How to create a sexy, textured bob: 3 tutorials for short hair

One hairstyle that has an interesting history is the bob. Over the centuries, it’s been very common for women to have long hair but even before the first world war, some women were already taking the fashionable risk of wearing their hair short. Bobs were already worn by actresses in the 1920s but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they became even more popular and accessible to women all thanks to Vidal Sassoon.

Today, with the fashions of the 1960s coming back as a trend, it’s only natural that the bob returns. Now a 2013 hairstyle that allows women to have fun but still look great, the bob works particularly well with a striking colour like platinum blonde (though any colour will still look great).

So if you have a bob (or are thinking about getting one) the next question is how to style it. Smooth and elegant will always look great, but for something very now, very unique and utterly sexy, there’s always the option to rock the bob with messy texture. Taking inspiration from Elena Perminova and Frida Gustavvson’s recent campaign for Neiman Marcus, we’ve consulted our resident hair expert Annika Bowen on how to get a gorgeous bob and style it with tousle and texture. Read on through after the break for the complete how-tos.

Textured bob hairstyle

Making the the cut

First things first, if you don’t already have a bob cut you’ll have to see your stylist for a good cut. It’s best to go to someone you trust and are comfortable with. If you don’t have a regular stylist you go to, it’s best to ask around for recommendations. Once you’ve chosen your stylist, make sure you bring a picture of the bob cut you want so he or she can use this as a guide. Stylists will cut your hair according to what suits your best so you may not get the exact bob from the picture you brought.

How to style your bob with texture

Bobs may be short but they can still be styled in many different ways. In the case of Elena Perminova, she’s been spotted rocking her bob in a soft and feminine way, with tousle, and heavily textured. According to Annika, here are the best steps to recreate each of these looks:

Softly textured: the girly bob

The first look is for girly, soft hair that’s only subtly textured. Opt for this style if you don’t want to go all out on texture and want something feminine.

Girly bob
Elena Permimova with a girly, softly textured bob.

Start by prepping towel dried hair with a smoothing product to help you create controlled blow waves. Then with a blow dryer dry your hair until it’s about 75% dried. This will cut your blow wave time as opposed to blow waving from wet hair.
Next section your hair by creating a center parting to the nape and then another parting from ear to ear. Clip front sections out for time being.
Starting at nape with the back to sections, take about a 1-inch section using diagonal or horizontal partings (across back of head) and then blow dry/blow wave down with a mid sized brush. Roll the brush at the ends to create a curve and smooth hair under. Continue working your way up, blow drying each section of hair.
Once you’ve reached the top near the crown, you can change blow waving from down to straight out towards you or you can elevate up to create root lift and volume. Don’t forget to still roll the brush at ends to create curve under.
Once you’re down blow drying your hair, you’ll need to reinforce this. Starting at one side, take similar sections/partings and blow wave straight out. Roll the brush to curl ends under and work up side of head continuing same technique. Repeat this on other side of your hair.
Finish the style by brushing through your hair and rolling the brush under the ends to keep it curled, then spray on some finishing hairspray to give it shine.

soft textured bob
Frida Gustavsson for Neiman Marcus with softly textured bob.

The bed hair bob

In between girly soft texture and heavy, gritty texture is this style: the bed hair bob. Like all good bed hair, it marries texture with tousle for that just-out-of-bed look.

bed hair bob

Prep you hair by applying volume spray to really get that out of bed look.
Next, blow dry/blow wave your hair the same way as the girly bob (see above). Since this is a style that requires more volume, you can use rollers after you’ve blow dried your hair if you think that it falls flat easily.
Create that fluffy fly-away bed hair by using a hair dust (or texturising powder) on dry hair. Hair dust prevents excess oils in your hair and in turn, prevents your hairstyle from flattening out. You can backcomb the hair slightly or use your fingers to create tousle at the roots.

The heavily textured bob

For a high-impact bob that toes the line between bed hair and beachy texture, you’ll want to try these steps. Elena Perminova rocked hers perfectly with a Louis Vuitton cap, but there are plenty of other ways to show it off – hat or none.

textured blonde bob
Textured blonde bob on Elena Perminova.

The first thing you should do is to prep your hair. This hairstyle works best with dirty hair but if you prefer otherwise, you can get the gritty texture needed by applying sea salt spray on your hair.
To create soft movement through the hair you will need to use a straightening or curling iron. Starting at the front, take vertical sections down. At 1-2 inch down from the roots, wrap section one and a half times around the curling iron. If you’re using a straightening iron, turn it once and drag it down the hair.

If you have thick hair, divide it into two sections. Take a horizontal section from ear to ear and pin top section up. Start working on the bottom section and repeat same technique on top section. If you don’t want a really thick looking hairstyle, you can leave the bottom section as is and just curl the top one.

Continue on curling the vertical sections down. Remember to switch the direction of your curls for every section to really get that textured look.
Once all mid lengths of the hair has been waved, tip your head upside down and run your hands through your hair to loosen the curls. Keep the style in place by scrunching some wax/clay into your hair.

heavily textured bob
Heavily textured bob on Frida Gustavsson for Neiman Marcus.

There you have it: one cut, three different styles. A bob is a fun hairstyle to have and every women should try sporting them at least once in their lives. You’ll find that texture is perfect for the bob, since the shorter hair doesn’t get as weighed down, and it also keeps the style interesting and varied.

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Melanie is a fashion designer, entrepreneur and writer who is always up for a challenge. This is probably the reason why she has immersed herself in the very dynamic fashion industry. She currently has her own couture business in her hometown of Manila, Philippines and confesses to being a hair and makeup junkie. She also loves all things D.I.Y and considers herself a bookworm.