A Cut Above

It raised a few eyebrows when it debuted into society. This year the bob celebrate 100 years of chic, with the A-list showing off their versions of the perennially stylish cut. And while the bob has many guises, the iconic style is currently having a moment. Celebrities like Naomi Watts, Ellen Barkin, Gwyneth Paltrow and New Moon’s Ashley Greene have all swapped their long locks for a shoulder-grazing cut.

Even those stars who daren't go for a drastic chop are faking it with the 'faux bob'. Eva Mendes and Lauren Conrad from The Hills have both tricked paparazzi on the red carpet with their hair strategically tucked under to resemble a soft bird’s-nest-style bob, inspired by European spring/summer catwalks.

Make like an A-lister and check out our hair know-how learn how to nail the perfect cut.

:: GOING FOR THE CHOP
Whether it's the slick razor-sharp look or sultry mussed-up style - the bob can be worked in a variety of ways. But if you really want to cause an '09 stir, head back to the past for inspiration.

"The coolest bob shape at the moment is the 1920s bob," says Schwarzkopf Professional ambassador, Gemma Hensman.

"This can be adapted to be either strong, sharp and sleek, or a strong outer shape with a soft internal layering.

"It's the perfect cut for those who like short hair but want to keep hair a little longer than a mid-length bob shape," she says.

"Just above the shoulders like Gwyneth Paltrow is also still very stylish."

:: FACE FACTS
Decided a bob is the answer to transforming your tresses? Before your hairdresser gets to work, take a long hard look in the mirror at your face shape. Hensman says: "Bobs are extremely versatile so they can be tweaked to suit all shapes." She reveals the bobs that will work best for your face shape.

:: SQUARE
"For a square face shape, a bob with strong angular lines is a no-no as it accentuates the jawline," Hensman warns. "Instead, a strong graduated style that has soft layering is ideal. Make sure the cut skims past the jawline to balance your face shape."

:: LONG
"Long face shapes should try to create width to prevent create balance," Hensman explains. "A fringe will shorten the length of the face. Choose a textured style to create body and volume."

:: ROUND
A mid layered bob, with long side fringes work well for a round face," Hensman recommends. "Avoid a full fringe because this will accentuate the round shape of your face."

:: OVAL
"Lucky you," says Hensman. "If you have an oval shaped face then the bob world is your oyster - any style will suit!"

:: MAINTAINING THE BOB
If you're working the just-got-out-of-bed look bob, no hassle is required. But otherwise a bob haircut will require some groundwork. Hensman has these step-by-step care tips:

:: Wash your hair with a shampoo best suited for your hair type - ask your hairdresser if you're not sure - as this can really affect the finish of your bob.
:: If your hair is very wet remove some of the excess water with a medium heat on your hairdryer. Use a nozzle attachment down the hair shaft, creating a sleek effect.
:: Use hair clips to divide hair into small sections, then start drying.
:: Once dry apply a post-drying product which will either smooth, or add texture and definition. Maintain the sleekness with a serum which will catch stray hairs and keep them in place while creating instant shine.

:: THE ESSENTIALS
Decisions, decisions... Whether you want to go super-polished or voluminous tousled, your tools of the trade are all-important for achieving a photo finish to rival any red-carpet regular.
Hensman says: "Use a paddle brush to create a smooth sleek bob. But if you want a shape that is full of volume and has root lift, you will get the best result from a round brush. They come in various sizes depending on the length of your hair; the most commonly used size for bobs is medium."

TRY: Bio Ionic IonPutty - Anti-frizz Smoothing Balm, $28.95; Lady Jayne Thermal Radial barrel brush in medium, $11.99; OSiS Magic anti-frizz serum, $23.95.

:: BEAUTY BULLETIN
High-Definition TV has celebrities quaking in their Jimmy Choos. Flaws, spots and wrinkles will be even more visible. But it seems we're more in favour of viewing classic screen sirens in High Definition, according to a recent survey by Sky+HD. Audrey Hepburn clinched the most enduring screen stunner, followed by the likes of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Sofia Loren. Only modern-day Angelina Jolie made the top five, ranking second in the cinematic beauties list.
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