Dear Scott: How do I explain to the girl who cuts my hair to cut it in a bob with the back shorter than the front? I moved here from New York a year ago, and I can’t seem to get it done right. It looks like I have two haircuts. I don’t have a single picture of myself with it because I moved right after having it done. I tried four different places, and every time, my hair looked funny and nothing like I wanted. I tried to explain every time, and they would say that they know exactly what I wanted.
I am friends with the girl I go to, and don’t want to change hairstylists right now. Why is it so hard for me to get my hair cut here? I see the haircut everywhere on girls here and it never looks right on them, either.
Answer: Something might have happened to your translation of this look when you crossed the Mason-Dixon Line.
It’s not just the Southern version of the inverted bob that’s funny when it’s done wrong. I have seen it look like there are two haircuts on one head – up North, too. I think that you are just getting the stylist’s version of a cut that can be done many different ways.
What tends to happen is that when you alter a particular haircut, the design and final look change and the results are usually not very desirable.
If the back is layered too short, it can look a little like a basset hound’s ears are blowing in the wind. If the areas from long to short are not blended properly, it can look as if it were cut off with the hedge trimmers all in one chop, or like the wearer had her pony tail cut off.
This cut has been around for a long time, but was reintroduced by Katie Holmes in September 2010, when she made headlines by cutting off her long hair into a new hot version of the bob haircut.
Try bringing your stylist friend some photos of the cut, the way you like it. I mention Katie Holmes because the cuts she wore tend to be the versions that usually are what clients ask for. She wore a few different designs over a period of time, and the photos are readily available online, from chunky bangs with sleek straight lines to light fringe and layered movement.
With a short question-and-answer consultation from your stylist friend, and some pictures of Katie, you should be able to get exactly what you want.
Scott Terwilliger Aiken salon owner and master stylist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.