Layered Bob Haircuts for African-Americans

Jennifer Hudson wears a modified bob hairstyle to a 2011 Los Angeles appearance.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Whether you have straight hair, relaxed hair, waves or corkscrew curls, you may find that a classic bob does not work for your hair. African-American hair tends to be coarse, making it grow out fuzzy rather than sleek. A layered bob haircut resolves this issue, highlighting your hair's natural volume and texture rather than trying to make it stay flat. Keep your layered bob hairstyle looking fresh and fashion-forward by trimming away bulk and damage every few weeks.

Long Layers

Those short layers that look sharp and defined on women with fine, straight hair do not have the same effect if you have coarse hair, even if it's relaxed. Stick with longer layers that end somewhere below your earlobes. This gives your hair enough weight to hang downward rather than springing up and making your hairstyle look wide as opposed to long. The only exception to the long layers rule is to cut a shorter layer at the top of your head, especially if you have curly or corkscrew hair. This technique allows the hair underneath to develop its natural wave or curl.

Bedhead Bob

If you have wavy or curly hair, this layered bob haircut gives you sex appeal. Cut away damage and then cut the ends of your hair so they are at slightly different lengths, but stop above your shoulders. For a slimming effect, leave some longer strands framing your face. Pump up your natural volume by massaging mousse through your damp curls. Let your hair air-dry to keep frizz at bay.

Graduated Bob

All types of hair work for this modified bob hairstyle, but you will require different tools to style it. The cut features shorter layers in back and gradually longer layers for the hair framing your face, with the longest layers following the angle of your jawline. Make your straight hair or loose waves have more volume by setting them with hot rollers. Smooth the top layer with pomade to reduce frizzing. If you have curls or corkscrews, use a thicker styling product such as hair putty or mud to create defined waves. Air-dry your hair and shake out your curls.

Maintaining Your Hairstyle

A layered bob requires more maintenance than more free-form hairstyles. If you have long layers, it will grow out more gracefully than short layers but will still get bulky in sections. Trim away that added weight and any damage by using thinning shears. This cutting tool gives your hairstyle that subtle tapering effect so you do not get a triangle-shaped mass of hair as it grows out. If you want your hair to get thicker and longer, graduate to hair products that deliver higher moisture and more hold. Your leave-in conditioner and styling products should have the consistency of mud or pudding.

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