What Is a Classic Bob Haircut?

B. Miller

A classic bob haircut is a style most popular among women, which has remained common over the years because of its simplicity and timelessness. In this style, the hair is cut to the same length all around the head. A chin-length bob is the most common, in which the hair will fall just to the jawline. Some choose to go a bit shorter and chop the hair around the ears. The classic bob haircut is typically parted in the middle or off to one side, and is generally styled straight. There are advantages and disadvantages to this haircut.

Classic bob haircuts can be updated by being angled shorter in the back.
Classic bob haircuts can be updated by being angled shorter in the back.

Certain hair types or face shapes are more flattered by the classic bob haircut than others. Those with thin, straight hair may find that this haircut gives their hair more volume and lift. In addition, women with long, narrow faces often find that a classic bob haircut helps to shorten their faces and adds a nice balance. Conversely, there are some hair types and face shapes that don't agree so well with a bob haircut; those with very round or square faces might find that a bob haircut is simply too much. In addition, a bob haircut can make very thick or curly hair look even bigger and wider around the face, which is generally not a great look.

A chin-length bob is the most popular hairstyle among women.
A chin-length bob is the most popular hairstyle among women.

Though a classic bob haircut in all one length is the timeless style, there are other ways to update this haircut, or make it a little edgier. Slightly angling the hair is one of the most popular was to do this; the hair is left just slightly longer in the front and then angled to the back of the head. It is sometimes cut much shorter in the back of the head, or even angled to a point at the nape of the neck.

Bangs often go well with a classic bob haircut as well. These can be blunt-cut bangs, straight across the forehead, or sideswept bangs that make the haircut a little less severe. Again, an individual's face shape and hair type will play a role in the style of bangs chosen. Cutting a few shorter layers into the haircut can give it more interest, and make it a bit more visually interesting as well. In addition, this hairstyle lends itself really well to highlights or other hair color changes, because they are most noticeable on shorter hair styles. Just keep in mind that maintaining a classic bob haircut takes a lot more regular trims than a longer hairstyle, or one that is less severe.

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Discussion Comments


@cloudel – I agree. People with really striking, pretty faces look good with a classic bob. The dramatic cut actually draws attention to their faces.

However, I think that even models should steer clear of the bob if they have round faces. This cut really can make your face look wider.


I've seen a lot of older women wearing the classic bob. I know that it is very easy to maintain, and that is why older women are drawn to it, I believe.

When you start to go gray and your hair loses its youthful texture, you kind of want to just chop it off. Styles that require maintenance just don't seem worth the trouble anymore.

Some women who have gone gray like the classic bob because it is easy to color. Short hair requires less dye and less time to color, so it's less expensive to have this done in a salon.


The classic bob looks best on a person with very symmetrical features. I can see how a model could pull this off, because her face would be more interesting than her hair, anyway.


I think a classic bob haircut that is just straight across looks horrible! It is very severe, and it doesn't accentuate anyone's looks.

Adding just a few layers or even some wispy bangs lessens the bluntness. Angled bobs look so much better than the classic bob, too.

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