The Difference Between an A-Line, Graduated Bob, Inverted Bob, and Asymmetrical Bob

Are you considering a new short hairstyle, but aren’t sure what kind to get?  Have you ever wondered what the different types of bobs are?  Have no fear!  In this article, I am going to teach you all about it.

Bob haircuts are kinda amazing..but do you know the difference between a graduated bob, a-line haircut, and the other types of bobs?

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The Different Types of Bobs

Bob haircuts are kinda amazing..but do you know the difference between a graduated bob, a-line haircut, and the other types of bob haircuts?

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Now let’s talk about what each of these bobs are and how they differ from each other…


A-Line Haircut

The term ‘A-line bob’ generally refers to the perimeter of the haircut. It means that the hair is shorter in the back, and angles to a longer front.

A true A-line haircut will not have layers or “stacking” in the back. It will also frame the face in the front and curl under the chin.

The term 'A-line bob' generally refers to the perimeter of the haircut. It means that the hair is shorter in the back, and angles to a longer front.

Concave Bob

Beautiful blonde concave bob. Do you know what the different types of bobs are?
Photo Credit: @sarahgossetthair

A concave haircut, by definition, is a haircut in which the hair is longer in front than it is in back.  This basically means that a concave bob is just another way to say “A-Line.”


Graduated Bob

A graduated bob basically means that it has stacked layers in the back; in fact, another name for this haircut is a “stacked bob”.  The back can also be more curved on a graduated bob (like a horseshoe) rather than a hard angle. The shape of the layers should follow the angle of the perimeter and get longer towards the front.

Graduated bobs are the most common types of bobs I see right now.

The amount of stacking can vary. I have some customers that like a very low, blended stack and others that like their layers so short, they can spike them.

The front of a graduated bob is typically a bit shorter, and less pointed than the front of an A-line haircut. Here is an awesome video that outlines the process of cutting a stacked bob haircut:

How To Cut A Stacked Bob Haircut Tutorial | Stacked Bob With A Razor | MATT BECK VLOG 74

Inverted Bob

Woman with a beautiful platinum blonde and black Inverted bob, one of the different types of bobs.

An inverted bob is just another term for a graduated bob. The same haircut has different names in different places of the world. 

One of my favorite modern haircuts is the long inverted bob, a fun variation of the lob haircut.

For a graduated/inverted bob to take on the proper shape, it needs to be cut and styled to flip under. One of my favorite tools to do this is with a hot air brush.

Hot air brushes are far less damaging on the hair than a flat iron. They style the hair by blowing hot air and not wedging it between two hot plates.

Here is a pretty sweet video by Milabu that shows you how awesome it is to style a bob with a Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (which is a killer product for the price):

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Asymmetrical Bob

Woman with a blonde asymmetrical bob, one of the different types of bobs.
Photo Credit: Maria Morri, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

An asymmetrical bob haircut can be either non-layered or stacked in the back.

The only thing that really makes asymmetrical bobs different from the others is that one side in the front is longer than the other. In my opinion, this type of bob only looks good with a ton of texture.  If not done right, they can look unfinished, unblended and not pretty.


Typical Bob

Woman with a black typical bob haircut, one of the different types of bobs.

Unlike the other types of bobs, a typical standard bob (also known as a blunt bob or undercut bob)  will be the same length all around the whole head and it should slightly frame the face under the chin.

There should be no layers in a typical bob and it should be undercut all over.  In other words, the underneath sections will be somewhat shorter than the sections on top, which makes your hair flip under on its own .


Lob

Woman with a blonde lob haircut aka long a-line haircut, one of the different types of bobs.
Photo Credit: Jessica Garnica

A lob haircut is just a fancy way of saying “long bob,”  and they have been a major hair trend of the past few years.  In fact, I love them so much that I wrote a whole separate post about them.  Check out “What is a Lob Haircut?”  to read more.


Layered Bob

Woman with a layered bob, one of the different types of bobs.
Photo Credit: BOUNCE BLOW DRY BAR & SALON

Last but not least, here is a layered bob, which could also be called a “textured bob”. It’s essentially the same thing as a typical bob, but there are a lot of layers, tons of texture, and body.

These types of bobs should have a ton of texture to really give them movement.  There are also so many different angles that can be used in this style to create different looks.


Your Turn:  Can you think of any other types of bobs that I forgot?  Are bob haircuts your favorite short haircut ever?  I’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below…

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Bob haircuts are kinda amazing..but do you know the difference between a graduated bob, a-line haircut, and the other types of bob haircuts?

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49 thoughts on “The Difference Between an A-Line, Graduated Bob, Inverted Bob, and Asymmetrical Bob”

  1. Bobs are hard to maintain I’d go with a straight across bob on the longer side grazing your shoulders . keep the layers long if any. Mine keeps growing out and i have to get shape ups often im tryin to grow out the layers now and went for a trim and they layered it all up again. I am mad.

  2. Yes, I believe they are the same. I luv the undercut bob. Every time I go to the stylist, she wants to give me a “stack” because “it is more modern”. I think the truth of the matter is an undercut bob requires skilled precision, which not all stylists have.

  3. Thank you so much, I love this hair style. I’m thinking about trying hair style asymmetrical bob. Now I am thinking stay with my natural color or try something new. I was inspired with some good photos. I’m planning to choose red color for my heir… or not)))

  4. However, for those that can, short hair is stunning.
    A large decorative clip, a flower, or other hair accessory can then be
    added. Its all natural, we ccan use makeup like eyeliner and mascara only tto enhance our
    natural beauty but for the most part nafural beautty
    is all about using what God gave us.

  5. Would a layered Bob look right on someone with slightly curly/wavy hair? My hair is dry and so I put oil in it to help with the frizz. But soon I’ll be having surgery and will be layed up for two months and would like something that won’t be too difficult to handle.

  6. Nobody knows what i mean either! They all waot to cut it too short on top and bangs too short, and endr up like an old women’s cut.

    • I have the same problem! I recently moved and have had three awful hair cuts in a row. None of them know how to do any type of bob cut, apparently. But they SAY they do. Don’t they teach that in beauty school???

      • The best graduated bob that was stacked for me was my old stylist that moved away from the area. Now trying to find another who I like. Got mine cut 2xs now. I will be going to another lady and making sure I tell her graduated bob.

  7. Thank you for explaining this so well. I have always known what I wanted and have tried to explain it to the gal who cuts my hair and it comes out wrong. So now I am trying to grow my hair out again and know exactly what to ask for next time!

    • You should just bring a picture of what you want. You can pretty much find anything on Pintrist. I find bringing a picture works better than trying to describe what you want. It is too easy to be misunderstood. Hope this helps!

  8. Thankyou so much for the information. Last time I told my hairdresser for A-bob(angled bob) .he just messed up and ended up giving me assymetrical one.you are right, it does looks ugly.this time I am going to make him read this article ?

  9. Sorry to say there are hairdressers out there that do not know the difference between a stack, graduation and the original A line. You did a great job of describing the difference.

    • I SO AGREE! I want to get my hair cut like Miss Fisher in Miss Fisher Mysteries, and I don’t know how to describe it. I’m searching for photos on the web so I can tell them what I want. I have long hair and want to get it right the first time – PLUS I have curly hair (easily straightens though). So this article was very timely!

  10. Thank you so much, i love this hair style and I’ve had it before but last time this chick had no idea what i wanted. I explained long in front, stacked in the back. I ended up with the stack in the back and butched in the front, shorter than chin length, so i have not had my hair cut since but now that I have this info I am going for it again! Thanks again.

    • That is a really good question! Stacked basically means layered but they are really short layers that are shaped with the haircut so they “stack up” higher. The more stacked the layers are, the higher up they will go.

  11. Thank you SO Much!!! for explaining this so clearly … my hair stylists were running circles around me and now (with your clear explanation), I know what to tell them to do/and what not to do! Thank you!!!

  12. Thank you! On my way to the salon. It helps to know the exact names of the style you want. Thanks again 🙂

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