Is Margot Robbie’s Sleek Lob The Ultimate Fix For Grown-Out Bobs? Here’s My Take

By Angela Law for Refinery29

I don’t have to tell you that bob haircuts are a perpetually trending hairstyle genre. Whether it’s the bottleneck, boyfriend, or Baroque bob (or perhaps, the latest style to hit the internet, the bell bottom bob), bob haircuts rise and rise (and rise again) in popularity every year.
I have a few theories as to why that is, and as someone who has favoured a shoulder-skimming style for the better part of the last 10 years, I feel that I’m well-placed to speculate. First, there’s no room for split ends when you’re hitting the salon every eight weeks to maintain the cropped cut, which means it always feels fresh. Plus, getting a good and proper haircut, and shedding the literal weight of months or years past is freeing, and what a joy to get that hit of dopamine near-constantly.
Despite all of this, I made the decision earlier this year to break free of my signature style and attempt to grow out my bob. But the truth is, growing out a bob takes a lot of patience, with the awkward mid-length stage dragging on a little bit too long. After six months, I was feeling so tired of my shapeless half-grown-out bob that when I saw Margot Robbie hit the red carpet in April rocking a brand new lob (a long bob, for the uninitiated), I hoped it might be the answer to making my in-between haircut look more intentional.
The next step was obvious: take a photo of a celebrity I look nothing like to the hair salon and ask a stylist to wave their magic wand. The wizard in question was Anthony Nader, an editorial hairstylist, educator and the founder of RAW Hair salon in Sydney.
When I sat down in Nader’s chair, flashed him my photo of Robbie, and asked if it was achievable for me, he enthusiastically nodded and joked that it’d be really easy for me… if I added a heap of tape extensions to bulk out my hair volume framing my face. I’ve been told countless times that I have fine hair but a lot of it, which can make straight styles look a bit lacklustre, or dare I say… limp.
Despite the gentle let down, Nader explained that this style of haircut — one which straddles the line between a bob and a mid-length cut — is achievable for many people, even those who don’t have thick hair, as Robbie does in the photo above.
“It’s a bob haircut for those who want to have a shorter length, but don’t want to commit to growing out a short bob,” Nader explains. “The beauty about Margot’s bob is that it is still a very friendly haircut — [meaning] it’s not aggressive, there’s something quite feminine and flirtatious about it but at the same time, it’s quite polished.”
Nader goes on to explain that emulating this particular look comes down to a few things: asking for a haircut that’s all one length (i.e. one with no layers), adding volume through styling products, and bevelling the ends under to give that polished look. “You want the hair to feel a bit more voluminous because that exudes healthiness” he says, and recommends adding a plumping foam to the roots and mid-lengths when the hair is still damp, before styling, to achieve this.
Next came the actual styling. Nader started with a thorough spritz of the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Heat Protection Spray, which is lightweight and protects the hair up to 232°C, before moving on to blowdrying my hair. The goal is to keep the ends looking polished and clean, because Nader explains this is what makes the overall haircut look expensive.
“You want to make sure you use a round brush on the hair when blowdrying because using a paddle or flat brush won’t give that beautiful, luxe-looking curve at the ends,” he says. “This is going to be a big change for anyone who wears a bend in the middle of their lengths and keeps a couple of inches at the end poker straight.”
While he explains, Nader demonstrates the technique using the round brush to stretch the roots upwards to add volume at the root, before sweeping it through the mid-lengths to keep the hair mostly straight, and finally, curving the brush under at the ends, to add the “swish around the shoulders”. Once the hair is fully dry, he follows up the same technique with a wide plate hair straightener (he uses his own brand, the LTN Wide Styler, $220) to promote staying power, being sure to curve the ends under as he moves down the lengths.
“Especially for those who don’t really have the time to use a brush and hair dryer [to style their hair], they can just use a wide plate styler to go over the roots mid lengths and ends,” Nader says.
When asked why a wide plate straightener is preferred over the more common narrow straightener, he explains that the larger surface area means you can include more hair in each swipe, cutting down the amount of time spent styling the hair. “A smaller plate will give you smaller waves, which you don’t want — you don’t even want a wave in your hair, you just want to literally smooth [your hair],” he adds. “[Wide plate straighteners are] excellent for those who have really unruly, coarse, or frizzy hair who want to really smooth the cuticle.”
When I stepped out of the salon, I wasn’t too proud to admit that my hair looked vaguely like Robbie’s style, at best, but the styling tips I picked up from him have been extremely helpful ever since.
I also learned that maintaining the bevelled ends longer than an hour is a full-time job, which Nader also cautioned me about, since the hair naturally wants to kick out or straighten out. And once that curve was gone, my hair just looked like a mid-length straight haircut once again.
The tips I’ll take with me are that adding a foam (or mousse) to my roots before styling could help with volume, and I found that my kinks and cowlicks were kept at bay, thanks to the hold in the product. I also asked Nader whether getting regular trims was important while growing out a bob and he was clear: yes, absolutely.
While I can’t promise I’ll be heading to the salon every eight weeks, as he recommended, I was pleased to learn that the dopamine hit that comes with cutting off your split ends isn’t limited to people with bob haircuts. I won’t promise that I’ll stop taking celebrity inspo picks into the salon, no matter how unrealistic the vision may be, but perhaps I’ll stop kidding myself into thinking achieving a celebrity hairstyle is as simple as a quick snip.

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