Asian woman with a short copper bob and a hat

When I hear the words one-length hair, a whirlwind of emotions takes over me as I’m transported back to high school. Bon Jovi is blasting from my Sony Walkman, which is hanging from my Marithe Francois Girbaud elephant pants (as it should). I’m wearing a crocheted crop top to match layered with a plaid shirt to channel my favorite one-length haired queen, Angela Chase.

The ‘90s Bob

The ultimate cool-girl hairstyle, the first peaked in terms of popularity . It was the perfect screen for awkward girls like Angela Chase to hide behind — and flirt through. On the other hand, it was also a strong statement for rebels like Daria’s Jane Lane and the preferred hairstyle of real-life popular girl antitheses like Neve Campbell. 

Winona Ryder in The House of the Spirits was my spirit animal and hair goal for most of my teenage life. My hair was my personality as I was still finding myself. Maybe like Angela, I hid behind it and what I thought it represented: coolness, nonchalance, and effortlessness. It made me feel like I didn’t need to be a stereotype. It gave me the license to do things differently — because of my hair, people expected nothing less.

The Modern Cool Girl

The thing is, not all hair types naturally accommodate one-length styles, which further proves its versatility. Some hair, like my wavy strands, can achieve it with a bit of elbow grease and patience: , hot oil, blow-drying, rollers – the works. Despite the daily ordeal, I loved the results. Its entire process became an integral part of my coming-of-age, no matter how tedious.

My go-to empowering hairstyle has changed, but the cool factor of one-length hair stays the same. These days, when I think of a cool woman— for better or worse — I think Shiv Roy, Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot, Greta Lee in Russian Doll, all of whom rock the one-length bob. In real life, fashion and beauty editors, pop stars, and world leaders have the look. It’s fresh, low-maintenance, and, thanks to its OG roots, teems with cool-girl credibility.

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Short one-length hair may sometimes exude an icy vibe, but it sure is still accessible to everyone. It’s an easygoing hairstyle that you can make your own with a little bit of style and confidence. Whatever your hair type or hair texture, it can instantly make you look chic and, TBH, a little bit terrifying. Like a true cool girl.