Ah, the shoulder-length bob. Or as we like to call it, the incredibly chic chop that about 90 per cent of the population got and then had little to no idea what to do with.
Because while, yes, no other style looks as stunning with simple waves (something about the sharp ends/dishevelled texture combination is just gorgeous), it can be difficult to know how else to handle it.
Not quite long enough for elaborate braids or swishy ponies, shoulder-length hair may not lend itself to every style under the sun, but it does in fact do so for a surprising amount. After all, the proof is in the celeb pictures.
So, if you’re in need of a little Hollywood-approved hair inspiration for your shoulder-length cut, allow us to gift you just that…
Zoey Deutch’s sleek sides
Sleek straight styles are magical with clean-cut ends, and this side-parted take on the glass hair trend showcases it perfectly. FYI, using a styler to shape strands slightly inward toward the face and adding a subtle yet snazzy accessory will up the glam ante.
Kerry Washington’s accessorised architectural curls
For the record, the side part and hair accessory combo works an absolute treat on curls, too. Take your cues from Washington and keep the style smooth at the top and more voluminous as it moves downward to give the look a unique and covetable architectural shape.
Yara Shahidi’s swept back style
A half-up style is also utter perfection on textured hair, especially one that simply pulls the top section upward and back, leaving the remainder of your glorious texture free. Pulling the remaining hair forward over the join of the ‘up’ section also adds extra polish.
Maya Henry’s fountain pony
A pulled-back power pony definitely hits different when the pony itself ends around shoulder-length level. Not only will it have some extremely impressive bounce factor, but it gives off a pin-up-style ’60s energy that is always on-trend.
Elsa Hosk’s pin-up curls
A second style with a vintage vibe, the secret to this look is opting for curls of different lengths (preferably in a slightly layered cut) that also face different directions (some toward the face and others away from it). As for the addition of the accessory, we’re 100 per cent on board.
Brie Larson’s quiffed half-up hairstyle
It may be the fact that it’s paired in this picture with a crisp white shirt, but something about this style appears to be the epitome of business-chic. The texture isn’t straight nor wavy, just airy and blown out with the ‘up’ section taking on a bit of teased height.
Anna Sawai’s sleek updo
Want your hair off your face and shoulders altogether? A super sleek slicked back bun works on any length, yes, but yours will be far easier to tuck into a chignon than longer manes. As for the placement (high, low or mid-level), that’s down to personal preference.
Olivia Palermo’s sleek low pony
Another updo option? One with similar sleek texture, but swept along each side of the head instead of straight back, and taken into a low strand-wrapped ponytail rather than a bun. A fresh take on ‘flicked in ends’, this style also allows the pony to curve in toward the shoulders.
Lucy Hale’s messy updo
After something elevated and undone? This updo has plenty of polish (thanks to the fact that it’s an updo in general), while still keeping the aesthetic dishevelled with a single loose face-framing tendril and pieces pulled out of the topknot.
Priyanka Chopra’s wavy down-do
Remember what we said about waves? Consider this pictorial proof that they’re as divine on shoulder-length hair as ever. It’s good to know you always have this old (chic) chestnut of a style to fall back on if your creativity ever lapses.