Introducing The “Bell Bottom” Bob: This Season’s Breakout Haircut

Jul 7, 2024 | style/mode

PHOTO: VIA @BRIIDGETBROWN
RF29: Looking for a way to update your bob haircut? Let us introduce you to the “bell bottom” bob, a blunt cut with flicked-up ends inspired by the most-loved trouser silhouette of the ’70s. Much like the nostalgic style of the disco era, the bell bottom bob — coined by hairstylist and trend forecaster Tom Smith — features a curve-caressing, concave shape (albeit here, it hugs the head rather than the body), which finishes in swept-up ends.

What is the “Bell bottom” ?

Over the last year, we’ve seen many iterations of the bob haircut: the bottleneck bob, the baroque bob and the Italian bob to name a few. But if Instagram is anything to go by, the bell bottom bob is set to reign supreme.

“It’s a bob with minimal layers and flipped out at the ends, either with perfect precision or a more undone texture,” says Smith. Editorial hairstylist, educator and founder of RAW Hair, Anthony Nader, adds, “The best way to visually describe this haircut is to think of a pair of cool ‘70s bell bottom denim jeans. Or of course, another definition is the silhouette of a bell.”
While the bell bottom cut is unquestionably chic, its turned-up ends give it a playful edge. It’s already being showcased by a slew of celebrities and influencers, including Gigi HadidBridget BrownInanna and Anok Yai.

How do you style the bell bottom bob?

For anyone already sporting an above-the-shoulders cut, styling your bob into one of the bell bottom variety all comes down to how you heat style your hair post-wash. Starting with damp hair, apply a mousse from roots to ends, comb through and then blowdry with tension and volume, Nader says. When choosing your product, he suggests investing in a firm mousse, as you need to stretch your strands into a new shape. We also suggest going for one with heat protection to save your strands from being singed. Try Pureology Style + Protect Weightless Hair Mousse, or Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer.
Next, you’ll want to start sculpting while continuing to use heat from the hairdryer. “When you’re shaping the ends, flip your brush the opposite way so your hair wraps around your brush and flows up and not downwards — this is key to creating the bell,” Nader explains. To achieve this, you’ll want to use a medium-round brush with plenty of bristles, as you need to create the curve all the way to the ends, he says. Try T3 Volume Round Brush.
Smith has a top tip for keeping the shape intact: “If your hair drops out easily, try wrapping the ends up in a small roller while they cool to set the flick in place and finish with a stronghold hairspray,” he says. Try Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers . “For a softer, more daytime look, shake the hair out after styling and add texture spray for a less perfect result.“
If you’re time-poor or finding your arms get tired with too much hair dryer maneuvering, Nader has a trick for you: “Opt for using a [straightener] and iron from the roots down and flick the ends out,” he says. “This way is a no-brainer and will have more staying power as well.”

Which hair types is the bell bottom bob suitable for?

Have full, thick lengths? Then you’re an ideal candidate for the bell bottom bob. “This haircut is waiting for you,” Nader says. “The thickness, especially in the back area, is what highlights the ‘drama’ of that incredible bell flick.”

 

Those with finer hair can still wear the bell bottom bob, but according to Nader, you’ll need to “put in extra styling work to get the fullness and impact of the flick.” As for hair texture, the style is suitable for most. That said, those with curly or wavy hair will need to blowdry (aka ‘stretch’) “the blessed hair strands that you were born with to create that beautiful [bell] silhouette,” Nader says.

Who best suits the bell bottom bob?

The bell bottom bob is fairly versatile, provided that your hairstylist tailors the cut to your face. “The beauty of this playful retro vibe is that it can be various lengths depending on your face shape,” Nader says. A consultation prior to your haircut will help you land on a style that you love, and most importantly, can maintain easily at home.

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