How To Grow Out A Bob

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I’m growing out my shorter hair so that it will sit just above the shoulder and am told by my hair stylist that what I am officially doing is going from a “bob” to a “lob”. For the past two years I’ve swung between these two comically-named hair lengths and have had (obviously) every length in between and so I thought that I could share some expertise on the matter: namely, how to grow your hair through that tricky middle phase. When it no longer hugs the jaw and looks cool and choppy, but is not yet long enough or weighty enough to hang nicely.

The Lord Farquaad Stage. The Triangular Era. When the hair seemingly only wants to grow outwards rather than downwards and gets more and more wedge-like the longer it gets. It’s hair purgatory: you’re left waiting around for an indefinite amount of time, wondering what the hell you can do to stop yourself from looking like a Brownie Leader from the eighties.

Here’s what – and all credit goes to my hair colourist and stylist Cassie* for these cutting tips:

1 – Keep it trimmed. Don’t think that by ignoring the cut as it’s growing out you can speed up the process: it’ll just look crappier for longer. I’ve found that it’s even more important to stay on top of the cut, because in that nowhere land that is “between jaw and shoulder” any straggliness is so much more obvious. The hair ends are just hanging there, as though on display. So keep having it cut regularly and:

2 – Ask for some of the weight to be taken out of the back, if you have thick hair or lots of fine hair. I’ve just had the back sliced into (there’s no layering) to take out some of the heft and I’ve found that my hair is sitting more neatly and doesn’t billow out behind me like the hair of a medieval lute player.

3 – Also talk to your hairdresser about getting an A-line cut. This is when the hair is cut ever so slightly longer at the front, gradually getting shorter as you get to the back. We’re talking subtle amounts of difference here, not the full Vidal Sassoon works – it just seems to make the shape look more purposeful. Rather than apologetic. It’s also much more modern-looking – I get my shorter bobs cut A-line too, it’s a nifty little trick.

So by taking some weight out of the back and retaining the lovely A-line cut that I have when it’s shorter, I feel as though I mostly manage to avoid the dreaded Lord Farquaad triangle-head of doom. The one (massive) boon with growing it, though, full-stop, is that it’s finally long enough to tie back and so if there is ever a very bad triangle-head day I can just whack it into a (still very puny and very little) bun.

In fact that’s really the reason I’m growing it back out to the shoulder, or just above it; much as I love the messy bob for its instant coolness and ability to just look great with very little styling involved, I really miss being able to scrape it back into a bun or ponytail.

Exhibit C (the bun):

Let’s all take a guess at how long it’ll be before I get tired of always pulling it back into a ponytail and want to chop it all off again…

By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong at all with having any hair length between jaw and shoulder – my hair stylist actually likes the length I have now more than she’s liked any other cut she’s done – it’s just a popular hair “danger area” because it’s the length where a lot of people come unstuck. They start to grow out shorter hair but don’t have it re-cut and re-shaped as they go and – well – we’ve discussed what happens. Medieval lute players unite.

*I have my hair cut and coloured at The Suite in Bath and have done for years. I am a fully paying customer and go to Cassie or Mathilde, you can find their website here.

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