If you’ve thought about getting a bob or bangs (or maybe both?) dozens of times but changed your mind just as many, maybe now’s the right moment to finally give the cropped hairstyle a try. Both timeless and trendy, a bob haircut with bangs is the best of both worlds for someone bored with their current style and looking to switch things up. “It’s a classic shape that looks good on a lot of different hair types,” says Shelly Aguirre, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, of the bob. “Adding a fringe to this classic cut can be creative and fun.”
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this shorter cut doesn’t necessarily translate to less styling. Kylee Heath, a celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member, says if you currently have long hair that’s low maintenance, a bob with bangs may take a little getting used to until you figure out how you like to wear it. Not only that, but your hair type and texture will largely determine how easy or hard it is to style, according to Michelle Sultan, brand ambassador and creative director for hair care brand Imbue. But despite the challenges, Aguirre adds that lots of hair textures can rock this look, and working with your stylist can help you find what’s best for you based on how much time and effort you’re willing to put into your style.
There are many variations of the bob haircut with bangs that’ll suit not only your hair type and texture but also your lifestyle. Ahead, five bob hairstyles with fringe to help inspire your fresh chop.
1. The Blunt Bob With Bangs
Blunt is always a classic hairstyle choice. “If the hair texture allows it, a blunt fringe looks great,” Aguirre says, noting a blunt bob is ideal for someone with thinner hair. If you have curly hair and are looking to wear your bob more straight, Heath says to be ready to put a little work in with styling.
If your hair isn’t naturally straight, achieving a sleek, smooth finish might require blow-drying or heat-styling your hair to really highlight the blunt ends and straight-across cut, so Heath recommends starting with a spritz of something like the R+Co One Prep Spray throughout the strands. “This will give your style longevity while protecting it from heat, which is so important — especially with bangs,” Heath says. “Your hair in the front is generally [finer], so you need to protect it.” If you have wavy or thick hair and want to try this straight bob cut without all the styling time, Aguirre suggests asking your stylist about a smoothing keratin treatment.
2. The Curly Bob With Bangs
A curly bob with bangs is an effortlessly cool look that’s worth any extra effort it might take to style. “Some people have cowlicks, low hairlines, widow’s peaks, or more than one type of curl on their head,” Sultan explains. “This can all determine how the style will be cut and should definitely be considered as an additional factor when choosing this look.” With curly bangs, the stylist will have to adjust the length of the cut based on the tightness of the coil to accommodate for shrinkage, which is why Sultan says it’s super important to make sure that the stylist cutting your hair truly understands hair growth patterns, curl type, and density.
If you love a free-flowing, touchable finish, Sultan says you’ll want to reach for a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse the hair without dehydrating it and stick with lightweight styling products that allow for the natural cut pattern to take shape, such as the Pattern Styling Cream or Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave-In Spray. What’s more, lightweight formulas are ideal for a haircut that touches the face because you don’t want your strands to feel greasy or for any heavy products to block pores on your forehead.
3. The Bob With Baby Bangs
One simple way to switch up the vibe of your haircut is to experiment with the length of both your bangs and your bob. One look Heath loves? Baby bangs. “If you have straight hair, a baby bang could be so easy and just give you an automatic style,” she says. That said, be sure to ask your stylist what will work best for your hair type and face shape.
Of course, frequent trims would be necessary to maintain the length of micro bangs, so determining the right length of the fringe is something you’ll also want to chat about with your stylist. “Whatever the shape that you and your stylist decide on, keeping up with your haircut will keep the look fresh,” Aguirre stresses. One more thing: Stock up on dry shampoo. “Bangs and dry shampoo make very good friends,” Heath adds.
4. The Layered Bob With Bangs
If you’re looking for a cut that’s a little more versatile, try layers and a soft fringe, like a curtain bang or sweeping bang. Although this bob cut still might need a refresh every now and then, fringe with face-framing layers helps the grow-out period go a little smoother and, generally, requires less maintenance. Aguirre says a bob with layers works particularly well for those with wavy, thick hair to avoid the boxy look. If you want to play up the texture of your bob, Aguirre recommends using a curling iron and texture spray to change the overall look of this very classic shape.
5. The Air-Dried Bob With Bangs
Another one of Heath’s favorite ways to wear a bob with bangs is via a cut that’s a little longer and parts in the middle, making it wear well right out of the shower. “An air-dried bob with bangs looks so cute,” Heath says, adding that it might need a couple of subtle tweaks in the front with a flat iron or small curling iron, but it’s worth any extra time it may take. To get this look on wavy to curly hair, Heath suggests only combing the hair while it’s soaking wet, then scrunching in a curl or air-dry cream and allowing the hair time to dry or diffusing it on a low setting.
“The nice thing with a bob is that you’re able to create lots of different looks within one haircut — straight and sleek to wavy and textured,” Aguirre says. “Bottom line, have fun and don’t overthink it.”