The bob is the coolest short hair style for curly textures—here’s the proof

All the inspiration you need to go for the chop

Curly Bob Zendaya
(Image credit: Getty Images / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor)

As we head into autumn, it’s become indisputably clear that 2023 is the year of the bob. From the soft, cropped French bob to the more free-flowing awkward bob, there have been so many cool iterations of this short hairstyle over the last few months. The secret to its widespread appeal? A bob is just so damn versatile. You can experiment with the cut—sharp or soft—the length and, best of all, it looks good on all hair textures. In fact, it particularly lends itself to curly hair textures. Hence, this little homage to the best curly bobs that we’ve spotted this year—perfect if you’re considering a style switch-up.

Ahead, we spoke to Nadia Dean, Creative Stylist at John Frieda Salons, to give us the lowdown on what makes the curly bob so chic. alongside plenty of styling inspiration for your next trip to the salon. 

What is a curly bob?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a curly bob is simply a short haircut—that sits above the shoulders—on curly hair. But with so many different styles of bob out there, there are a few things to take into account when heading to the salon. “Ask your stylist for a shape and length that shows off your natural curls and flatters your face shape,” advises Nadia. “If your best feature is a great jawline then the cut should finish there.” And while a bob is traditionally a one-length cut, which Nadia says looks great with a centre-parting, she recommends talking to your stylist about layers if you’re looking to add volume to your curly bob.

How should you look after a curly bob?

The bob is renowned for being a little high-maintenance as far as hair cuts go, with trims required every 6 weeks if you want to keep your bob at your desired length. As for looking after your style at home? “For natural curls, a curly bob is pretty easy to maintain, but regular conditioning masks are a must as curls need lots of moisture,” says Nadia. “Then to keep your curls defined, distribute product through wet hair with something like a Tangle Teezer, and avoid touching your hair while it’s drying to maintain the definition and shape of your style.”

The best curly bob inspiration

Curly Bob Rihanna

(Image credit: Getty Images / James Devaney / Contributor)

I love the face-framing layers at the front of Rihanna's centre-parted curly bob.

Curly Bob Margot Robbie

(Image credit: Getty Images / Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Contributor)

A slightly longer bob length suits Margot Robbie's beachy waves perfectly.

Curly bob Janelle Monáe

(Image credit: Getty Images / Noam Galai / Contributor)

For the less committed amongst us, Janelle Monáe's chic style is created by pinning the hair, rather than cutting, it for a faux curly bob.

curly bob Rita Ora

(Image credit: Getty Images / Anthony Harvey / Contributor)

Rita Ora's platinum blonde curly bob oozes retro glamour.

Curly Bob Lucy Boynton

(Image credit: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff / Stringer)

I adore this striking jaw-length cut that really shows off Lucy Boynton's natural texture.

Curly Bob Yara Shahidi

(Image credit: Getty Images / Emma McIntyre / Staff)

Turns out, a fringe makes a perfect pairing to a curly bob, as demonstrated by Yara Shahidi. 

Curly Bob Olivia Munn

(Image credit: Getty Images / Allen Berezovsky / Contributor)

Bobs are super versatile—this slightly longer length creates a low-maintenance, sweeping shape to show off Olivia Munn's waves.

Curly Bob Beyonce

(Image credit: Getty Images / Steve Granitz / Contributor)

It's not often we see Beyonce with a short style, but this curly bob is so soft and effortless.

Best products for a curly bob

Mica Ricketts

Mica Ricketts is a freelance beauty editor and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29 and Who What Wear UK, and also works with beauty brands on content messaging and marketing copy. She was previously Who What Wear UK's beauty editor. As someone that has tried basically every acne product on the market, she has a particular passion for debunking skincare myths and finding products that work. Plus, with two small children at home she is all about time-saving beauty routines that boost glow and disguise dark circles.