InStyle September 28, 2023



40 Reverse Bob Haircut Ideas for a Chic New Look


If there's one haircut that's forever on our hair radar, it's the bob. Each season, the shorter-length cut, which hits anywhere from the nape of the neck down to the collarbone, gets a tweak of sorts, and right now, the fresh and modern reverse bob is worn either sleek and straight or with loose waves for a lived-in style.

Celebrity hairstylist Angelo David explains that the reverse bob, also known as an inverted or A-line bob, involves layering the hair in the back to create volume. Unlike the reverse bob worn in the early 2000s, which was more of a stacked cut, David says today's version, which reaches the collarbone or further, is more stylish. "It's no longer the 'helmet' look we know so well," he adds.

A reverse bob works beautifully for various hair types. "Reverse bobs are a precision cut with shorter layers in the back and longer layers in the front," says celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino.

If you’re considering a reverse bob haircut for fall, consider these 40 cuts the ultimate inspiration.


Angelo David is a celebrity hairstylist who specializes in custom wigs and hair extensions.
Ric Pipino is a celebrity hairstylist and colorist based in New York City.

Reverse Bob with Face-Framing Highlights

Barely-there, face-framing highlights complement Amiee Song’s bob, which is slightly shorter in the front to keep the look modern. To create a hint of bend at the ends, Jenna Spino, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, says to either blow dry the hair straight or flat iron the hair to curl the ends slightly. Then, smooth down the hair with a finishing serum.

Layered Reverse Bob

The benefit of a reverse bob with layers is that you can style the hair in numerous ways. Lori Harvey wears her hair in big, voluminous curls, which Spino says were likely created with a curling iron. Once the curls cool, lock them in place with a light, flexible hold hairspray like Neuma Neu Styling Flexible Hairspray ($36).

Chin-Grazing Reverse Bob

A chin-grazing bob with additional length in the front complements Lucy Liu’s super straight black hair. Short bobs with a side part add fullness to fine, straight hair.

Spiral Curl Reverse Bob

“Kerry Washington is one of my favorite celebrities who pulls off the bob beautifully,” David says. "She has worn many versions of the bob that complement her facial features." Washington wears her hair with its natural texture (as shown here) and a soft curl.

Pin-Straight Reverse Bob

Gabrielle Union epitomizes the classic pin-straight bob, which never goes out of style. Using a straightening iron ensures that the hair gets straight and smooth. Run a shine serum or oil, such as Dae Stargloss Shine Treatment ($44), through the hair for added shine.

Lifted-Bang Reverse Bob

Ciara's stick-straight style features an off-center part and lifted bangs, perfect to wear either day or night. Volume and texture are key players in this look and can be created with a texture spray such as The Angelo David Volumizing Spray ($24), which hydrates the hair, adds shine, and keeps the hair in place all day.

Choppy Reverse Bob

A choppy, bright blonde inverted bob is fitting for Emma Stone. Celebrity stylist Mara Rozak, who created Stone’s short, choppy cut, used the Roz Milk Hair Serum ($52) to style the hair without heat while adding definition and the Santa Lucia Styling Oil ($45) for shine and smooth ends.

Fuchsia Reverse Bob

Megan Fox's bright fuchsia pink tousled bob proves that short cuts don't need to be boring. Run a curling iron through the hair to create loose, beachy waves with dimensions. Once the curls cool, break them up with a wide-tooth comb for a more lived-in look.

Chin-Length Reverse Bob

A chin-length bob, like Mindy Kaling's, creates volume at the crown and the back of the head. To smooth the hair yet retain volume, Spino recommends prepping it with a mousse, like Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($39), and using a round brush to blow it out. If even more volume is desired, spray on IGK's Pick Me Up Maximum Lift Root Boost Spray ($25) to add extra lift to the hair via transparent microfibers that grip the hair for a fuller hairline.

Short, Wavy Reverse Bob

A reverse bob doesn’t need to be inches shorter in the back. “A bob cut is a look that you need to own,” David says. “There isn’t a certain length to pull it off. The inverted bob suits all face shapes since the cut focuses more on adding length in the front, elongating the face. Cara Delevingne’s waves blend in seamlessly between the front and back pieces for the perfect effortless bob.

Flipped-Ends Reverse Bob

Never one to take her hair too seriously, we appreciate January Jones' fun flip, which adds a touch of youthful playfulness. Her ends feature a gradual blunt edge, and her wispy fringe highlights her eyes. David says adding a sharp edge can give the hair the illusion of being thicker than it is.

Behind-the-Ear Reverse Bob

Charlize Theron has worn her hair in various styles of the classic bob for years, yet she always manages to keep it fresh. “I would use a flat or curling iron to straighten the hair with a slight bend and then finish with texture spray," Spino shares. Adding a beret and tucking her hair behind her ear adds a playful touch.

Bumped-Ends Reverse Bob

The key to wearing a sophisticated reverse bob on thicker hair, like Jordan Dunn's, is adding in soft layers and working with—not against—the hair's natural texture. The right amount of underbend is critical in this look, which you can achieve with a large barrel curling iron.

Lived-In Reverse Bob

To create a piecey, lived-in look on a long reverse bob like Yilan Hua's, wrap sections of hair around a curling wand, leaving out the ends. To further define the ends so they are separated, use a soft, flexible hair wax or paste, like Act + Acre Styling Paste ($38), from the midshaft down.

Point-Cut Reverse Bob

To make a bob cut feel less like a soccer mom hairstyle and more modern, Pipino says to take a note from Elsa Hosk and create texture with a beautiful color and pointed cut. "Also, how the hair is blow-dried makes a big difference," he adds. "Use a flat brush so the hair doesn't appear too round or puffy."

Side Part Reverse Bob

Olivia Palermo’s new cut features a side part and a face frame a tad longer than the rest of her hair. Spino says the angle cut on the reverse bob is more subtle now than it used to be. “The layers are cut a little softer, and the ways we can style the cut makes it cooler,” she adds.

Swingy Reverse Bob

Hailey Bieber’s swingy brunette bob is sleek and straight, with nary a hair out of place. “To style, use a flat brush, like the PIPINO Brush, to slightly lift the roots and add a root lifting product,” Pipino says.  A light spray of hairspray locks everything in place for extra assurance.

Textured Reverse Bob

Unbeknownst to many, the bob is more versatile than most people think. Leslie Bibb wears her hair with a bit of bend and a wave, dressing up her usually straight blonde locks. “To keep the hair’s hold at night, use a stronger hold dry textured styling cream and hairspray to style the reverse bob,” Pipino says.

Beach Wave Reverse Bob

Kristen Bell’s graduated bob features long layers of soft textured waves that she wears slightly tucked under her ear. “Beach waves show off the cut’s movement with layers,” Spino says. She recommends using the Trademark Beauty Babe Waves X ($89) hair waver and texture spray to create beach waves like Bell's. “If you have wavy hair, just wear the hair naturally.”

Reverse Lob

Ashley Benson’s length teeters on a lob, which works well for most hair types, specifically naturally wavy hair. Keeping the layers natural yet longer around the face helps add definition and gives volume throughout. “A bit of a styling cream gives a light hold,” Pipino adds.

Voluminous Reverse Bob

A short reverse bob with rounded edges shows off a strong jawline since it’s on display for the world to see. To create more fullness and volume in the hair, akin to Naomi Watts’ style, don’t go overboard with conditioner, which can weigh down the hair. When styling the hair, always blow dry and finish by curling the ends with a large iron.

Sharp Reverse Bob

Claire Danes’ sharp bob cut is one of the most versatile cuts for straight hair. To get the hair straight, Spino says to use a flat iron, which shows off the sharp lines on the bottom. Frequent trims every four weeks and conditioning masks are necessary to keep the blunt edges in check and keep split and damaged ends from surfacing.

Cropped Reverse Bob

For more of a rocker chic edge, consider a platinum crop style like Kourtney Kardashian-Barker’s sharp-as-glass bob. Keeping the angles straight and at the jawline adds structure to the cut and makes the hair look more weighted.

Blunt-to-Round Reverse Bob

The front pieces of Kelly Rowland’s cut are strong and blunt, while the back has more of a rounded edge with some bounce. David says a blunt cut creates the illusion of thickness in fine and thin hair, promotes healthier ends by minimizing breakage, and adds structure and form to limp hair, making it easy to style.

Unstructured Wave Reverse Bob

Pipino says the ideal length for a bob is somewhere between the chin and collarbone, where Joan Smalls’ hair hits. Style hair with unstructured waves to add dimension to a wavy bob that's a bit lengthier. A deep side part also gives one side more weight for a sexy look.

Shoulder-Length Reverse Bob

Gal Gadot’s longer-length bob is perfect for those who aren’t ready to commit to something quite so short. Her side part and tousled waves are finished with blunt, straight ends. A good texture spray, like Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray ($20), is key for this cut. “It helps show off the layers and volume and gives texture to the ends for a sharper look,” Spino says.

Relaxed Reverse Bob

Wearing her hair more relaxed and with some natural waves adds a playful element to Carey Mulligan’s overall look. The front of the hair is only slightly longer than the rest of the bob, and there’s zero line of delineation as the cut transgresses into shorter territory.

Short Choppy Reverse Bob

Bobs can be of varying lengths and still sport a gradual change in length. Selma Blair’s short, choppy platinum blonde bob features full bangs and wispy ends, which can be created by flat ironing the hair downward.

Loose Wave Reverse Bob

A classic part and loose waves with a natural bend give Anja Rubik’s reverse bob more of a beach-inspired and relaxed feeling. Keeping some depth at the root makes the style look more lived-in.

Deep Side Part Reverse Bob

Sometimes, wearing the hair in a bob cut can cause it to look like it's lacking movement and volume. Switching up the part from straight down the middle to one on the side, as Lea Michelle does, can accentuate the hair's texture and fullness and give the illusion of more volume at the crown.

Low-Maintenance Reverse Bob

Kirsten Dunst keeps her hair slightly longer with a collarbone-grazing length and natural texture. Together with her side part, the cut is the perfect mix of low-maintenance casual without sacrificing style.

Round Reverse Bob

The ultimate cool girl, Elsa Hosk's versatile bright blonde bob has a rounded shape that works with curls and sleeker styles. Since her cut has significant volume at the roots and bounce throughout the hair, it likely doesn't need much help in the volume department, but creating shine with a light hair oil, such as R+Co Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil ($37), is a must.

Front Bang Reverse Bob

For a fun and flirty take on the classic bob, add a thick bang like Christina Ricci, and wear the ends flipped up and out. Keeping the back short and the front longer creates a sleek, straight style for a classic look.

Wet-Look Reverse Bob

Chloë Grace Moretz shows off her short cut with a modern take on the wet-look finish. Pushing the hair back instead of parting it lends volume to the root.

Blown-Out Reverse Bob

Monica  Barbaro's longer bob is a mix of the characteristics of a good blowout coupled with rounded out and under ends. When a bob cut has more length in the front, it's more versatile to style.

Naturally Curly Reverse Bob

Curly and coily hair can pull off reverse bob cuts — case in point, Yara Shahidi — as long as the weight of the hair is distributed evenly. Treating the hair regularly with conditioning masks will help prevent dehydrated curls, which are prone to breakage.

Shaggy Reverse Bob

A short, shaggy bob like Idina Menzel's cut works well for fine and thick hair. “The messier, the better, as far as I am concerned,” Pipino says. “The reverse bob needs to be tousled and textured with a hot iron and hairspray.” You can also scrunch the hair at the roots to add to an undone look.

Bouncy Reverse Bob

Rose Byrne's perfectly bouncy bob is the epitome of class and sophistication, yet it takes some elbow grease to achieve. You'll need a good blow dryer, a round brush, volumizing products, and plenty of time to nail the look.

Angular Reverse Bob

The key to an excellent reverse bob is to work with your hair's natural texture and curl pattern. If the hair is pin-straight, like Lucy Hale's, an angular, blunt cut with no face frame will emphasize the hair's shape. Smoothing shampoos and conditioners create an even better base for straight hair.

'90s-Inspired Reverse Bob

Zendaya's '90s-inspired bob is equal parts polished and voluminous and boasts the perfect smooth texture. Using a round brush will give enough bend to the ends so that they don't drag but bounce up for a sexy look.