If you run a Pinterest search for the long bob (or "lob" as we've all come to affectionately call it), you've likely seen dozens of similar photos of perfectly tousled, impossibly textured beachy waves against a stark white background. If you've given in to this particular celeb hair trend, you're likely wondering how to style a lob so that it looks as good as all those pins. Well, a lot of these perfect Pinterest lobs come courtesy of Anh Co Tran, an L.A.-based stylist who has actually trademarked the catchphrase "Lived-In Hair™." At his Ramirez-Tran Salon, which he owns in partnership with equally swoon-worthy colorist to the stars Johnny Ramirez, Tran sculpts perfectly messy lobs and styles them to Instagram perfection.
If you're like me and don't live anywhere near L.A., you're likely thinking that your geographic location is standing in the way of you and the lob of your dreams. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, however, that's not the case. I recently took the plunge into the world of the long bob, and I also spent more time than I'd care to admit watching Tran's incredible tutorial videos for how to achieve Lived-In Hair™. Since his exact techniques are a bit too time consuming for my usual morning routine, here is my bare bones approach to creating a Pinterest-worthy lob.
1. Dry your hair with a heat styling product.
Since you want as much texture as possible, you don't want to dry your hair in a smooth, blowout style. Just add some type of heat styling product meant for your hair type throughout your whole head, then dry it in a sort of messy, wild way — no brushes allowed. Don't worry about frizziness, because you'll take care of that later.
2. Pull up half of your hair.
Tran recommends pulling up half of your hair (or more if it's thick, which unfortunately mine isn't). This will help you to curl each section individually.
3. Spray a salt spray on 1-inch sections.
This is something that I added in based off of other tutorials, mainly because I don't always have the time to expertly curl each individual section. I use Toni&Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray to add a little extra wave where I don't have it, but feel free to skip this step if your hair is already wavy.
4. Curl those sections.
I can't even tell you how vindicated I felt after watching Tran's tutorials and seeing that he uses a plain old curling iron, just like mine. Granted, it probably costs hundreds more than my Conair, but whatever. No need for tricky straight iron waves or wands (which I have yet to master), and he even uses the clamp on the curling iron instead of wrapping the hair around. So simple. Start from the top of the hair and work your way down, and be sure to leave the ends straight.
5. Alternate curling the next layer.
Next, Tran lets down the next layer of hair and curls it the exact same way, except moving in the opposite direction. You guys, this alternating directions is the secret to Lived-In Hair™! Don't you ever forget it.
6. Mess it up.
To avoid Annie-style ringlet curls that look unnatural, use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to loosen your curls and break them up.
7. Add a texture product.
Tran (and just about every other hairstylist nowadays) swears by a magical potion called Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, but at a cool $42, a can it can easily run your bank account dry as well. Instead, I count on the sea salt spray to give me a bit of texture at the beginning of styling, and then I massage some Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder into my roots for extra volume.
8. Create a part.
Play with your part to find where it looks most flattering. For me, that's slightly off-centered. Use a rat tail comb to make it sharp and straight, and then marvel in the wonder that is your almost perfect, Anh Co Tran-inspired 'do.
Image: Amy Roberts