Beauty, Beauty Tutorials

How I Style My Hair – Easy Long Bob Hair Tutorial (Plus Cut + Color Info!)

Hey friends!
Okay, if you follow along over on my Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know we’ve been talking hair this week, so I rounded up all the tips and tricks I’ve been showing you on those two channels so we could have it all in one place!  I get lots and lots of questions about my hair cut and color that are kinda hard for me to answer/describe, so my sweet hair stylist/bestie was so kind to film some videos for you guys and walk us through her process (that’s at the end of this post!).  

First up though, I’ll run you through how I style my hair and the products I use!  I am by no means a pro beauty blogger (or pro blogger, for that matter…πŸ˜‚), nor am I a hair stylist….BUT!  I can show you what I do on days I fix my hurrr, and I hope it maybe gives you some inspo to try something new!  *Not a sponsored post, btw. Just what I do and love. 

Supplies (click links to shop!):
Big Sexy Root Boost
Pantene BB Creme
Aussie Headstrong Volume hair spray
Revlon blow dryer
1 and 1/4 inch curling iron (this is my fave, inexpensive brand)
Brush with vents and fine tooth comb

With damp hair, I spray the Big Sexy Root Boost at the roots around the crown of my head, keeping the bottle about 6-8 inches away from my hair and then rub it in to spread it around.  This is the only semi-expensive product that I keeping coming back to, because really….I think most of the cheapies do basically the same thing as the pricey products.  Just my opinion.  πŸ˜‰  I love this root booster, because it doesn’t weigh my hair down and it doesn’t cause all that much build up.

Next, I take about a dime size dollop of the Pantene BB Creme and rub it into my palms like lotion.  I like to scrunch this all through the midshaft and ends of my hair, avoiding the roots so as not to cause greasy hair.  I love this stuff, because it smells AMAZEBALLS, it is cheap, and it serves so many purposes: styling cream, shine cream, and it acts as a heat protectant.  I barely have time to squeeze in a shower some days, so I love any products that can do double duty and save me time.

After applying those two products, I dry my hair flipped upside down to give added volume to the roots.  There are lots of other techniques to attain extra volume, but those take too much time for my lifestyle right now, so this does the trick!  Double duty: dries my hair and adds volume.  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  I use a vented plastic brush…nothing fancy.  And actually I like to use the brush to dry the pieces by my face before flipping over.  Makes them nice and smooth and helps frame my face.

Onward to styling!  First, I part my hair down the back into two sections, and then I part those two sections creating fourths.  (MATH. πŸ˜©πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‚)  As I move around my head with the curling iron, I split each fourth into a top, middle and bottom section…you’ll see why in a sec.

Before I do any curling, I like to smooth the ends of my hair with my  1 and 1/4 inch curling iron to smooth out the tips.  I don’t include the ends of my hair in my curls, so I don’t want to have a bunch of non-smooth frizz all around the bottom of my hair once finished.  

*Note: I curl only the midshaft of each section I speak about below, leaving one to two inches of hair uncurled.  This helps the finished product not look too “done” or Curly Sue-esque. πŸ˜‰

Around my face:
I curl both of those front fourth sections AWAY from my face.  I break up each front fourth section into two or three small sections, but I curl all of them away from my face.

Around the back:
For the back fourth sections, I break each one up into a top, middle and bottom section.  I curl the top AWAY from my face, the middle TOWARDS my face, and the bottom AWAY.  Curling one section towards my face helps break up what could be just one big ol’ away-from-the-face wave by the end of the day, and all those mismatched and different direction curls bumping into each other creates a natural wave/tousled look.

This step is optional, but I’ll show you anyway!  

Once I finish curling all top, middle and bottoms of each fourth around my head, I like to take random and VERY thin sections of hair that run vertically from the top of my head to the bottom and curl these TOWARDS my face.  I do two or three of these per side, and it helps add even more texture and messy wave to the look.

To finish the style, I use Aussie Headstrong Volume hair spray in level three and a simple fine tooth comb.  I’ve used Aussie hair spray since high school, and honestly….it performs just as well as ALL of the other way more expensive brands I’ve tried.  And I’ve tried them all.  πŸ˜³πŸ˜¬  Plus that smell.  Yum yum. 

I grab the hair at the crown of my head and flip it over onto the top of my head.  Taking about 1/2 inch thick sections, I very very lightly tease just at the root so as not to cause a bunch of breakage.  I lay the first teased section back down behind my head and continue upwards, building upon each teased section.  My kids love this part…Mommy looks like a dinosaur, they say. NEAT, kids. 😩

Once my lumpy dinosaur scales are in place (πŸ™„), I gently tousle my hair and bring that crazy tease back down a notch.  I like it to look as natural as possible, even though I kinda fall into the camp of “the bigger the hair, the closer to God.”  I AM bordering Texas, you know.  We love our big hair in the south.  πŸ˜‰  However, I don’t like my tease to look SO BIG that you can tell I’ve done something to it.  Going for a natural vibe here, so I’ll work it back into control and then spray.

I usually spray the Aussie Headstrong stuff at the ends and midshaft of my hair, scrunching it a bit as I spray.  This adds a lot of texture without having to tack on ANOTHER step and ANOTHER product (texture cream), and it helps hold that tousled wave.  I’ll then give my whole head a good once-around with the hairspray, and then…done!

My cut is very angled towards the front of my face, because I still want to be able to pull it up in a messy bun…plus I like it framing my face that way.  Then it’s pretty stacked and textured in the back to give me that volume I want.  I have a lot of hair, so this cut might not be the best if you have thinner/less hair–my stylist explains why in the video linked below.  

(Also…my husband took these photos, and he kept being so lame and telling me to “work it, girlfriend” and so on.  You can see I’ve had it with his silliness in that last photo there…πŸ™„πŸ˜  He’s a good sport, that one.  SO AM I. πŸ˜‘)

There ya have it!  I know that’s probably the LEAST fancy hair tutorial with the lamest products in ALL of the blogosphere, but hey man.  I like simple.  I like easy.  I like uncomplicated.  That’s my vibe, and, if it’s yours too, maybe give this a try sometime! πŸ™ŒπŸ»  Specific cut and color info below!

What do you think, my buddies?  Any products I should try?  Do you also use the same stuff that you used in high school…? πŸ™‹πŸ»  Any tips and tricks I should know?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you very much for coming over to say hi!


Cut and Color info

My hair stylist bestie Melinda from A Mother Inspired filmed a super helpful (and short!) video of my hair and how she cuts it…click [HERE] to view her tips and tricks! 


For those asking about specific colors, see below!

Dark brown:
Joico Vero K-PAK in 3N and 2NA+
Mix equal parts of above color with 20 volume developer
Applied to roots and downward vertically instead of horizontally 


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  1. Emily Johnson says:

    LOVE this post! Thank you for always keeping it real, Erin! I love the fact that you use the same hairspray since high school… I went a bought it yesterday and love it! What shampoo do you use?!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Ha ha, thanks Emily! Appreciate you stopping by! Oh, and I love using cleansing conditioners over shampoo, and right now, I’m loving the one by Kristen Ess at Target! About once a week I’ll use a strong clarifying shampoo (Pantene has a good one) to blast away any buildup, but I really don’t use shampoo often. Feel like my hair has never been healthier! Takes a minute to get used to no lather, but I love it. πŸ˜‰

  2. Lulu says:

    Love this, you couldn’t have post this a more perfect time! I have an appointment scheduled tomorrow. Your cut is very similar to mine (lob) you’ve encouraged me to go shorter on my layers! Thanks! ☺️

  3. Brandy says:

    I just LOVE your haircut. It is so cute and suits you perfect! I saw your comment above about the cleansing conditoner, interesting! I’ve never heard of it. Guess I don’t get out much πŸ˜‚ The only hair thing we swear by at home is the "wet brush" but I’d love to try that BB cream you have here! And I’m dying to smell it πŸ˜‚πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ Hope you had a good family vacation. πŸ™‚

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Brandy! Oh man, I really need to get one of those brushes for my daughter’s hair. Tangle City. :/ And yes, I love using cleansing conditioners over shampoo! I’ve done so for probably seven years, and it totally changed my hair for the better. It takes a minute to get used to it, but I love it!

      • Brandy Richardson says:

        Must try! We live in the middle of nowhere and sometimes the rust in the well can be hard on my hair (when the hubby "forgets" to put salt in the softener πŸ™„). Maybe that would help my hair out some if I ditched the shampoo πŸ€”

  4. Gloria says:

    I’ve wanted to do the "lob" for a few months now but have been scared to cut that much hair in the back. After seeing your tips and your hair I’m calling my stylist tomorrow! Love your hair!

  5. Amy says:

    I have so much fun kicking my feet up at the end of the day and listening to your stories/blog/posts! Being a momma to three boys, it’s fun to have girl time! Thank you for sharing your heart and home❣️

  6. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful hair secrets! You really have lovely hairπŸ’—

  7. Cathy says:

    Bought your hair products except the root boost …I love mine by Aquage! Now I need to get the back of my hair layered a little bit ……your hair is just darling …I hope mine turns out cute tooπŸ™‹πŸ»

  8. Jessicams says:

    How often do you wash your hair ? And do you style it everyday ? It looks so perfect every time πŸ‘πŸ½
    Hello from Texas !!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hello, Texas! πŸ˜‰ So I wash my hair probably every third day, give or take. And HECK no. I only style it the day of washing, and then on Day 2, the curls have relaxed and it’s sort of soft wave for that day. And then…Day 3…dry shampoo and messy bun. πŸ˜‰

  9. Amy says:

    You so fancy πŸ’πŸΌ But in all seriousness, your style and body shape (which is similar to mine…hello 4 kiddos!) has really boosted my confidence to dress who I am today instead of dreaming of how I used to be. Yeah, I was 5’8" and a size 0-2 but I had no kids and I wouldn’t give them up for anything, especially the few extra pounds I carry as a result of giving life to 4 humans. So, thank you for being an inspiration to get cleaned up every day, even if that means a cute ponytail and a swipe of mascara with a quickly thrown together outfit from my favorites in my closet that are now a size 6. Mom life can bog you down and leave you a hot mess if you don’t take care of yourself. I know you aren’t perfect and I am not putting you on a pedestal impossible to balance on, just saying thanks for being awesome. You are beautiful inside and out and I am glad I found you on Insta. Keep doing your thing girl, because you are rocking it.

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Well thank you for this super encouraging message, Amy! Made my afternoon to read it–hugs, Mama!

  10. Judy says:

    Erin— I have watched so many "beachy wave" videos with flat irons and curling irons and nothing has really worked for me with my medium length bob. I tried your method yesterday after watching your IG story and it was so easy and turned out so good!!! Yay!!! Thank you!
    The capsule wardrobe has also really helped me define "my style" and has saved me from many an impulse buy πŸ™‚ You are awesome!! -Judy

  11. Debbie barry says:

    Yay!! Thanks for posting the hair tutorial! So excited to try your hair styling tricks. I was afraid my hair wouldn’t do what yours does because my hair is so thick I have to straighten it just to get it under control so I can curl it. When you said you have thick hair too I was like yay!!. Thanks Erin! Your so cute. Thanks for being so encouraging and sweet. Have a great week!

  12. Squirrels says:

    The videos on your stories were hilarious (and informative) ! I don’t buy into the outrageously expensive hair products either. I saw a thing once that said for the majority of them the first few ingredients are the same- so I started checking and CHA-CHING, I started saving because I realized I was being duped πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ a sucker no more though! My high school bestie was an Aussie user- memories πŸ‘― Loved post!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Right?! I find myself NOT buying a lot of beauty/hair products just out of like Oppositional Defiance Disorder…stop trying to trick me!! Ha! πŸ˜‚

  13. Debbie says:

    Thanks I can’t wait to try this today .

  14. Kendall Misenheimer says:

    Thank you for sharing all of your tips and tricks, Erin! You’re my absolute FAV and I want to thank you for being genuine and TRUE to yourself and your Insta/Blogger buddies! Sending much love and hugs all the way from Atlanta, GA.

  15. Amber says:

    Thank you for providing all of the hair tips and tricks! Especially the info on the cut and color. I love your hair and want that same style. My hair is thick too and I think this cut is so versatile because you can wear it up or down. Remember Rachel from Friends and how everyone wanted her hair? Now everyone wants Cotton Stem hair!! πŸ˜€

  16. Mollie says:

    Hi Erin, I tried the Kristin Ess cleansing conditioner and my roots seem greasy the next morning. Is that normal for you? Actually my hair is very color treated and is usually dry so I’m not sure if I didn’t do something right or what?

  17. Kelly Inman says:

    Could you please put the video back up of how you style your hair? I wanted my daughter to see it plus it’s easier to follow than the pictures! You have georgeous hair by the way😊

  18. Lorri says:

    I’ve used the same shampoo/conditioner combo for about ten years. I used Panteen in high school along with the Aussie hairspray. That stuff smells like grapes on steroids! I wish I had thick hair, my stylist says, β€œWhich one hair are we cutting today?” It’s that thin. πŸ’”

  19. Sharon of Hollow Hill Farm Co says:

    Thanks for this post! I never would’ve guessed you use such a thick barrel iron! I’ve used this size for ever but only just recently tried curling my hair ‘away’ from my face (I always liked that ‘angle’ look with using a large round brush and curling it toward my face), so it’s growing on me now. So I graduated in ’85 and have used Aussie products (mostly because of the yes…SMELL) since 11th grade! Ha!! So I use the Volume Hair Spray as well because while I have a LOT of hair, it’s thin…so I pump it up! I’m def going to try the Pantene BB Creme! Thank you Erin….always a pleasure reading your blogs and watching your Insta Stories!

  20. Michele Hagood says:

    Do you wash your hair everyday? If not do you use dry shampoo? If so what do you use?

  21. Jess says:

    Love this! My hair cut is just like yours and it looks like we have the same texture and thickness. I recently got the Revlon Pro Collection Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. I loved the volume of a blowdryer and brush but that’s hot, exhausting, and hard on the arms. This is the same thing but in ONE! I know you like simple. I get so much volume and it dries my hair QUICK! I can then leave it if I wanted, it’s THAT smooth, but I can go right into curling and I’m done in under 20 minutes! Check it out!

  22. Jackie Stogsdill says:

    You say “Applied to roots and downward vertically instead of horizontally,” so does this mean you apply it to your roots and basically comb it down so that it seems like highlights when you’re done (lighter where parts didn’t get new dye)?

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