It’s official: 2016’s biggest hair trend is the platinum blonde bob. And we have one woman to thank for that: actress and fashion icon Kristen Stewart. Kristen has come a long way since her debut, both in terms of the kind of work cinematic work she’s doing and how fully, beautifully she’s accepted her own personal brand of style and expression.
It’s really freeing to see such creativity in someone so young and what’s even more heartening about her transition is the number of people she is inspiring: there’s been such an upsurge in people of all ages wanting to experiment with daring fashions and dark, moody trends in the wake of Kristen’s appearances at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
For what Kristen has done is nothing short of a styling miracle: she’s made the paragon of all hairstyles seem fun, casual, sexy and most importantly, easy. By combining two of the biggest, baddest hair trends in recent times–the platinum blonde hair color trend and the craze for short bobs– Kristen’s soared through the proverbial glass ceiling and shown women everywhere that high fashion can be accessible and enjoyable.
Before we deconstruct Kristen Stewart’s platinum blonde bob and all the styling options you can try out, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the man behind all the Red Carpet magic we’re celebrating today: noted mane maverick and my dear friend, Adir Abergel. Adir’s work with Kristen has been truly spectacular because he manages to capture her essence flawlessly time-after-time, marrying her gritty exterior to the underlying playfulness that catches people by surprise every time. As hairstylists we have to walk a tricky line between celebrating the client’s tastes, drawing out their inner essence, encouraging them to try something new and keeping in mind the fact that we’re playing to a much larger, literally universal audience. Adir does all of this and more with such ease and grace and I’m so proud to be able to discuss his work here today.
It’s scary enough for most women to consider coloring their hair a new shade, let alone lightening it to platinum blonde. Try suggesting a bob on top of that and most will hastily cancel their appointment. So, when Kristen Stewart not only wore the platinum blonde bob with ease but also went on to sport a whole new look with every appearance, women everywhere began to sit up and take notice. Kristen and Adir have burst the Myth of the Platinum Bob by proving that it’s not an elusive, limiting look at all.
Today we’re going to take a look at all the different Kristen Stewart Cannes 2016 hairstyles and see what we can learn from the same.
#1 Edgy Elegance
A lot of female celebrities will go the old-school route for evening events and major appearances and if the occasion demands it, why not? However, for someone like Kristen, who’s just a little bit edgier and more experimental than many of her colleagues, even glam takes on a whole new meaning.
For the Café Society premiere and the Opening Night Gala Kristen wore her platinum bob swept up and away from the face. The bob was styled with a soft side part and a subtle wave at the hairline. The mid lengths were styled behind the ears, keeping the look sophisticated and letting her makeup draw focus. The soft smoky eye and red lip made for the perfect foil to the natural hair texture, creating a style statement that was both occasion-appropriate yet quirky.
#2 Carefree Casual
For the Café Society photo call, Kristen’s platinum blonde bob was style loose and natural, with a middle part defining the look. This version of the bob served to highlight the darkened roots along the part, while softening their effect at the hairline. Parting a bob down the middle tends to blunt the overall effect, making the ends appear an even length, unless you are sporting a markedly asymmetrical haircut, of course.
Kristen wore her hair tucked behind one ear for the most part, which tends to create the illusion of sharper angles and more movement in a bob. The texture was kept natural, with the merest suggestion of waves from the midlengths. Flipping out the ends mixes things up, especially if you opt for a longer bob that hers and want some more drama.
This particular variant of the platinum blonde bob hairstyle may not be everyone’s cuppa, given that it plays up a starker, more severe aesthetic. That said, I do think it’s especially suited to young women, and it’s the easiest, most low-maintenance style on this list.
#3 Relaxed Glam
This is possibly my favorite of all the different ways in which Kristen wore her platinum bob at Cannes 2016. The hairstyle is low-key and relaxed, lending the wearer a happy, breezy vibe. And yet, at the same time, the texture is visibly so soft and smooth and the bob has been obviously styled, making the overall effect sophisticated enough to qualify as a formal hairstyle.
What sets this particular version of the platinum blonde bob apart from all the others on this list is the texture. While Kristen’s stylist has played up the natural graininess of her hair texture for the other bob hairstyles, this one goes the other way and boasts of a buttery touch.
Blow-dry your hair straight while using a heat protectant. Carefully add some texturizing product and comb it through from the roots to the tips.
Create big, flowing waves in your hair with old-school hot rollers; roll the curlers up only till your ears as we want to keep the crown smooth. Once the waves are in place, let the rollers out and use a hairbrush and comb the ends out, leaving the waves in only at the mid-lengths.
Carve out a high side part and tuck the hair under the part behind the ear. Move to the other side, brushing the hair forward over your forehead and letting most of it fall naturally. You want some to swoop down over one eye and skim the jawline. If you can’t get your hair to naturally fall in a swoop, just use your fingers to place it as you want and then add some hairspray for hold. This look is definitely more polished in terms of texture as compared to the others, but we’re still playing up a sense of fluidity and careless grace.
If you decide to sport darker roots with the platinum blonde hair like Kristen here, you’ll see that they really come through in this particular version of the bob: the gradient from the deep roots to the lighter lengths is really noticeable along the part and is exaggerated by the ‘downward slope’ created by this hairstyle.
#4 Structured Texture
This particular hairstyle was marked by a lot of strong elements, which by common logic had no business working individually, let alone together. It was a whole lot of look and yet Kristen set the blogosphere ablaze with her daring choices. Everything about this look –from the contrasting textures and lines of her outfit to the red eye shadow and the piece-y hair– is so bold and yet, against all odds, or perhaps because of them, it all ties together.
Recreating this hairstyle at home will involve working on freshly washed hair; you’ll need to spread a dollop of styling mousse through damp hair to make it more malleable. You can also use a hair crème (with holding properties) to shape and place each of the wavy, structured pieces around the crown. You’ll notice that the look is defined by a lot of height, body and movement at the crown, especially right at the hairline. It almost looks like the entire hairdo is constantly in motion and the result is mesmerizing- and works spectacularly against the serene tones of her outfit. Arrange pieces of hair at the crown artfully, twisting and positioning them as you go along. You can let the rest of your bob fall naturally, or brush it back behind the ears if you so like. Just don’t be too neat with it. Once you’re done, be sure to spritz on a strong-hold hairspray, preferably one with a high-shine finish to mimic the wet-look sheen seen on Kristen.
#5 Punk Chic
And here we see glimpses of Kristen Stewart’s known fondness for rock-chic and punk-inspired hairdos. Those of you who enjoy adventurous hairstyles will love this look: it’s wavy and asymmetrical with lots of volume, grittiness and enviable body.
To style this look, begin on freshly washed hair and spread a texturizing product of your choice through the strands. Using the diffuser attachment on your hairdryer, begin blow-drying. For some extra oomph, return to the traditional dryer nozzle and dry your hair in sections, holding each in the palm of your hand and scrunching it upwards as you direct the air stream. This will create tons of natural volume and waviness. If your hair is naturally very straight, you might want to curl it after it is washed.
Now, there are two ways you can wear the platinum bob here. You can either use the front accent as seen here on Kristen to spice up the look, while brushing (and fixing) the rest of the hair behind the head or into a small bun or ponytail. If you’ve got bangs, this technique can be used to style them while keeping the rest of your hair pinned back. Just adapt the following step to the front portion and simply comb the rest to the back and slick/ secure it into place, as you like.
Create a high side part and brush the bulk of your hair up and over to the other side, letting it fall over the brow and to the front. You can even tease the roots in inch-high sections to create some height near the hairline. Carefully arrange the front section and if you have a side-swept/ angled fringe, position the shorter pieces in small half-curls at the highest point of the swoop (ideally at the center of your hairline). Allow the rest of this side (the one favored by the part) to fall as it may, maintaining the bulk of the volume to one side.
Now, if you’re using this step to simply arrange the front accent, stop here and brush back and secure the rest of your hair and then add some hairspray. If you want to create a complete asymmetrical bob out of the general idea, continue on.
Now, use a comb to brush back the hair on the other side, under the part. You won’t have a ton of hair left on this side to work with so you should be able to push it back with ease. Add a hairpin or two at the back if needed, though some hairspray should also be enough to keep it in place. Flattening down one side will play up the contrast with all the volume and movement on the other side. If you want to kick things up a notch you could always use a hair gel to slick the offside down for a really flat, shiny counterpart to the grainy, wavy front.
Kristen and Adir’s real triumph at Cannes 2016 is not only in making the platinum blonde bob look wearable, but also in making it so versatile. Most people think it’s easier to try new looks and hairstyles with long hair because there’s so much more raw material to work with- as a result, many people are scared of getting stuck in an inescapable rut with short hair. However, as this post shows, there is no end to the ways in which you can style the platinum blonde bob. Let me know your own ideas on how you want to style 2016’s hottest haircut.