What is it about French style that we just can’t get enough of?
From model Kaia Gerber to Anya Taylor-Joy’s character, Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit, the bob haircut–specifically, the French bob haircut has taken over 2020 and for this we say merci to our French femmes.
The crisp edges accompanied by bangs is said to originate in the 1920s when the jazz age and flapper style (Hello, Mr. Gatsby) took the world by storm. As they say in fashion, what’s old becomes new again. We’ve seen it with scrunchies, perms, and now we see it in short hairstyles. The French bob has been seen on the catwalk, popular Netflix shows, and of course, the Instagram accounts of our favorite – and most stylish celebrities.
So, what makes the French bob haircut different from the regular bob haircut? It is all about the length and style of cut. A French bob haircut should hit the jawline and is cut with a bit of a straight edge as opposed to a layered or rounded cut, which is different than your typical bob or lob style.The French bob haircut can also vary in length slightly. If you’re looking for a French bob that’s a little longer, ask your stylist to cut the hair to line up with your lips.
The French bob can be unique to each wearer. Your hair type and texture will definitely influence the look and will also affect the maintenance. Full transparency, the French bob will take a bit more upkeep in terms of trims and cuts. Depending on how fast your hair grows, a trim may be needed every 6 weeks. To maintain blunt bangs with your bob, every other week or every third week is the typical timeline to keep the bangs sharp. The trims to maintain the short length can be done at home, but if you’d rather leave it up to the professionals, consult your stylists on a schedule that works best for your hair. For the in-between stages, or when you simply want to change things up, hair extensions are always an easy and quick way to add length and switch up your short style.
If you’re ready to make them say “Oh la la”, here are 15 French bob haircuts to inspire your next style.
1. Curly French bob
While the French bob haircut is known for that straight edge cut, it’s not just for straight hair. The French bob looks stunning with curly and kinky hair. With the hair cut short, curls are less prone to breakage and drying out. For kinky and coily hair, it’s always best to keep the curls moisturized, even in a short style, to maintain the curl pattern and make for healthier hair.
2. The Taylor LaShae
We are not sure if there’s a special branch of French bob haircuts tailored to Taylor LaShae or if her stylist calls her cut the Taylor – but they really should. The actress whose parents are French and Colombian, does the French Bob haircut like no other. Her Instagram is basically a look book for all the best (and sexy) ways you can style the French bob haircut. If you’re wondering what to say to your hairdresser at your next appointment, just pull up Taylor’s photo and say, “The Taylor, please”.
3. Day and Night – Kaia Gerber
The French bob follows a certain style cut, but it doesn’t always look the same. Case in point, model Kaia Gerber. In one look, she dons a classic French bob, sans bangs and in the second the bob is sleekly styled back for the freshly washed trend. We’ll call this the day and night perspectives of the French bob— cut and dry for your 9 to 5, sleek and shiny for an easy nighttime look.
4. Wavy French bob from The Queen’s Gambit
Chess genius, boss babe and style influencer. The latter is probably not what Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) would call herself, so we will do it for her. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix gives us retro chic with a smart and sassy leading lady. We see young Beth sporting the French bob in her early years and see natural waves in it. This is a great look for wavy hair girls, as the hair’s natural wave pattern can be incorporated into the cut.
5. The Classic French bob from Amélie
Before there was Beth there was Amélie. When Amélie was released in 2001, the French bob made a big screen comeback. Amélie, played by Audrey Tautu, is a young, imaginative waitress, who simply wanted to help improve the lives of others around her. The French film, dubbed a Rom-Com was a box office hit globally and it wasn’t unusual to see the French bob on many red carpets after its release. We’d say this is the classic French bob haircut, with the frayed ends and very short, blunt bangs, it is retro and modern, edgy and soft – just like Amélie.
6. Keep it blunt
For those with thin and/or wavy hair, a blunt French bob is a bold and beautiful look. There’s something certainly powerful of the edginess of the look. To keep the cut looking sharp, stay on top of your trim schedule.
7. Vintage curls
There’s something about a curly short hairstyle that just turns heads. We love the French bob styled on curly hair, because the type of curl makes every bob look different, even when following all the style and cut rules of the traditional look. Layering the curls around the sides creates for even more texture and softens the edges of the typical French bob haircut.
8. Borrowed from the boys
As if we haven’t gushed enough about the French Bob haircut, another plus is the way it blends traditional feminine and masculine haircuts. This style in particular softens the edges of the sharp bob but maintains a kind of tomboy-ish cut in a harmonious way.
9. Thick bob
Sometimes, women with thicker hair shy away from shorter styles in fear it may make their hair look poofy and too round (cue helmet head cuts from elementary school). But all you need is a vision and a stylist who can execute. The longer French bob that aligns with the lip line lets thicker hair fall around the face to frame it. Bonus? The grown-out or in-between stage will grow into a nice lob, meaning you won’t have to go for trims as often if you don’t want to.
10. Full and Vintage – Zendaya
A side-swept bob is very Jackie Kennedy-esque, a vintage style that works in really every decade. To style, blow dry with a round brush or rollers. To add a bit of flair, use the blow-dryer or a flat iron to flip the edges outwards for a fuller looking vintage bob.
11. The French Lob – Chrissy Teigen
Twitter Queen, cookbook author, and loving mom, Chrissy Teigen always keeps it real with her fans and blew all of us away with this new haircut. A modern take on the classic French bob haircut, we love this longer look with no bangs. An easy, stylish hairstyle that can be worn everyday as is – minimal styling required.
12. Curly bangs and bob – Gabrielle Union
The French bob with bangs but make it curly. There’s something about curly bangs and this look that gives off a little je ne sais quoi. The layering of the bangs with curls soften the blunt bang look and works to frame the face so nicely. Curly hair girls have to give this look a go.
13. Short and Silver
A little color never cramps style, especially in this case. Experimenting with color works with every cut, but with the French bob it’s a little more chic. No matter the length, color treated hair does require a little extra TLC, here’s our guide to keeping color-treated hair healthy.
14. Undercut bob
Mixing cuts is a way to evolve looks, including this undercut French bob. The undercut can be done on all hair types and lengths, and with the French bob you’re able to show it of a little more. Depending on how short you want the undercut to be this may require a buzz every other week.
15. Straight French bob
This French bob is straight to the style chase. It’s the longer take on the French bob with a bit of fringe. Lightly fringing the ends create a more care-free look and softens the sharp edges of a typical French bob.
These are just 15 ways to switch up the French bob haircut, from classic, to edgy, everyday or sassy – it’s a unique look you can cater to your style. If you’re afraid of going too short too soon, opt for the longer French bob haircut and go from there. If you’re looking to give your short style some new life, try bangs. If you want to go short, but have days where you want a little (or a lot more length) hair extensions are your best styling tool. However you decide to do it, the French bob haircut is not going anywhere. Are you ready to give this trend a go?
Written by Rosalyn Solomon