Power to the Bob: 100 Years of Style

Teresa Romero, Sam Villa  Creative Director

If there’s one haircut that has stood the test of time, it’s the bob. Since its inception, the bob has continuously evolved and adapted to changing styles and preferences, making it an enduring choice for individuals looking to make a statement with their hair.

In 1924, the year that MODERN SALON began as Modern Beauty Shop magazine, the classic cropped style was a new trend taking the country by storm, popularized by the iconic flappers of the Jazz Age. The bob represented women’s liberation and independence, helping them resist against what society considered “feminine” and proper at the time by defying traditional long hair norms. Hollywood stars and magazine ads introduced variations of the style to the public, who were eager to adopt the sensational look.

In the 21st century, the bob continues to reign supreme as a versatile and stylish choice for women of all ages. From the textured bixie to the sleek lob, there are endless variations to suit every personality and preference.

“The bob flatters a wide range of face shapes, hair textures, and densities,” explains Ivy Ann Miller, stylist and founder of Ivy Ann Professional Shears. “Its adaptability makes it a go-to choice for individuals seeking a stylish yet practical haircut.”

Top-tier Tools

Using the right tools when cutting is a crucial part of achieving a pleasing shape. Stylist, salon owner and global educator Presley Poe (@presleypoe) notes that it’s important to use high-quality shears to create a showstopping bob, as well as to protect the health of the hair.

“Believe it or not, a good tool makes all the difference when considering the longevity of a cut,” says Poe. “The better the quality of the tool you use, the better health the hair will be in through the grow out process. Metal has porosity which presents as texture, and the lower the grade of your scissors, the more texture to the metal. When textured metal meets hair, it may cause the hair to split, making clients need a cut faster than expected.”

Presley Poe has created their own set of signature scissors in partnership with Ivy Ann Professional Shears, which are handcrafted by artisans in Japan, so that every stylist can experience the level of precision and quality a great pair of shears can give you.

Ivy Ann x Presley Poe Signature 22k Shears

Ivy Ann Professional Shears

What Makes a Good Bob?

No matter the style or length you’re going for, there are certain factors that can make or break a bob – so what are those artistic elements that can help you win a client over to the short side?

  1. Precision and Structure:

A well-executed bob hinges on precise cutting techniques and attention to detail. Whether it’s a blunt cut or layered style, clean lines are essential for a polished look.

  1. Face Framing

“The bob is the perfect frame for a beautiful face,” says Poe. “There is so much diversity to a bob, whether it be a swing bob, French bob, a-line bob, or textured and shapely. There is literally a bob for flattering every face shape. I think that the right bob could be a facelift in a haircut if balanced for their features. And who doesn't want that?”

  1. Texture and Movement

A good bob should also have texture and/or movement to prevent it from looking too severe (helmet hair, anyone?). Whether it’s achieved through layering, subtle waves, or strategic thinning, adding dimension breathes life into the hairstyle.

Power to the Bob: 100 Years of Style

Lany-Jade Mondou - Pexels

So, here’s to the bob – a cut that has transcended generations, remaining a constant symbol of confidence and style. As we celebrate a century of MODERN SALON this year, we know that culture will continue to embrace the charm of this iconic haircut in all its forms, making it a staple in our ever-evolving hair journey.

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