WHAT IS IT?
Looking to lop off your locks for the next quarter of this work-year? Try the cool new Korean-style bob for maximum fabulousness and minimum fuss. Sounds good, right? Before you bust out the shears, let’s double back a tad.
For starters, what’s an old-school bob? In hairspeak, a bob generally refers to a tight cut ending around the jaw. The Korean Kut – think K-Pop pixies like Sulli from f(x) and Lee Sunmi – is a cut above, so to speak, with the addition of longer layers on the fringe and a meticulously mussed up finish for tons of texture.
Now that we’ve got the definition down pat, here are some pointers to consider before chopping your crop:
1. WHAT IS YOUR FACE SHAPE?
If you’re keen to bite the bullet and do a bob, think hard about the facial features you like and the ones you don’t, and talk through your list of concerns with your go-to stylist. He or she should be able to layer the sides to highlight your eyes, for instance, or bestow you with bangs to downplay your forehead.
In any care, the best thing about the K-Bob is that just about any lass can rock the look. While it’s true that most girls with gamine features tend to gravitate towards the bob or its close cousin the pixie, just about any face shape will do – with slight modifications, of course.
If you have a heart-shaped face, you’re in luck, sweetheart: The K-Bob looks best on you. Take it from an expert, who adds that heart-shaped faces should ask for side-swept bangs. “A longer fringe will help direct attention to your eyes and away from your pointier chin,” advises says Ark Lin, creative director of Air Salon.
If you’re square-jawed, get your stylist to give you lots of soft, feathery layers around the ears to soften the hard planes of your face. Meanwhile, round or oval shapes should consider keeping length on top to add height and elongate your face. Easy-peasy!
2. WHAT IS YOUR HAIR TEXTURE?
Hair texture makes a difference. A bob is meant to give you reprieve from hours of blow-drying and tonging, so ask your stylist to tailor your cut to suit your hair type.
Straight-to-wavy hair fares best with a short crop, and will require the least amount of styling and upkeep; simply rake a volumising mousse through the roots and you’re good to go.
There is, however, one situation in which a bob might not be worth the angst: Steer away from the scissors if you have very thin hair. There’s the distinct possibility your scalp will show through with hair this short and stark.
On a related strand, Ark says that it’s probably best if you stick to a solid hue over your entire head, as this will make your bob pop. Highlights and lowlights, on the other hand (or is that head), will detract from the carefree simplicity that is the raison d’être for the bob. A good stylist should also be able to layer the sides and back so that your hair doesn’t pouf up on you.
3. HOW TO MAINTAIN
Now for the fine-print on mane maintenance. A K-Bob is well and good on a daily styling basis, but is admittedly dearer on your wallet to maintain than traditional ponytail-length hair. Ark recommends trimming your bob every four weeks or so: “Consider if you’re willing to set aside time and money for monthly upkeeps at your salon.” You’ll also need to invest in a good clay texturiser and medium-hold hairspray to keep your pixie in shape.
Finally, if you’re already planning ahead on how to grow out your bob, Ark suggests layering the sides and back so it doesn’t get too thick and unwieldy. Then, once the top has grown to a decent length, you can gradually space out your hair appointments.
Bookmark this story on your smartphone for easy reference at the salon, then go right ahead and have fun with your lunchtime snip and cut!
Text: Eugene Quek /Her World Plus Additional Reporting: Arissa Ha