The bob is back.
The hairstyle in this modern iteration is busting loose — it’s got the moves and the motion — and it oozes attitude. Plenty of red carpet celebrities including Regina King, Julia Garner and Robin Wright bypassed sleek up dos and formal chignons in favor of windswept bobs (and their longer sisters, lobs) at this season's awards shows. Gabrielle Union celebrated her dramatic bob on Instagram in June.
Earlier this month, pop star Ashanti Douglas, a Glen Cove native, sported a platinum blonde blunt cut bob and is, she says, “loving my new 'do because it’s so easy and chic.” Douglas calls the look “confident and strong,” and is getting great feedback. “The reaction has been amazing … lots of calls and texts.”
Of course, the style is far from new. Flappers wore the chin-length ‘do in the 1920s; in the '60s the legendary Vidal Sassoon perfected his own geometric five-point variation. For some women, (Coco Chanel and Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour come to mind) the bob has long been a fashion signature.
It’s also the signature haircut for Anthony DeFranco, who owns two salons — one in Huntington, the other Plainview — and who trained at Vidal Sassoon back in the day. It’s definitely evolved, he says.
“Today’s bobs are messier, choppy, shattered and layered and the more tousled they are the cooler they look. It’s rough but still polished and anything that doesn’t move is just plain dated,” he says.
One of his clients, Susan Ortenberg, 43, of Kings Park, recently, and somewhat nervously, allowed DeFranco to work his bob magic.
“I’ve never done anything so drastic,” says Ortenberg of the six inches DeFranco sliced off her hair. “It’s a major difference and I love it, so does my husband. People tell me I look so much younger.” And she appreciates the ease. “All I have to do is flip it over, shake my head, fluff it and it looks so good.”
Likewise, Stony Brook University student, Elana Howe, 21, is getting raves about her striking bob cut from Jamie Mazzei, the owner of nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset.
“It was definitely a chop,” says Howe about the six inches Mazzei, lopped off. “My hair was so boring before and now it’s really cool, fresh and stands out. My friends were like ‘wow!’ ” She likes that it is easy to work with and a bit untamed. “I try to be perfect in other areas of my life, but with my hair, not so much.”
That’s the beauty of the bob — “it’s perfectly imperfect,” says Mazzei. The appeal is partially because of the bob’s versatility — it can be worn straight or wavy. And for hairstylists, the bob goes beyond being just a haircut.
“It seems simple but it’s actually a very complicated style,” says Mazzei. “A lot of creativity goes into the process.” In the end, he says his clients appreciate the new edge and attitude the bob conveys … "even a little bit of swagger.”