on trend

The Faux Bob: A Trendy, Retro Style

March 9th 2017

The faux – or false – bob is back in force on the red carpet. It’s an ideal way to shake up your style without having to cut your hair, and one that’s perfect for important occasions as well with its touch of retro charm… Along with two styling professionals and an actress, FAB is here to share with you the secrets of the faux bob.

What Is It?

The faux bob (also called a fake bob) has taken the web by storm. As its name suggests, this style refers to when you tie up long hair to make it look like a bob cut. Lots of different hairstylists have brought this retro, originally 1920s style bang up to date, as Evalyn Parson, an Australian stylist who specializes in wedding preparations, explained to FAB, “My understanding is that it started in the 1920s when the bob style became very popular and ladies who wanted that look but didn’t want to cut their hair would create a “faux bob” in this way.”

Faux Bob by @evalynparsonshair
Photo credits: @evalynparsonshair

These days, the style is winning over women who want a fun, easy way to change their look. For Michaeline Becker, a hair artist based in Los Angeles, the faux bob is a style that’s “half-way between a bun and loose hair”, and one that has been brought up to date thanks to stars on the red carpet making it a part of their looks. The faux bob worn by model Emily Ratajkowski made a big splash at the 2017 Golden Globe awards, as did the styles of Amber Heard and Cate Blanchett back in 2016.

Between Technique & Creative Freedom

Underneath its gentle, natural look and feel, the faux bob is actually a very technical style. Difficult to do at home on your own, your best option is to put yourself in the hands of a professional, especially when you’re heading to a wedding. Amber Coyle, actress, model and Marilyn Monroe impersonator is a supreme master of the art of the faux bob. She says it’s the best way she’s found to turn her long hair into Marilyn’s famous bob cut, and it’s a much better choice than wearing a wig, “which isn’t realistic enough”. So what’s the secret to a successful faux bob? “The secret is bobby pins, and more bobby pins! You also need a strong holding hairspray and a good curling iron that produces enough heat to give your curls longevity.”

Faux Bob @somecallmelips
Amber Coyle. Photo credits: @somecallmelips

Michaeline Becker talked us through her step-by-step instructions for achieving a successful false bob: “One of the most important steps of a faux bob is to secure the bottom half of your hair to your head with bobby pins. There are many ways to do this. You can create a bun from the bottom half of your hair. Or you can braid the bottom half of your hair, then secure the braid to your head with pins. Lastly, you can roll your hair in smaller sections and secure each roll to your head with pins. The other important step is to secure the top half of your hair to the bun, braid or rolls. The secret to a nice faux bob is to ensure that the top pieces of your hair are loosely secured to the bottom half to make everything look more natural. I like to use a curling iron to add a wave to the hair before I secure it to the bottom. Hair that has a wave or a curl can be more easy to manipulate than straight hair.”

Why Is It Successful?

A perfect style from women with medium-long hair (hair that reaches just below the shoulders) and longer locks too, the faux-bob is pretty much universally loved. Michaeline favors it because it’s so easy to personalize, Evalyn because of its versatility: “It’s great for women who want their hair out but also very styled. It also looks much more glamorous then a down style and will stay in place all day. It can be very vintage too if that’s what the wearer is trying to achieve.”

Faux Bob by @mickbeauty
Photo credits: @mickbeauty

The faux bob also allows any woman who chooses it to express her own personality. For example Michaeline admits having a weakness for a faux bob with curls around the edges, while Evalyn opts for glamorous waves with a modern twist. Finally, the temporary commitment of a faux bob is one of the best reasons behind its success. It gives you the chance to try a short style for a day, and the next you’ve got your long hair back. It’s a quick, stylish way to break with your day-to-day hair routine.

Faux Bob by @mickbeauty
Photo credits: @mickbeauty

The current it-style of the red carpet, a charming idea to look your best for a wedding, or just for brunch with friends, the faux bob has never been so on-trend. It’s a hair style that makes a nice change from braids and buns, and what’s more it will make your styling professional happy too because they get to express all of their technical talent and creative ambition.