The French Bob Is Summer’s Most Requested Haircut

Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
The bob haircut is one of the very few hairstyles that has not only stood the test of time, but continuously evolved to suit ever-changing fashion trends. Last summer, stars like Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber made a case for the blunt bob with a deep middle part. Bone-straight and all one length, hair boasted a glassy shine and sat just above the shoulders. A few months later, stylists touted a sci-fi-inspired chin-grazing bob as the next big thing, lopping a couple more inches off the ends and topping it off with heavy bangs.
Fast forward to this summer, and it's the so-called "French bob" we're seeing everywhere. In fact, it's one of the most-searched haircuts in the UK since hair salons reopened in early July.
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"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 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."
In terms of length, it's as short as bobs get. "The French bob always hits the jawline or just below," Forsythe says. While bangs are optional, they definitely add that Parisian je ne sais quoi, as seen above in the style created by hairstylist Rebecca Jacques for model Meg Lacey.
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," Forsythe says, "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, as you can see in this look by Lisa Velasquez of The Powder Room in Los Angeles.
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The one hair product Forsythe suggests investing in is Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Nourishing Mousse. "This is brilliant for a style like the French bob," he says. "Apply it to the hair and blow-dry it through using your fingers. It's 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 personal style into consideration, according to Forsythe. "When deciding which length to go for, it's best to have a consultation with your stylist beforehand to decide on which look you'd like to go for," he says, whether it's a full fringe, a more piecey version, or something with layers, like this cut by hairstylist Madeline Heile of Parlour salon in Ohio.
"Overall though, styling it is pretty easy as it's a safe, classic haircut," Forsythe explains. And don't be afraid to bring in pictures for inspiration: "This is a good way to start the conversation with your stylist," he says. "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 color, texture, length, or perhaps a fringe. These visual aids really help stylists ensure the client gets the exact look they are hoping for."
If you're still unsure, just know that maintaining 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," Forsythe says. The key to nailing it is the detail of the cut, 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," Forsythe adds. "It will make all the difference because it's such a beautiful, effortless, and nonchalant look."
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