I'm looking for the right set of terms to describe this hairstyle.
September 30, 2012 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Image link with some examples. I need help coming up with a concise description of this hairstyle, preferably using hair/fashion industry standard terminology.

"Bob", sure, but it's too broad. "Asymmetric"... it's an asymmetric style, but not an asymmetric cut.

A Google Image Search for "asymmetrical chin length 90s bob" still results in a 99% failure to get anything in this neighborhood.

Is there a better way to describe this style?
posted by Robson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Based solely on watching too much ANTM and Project Runway, I know that that wavy bit in the face is always described as "old Hollywood". So...perhaps old Hollywood bob.
posted by phunniemee at 3:57 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

side part
long side-swept bangs (not sure if this applies to your examples)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:00 PM on September 30, 2012

deep side part bob?
posted by sweet Annie Rich at 4:00 PM on September 30, 2012

Side-part bob?
posted by smirkette at 4:01 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think you're looking for the term side swept instead of asymmetric. Wavy side swept bob brings up more examples close to yours.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:04 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pageboy, with a side part and no bangs?
posted by songs about trains at 4:09 PM on September 30, 2012

That? That is a chin-length bob with a deep side part, no bangs, no layering except a little bit at the ends. I would not mention "bangs" except to say that you do not want them, as this will only confuse the issue - I grew up in the nineties and we would not have described that haircut as asymmetrical or as involving bangs in any way, shape or form.
posted by Frowner at 4:09 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's a bob cut somewhere around chin-length (though not all those bobs are precisely chin-length), with a side part and no bangs (or a slight side-swept bang?). Terms like deep side part might help.

Are you looking for internet keywords to find more photos, or are you looking for words to tell a stylist? The above is going to tell a stylist what to do. Maybe stress that you want a lot of texture and movement, if the wavy aspect is the important part for you and you don't have naturally wavy hair.

If you're looking for a google keyword, side part bob is probably as good as it gets.

FWIW I've had this exact haircut for a lot of my adult life and couldn't tell you any specific name for it besides a bob with a side part.

(also good to know -- this is NOT an asymmetrical cut. There are layers to it, but any decent stylist is going to add layers to a bob. Asymmetrical is more like this.)
posted by Sara C. at 4:12 PM on September 30, 2012

Layered bob?
posted by Fairchild at 4:20 PM on September 30, 2012

Short bob with a deep side part. This website refers to it as a "mod bob". I would not call it layered. If anything, it is a blunt bob -- nearly a bowl cut.
posted by saltwater at 4:26 PM on September 30, 2012

Just thought of something that might help.

Most of the time I had this style, it was because I was getting cuts as part of the Bumble & Bumble University model project. Their training program focuses on specific cuts, so all of them have names. You don't go in and get any haircut, you go to a screening and get approved for Long Layers or Short(ish) Curl or whatever. I was put into the Razor Bob group, and it produced results a lot like your photos.

(That said, if you are thinking of getting this cut, you should defer to your stylist about whether to use a razor on your hair. You'd think I'd have been getting amazing haircuts at this world class salon, but sadly it turns out that razors make my hair look like ass. Ah, well.)
posted by Sara C. at 4:28 PM on September 30, 2012

Modified chin-length bob with a deep side-part and layered ends.

And I agree whole-heartedly with Frowner : do not breath a word about "bangs", except to say that you do not want them or you're bound to be disappointed. (Many stylists don't know when to stop cutting when it comes to bangs.)

I'd also be reluctant to call it a pageboy (even though that's technically what it is) because many people associate pageboys with bangs like Bettie Page's.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 4:30 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I thought pageboy was explicitly a slightly-below-the-chin bob with a heavy longish bang? Like the stereotypical medieval page? I don't think they have anything to do with Bettie Page, and neither does the style describe something sans bangs.

In fact, if the image is what you're after, OP, I would avoid the word pageboy like the plague.
posted by Sara C. at 4:34 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree, Sara that's how I've always thought of pageboy's too, but the description seems to have taken on new meaning in some circles (i.e. people who are younger than my generation).
posted by LuckySeven~ at 4:40 PM on September 30, 2012

If you are looking for words to convey this cut...just bring the pictures.
posted by amaire at 5:29 PM on September 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

I agree with "chin-length bob with a side part". "Wavy chin length bob" gets many Google hits like your photos. A "short bob" is something akin to Louise Brooks length.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:04 PM on September 30, 2012

Must of those pictures are of slightly graduated bobs, not layered. The distinction is important because of the weight buildup at the perimeter of the cut. Many/most people do not understand the difference between layering and graduation, but their technical functions in haircutting are totally different. Layering removes weight/bulk, graduation creates it.

All that being said, however, take a printout of the pictures. As a hairdresser, having obvious examples of what you want in front of me is far easier to interpret than you attempting to explain using technical terms that you may not be using correctly.
posted by catch as catch can at 12:00 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

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