6 Things You Need to Know Before You Cut a Lob

by Julia Teen

I recently came to a miserable conclusion I’ve been fighting for years: I just can’t pull off long hair.

I’ve tried, and tried, but Blake Lively-worthy lengths are just not in my future — and never were. Why? I’ve got the finest hair ever. Like, physically unable to put in a top-knot, oils up in an hour, falls out in the fistful hair. You know how hairstylists tell you the best styles are always achieved with second-day hair because it gives more grip than squeaky clean hair? Well, I don’t have second-day hair, because it’s an oil-slick mess. I have three-hour hair.

After accepting that long, voluminous, textured styles aren't in my stars, I took the plunge and booked a cut to get the short look of the moment: the "lob," or long bob.

It’s been life-changing. My hair feels and looks healthier, and I’ve been styling it up in so many more interesting ways than I ever could before.

Thinking about joining me? Here’s what you need to know before taking to the scissors.

Fine Hair? You're Not Stuck With a Blunt Cut

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The problem with fine hair is that a lot of layers can make your ends look “translucent,” ratty, and unhealthy, so thin-haired girls think they can only ever have a blunt cut (which gives the illusion of thickness).

Stylist Colleen Duffy — who cut in my lob — disagrees. “Have your stylist cut it bluntly first to get the core shape, but fine hair types can definitely enjoy soft layers too,” she says. The emphasis there is on soft, not heavy, layers. “After cutting, your stylist should dry your hair and then add in soft layers at the base of your strands to give it movement and personality.”

It's Not a Bob, But Not Shoulder-Length, Either

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The outline of the cut should sit between the chin and the collarbone, says Sally Hershberger L.A. stylist, Nicole Pascual. “From the back, it should graze the nape of the neck right about the shoulders and with this length it can either fall in a square or a-line shape.” I opted for a-line, since the weight of the hair falling down towards my clavicle means I don’t have to stress about my ends jutting out to the sides in some cutesy, early 2000’s flick.

The Lob Works For Thick Hair

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“You can make lobs more interesting by playing with texture and your cutting angle,” Pascual says. “For thicker hair types, I love to use razors or thinning shears to give a strong but lived-in look to the lob. These tools enhance the hair texture and make the look effortless and wearable.”

It Suits All Face Shapes

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The lob is one versatile cut. Pascual says the amount of layering and movement will be specific to your face shape and preferred style.

“Someone with a very square face shape will look better with a layered lob, especially around the face framing area, as this gives a more textured look,” she says. “Whereas someone with a longer, more oval face shape will look great with a lob that has a fringe or side-swept bangs to accommodate for the long length of the face.”

Cutting With a Center Part Will Make Styling Easier

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Duffy says most people request their lobs to be cut in a side part, but she says making the first cut into a center part is way more versatile — because you have the freedom to switch it up when styling.

“You can play around and see what works better with your features, because everyone’s faces are a little different on each side.” Plus, she says, if the cut is done right for your personal face shape, the middle part will look just as flattering.

Fine Hair in a Lob Means Volume

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Duffy says when styling, you should be holding your hair tong horizontally to get more body into it. “Pull the tong upwards when sliding down your lengths on the top layers to add extra volume.”