Long hair is beautiful and all, but short hair will always be in. The versatility of your hair and what you can do with it is endless, especially with bob length hair. From short mini twists to blunt cuts—there's always a style to test out and obsess over. No matter what curl pattern, the styles are more than a trend: they celebrate beauty and culture. We spoke to natural hair experts Rosemica "Mica" Calixte and Monaè Everett to discuss all there is to know about nourishing your curls and styling them. Scroll on for some major bob inspo for Black women.
Meet the Expert
- Mica Calixte is a professional hairstylist and instructor for HBM Institute, a program for licensed cosmetologists. Based in New Jersey, she is the owner of HBMStudios where she styles natural hair, customizes wigs, and more.
- Monaè Everett is an industry expert on all hairstyles, a celebrity hairstylist, and beauty educator. Based in New York City, she also launched, "The Monaè Life Academy," an online academy for hairstylists.
Justine Skye slayed in this bone-straight bob. The luxe purple asymmetrical cut elevates this classic bob. Like Skye, try a middle part that's slightly off to the side.
Bumped Blow Out
"To achieve elongated styles many times I will stretch dry my clients' hair by holding the hair taut and using medium heat. Stretch-drying the hair works well for braid outs, twist outs, and Bantu Knot sets. This method cuts down on drying time as well as shrinkage. Plus this provides a great amount of volume within the style," Everett explains. Keep the temperature low, curving the straightener for a bouncy long bob like Karrueche's.
"Heat on natural hair isn't the enemy. Abusing heat on natural hair causes damage," says Everett. Be sure to add heat protectant to your hair before a style requiring heat.
"Clients can maintain twists by making sure the scalp is properly exfoliated and cleansed prior to getting this service thus ensuring the longevity of the style," notes Calixte. "Moisturizing the scalp once a week with argan oil will also help maintain an overall polished and clean look."
A fun way to switch up your hair is a temporary color treatment. Try Moroccan Oil's Color Depositing Mask in Hibiscus ($28).
Twist Out and Go
Ready to untwist your hair? "My go-to product for twist outs and braid outs are the Mizani 25 Miracle 25 Leave-In Conditioner ($34) and the Mizani Styling Foam Mousse ($18) for normal to thick hair. I also like to use the Ouidad Curl Immersion Hi-Defining Custard ($28) for fine to normal hair," says Everett.
Gray Box Braids
"I believe all black women should try/test out braids. There is something about long braids that makes me feel closer to my roots," says Calixte. "Braids have been a staple in the black culture for so long and the styling options are endless! Get creative with your braids and rock them with your head held high." Adding color to your braids makes for a playful style.
Fulani Inspired Puffs
This Fulani style is edgy and low maintenance to upkeep. "Create box braids with synthetic braiding hair. Secure the bottom of the braid and leave two inches of synthetic braiding hair at the ends of the braids," says Everett. "Add a 1-inch wide styrofoam ball, and cover with loose hair at the bottom of the braid. Secure the ends of the hair overlapping the ball with an elastic. Cut any loose ends."
All the Spirals
"I love and often use Nairobi's Wrapp-it Shine Foaming Lotion ($16). This is my go-to for when I style my own hair," Everett says. Cutting your curls into a bob and letting them fall right on top of your shoulders adds structure to your 'fro.
Keke Palmer is hair is a mod mood to take note of. Swoop your edges with Ebin's 24 Hour Edge Tamer ($12).
Green With Envy
Ryan's bob is classic and without flaws. "I recommend trimming your natural hair every six to eight weeks. When hair strands are damaged and begin to split, the damage increases as you continue to style your hair," says Everett. "Each time you comb or brush your hair, the split continues up the hair shaft."
Natural bobs look amazing when you play with a fiery red. There is a red crafted for you, no matter your skin tone. Create these curls using a 1-inch curling iron.
For a lovely and full look after your perm rod set, what you apply to your curls hair first is key. This style can be achieved on wet hair but the hair has to dry completely around the perm rod. Calixte suggests, "My favorite product to use on natural hair is Designers Essential. I feel like this line found a great balance between clarifying and maintaining moisturize." Try the Agave & Lavender Serum ($10) for shine and moisture.