Difference between Bob and Lob

Lob or long bob hairstyle
Photo: Sorbis/Shutterstock
Q: What is the difference between a bob and a lob (long bob)? One of my clients asked me this question but I don’t know where to draw the line between a lob and a classic bob.
A: The easiest way to discern this is that a simple bob’s length stops somewhere between the tips of the ears and well above the shoulders. A simple long bob’s length goes to just above or just below the shoulders.
The simple bob is distinct from other hairstyles in the fact that the hair is more or less one length all around, although it is usually thinned out slightly to simplify maintenance and styling issues. Stylists also like to cut the simple bob with a slight undercut along the circumference of the hair, to make the ends curl faintly inward and frame the face.
It sounds like you’re a stylist or work in a salon, thus you’ll know that there are a lot of variations that flow from the simple bob, such as the A-line bob, the inverted/graduated bob and the asymmetrical bob. I won’t go into this discussion right now as it is a whole topic on its own and you probably know the difference between these hairstyles.
A long bob or lob is a perfect halfway style for when you’re either growing your hair out from a short style, or if you have very long hair and want to make the change, but you’re unsure whether you’ll like it or be able to handle it. Because there are typically no layers in the simple bob, (whether it is long or short), the hair is really very manageable, even to the most novice stylist or client. Especially so if the stylist cuts the bob with a slight undercut, as this almost forces the tips of the hair to curl slightly inward on its own, meaning that very little styling is required in the case of fine to medium, straight hair.
If you have had very long hair for a long time, cutting your hair may seem like a very daunting and intimidating thing to do. Most clients feel frustrated and feeble in this situation, as they long for a new, more modern haircut, but they just can’t seem to take the plunge. In this case, the long bob really is the perfect solution. It’s still quite a long cut, (even though it falls within the medium hairstyle category), because of its uniform long length all around and absence of any layers. Thus, if the client finds that she doesn’t like the shorter hair, she’ll be able to grow her hair out into a long hairstyle again within a few months.
If she finds that she likes the hairstyle and finds it easy to manage and maintain, (which it really is), she’ll be able to take the plunge to a short simple bob much easier and with more assurance and confidence. The chances are also much better that she’ll handle the transition, maintenance and styling much better if she took this more gradual path from her long hair to the short bob. Happy client = happy stylist!
See also:
Photos of bob hairstyles
How to successfully wear a bob style
The basics of the bob haircut