Michelle Obama has a night out with `faux bob'

July 23, 2009 1:13:16 PM PDT
There's been much ado about Michelle Obama's new 'do since the first lady stepped out in a stylish, short bob for a country music event at the White House.

But she didn't commit to a drastic cut - all she needed was some bobby pins.

"It's super simple," says Amy Farid, editorial stylist at Manhattan's Bumble and Bumble salon. "You probably need some layers in your hair if you don't want it to look like a bun. Around here, we call it `the faux bob."'

Basically you make a loose ponytail, twist and roll it, she explains, and pretty much anyone with hair longer than the chin can do it.

Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure, expects many people will do it, not only because Mrs. Obama is a trendsetter, but also because the look fits with the general movement away from a loose, romantic look toward a sleeker, more geometric one. It's a modern, sophisticated hairstyle, she says.

"What's nice about this is that it's a more beautiful interpretation of an updo," says Wells. "Instead of a big old bun in the back of your hair that screams `updo,' this just looks clean and has a beautifully sculpted shape."

Mrs. Obama also is reminding women how versatile their hair can be and how much an easy change in style can lift their overall appearance, Wells adds. "People think they're either stuck with a haircut or they need extensions or something. Really, you can do this yourself, or maybe have a friend help you."

Farid lays out the steps:

-If you have just-above-the-shoulder hair with a few waves like Mrs. Obama, pull the hair into a ponytail, twist it and tuck it under the nape of the neck. Use bobby pins, positioned into Xs, to secure the hair.

-If you have long hair, make a loose, low ponytail, then roll it and tuck it under.

-For very fine hair, try teasing (just a bit) the portion of the hair above the ponytail. Conversely, for very thick hair, pull down on some of the top hair and also secure the ends under the roll, probably using hairpins.

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