Bobs – A History

Bobbed haircuts seemed to have taken a backseat for the past few years – up until now. Now, more than ever before, the bob haircut is making a huge comeback – and women are opting for this style more this summer than they have for any season in years past. Well, except for back in the 20’s. Bob cuts were introduced in the 1920’s when actresses were cutting off their long locks to indulge in a shorter style for motion pictures and to fit with the types of hat styles they loved to wear. Lionesse is going to take a closer look at the history of the bob haircut, and fill you in on all you need to know about the style here today.

Bobs – A New, Old Innovation
We can trace the beginnings of the first bob haircut back to the wonderful woman we know as Joan of Arc. She sported a short bob style to disguise her gender during the 100-year war between France and England. This dates all the way back to the 15th century.

Woman with a Joan of Arc inspired bob.

In 1909, there was a celebrity hairstylist named Antoine who touted Joan of Arc in his salon, and he began offering bob cuts to willing women who wanted to pay top dollar for his services. As more women caught on to the style, and more women saw the style portrayed by Hollywood starlets, the trend took off, and nearly every woman wanted to chop off her long locks for a simplified bob style. Though Joan of Arc’s style was done for a more practical reason, most women during the 20’s opted for this style as it was a way to rebel against the long, perfectly coiffed hair they were used to keeping up with on a daily basis. Once they realized how simplified the style was to care for and complete, it was a no-brainer that everyone wanted to get in on the style.

During this time frame, many women also wanted to opt for the bob haircut due to the fact that hat styles of this time frame were face framing, and they wanted their hats to look perfect against their hair. Longer hair didn’t sit right with these hat styles, they believed, and so they opted for the chop.

Cleopatra is also said to have had somewhat of a bob haircut. While we would love to believe that, it’s not true. Her style was cut short for its time, but it was about shoulder length – and it was a braided style throughout. In complete truth, it was actually a headpiece, otherwise known as a wig.

With the innovation of silent movies coming out – namely, Cleopatra in 1917 – many women adored the style, and were excited to get it for themselves.

Woman with a bob hairstyle

As the years went on, circa 1950’s, the bob style was still incredibly popular, yet began to take on a different shape and form. Women were choosing to add curls, volume, and lift to the style, and from there, the trend kept on.

During the 60’s, the style was changed drastically when Vidal Sassoon created a 5-point bob haircut, full of edges and geometrical additives. It didn’t last too long though, as women wanted something softer with less edge to it.

During the 70’s, Dorothy Hammill, Olympic figure skater, has the most highly sought after bob style around, with thousands upon thousands of women opting for her cut.

In the 80’s, Blondie made waves by introducing a messy, hippie-esque version of the style which incorporated a lot of careless waves and an unkempt look, transforming the traditional bob completely. There was also a lot of volume added to the style. Also, many women during this time were opting for spiral perms, and they would get their bob style permed to wear big, volumized hair.

During the 90’s, the bob cut took somewhat of a backseat, and only a select few celebrities such as Whitney Houston and Courtney Love would be seen with the style. In this era, adding color to your bob was commonplace, and adding your own personal style or flair really took off with the look.

Woman with a modern day bob haircut.

In the 2000’s, the style didn’t become popular again until roughly around 2014. From here, women everywhere – from celebrities, to common everyday women, would be seen wearing the style, and has since been proven to be one of the most stylish looks a woman can achieve. Adding in side-swept bangs, layers, tapering the back of the hair, and the implementation of unnatural colored streaks has really set the look apart from years past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *