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Traditionally a bob rests between the ears and shoulders with the hair all one length. From this basic cut, there are many variations that can change the look of the hairstyle. Bangs, no bangs, smooth and shiny or choppy and textured, the bob is a versatile cut that looks great at any age.
If you believe or have been told that long hair isn't suitable for women as they mature, the bob is proof that a great haircut works for any age. The cut is flexible, making it a great choice for those who notice some changes in texture or thickness to their hair as they get older.
Whether you are looking for a dramatic change or updating your look, check out the many styles of bobs to find the one perfect for you.

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Traditional bob

This is the style most people think of when they hear the word bob. The cut is all one length, well above the shoulders, with no bangs. For those with fine texture or experiencing thinning hair as they age, this look can create fullness and movement without extensive styling.

Mature woman with a traditional bob hairstyle. brusinski / Getty Images
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Bob with side bangs

Adding side bangs to the classic bob can soften the look. Side bangs are a nice compromise for those who feel that the straight edge of traditional bangs is too severe but like the camouflaging effect of having some hair across the forehead. One thing to keep in mind is that side bangs do require some styling to look their best. Most will need a quick blowdry, if not a pass or two, with a flat iron.

Woman with long side bangs tucked behind ear. Ryouchin / Getty Images
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The a-line bob

This bob is shorter in the back and gradually becomes longer towards the front. This angled cut gives the hair great movement. The A-line look can create a youthful, edgy style. Over-styling it, however, with backcombing and using a heavy hand when applying products, can create a helmet effect and make you look, if not older, at least more serious than you may want.

Woman looking in a mirror. NicolasMcComber / Getty Images
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Short layers

If you like the idea of movement and energy that the A-line look gives, but are concerned about execution, consider a short, layered bob. With no layers longer than your chin, and a sweeping layer you can wear as a side-part bang or tuck behind your ear, this is a versatile cut that creates a young, energetic look.

Close-up of woman's face. puhhha / Getty Images
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Chin length with wispy bangs

Adding wispy bangs to the traditional chin-length bob is a nice compromise for those who like the look of a traditional bob but want to soften the style a bit. Wispy bangs work great as long as you don't have cowlicks to wrestle along your hairline. A quick pass with a flat iron, and you are ready to go out the door.

A woman standing, facing the camera. JohnnyGreig / Getty Images
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The lob

For those who want to go with shorter hair but aren't ready for a big chop, the lob is a perfect choice. Ending anywhere from your collarbones to just below the shoulders, the lob is long enough to pull back or up while still looking great when you wear it down.

Mature woman with hair pulled back. brusinski / Getty Images
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The shaggy bob

Unlike the shag cuts you remember from your childhood, the shaggy bob is a flattering cut for mature women. The choppy layers give it movement, and the dimension does a nice job of framing your face. As long as your hair has a little texture, styling is a breeze. This isn't the best choice for those with fine, straight hair.

A woman standing in front of a wall. TomFoldes / Getty Images
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Go curly

There is no reason naturally curly hair cannot be worn in a bob. Work with someone who has experience cutting curly hair. Breaking up the curls around the face and working with your natural curl pattern will keep your hair from forming a triangle when you try to style it. The right products, such as moisturizing creams, can make this a wash-and-go style.

The back of someone's head. iprogressman / Getty Images
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Long layers

Adding long layers to the traditional bob creates a relaxed, lived-in look. You can wear this style blown out for a sleeker look or allow it to air dry with some pomade worked into the ends for piece-y texture. The style is also a good choice for those considering bangs. Long curtain bangs are flattering to most face shapes and work well in hair with some layers added.

Woman sitting in a coffee shop. baranozdemir / Getty Images
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Ultra-short

If you love the idea of a pixie but are worried about pulling it off, ask your hairstylist for the pixie-bob. This combination cut is short along the sides and back, with some added length on top. The longer top pieces can be worn sleek and straight, giving the impression of a traditional bob, or scrunched on top and along the sides for added pizzaz. This cut works great with graying hair that often has a coarse texture.


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