There was about a split second where it looked like super-long hair was becoming a thing, and the death of the lob was imminent. But then suddenly everyone started chopping off their lengths (Kardashian-Jenners included) and hey presto, the lob and its shorter cousins (yep, pixie cut included) became this year’s hottest hairstyles. And just in case you need some professional validation of this, Ouai Haircare founder, Dyson ambassador and celeb hairstylist to the stars(Chrissy Teigen and Bella Hadid are just the tip of the iceberg), Jen Atkin confirmed when we caught up with her, “The lob is here to stay for a while longer”.
And that’s not the only short hairstyle making the rounds at the moment. We asked Atkin to dish on the hottest and top trending short hairstyles and best short haircuts of the moment, plus, her tips for achieving each look.
#1 / Blunt bob with natural waves
“I really love something that’s, like, super blunt with a natural wave,” says Atkin. And to get a look like Lily James’ trendy chin-length style above, Atkin recommends getting your hands on “a texturising hairspray, a volume spray, a wave spray” and then “rough dry with the Dyson SuperSonic™, and then maybe take some pieces and twist them [around a round brush] and blow-dry the twists”.
The Ouai Wave Spray is a great one to keep in your hair kit for a short wavy style, and you really can’t go past the Kristen Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray for adding weightless volume. Atkin swears by the Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray for giving that natural, lived-in look while holding the style in place.
FYI, according to Atkin, a blunt short cut is perfect for those with fine hair. “If you have really thin hair, you’re going to want blunt lines so that it appears that your hair is thicker. Girls with thin hair are always like ‘oh my god my hair looks so thick I can’t believe it’; they don’t realise the longer you [have your hair], the more it’s dragging it down, because it can’t handle the weight and it makes it look flat,” she says.
#2 / Piece-y ends
This is a good one if you’ve got thick, coarse, or a lot of hair. “If you have really thick hair or coarse hair, you’re going to want to talk to your hairstylist about taking weight out if you’re going shorter,” says Atkin.
To get the natural wave and that piece-y finish, Atkin says, “I would probably use the medium-sized barrel of the Dyson Airwrap™ [ed note: or a medium-barrel curling tong] for that and then some Ouai Matte Pomade and just break up the ends”.
Another pomade we’re loving for that natural texture is the Hunter Lab Natural Hair Pomade.
#3 / Short with a blunt fringe
It doesn’t get more effortlessly French-girl chic than this short bob and fringe combo, but according to Atkin, it’s not a hairdo for the faint-hearted. “This is for the brave girl, the blunt fringe.” The trick to pulling this one off? Atkin says to go for really long bangs with a blunt cut (and a little bedhead vibe doesn't hurt, either).
While you can use a combo of the above-mentioned products from the piece-y ends look to create a naturally wavy hair texture, the one product we REALLY recommend having in your arsenal for this hairstyle is a good dry shampoo. A fringe can be a lot of work and can get greasy quickly, so freshen it up daily with something that’s lightweight on application and won’t feel heavy after a couple of days of using. The Batiste Dry Shampoo & Volume will have your back for this hairstyle.
#4 / Layers and movement
Layers are another good option for bob hairstyles if you find your tresses tends to look a bit fine and flat. “The shorter you go, add long layers – it makes [your hair] bounce up,” says Atkin. Adding defined waves and curl to straight hair can give even more oomph. “So, girls that really want to have layers and movement, you could use the small barrel with the [Dyson] Airwrap™ to get that look and it would be so cute,” says Atkin.
If your hair doesn’t tend to hold a curl very well, we recommend prepping hair when damp with something that will add some grit. evo macgyver multi-use mousse works brilliantly to give you that hold without the crunch factor.
#5 / Embracing natural curls
Our very own Zoe Foster Blake showed us a while ago that a curly bob (with - *shock* - a curly fringe) is super cute, and Atkin is so on board with this trend.
The key is finding the right products and drying technique to help you nail the curly hairstyle.
“Find products that really work with your natural texture,” says Atkin. “So, for curly hair, I’d probably use Ouai Air Dry Foam, I also love Bumble and bumble Brilliantine, and then I’d say use a diffuser [attachment on your hairdryer] just to like amp it up a little bit. [Use] a downward motion up top [at the root] and then up [cupping your hair] from the mid-lengths to ends.”
As for managing curls in general, Atkin has this sage advice: “You’ve got to start with the right product, and it starts in the shower by the way. You need to use the right shampoo and conditioner because for curls - to really get them to bounce – you need to use something that’s super hydrating.” We reckon you can’t go wrong with the Aveda Be Curly™ Shampoo and Conditioner to help nourish and define those curls.
#6 / The lob
Of course this list of short styles wouldn’t be complete without featuring the iconic lob – the collarbone-grazing or even shoulder-length cut that is universally flattering for all face shapes, works for all hair types, and looks cool no matter what your hair colour is (although balayage looks GREAT on a lob), how you style it, or what products you use. It’s literally that easy and low maintenance.
“I think we would rather spend time scrolling through Instagram and looking on Pinterest than [spending] time doing our hair in the bathroom, so that’s why it’s great,” says Atkin.
Our advice for keeping your lob looking chic no matter the style? Regular trims to keep those ends fresh, and a good haircare routine to keep it looking healthy and shiny.
Oh, and just in case you’ve gotten this far and you’re still not convinced to chop you’r hair off? Listen to Jen Atkin: “It’s hair, it’ll always grow back”.
Want more from Jen Atkin? We caught up with her when she was in Sydney; catch our chat below:
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.