Make the Cut: How to Ask Your Stylist for the Perfect Lob

Long hair is fantastic for a ton of reasons. You can style it dozens of different ways, it’s comfortable, and it’s classic. But if you’re an experimentalist, you may be the kind of person who craves a change every couple of months. Sometimes, it’s nice to switch things up and try something new, but making a switch can be totally nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know what to ask for to determine how it will look in the end. This year, it’s all about the lob.

What is a “lob,” you might ask? It’s a play on words combining the words “long” and “bob” (so yes, it’s exactly what you think it is!), and it’s being hailed as the one haircut that can work on everyone. Lobs are cut so that the hair falls between the chin and the collarbone, essentially creating a look that is quirky, cool, and perfectly neither too short nor too long. This effortless cut works with pretty much every facial shape and hair texture, so, it’s a perfect cut for anyone who wants to switch up their look in a flash!

I’ve had long, thick hair my entire life. I am also the kind of girl that craves a change literally every 3 months. From ombre, to varying shades of brunette and Ariel-the-Mermaid red, to bangs, to layers… I’ve experimented a lot. So, I decided to take the plunge, and chop off (some of) my hair. We chatted with Dani Peterson at Salon Rebelle for some insider tips on this season’s hottest haircut. Here is everything you need to know to get the perfect lob the next time you visit your stylist!

First Things First: What I Asked For

I visited the salon armed with Pinterest pictures of celebrities with lustworthy lobs to show my stylist (hint: don’t forget to bring pictures! Stylists find this super helpful, especially if you don’t know exactly how to describe in accurate terms what you want). Then, I described what I liked and didn’t like about each picture. I ended up asking for a “texturized lob that is longer in the front and slightly shorter in the back.” I also asked my stylist to thin out my hair a lot. Here is the result:

Before:

Lob Haircut: Before

After:

Lob Haircut: After

What I Learned: Insider Tips From a Stylist to Help You Achieve a Perfect Lob

Q: What Do You Need to Know if You’re Thinking About Getting a Lob?

A:The lob is great. It continues to be a popular trend, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.  It’s great for straight, curly, thick, or fine hair. For a textbook lob, the cut should sit touching or slightly past your shoulders when dry. It’s long enough to give you some versatile styling options, and it’s easy to maintain, which is why people love it so much.”

Q: Is there anyone who should not get a lob?
A: “I think it’s great on everyone. It’s appropriate for all ages, it’s low maintenance, and it’s especially great for women who want a cut that doesn’t require much effort. I personally like cuts that work with little to no styling. To get a signature “unstyled” lob, all it takes is minimal scrunching with a texturizing spray or some quick curling with a wand or straightener.”

Q: What should someone who wants a lob tell their stylist? What should they say, what keywords should they use, and what words should they avoid?

A: “When you ask for a lob, don’t ask for layers, I don’t like layering on a long bob. Short layers will push the hair in and kick out the bottom, thus getting rid of the choppy blunt look the lob is so famous for. If you have thick hair, ask for some texturizing on the ends and a little thinning out to alleviate heaviness at the bottom. If you have fine hair, ask your stylist to keep the lob blunt (one length) to give off the illusion of thicker hair.

Another crucial thing to mention to your stylist is how you plan on styling your hair. If you want to curl it all the time, let us know, because then we can leave some extra length so it’s not too short when curled. If you plan on not doing too much styling, also let us know so that we can texturize your hair for some natural volume and movement.”

Q: How often should you wash your hair once it’s cut? How often should you get it trimmed?

A: “I always tell my clients not to wash their hair every day. Over-washing can create fading if your hair is dyed, as well as dry split ends or overly oily scalps (our scalps like to compensate for the over-washing by producing more oils). Break the habit and try to wash every other day, and you’ll thank me!! It’ll save you money and time. Dry shampoo is a lifesaver, too. I personally try to go 3 or 4 days in between washing my hair.

Hair grows a quarter of an inch each month, so it’s up to you how long you should wait in between cuts to maintain your length. But, at the very least, to get rid of dry and split ends, every 3 months a trim is more than welcome.”

Q: How should you style your lob with a curling iron?

A: “I prefer curling iron or wand (1″ or 1-1/4″). For a more of a bedhead aesthetic, don’t curl all the way to the ends. I always start curling hair in the middle away from face. Once I pass the ears I like to alternate the direction of the curls so they bounce off each other. If curls are too tight, brush them out while still warm. Finish off with texturizing spray or dry shampoo for some separation and hold. Or if you’re going for a sleek look, blow dry your hair completely for extra straightness.”

Q: What about if you want to style your hair without a curling iron?

A: “Texturizing spray, some scrunching, and you’re good to go! Or, you can sleep in french braids with some texturizing spray for natural volume and waves when you wake up.”

Q: What products are you going to use on me? What do you recommend and why?

A: “First, I washed your hair with Unite Clarifying Shampoo to lift any buildup on the hair to create a fresh canvas. I followed this up with Davines Minu Color-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner. I love Davines because all their products are sulfate- and paraben-free, as well as organic. Before I did the cut, I used Unite 7-Seconds Leave-In Conditioner on your hair. I’ve tried dozens of Leave-In sprays but I think this one is the best, because it has UV and thermal protection and helps even out the porosity in hair, which prevents breakage. When I was done cutting, I used Oi Oil to protect hair from the heat of the blow dryer, cut down on drying time (fun fact! Oil-based protection serums actually reduce the amount of time it takes to dry your hair!), and add shine and softness. Lastly, I finished off with some texturizing spray to give separation and definition to the cut. The spray from Davines is great because it’s lightweight, and offers a little shine and hold.

Good hair products aren’t cheap. If you are looking for the bare minimum essentials to protect your lob, focus on shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate- and paraben-free, and a good texturizing spray. Then, after you have the essentials, a good leave-in conditioner and styling oil aren’t bad to have around, either.”

Lob Haircut: Before Side Profile

There you have it! If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and chopping your locks, follow these tips and tricks to get the best and most fitting look for you. Communicate effectively with your stylist, bring tons of inspo pictures (maybe even bring in this article!), and don’t be afraid to ask questions and take notes like I did. Happy styling!