Demi Moore's Met Gala Hair Just Proved The 'Anti-Bob' Is Here To Stay

demi moore hair for the met gala reaches down to her knees
Met Gala: Is 2024 The Year Of The 'Anti-Bob'?Dia Dipasupil

French lobs, petit bobs and razor-sharp crops – the bob, in its many guises, wins hairstyle of the year. The indisputable and much-hyped cut of '23 has become both celebrity catnip and a quotidian staple, sparking a frenzy for ultra-short statement hair and the resurgence of an unexpected phenomenon that no-one saw coming.

But are we now in a sudden state of bob ennui? The current beauty landscape would suggest so. After all, Pinterest predicted 'bigger, bolder' hair to reign supreme in 2024, while hairdressers are noticing an uptick in teeny-tiny trims and extensions. Meanwhile, the likes of Rihanna, Anya Taylor-Joy, Kim Kardashian and sister Kylie are eschewing their former chin-grazing bobs for rapunzel-esque lengths.

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In a recent post, Kylie took to her Instagram feed to reveal her longer lengths, adding: 'missed this long hairr'. Then there's Zendaya who's no stranger to experimenting with her lengths but who, for her much-anticipated Challengers press tour, debuted extra-long bouncy curls in Paris. Meanwhile, Hunter Schafer's glass-like hair proves that the 'anti-bob' isn't going anywhere. They stepped out on the red carpet debuting extra-long auburn lengths which had a light-reflecting shine.

zendaya reveals long blonde hair for challengers premiere in paris
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As fickle beauty trends go, not to mention an industry that loves nothing more than extremes (see: excessive, multi-step skincare routines and 'skinimalism'; buoyant make-up turned barely-there aesthetics), this new shift makes perfect sense. 'Like many beauty trends, the pendulum tends to swing the other way as a response to such dominant trends,' says Hannah Mauser, beauty strategist at WGSN. 'It's simply because consumers love to clutch onto newness, and I think we could see longer hair taking on renewed interest as a result.'

Lisa Payne, head of beauty at trend forecasting company Stylus, echoes the same sentiment: 'We see 2024 being more dominated by longer lengths thanks to the beauty styling from the catwalks.' Indeed, it was lengthy waves, 90s blow-dry volume and long braids, which were seen at Christian Siriano and LaPointe, that superseded the ever-popular bob on the runway this season.

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Of course, the most 'grammable, coveted and viral haircut hasn't always been quite so popular. It was once synonymous with transformation and change and was seen as a symbol of individuality and independence among a sea of more 'appropriate' mid-length hairstyles in the 1920s. It's why Jonathan Eagland, senior hairstylist at John Frieda, credits our post-pandemic era for the bob's revival today. 'The bob is considered a haircut throughout the ages,' he says. 'It's a symbol of confidence and freedom and has been gaining momentum post-lockdown because of this.'

Mauser agrees. 'The bob has been viewed as a radical cut throughout history but has now been modernised through a Gen Z lens,' she says. ‘Today the resurgence of the bob has been accelerated by celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Zendaya and Kim Kardashian,' she notes. Social media also plays a starring role, where the monosyllabic term 'bob' has 7 billion views on TikTok.

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But with more iterations cropping up than ever before and everyone jumping on the bob bandwagon, has the once boundary-breaking haircut lost some of its shine? And is its ubiquity fuelling the rise of XL lengths again? 'In 2024, I can see long layered hair making a comeback,' Eagland agrees, who has noticed an uplift in clients asking to maintain their hair length again of late.

Tom Smith, a trend forecaster and hairstylist, adds that the long hair revival means more in the way of experimentation, too. 'Another benefit of very long hair is all the different styling options that it unlocks,' he says. One trend he has noticed emerge from the runway and transcend into the everyday is 'veil hair'; a look defined by a strong middle parting and hip-grazing, poker-straight hair. Meanwhile, Eagland says ‘floating layers’ are set to take over next year too. 'A way of layering the hair underneath in small sections, this look creates masses of movement and volume. The result is slinky, long and layered looks that quite literally float in the wind,' he says.

The good news is that brands are investing their energy into targeted formulas that cater to longer lengths whatever your hair type or texture, from scalp solutions and overnight treatments to hair growth formulas . 'Thanks to advancements in hot tool technology and innovations in hair repair, keeping your hair healthy is getting easier,' says Smith. 'This means more people are opting to push their previous hair-length limits and it’s likely we’ll see a surge of very long hair as we move into the first half of 2024.'

Expect to see more hair extensions too. 'Hair extension options are getting more elevated and discrete and so if you don’t have the patience for an organic grow out or you simply can't grow your hair long, extensions are a great solution,' he says.

a couple of women posing for the camera

So then, is this the end of the bob's hair reign? 'A bob is always in style; it’s one of the most chameleonic haircuts and can take various forms,' says Smith. 'Towards the end of 2023 we saw bobs stretched out and refined in the form of the "skinny lob" which is great for those wanting to embrace a designed style while growing out their hair,' he adds. Whether you opt for a short crop or super long lengths, experimentation is really the mot du jour when it comes to hair right now.

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