized by adding a simple bobby pin to channel old Hollywood glamour like Emily Blunt. If you prefer to keep your hair off your face, you can easily give yourself some height. “In a longer lob, hair is long enough to be pinned back into an up-do, but still has the glamour and sex appeal of the classic bob,” says Mele.
Even though the lob requires some snipping, make sure the hair in the front of your face is long enough to maintain this stylish, yet low-maintenance look all day. “You need enough length in the front to pull off the lob,” insists Jelaca. “If your hair is layered you can disguise them with texturizing as long as there is enough length to give it that edge.” Actress Julianne Hough best mastered this style by growing out her layers without completely making her hair one length. As a result, she can go for a choppy, rocker style for night or brush it out to keep it softer and more feminine during the day.
With so many lob looks to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? “I always tell my clients when wanting a change to go to a wig store and try a few on that have the look they are thinking of,” Babaii says. “Then, take pictures and send to friends and family for feedback. This way, you have an idea how you will look and exactly what length, angle or bang best suits you.”
Make sure you visit a stylist who specializes in creating and maintaining sexy, short hair. “Do some research,” stresses Mele. “Go to a salon with a reputation you can trust. Cutting off your long locks for a lob can be a big change. You want to make sure they know what they are doing. Then, find out which products they used to create your new do.” A good stylist, explains Mele, will also be able to tell you which products work best for your hair and how to use them.