Why We’re Saying ‘Oui’ To The French Bob In 2024

By Charlie Colville

4 months ago

The Parisian girls know what they're doing

Is the thought of an epic bob blunder putting you off from getting the chop? Or maybe it’s the thought of having to style it with straighteners everyday? Whatever the reason, we’ve found the solution: say bonjour to the French bob, aka, the ultimate short hairstyle for chic lazy girls.

What Is A French Bob?

The French bob is a nonchalant style of bob characterised by its emphasis on natural texture, with strands falling at the chin (or, in some cases, even shorter) in a blunt haircut. There’s very little in terms of heavy layering, making it similar to a one-length bob – with the added oomph of wayward curls and waves. Channelling an ‘I just woke up like this, but I still look pretty chic’ attitude, the French bob is all about quietly casual mess – without being undone to the point of sloppiness.

But it’s not a new trend by any means. ‘The French bob is a timeless classic that has come back around once again,’ confirms Daina Maciulaite, a hair stylist at Blush and Blow London. The haircut is thought to date all the way back to the jazz scene in 1920 France, a time and place where you’d catch a lot of women wearing short bobs.

@simofreakinetta I did it. #frenchbob #transformation #fyp ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

We’re not sure what it is exactly that makes the hairstyle a hit whatever the decade – je ne sais quoi? – but its popularity is undeniable, even in 2024. A quick look on TikTok seals the deal, where the topic (as well as that iconic ‘Claire, it’s French’ scene from Fleabag) remains a hit with content creators and social-savvy salons.

Some attribute the French bob’s staying power to its versatility, as it’s one of the only bob cuts out there that celebrates an individual’s natural hair texture. ‘People want something to stand out from the crowd, something that makes them a little different,’ adds Daina. There’s also the draw of the celebrity example: ‘Famous model Taylor LaShae wears the French bob haircut so amazingly; she’s the kind of person that would make you want to try the chop.’

@sophialohilani CLAIRE ITS FRENCH ✂️🥖🇫🇷 #frenchbob #bobhaircut #haircuttransformation #fleabag #transition #hairstyle #bangs #bob #shorthair #pixiecut #bigchop #hairjourney ♬ original sound – Prime Video

How Does It Differ From A Scandi Or Italian Bob?

This isn’t the first Eurocentric bob on our radar either – both the Scandi and Italian bob have been a big hit in recent months, making the French bob yet another string to the hair trend’s ever-growing bow. But what makes it different? ‘A French bob is much more shorter, blunter and usually paired with a fringe,’ explains Daina. ‘In contrast, the Italian bob is a sleeker cut that sits above the shoulders and the Scandi bob features a deep side parting with a little more texture.’

How To Ask For A French Bob In The Salon (& What To Expect)

Daina’s biggest piece of advice when it comes to trying out a French bob in the salon? Communicating thoroughly with your stylist. ‘⁠⁠If you’re wanting a French bob, come into the salon with inspiration pictures and be prepared to have a long chat with your stylist,’ she says. ‘They’ll talk through whether it will compliment your hair texture and facial structure.’ This is to make sure you’re both on the same page, since this can be quite a dramatic transformation if you’re used to having longer hair.

‘⁠⁠Once we’ve had a chat, you’ll have your hair washed thorough and then be sat down to chop,’ she continues. ‘The haircut needs to be on freshly washed hair to ensure bluntness. We’ll also go back in when blow-dried to ensure everything is tidy and ready for styling.’

@faick_hair French bob 💇🏻‍♀️ #haircut #bob #trend #mood #hairvideos #viral #tiktok #milano #cut #hairdresser #beautiful #girl ♬ Oh, Pretty Woman – Pomplamoose

How To Style A French Bob At Home

Luckily for us, this bob falls in the rare ‘low maintenance’ category since it’s meant to look somewhat lived-in rather than sleekly styles. ‘The key to a good French bob is a natural, kinky look,’ says Daina. ‘To style, I’d recommend getting a decent texturizing spray or mouse – which you can apply to hair before or after it’s either air dried or been dried off with a diffuser hair dryer. This will ensure it keeps good texture.’

The Future Of The French Bob

One hundred years on, we’re still making a case for the classic French bob. Does it need much change? Probably not – and Daina’s quick to agree. ‘⁠⁠This trend was very popular many years ago and continues to make a comeback every few years,’ she says. ‘It’s such a classic, so I think with the creativity of modern stylists it’s here to stay.’

Hair Inspiration


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Featured image: Suhyeon Choi, Unsplash