7 easy ways to style midlength hair (a 'lob')

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7 ways to style a lob
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7 easy ways to style midlength hair (a 'lob')

Karlie Kloss

It's called the Karlie Kut for a reason: Kloss's lob, originally cut by hairstylist Garren, is the one that started the trend. As a model, Kloss has had plenty of opportunities to show off the cut's versatility, but this laid-back look is one of our favorites. Not quite wavy but definitely not straight, it has a windblown, easy texture. "For a loose, natural wave, twist big sections around a large curling iron, letting the hair slide out almost immediately," says Garren. Isn't it nice when something that looks easy and effortless actually is?

Rose Byrne

Sophisticated? Yes. Boring? Absolutely not. "When you're styling a bob straight, you want it to look silky and polished but not secretarial," says Garren. To get this look, start by smoothing a styling cream—Garren likes R + Co Park Avenue Blowout Balm—through your hair, starting with the midlengths to avoid weighing down the roots. Blow-dry hair straight using a medium-size round brush, then smooth it with a flatiron. When hairstylist Gregory Russell does this look, he says, "I like to finish it with Serge Normant Meta Sheer Dry Oil Finishing Spray, which adds really high sheen, but doesn't make hair greasy."

January Jones

"There's nothing cool about a style that looks too done," says Russell, who styled Jones's hair here. "I wanted it to have a messy, Debbie Harry vibe." To get it, he misted Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray over Jones's air-dried hair. "She has very fine hair with a bit of natural wave, so the surf spray builds on that natural texture, adds volume, and gives it that beachy softness," he says. Next, he twisted sections of hair with his hands before wrapping random sections loosely around a one-inch curling iron. "Make sure to wrap the hair in different directions so there's a bit of irregularity to it," he says. After misting Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray over the look for grip, Russell smoothed Leonor Greyl Eclat Naturel styling cream on the ends for definition.

Ciara

Ciara hits the perfect halfway mark between straight and wavy. The secret: "Keeping the ends really straight makes it look more modern," says hairstylist Jen Atkin. You don't need a curling iron to get this type of gentle wave; instead, Atkin recommends using a flatiron. "As you pull it down through the hair, bend it back and forth," she says. About an inch or two from the bottom, stop bending the flatiron and just pull it through the ends straight for the blunt texture. Finish with shine spray all over and a bit of pomade or smoothing cream at the ends.

Kate Mara

Mara's look is just curly enough: A too-curly lob can look triangular or mushroomy. To get Mara's look, start with damp (not dripping wet) hair and apply volumizing mousse, then rough-dry, scrunching it with your hands. "I like to use a lightweight styling cream to tame the curls, twisting them for a little bit of piecey-ness," says hairstylist Mara Roszak, who regularly works with the actress. Then twist sections of hair around a large-barrel curling iron for a second before sliding them off.

Reese Witherspoon

This look is the lob at its sweetest. "If you have an angular or heart-shaped face, side-swept bangs are a great way to soften it," says Russell. To get the look, coat hair from roots to ends with a volumizing mousse (Russell likes Kérastase Age Premium Mousse Substantive). Then rough-dry hair with a diffuser and your hands, using a round brush only on the bangs to create a smooth, gentle curve. "You definitely don't want to take a curling iron to the bangs," he says. "That's when you'll turn into early-'90s Mariah Carey." However, you should curl random two-inch sections all over the rest of your head, turning them away from your face.

Emma Stone

Two elements of Stone's lob make it unique—and superflattering: heavy, eye-skimming bangs and barely ombré highlights. The strategy is twofold. First, the bangs: "If you have fine hair, blunt bangs make it look thicker," says Atkin. Simple enough. Then there's the color, which subtly transitions to a paler version of Stone's natural hue. "Color can really help add dimension to a lob," says Roszak, who regularly works with Stone. "I call it surfer sun-kissed color," says Aura Freidman, a colorist at the Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. "It's perfect for the long bob because it has an equally laid-back vibe."

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Ask pretty much any celebrity hairstylist, and they'll tell you the long bob (a.k.a. the lob) is the chicest haircut of 2014. In addition to throwing around the word "cool" at least twice, they'll also say it's because the lob is versatile, easy to style, and timeless. Check out our seven favorite ways to wear it.

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