Hollywood’s bohemian beauties are trimming their flowing locks into styles that graze the clavicle, signaling a major moment for the long bob

The long bob can go wavy or straighter, as seen on Gwyneth Paltrow and Liv Tyler (via Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Several years ago, it seemed starlets competed for the thickest, most luscious, waist-length waves around. Perhaps it’s maturity, but Hollywood’s gorgeous faces (Jennifer Aniston, Liv Tyler, Scarlet Johansson) are now framed in a long version of the eternally classic bob that just barely sweeps their shoulders. According to Italian hair stylist Rossano Ferretti, founder of the Metodo Rossano Ferretti Hairspa empire of 20 international salons (London opens January 15) and schools, “a longer bob is probably one of the most special haircuts. It hits a woman at a very sensual place—dusting the shoulder and drawing the eye to the clavicle. Frequently a bob is interpreted as harsh and people think it is limiting, but for me a long bob can be very soft and natural, as well as versatile for styling, which is the philosophy of our technique.” He calls out Heidi Klum and Nicole Richie as having excellent examples of flatteringly chic and youthful long bobs with movement and sideswept bangs.

Ferretti’s interpretation of the style emphasizes the harmony and natural flow of the hair by cutting into it to avoid harsh delineation of layers. Recently he’s noticed a resurgence of requests for the cut, which was first popular in the early 2000s in Europe. The stylist should “take into consideration and respect the face shape and bone structure, and adjust the proportion and balance to make a personal haircut to suit each woman’s physiognomy,” he says. With slight adjustments to the front angle (which is less sharp than in traditional bobs), it can work on a wide range of face shapes. And the lengthier style is more versatile, capable of being air- or blow-dried with minimal styling needed. “The great part of the recent evolution has been that longer bobs can work well on curly hair, and we are seeing many women with the bob who can wear it more sleek and straight or with more wave.”

“Not many shy women choose bobs—it is for a woman who has confidence in herself, for sure,” says the celebrity stylist, adding that many women with long hair feel comfortable cropping to this point, but not shorter. “But they realize it is not a safe cut—it is a substantial statement. For me it is for a woman of high style who wants more definition and a little bit of edge to her look.” Ferretti likes to see women cut away the security blanket of long hair. “To me, she wants to stand out in her crowd of girls with long hair and make the statement that she has the elegance of a woman but is truly a modern girl with a style all her own.” After all, says Ferretti: “You are creating a frame, so you have to feel good about the art you are framing.”