Summer is finally here, and along with sunglasses and short skirts comes the temptation to chop off all your hair. New season, new look, right? And in 2015, there’s no style more chic than the bob—long enough to style in fun ways, yet short enough to keep the hair off the back of your neck, we’re going to go ahead and call this THE hairstyle of summer.
But before you call your stylist and demand the Jessica Alba, the J.Lo or even the Taylor Swift, there are some essential bob truths that you need to know. Here are 7 essential things you need to know before you bob your hair.
1. You’ll rethink your makeup.
Retro-inspired bobs are, as Tim Gunn would say, A Lot Of Look. Combining a statement cut with statement makeup can sometimes be head-styling overload, so be open to embracing a more minimal beauty look. Switch out sharp cat eyes for softer eyeshadow in grey or brown, and skip any hardcore contouring in favor of gentle powder blush layered beneath cream highlighter.
2. You’ll enter a whole new world of hair accessories.
It isn’t until one has shorter hair that you realize how essential clips and pins truly are. Nobody likes having hair in their face, and when you wear your lovely locks short, it can be even harder to keep it out of your way! Luckily, functional accessories can also be really elegant, so you never have to sacrifice your glamour for practicality.
Scunci No-slip Grip Bobby Pins ($3.99) are the best bobby pins in the world; the inner grooves mean that they’ll hold back even the shortest hair without pulling or slipping free. They’re available in a variety of colors, so you can either match your hair color or go for a contrasting shade. We love the tortoiseshell-print pins—they’re totally classic.
3. You’ll think about your neck and back a lot.
Shorter hair means your neck and back are on full display, so make sure you’re taking steps to control the dreaded body acne. Keep back and neck blemishes in check with gentle yet effective cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (Phisoderm Anti-Acne Body Wash, $5.79, is one of our favorites), then follow up with a toner or pad containing glycolic acid. If you’re still experiencing breakouts, call your dermatologist—you might need a prescription antibiotic.
4. There may be texture changes.
Often, a dramatically shorter haircut means noticing a lot of brand new waves, curls and cowlicks. Your bob hasn’t CAUSED any of these things, of course—there’s just less weight holding your hair down, so its existing textural issues can run wild and free.
You can, of course, fight against these issues with clever styling tricks, but we say why not lean into it? Sleek bobs are gorgeous, but they’re not the only way to wear this style—undone, beach wavy and curly bobs are totally perfect for summertime.
5. You’ll need the perfect heat protector.
Unless you have the most naturally perfect hair on the planet, bobs are not generally what you’d consider “wake up and go” hairstyles—they need a fair bit of styling, and that means heat. So of course you’re going to need something that protects your hair from the rigors of hot tools without weighing it down. We love Redken Smooth-Lock Heat Glide ($12.75) for its superlative heat protection, high-gloss shine and de-frizzing capabilities. All that in one bottle? Sign us up!
For those days when you want to skip heat styling altogether, you MUST get your hands on R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse ($29). No matter your hair type or texture, a golfball-sized blob of this applied to wet hair (and then left to air-dry) results in defined waves, perfect curls or sleek straightness with a great undone texture. Bonus: it doesn’t leave your hair feeling dry or greasy, nor does it weigh it down. It’s truly amazing.
6. It’s quicker to wash, but takes longer to dry.
Short hair is much faster to wash and condition than long hair. But again, unless you have perfectly obedient hair, you’ll probably find that it takes a lot longer to dry a bob, because you also need to style it. Gone are the days of blowing your hair out halfway and hoping for the best! Luckily, there are so many awesome ways to style your brand new bob—check out some of the best tips here.
7. You’ll need more haircuts.
Depending on the style of bob you go for, you may find yourself making more frequent stylist appointments. Shorter hair in a deliberate style can require quite a lot of upkeep; if you’re rocking a blunt cut, expect to get a trim every four weeks or so.
If that’s a bit too much commitment, don’t worry, there’s still a bob that suits your life! Ask your stylist for a slightly A-lined bob with lots of loose layers a la Jessica Alba; this style in particular will still look beautiful if it grows out a little.
Read more from Daily Makeover: Here are 15 Long Bobs We Love.