How to Style the Bell Bottom Bob

Published 18th Jun 2024 by Josie Jackson

The Bell Bottom Bob, also referred to as the Kicked Bob, is the latest variation of the classic cut to take over social media, with big names such as Hailey Bieber and Elsa Hosk sporting the look. But what makes this style stand out, and what is the best method to recreating the look? Keep reading to find out… 

What is the Bell Bottom Bob?

As the name suggests, the Bell Bottom Bob draws parallels to bell bottom jeans, with Sally Brooks, Creative Director of Brooks & Brooks London, explaining: “The Bell Bottom Bob is a fresh take on the classic bob – what makes a haircut relevant is the way it is styled and where you put or remove the volume of the hairstyle. This bob has a more dramatic flip at the end of the hair and a flatter head-hugging finish – it gives us the same vision as bell bottom jeans with the volume at the bottom.”

Just like fashion trends, hair trends are cyclical, meaning they reoccur at different intervals. Ben Nott, ELEVEN Australia Educator discusses this in more detail, explaining: “The Bell Bottom Bob is a testament to the recurring nature of fashion, drawing inspiration from the iconic flared jeans of the 70s, which then became popular again in the 90s.”

Discussing why this style is surging in popularity, Michelle Summers Davies from MD Hair adds: “It’s sleek at the top with a bit of a playful kick at the bottom, giving it a fun, retro vibe while also adding a touch of personality, which clients are loving," – which also explains why it is sometimes referred to as the Kicked Bob.

Which Clients Would the Bell Bottom Bob Suit?

The Bell Bottom Bob is more a style than it is a cut – in fact, Sally notes that this style is perfect for one-length cuts with a blunt finish at the bottom, from jaw-length bobs to midi lengths. James Forte, Denman Creative and HOB Academy Director, agrees, adding: “The Bell Bottom Bob is a high impact silhouette that is ideal for thicker hair types – clients with finer hair would need to put in a little extra work to achieve this look.”

The Bell Bottom Bob isn’t only for clients with straight hair either, with Jake Unger, Head of Education at HOB Academy, explaining: “I think it’s all about finding the optimal length for each individual. For instance, for this particular style I would maybe encourage someone with more curly or textured hair to potentially keep it slightly longer as it will be easier for them to get a brush around the hairline at the back, whereas if it is too short then it becomes difficult to make it slightly straighter, thus limiting the possibilities.”

How to Cut the Bell Bottom Bob 

The starting point of any great bob, Michelle says, is to ensure it is cut evenly and precisely. However, while different variations of the bob can be styled into the Bell Bottom Bob, Jake points out that how the hair has been cut can determine its ability to hold a certain shape. Discussing this, he adds: “Once you have finished, depending on the hair type I would potentially add texture through the ends to give the hair a more lived-in feel, which helps the ends become more manipulatable when it comes to styling.”

How to Style the Bell Bottom Bob

While there are various ways to produce this style, Ben shares his preferred approach: “Starting with a rough dry at the top ensures the hair is directed from root to tip, while the use of a round brush on the mid-lengths can vary the finish from messy and undone to sleek and polished. The final touch, the bell bottom flick, is created by drying the hair upwards from beneath, which can be further defined with velcro rollers or a flat iron for a more dramatic effect.” 

Why Are There So Many Types of Bob Hairstyles?

Jake points out that while different bob hairstyles with different names have been trending for the past year, many of these are actually the same cut – it’s just about how you style the hair. He says: “I love that one haircut can be worn in different ways due to it being cut with no graduation or layering. With this in mind I think it’s easier to get the buy-in from clients. Being one length, you can chop and change the way the client wears their hair and encourage the Bell Bottom Bob, Old Money Bob, Beach Bob and Wavy Bob - the possibilities are endless!”

Sally also discusses the versatility of the bob, explaining: “To keep the look modern and relevant its always about adding or removing volume and changing the use of products, as opposed to growing or adding layers. It suits most face shapes, but the best length for most people sits below the jaw, as this leaves styling open to a range of possibilities.”

If you're still wondering why reincarnations of former trends are being given new names, why not check out where hairstyle names come from?

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 18th Jun 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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