Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Style Guide: Bob It Like (Clara) Bow Or (Louise) Brooks

In the exuberant and excessive 1920s, the hot hairstyle was all about the freedom and movement of the bob. In fact, when you think of a flapper, the image that might come to mind is of a chic gal who is “lovely, expensive, and about 19,” as F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, dancing wildly with her short hair flying around her. Rocking the bob even in modern times can show off your independence, your flair, and a whole lot of sass. 

A Short History Of The Bob

When the bob first appeared, during World War 1, women were heading to work and no longer had time to fuss with long hair or complicated styles. Plus, short hair also represented the freedom and independence that came with many women earning their own money for the first time and celebrating the fact that they had just gained the right to vote. And short hair worked well with the small, neat, cloche hats that seemed to adorn every head for part of the 1920s. And it is still hot today; it seems like every few years, an actress cuts her hair and we see headlines proclaiming things like, "The bob is back!" Plus, the bob pops up in the front row of fashion shows on Vogue Magazine's editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.
Perhaps the most well-known bob belonged to silent film actress Louise Brooks, star of Pandora’s Box, Diary of A Lost Girl, and many more films in the 1920s and 1930s. Her short, sleek “Dutch Boy” 'do was actually based on a toddler’s haircut, and it kicked off a huge trend, similar to what happened when Jennifer Anison debuted “The Rachel” on Friends. Plus, the length that just grazed the cheek, blunt bangs, and slightly angled cut on the ends were very complementary to Art Deco lines and angles (the big design style at the time). But not all bobs were straight; Clara Bow was on trend when she cut her hair into a bob, and would often wear her hair tousled with a headband or scarf wound through her tresses. When you start with a great cut, there are really no rules when it comes to styling.

How To Get The Look
Tatiana Rohrberg, a licensed esthetician and professional hair stylist at a renowned spa in Los Angeles, told us that just about every day at least one of her clients requests a bob!  Here she shares insights and tips for bobbin' it like Bow or Brooks.

·         Decide if you want your hair bob to be straight or curly. Tatiana always asks her clients the following question: “How long do you want to spend in the morning doing your hair?” For example, if you have naturally curly hair but want a flat/straight bob, plan to spend at least 20 minutes in the morning on your hair (blow-dry completely, apply product to smooth down flyaway hairs, flat iron, etc.). 
·         For straight bobs, plan to keep a small iron in your purse or bag at all times. Throughout the day, as your hair is exposed to environmental components and moisture, your hair might tend to frizz or curl. A handy small flat iron can help you touch up your straight bob throughout the day. Sleek hair is the hardest to maintain! 
·         Minimize hair product—it can weigh down the hair. However, for added shine, use an anti-frizz hair product. 
·         Length is important! Your best bob depends on your face and makeup. For example, bobs should accentuate a woman’s jaw line. For a heavier jaw line, opt for a longer bob. If the jaw line is more defined, then a shorter bob will complement it. Long faces usually have longer bobs. Barbara Streisand is a great example of a long face and long bob—and it not only shows off her healthy hair but also moves gracefully with her. The bob is all about the natural movement of the hair. Also, remember that if you have wet curly hair, it will be slightly shorter once it dries, so be sure to consider that fact when you’re figuring out the bob length.

·         Use a silk pillowcase to preserve your bob while you sleep! It calms the hair (and can help decrease wrinkles on your face as a bonus) and can extend the duration of your style.

Styling Your Bob

1. Blow dry your hair completely and ensure there is no moisture in the hair. This is very important for those who want the flat/straight hair bob. When drying your hair, be sure to start from the back. Section the hair, and use a vented brush. Dry your hair in one direction (from left to right), and then reverse the direction.

2. Part your hair however you choose. For curly hair, comb your hair up and see where it falls naturally. Note that a curly hair bob looks better with a side part. If you have bangs, then the part will usually be in the middle. A general tip for those without bangs but are still wanting the bob is to part the hair in such a way that it lines up with the highest mid-part of one of your eyebrows.

3. If you want a sleek bob, section off your hair and then flat iron each section. After you have flattened all the hair, use the iron to curve the ends framing your jaw line so that the bob hugs your face. If you want to add curls to your bob, Tatiana suggests using a non-clip hot stick rather than a traditional curling iron, which is faster and more efficient in creating tight spirals or loose waves. Wait until all the curls are completely cool, and then spray your entire head lightly, holding the hairspray at least 12 inches from your head. The bob should naturally move when you shake your head and not be stiff.

Now get out there and dance the night away! Or at least look super cute when you head to the office or the park with the kids.