The bob haircut is more than just a classic style, it has been around for centuries. Joan of Arc and Cleopatra are often depicted wearing their hair in this close-cropped style, and ancient roman art shows women with this classic style. However, it truly boomed in popularity in the early 1900s when dancer Irene Castle cropped her hair for a medical procedure, and the cut was dubbed the “Castle Bob”. The short style quickly became a symbol of women’s growing independence as they fought for voting rights and began to enter the workforce at the beginning of the century. Though this short style often baffled hairstylists, it took off in the flapper period of the 1920s as women broke the constraints of classic feminism to define their own style.

The classic bob has had infinite variations, with the finger curls of the flappers, the wavy crop that took off through the 1950s, the angular bob of the 1960s, and the asymmetrical bob that formed in the 1980s. Now the bob cut is no longer representative of the feminist movement, but just another hairstyle choice. What we do know is that this style is here to stay. We’ve rounded up a few classic and beautiful styles, so if you are looking to take the plunge or just change up your look, try out one of these rich looks.

The Classic Bob

Photo via Bella Sugar

This is a timelessly elegant look favored by fashionistas like Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Cropped close and all in the same line, this look frames the face and leaves the neck clear. The most important part of this cut is where the line starts- talk to your hairstylist about your face shape and how short you should go for the most flattering look. Many modern bob cuts are also styled with bangs, like Katie Holmes shown here, so talk to your stylist about what works best for you.

The A-Line Bob 

Photo via Pinterest

The A-line bob is short in the back and longer in the front. This leave face-framing layers in the front while still giving the edgy and cool short cut in the back. Victoria Beckham is known for her A-line bob, starting her own cropped trend. This cut can be anywhere from simple to extreme, talk to your hairstylist about how long you want the difference from back to front to be.

The Lob

Photo via Pinterest

The lob, which is shortened from the long bob, is a more relaxed version of the traditional Bob. It has a little more freedom of movement, and it just barely grazes the top of the shoulders. If you are hesitant about chopping your locks, the lob is a great stepping stone to a close-cropped ‘do.

The Textured Bob

Photo via Anh Co Tran

This type of bob is edgier than most and usually worn wavy. Rather than the sleek and sophisticated look of the traditional bob, this look is playful with lots of layers and texture for a more relaxed and beach-y vibe. Perfect for naturally textured hair, or use a sea-salt spray to add texture to naturally straight hair.