France is home to some of the most beloved food and scenery in the world. And if you’re as beauty-obsessed as we are, chances are you’re not only drawn to Insta-worthy backdrops and buttery croissants but also the simplistic and laid-back allure of French girl hair. After the success of a certain popular tv show set in the city of love, French girl hair is in even higher demand. One of the most iconic, on-trend Parisian hairstyles is easily the French bob.
If you’re looking to achieve the perfect French bob (without hopping on a flight), we have the tips, tricks, and styling ideas you need to make it happen. The look can be yours with a few well-placed layers and three simple at-home steps. Read on for everything you need to know about the French bob plus 21 of our favorite ways to wear the look.
What is a French girl bob?
French bobs are the “no makeup” makeup look of the hair world. The chin-length haircut paired with full bangs is chic and elegant, yet it still looks like your entire styling routine takes five minutes or less.
What is the difference between a bob and a French bob?
The length of these cuts is their main differentiating factor. Rumor has it that the French bob emerged during the 1920s jazz era, lending it a dramatic look reminiscent of a flapper. On the other hand, the standard bob typically falls just below the chin.
Does a French bob have layers?
The key to nailing a French hair look is effortlessness, and when it comes to achieving that laidback Parisian texture, you’ll definitely need layers. Your stylist will create subtle layers throughout your mane to make your cut appear naturally effortless and textured.
What face shape suits a bob?
When it comes to bob haircuts, there’s a way to make them work for any face shape. If you have an oval face shape, you can make any bob haircut work for you—including a classic French bob. When you have a square-shaped face, chin-length cuts that accentuate your jawline work best. If you have a longer heart-shaped face, opt for a lob with layers to soften your chin and highlight your cheekbones.
Is a French bob high maintenance?
While styling a French bob is typically easy, the cut itself can be high maintenance. You’ll need to visit your stylist for a touch-up every four to six weeks to ensure that your cut stays on point and free of split ends.
If frequent trips to the salon aren’t feasible, consider adding a split-end mending system into your routine to prevent unnecessary breakage in-between trims. We love Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Scalp-Ease Serum, Shampoo, Conditioner, and Porosity Spray. The line works to fill overly porous areas of hair with liquid proteins to add strength and resilience for 60% less breakage.
How short is a French bob?
The classic version of a French bob is cheekbone-length, hitting below the ears and right above the chin.
Will a French bob look good on me?
As long as it’s cut and styled to meet the needs of your hair type, we have no doubt the French bob will look fabulous on you. As always, we recommend going to a seasoned professional when opting for this chic short cut. Stylists are well-versed in determining the best length, shape, and layers that will be most flattering to your specific mane and face shape.
How do you style a short French bob?
Skip the hot tools.
First things first: If you want your bob to feel genuinely Parisian, take a break from your blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. French bobs look best when worn messy and tousled, so air-drying your mane and embracing your natural texture works best to achieve the look.
You might not be able to use your favorite hot tools, but air-dry products work wonders when styling a French girl bob. Apply an air-dry cream like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shiki Worker Air Dry Blow Dry Primer throughout your hair. When used to air dry hair, the formula enhances the hair's natural definition.
Begin with second-day hair—or fake it.
The real secret to achieving a French bob? Texture, texture, and more texture! Freshly shampooed hair is usually softer, so styling a French bob typically works best on second-day hair. If you’re reading this fresh out of the shower with a towel on your head, don’t worry! Rough up your ‘do with a few spritzes of texturizing spray like Matrix Miss Mess Dry Texturizing Spray, a multi-benefit spray that finishes off any style with the perfect amount of morning-after grit and texture. Once you’ve applied the spray, gently tousle your mane with your fingertips for added texture.
If you’re blessed with naturally wavy hair that air dries to perfection, simply apply a bit of anti-frizz hairspray to lock in your look with a frizz-free finish. We love Matrix Total Results High Amplify Anti-Frizz Hairspray.
If you skip wash day, you might notice oily roots begin to appear. Luckily, that’s nothing a few sprays of dry shampoo can’t fix. If you’re looking for a dry shampoo to add to your hair care routine, we recommend the Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo. The high-performance dry shampoo works on all hair types, allowing you to go up to 4 days without washing – saving your time and your style.
Don’t forget to add shine.
If we’re envious of our favorite French muses for anything, it’s how noticeably glossy their hair is. Complete your look with a shine serum like Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil, which contains five precious oils to enhance luster.
With these tips and tricks in mind, you’re well on your way to achieving French girl hair in no time! If you’re looking for more styling inspiration, keep scrolling for 21 très chic French-girl bob looks we’re loving.
The Best French Bob Hairstyle Ideas to Try Now
Blunt Bob With Bangs
Ask your stylist for a blunt bob with bangs if you truly want to do as the French do. This one-length haircut is the OG French-girl bob, and it can instantly make your strands appear thicker and fuller!
In true French girl fashion, this chic, layered cut requires little styling effort—especially if you’re working with naturally wavy hair. Simply apply a few spritzes of texturizing spray, and you’re ready to go!
Curly French Bob
You don’t need straight hair to slay a French bob—the cut also looks gorgeous on curly girls! Use a bit of hair gel, like the Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel, to define and shape your curls while helping to keep them moisturized.
Braid It Back
If you’re looking to amp up your hairstyle but still keep it simple, craft a simple three-strand accent braid and pin it back for an easy-breezy look that’ll take you five minutes or less to achieve.
Short, choppy layers are great if you’re working with thick, plentiful hair. However, if your strands are fine, short layers can easily make your strands look even more sparse. Instead, ask your stylist to add long layers to your French bob to make your cut look thicker and more voluminous.
French Bob With Curtain Bangs
Pair your French bob with curtain bangs if you're not feeling straight-across bangs. This feathered, '70s-inspired fringe adds a simple touch of elegance to your 'do and softly frames your face.
If bangs just aren’t for you (and that’s totally okay!), this sharp, razor-cut bob will still give you the texture and vibe of a French girl bob sans the fringe.
Now that you’ve got the signature French-girl chop, you need to really look the part. Pop on a flat cap or beret to take your Parisian style to the next level.
French women are famous for their dark brown hair, but you don’t need to be a brunette to slay a French bob. Ask your colorist for a warm blonde hue if you’re looking to switch things up.
If you’re committing to salon blonde, invest in a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner system since bleach can cause dryness and brittleness. We recommend the aloe-infused Biolage Professional Hydra Source Shampoo and Conditioner.
French Bob With Deep Side Part
If you want to give your look instant volume without using any products or hot tools, a deep side part is the way to go—not to mention, this easy switch is flattering for every face shape.
While a neutral hue is the standard for French girl hair, we’re all about playing with a bit of color! Pair your new cut with a vibrant fantasy hair color if you’re feeling bold.
If you’re dreaming of waking up with effortless texture, ask your stylist to add choppy layers to your French bob.
Try wearing your French bob pin-straight for a chic and sophisticated look. If you’re heat styling to achieve straight hair, be sure to use a heat protectant like Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Heat Protection Hairspray. This lightweight, thermal heat protection hairspray is perfect for use with flat irons and curling irons up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to protect your hair, add shine, and reduce frizz.
Opt for a collarbone-length bob if you want to go short (but not chin-length short). This cut allows you to try a shorter cut while still allowing you to throw your hair into a ponytail when you feel like it.
Fantasy shades might not scream classic French girl hair, but rainbow hair is a great way to show your personal style.
Hair accessories are never a bad idea! When it comes to styling your French girl bob, accessory stacking with barrettes is one of the hottest trends of 2020.
Half-and-half hair color is trending and if you’re not into vivid hues, try it the French way with low-maintenance, neutral colors. We love this French bob with half blonde and half brunette hair.
A dramatic slant and a full set of bangs are an excellent choice for a French bob. Your stylist will shape the style so that your shortest pieces are in the back (enhancing the volume) while your longest pieces hang on either side of your face (slimming it down).
Do you love the sleekness of this style? All you need to recreate it is Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner, a thermal protectant with frizz-fighting and smoothing abilities, and flat iron. You can never go wrong with L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod Hair Straightener + Curling Iron.
The mushroom cut version of a French bob is nothing like the style you sported on the playground. The clean lines show off your facial structure for an all-grown-up look.
Top a French bob off with arched bangs, which follow the curve of the forehead for a slightly rounded appearance that frames the face.
Trending hairstyles are all about making the look your own, so we’re all for an asymmetrical ‘do that’s longer on one side of the face. It’s an easy way to add tousled texture for days while tricking the eye into seeing a fuller head of hair!
Interested in more expert styling tips and products for a French bob? Check out Hair.com to pick up everything you need to rock this look.