The French bob is the chicest way to wear short hair this season—these looks prove it

All the Parisian girls are doing it; here’s how you can too…

Taylor LaShae with French bob
(Image credit: Getty Images/Kirstin Sinclair / Contributor)

Short hair is so incredibly versatile—and there is a bob hairstyle for everyone, no matter your hair type, length or desired style. But this season, it’s all about that short, cropped—yet soft and romantic—cut stylists have come to lovingly know as the French bob. 

One scroll through your Insta feed or a glance at your Explore page, and you’ll likely spot a French bob or two. It seems every cool content creator is rocking the style right now, and with summer ending and autumn upon us, this may be the ultra-chic hair trend switch-up you’ve been waiting for. 

So what’s so special about it? 

What is the French bob?

To put it simply, the French bob is essentially a shorter cut bob with a distinctive shape that is often accompanied by a fringe. Samantha Cusick, ghd UK Ambassador describes it as "timeless and the epitome of chic".

Inspired by the style and effortless coolness of French women, "the origins of the French bob go back to the 1920s, and its continued popularity make it truly timeless," explains Samantha. 

For celebrity references, Samantha suggests looking to the likes of Audrey Tautou, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift; all of whom have dabbled with the style. 

When it comes for what you should ask for at the salon, there are many iterations of the French bob, meaning it's "so important to communicate what you like and what you don’t to your hairstylist".

In terms of length, for example, you can do a short style that grazes the jawline or something a little longer if you're more comfortable that way. Samantha explains that you should then discuss texture, layers and maintenance with your stylist and how they can be adapted to suit your own hair type, as well as show them pictures of styles you like.

How can you style a French bob? 

In general, Samantha says that French bobs are relatively low maintenance. "They typically involve minimal styling and upkeep, making them convenient for people with busy lifestyles," she says.

As mentioned, it's crucial to discuss upkeep and maintenance with your stylist when you get your bob cut in, as this will help with at-home management. 

You can wear a French bob in a straight style or with a little tousle and wave. For the latter (which really does complement the cut), Samantha recommends opting for the ghd Curve Classic Wave Wand

"Wrap (loosely, so you don’t make it too curly) small sections of hair around the wand, holding for a few seconds before releasing. This will give your bob a relaxed, beachy texture."

Texture spray works wonders with short bob styles, as does a hair cream to smooth and add shine. 

The best French bob inspiration

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This cut proves you don’t have to rock a French bob with a fluttery fringe and soft waves; a straighter style also works if that’s how you tend to wear your hair usually. 

This shorter cut looks gorgeous swept behind the ears. The specific shaping your stylist gives you will make all the difference for this one, so show them this picture. 

We’re so used to seeing this bob style on darker hair, but blondes can totally rock it too, as Jael Dorotan unwaveringly confirms. 

Thicker locks with chunky layers can make this look work with ease, as proven here. 

A cute fringe really does give the French bob extra Parisian style points. Throw on a cosy roll-neck and you’re good to go. 

Actor Mariama Diallo looks absolutely gorgeous with her French bob, which she wears with an eye-skimming fringe. 

This bob has just the right amount of movement and choppy layers to scream ‘French cool’. 

A micro-fringe can give any French bob that extra ‘20s feel. And if you add a red lip? Even better. 

Short, cropped and cool: this is the ultimate way to wear your French bob. Don’t forget to throw on the vintage sunnies. 

If a full-fringe seems a little daunting, have a style cut in you can easily push to the side, like content creator Franny. 

Rebecca Fearn

Rebecca is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29, The Independent, Grazia, Coveteur, Dazed, Stylist, and Glamour. She is also a brand consultant and has worked with the likes of The Inkey List on campaign messaging and branded copy. She’s obsessed with skincare, nail art and fragrance, and outside of beauty, Rebecca likes to travel, watch true crime docs, pet sausage dogs and drink coffee. Rebecca is also passionate about American politics and mental health awareness.