Out of all the hairstyles I’ve tried in this life, my current bob has been the most difficult to manage. Far too often my natural waves and curls veer into weird triangle territory or sad, lifeless mop land.
As I attempt to grow my hair out, I’ve been looking for a cut that will work with me instead of against me.
Enter hair wizard Julien Farel and his Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa in Manhattan's posh Loews Regency hotel. He schooled me on the best ways to cut and style a bob while giving me the best haircut of my entire life.
As I sat down and explained my situation, Julien held my bedraggled ends in his hands and told me that the shape of my hair was all wrong--that was why I was struggling with it.
So began the aforementioned greatest haircut of my life.
Now I know many of you won't be able to pay Julien a visit, so I asked him and his team A LOT of questions to bring you this list of pointers on getting the perfect cut and color to grow out your bob.
1. A Bob Is Not Always One Size Fits All
I was under the incorrect assumption that all bobs are built the same when, in fact, a blunt cut bob can be incredibly hard to maintain and somewhat unflattering on a lot of people.
“I approach hair like architecture,” said Julien. “It’s all about the shape of the cut. [Each face] requires a different shape to bring out as much beauty as possible.”
For me, that meant a cut with layers and angles framing my face. Julien also softened up the shape of my haircut to provide more movement and bounce.
2. Go Light On Color When Growing Out Your Hair
Damage from harsh dyes and bleaching can cause breakage, making the grow-out process slower. If you’re itching for a little color while you patiently wait, subtle highlights will add beautiful depth to your hair as it grows.
Ask your colorist for highlights close to your natural shade that start a bit lower than the root. Using several different shades, as well as a gloss, will create beautiful, multidimensional tones.
Senior colorist Abby Haliti added “sun-kissed” highlights to my hair. The result totally nailed the request I had going in: something between highlights and ombré.
3. A Good Cut Will Emphasize Your Face
When discussing what you’d like with your stylist, make sure to mention your favorite parts of your face. Saying, “I really want to draw attention to my strong jawline” is more helpful than simply asking for a bob. If there’s a feature you’d like to draw less attention to (in my case, my forehead), mention that as well.
Julien won my heart when he told me the reason he truly loves styling women’s hair so much.
“There is a way women look at themselves in the mirror after a great haircut, and you can see they are noticing their own beauty. I think every woman really is so beautiful, and to have a chance to help women feel beautiful really means so much to me.”
His passion for beauty was apparent not only by the emotion in his voice, but in the way he handled my hair. After my cut and blowout, I was in a state of shock.
“Wow,” I said out loud. “I look...really pretty.” Days later, I still couldn't believe how different I looked and felt.
4. Layers Are Your Friend
It’s hard to talk about a “long bob with layers” without visions of The Rachel dancing in your head. But soft, subtle layers will help a cut grow out gracefully. If your hair is thin (like mine), layers are especially important to keep your bob looking lively.
Layers can help hair look longer, as they will create dimension in your hair, whereas a blunt bob emphasizes the one single length.
5. Get Regular Haircuts!
Losing even the tiniest bit of length can be hard when you’re growing your hair, but it’s important to get regular haircuts. Very rarely will hair grow all at the same speed, and uneven lengths look even more obvious in a bob. Routine trims every 8-10 weeks will help keep hair looking healthy and strong.
6. Be Honest About How Much Work You’re Willing to Put Into Your Look
If you arrive at the salon with styled hair, let the stylist know off the bat. Describe your natural texture and tell him or her how much styling you're willing to commit to daily. A good haircut should make your hair easier to maintain.
I told Julien that I’m a wash-and-go kind of girl, so he gave me a cut that would work with my natural texture.
Since getting my magical new cut, I’ve felt a surge in confidence and I’m extremely thankful to everyone at JF’s salon for making that happen.
Are you having a hard time growing out a bob? When's the last time you had a haircut that made you feel crazy-beautiful and totally refreshed?