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The bob haircut is one of the very few hairstyles which has not only stood the test of time but evolved to flow with ever-changing fashion trends.
In the past, celebrities like Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber have made a case for the blunt bob with a deep centre parting. Dead straight and all one length, hair boasted a glassy shine and sat just above the shoulders.
A few months later, stylists touted the sci-fi-inspired, chin-grazing bob as the next big thing, lopping a couple more inches off the ends and topping it off with a heavy fringe.
Fast-forward again, and it's the French bob which takes precedence.
"The look goes back to the '20s jazz scene, where everyone was wearing little bobs. The French were (and still are) known for this really beautiful hairstyle," says Ryan Forsythe, director and head of education at award-winning UK-based hair salon, Trevor Sorbie. "I would say that a French bob is similar to a one-length bob in terms of the cut, but it doesn’t have any heavy layering. Instead, it appears more natural and effortless in style."
While bobs can be high maintenance, this particular version is perfect for those who like easy styling. "The only thing that makes the French bob different is that it is styled more naturally," says Ryan, "so when it is blow-dried, the movement is natural." The finish is meant to appear rough-dried, not overly styled or straightened, so it works well with curly and wavy hair, too, like this style created by Lisa Velasquez at The Powder Room, LA.
The one hair product Ryan suggests investing in is Redken Full Effect 04 All-Over Nourishing Mousse, $38. "This is brilliant for a style like the French bob. Apply it to the hair and blow-dry it through using your fingers. It's also very nourishing, so hair looks like it's always in really good condition."
While the French bob is a style that suits pretty much everyone, it pays to take your face shape into consideration, according to Ryan. "When deciding which length to go for, it's best to have a consultation with your stylist beforehand," says Ryan. "Not just to assess your face shape for the correct length, but to decide on which look you'd like to go for," whether it's a full fringe, a more piecey version or something with layers, like this cut by hairstylist Madeline Heile.
"Overall though, styling it is pretty easy as it's a safe, classic haircut," adds Ryan. And don't be afraid to bring in pictures for inspiration. "This is a good way to start the conversation with your stylist," says Ryan. "I always advise my guests to look for particular things that they like in photos, rather than the whole look. For example, pick out a colour, texture, length or perhaps a fringe. These visual aids really help stylists ensure the client gets the exact look they are hoping for."
Luckily, maintenance for the French bob is super easy. "The beautiful thing about the French bob is that it grows out evenly and the style is also long-lasting, so it will still look great at a longer length," says Ryan. The key to nailing it is the detail of the cut. "It has to be cut well," Ryan adds, so choose a stylist you can trust to be precise and to take their time. "If you want to maintain that shorter length, I'd advise you get your French bob cut every six to eight weeks," adds Ryan. "It will make all the difference because it's such a beautiful, effortless and nonchalant look."