First popularized in the 1920s, the French bob became the signature hairstyle of the Roaring Twenties, a period marked by the increased emancipation of women in terms of economic independence and sexual freedom. While it doesn’t convey the sensuousness of having long, silky tresses, the way it leaves the nape and the throat exposed creates a cool yet subtly sexy contrast to its low-maintenance nature. Emblematic of the 1920s flappers’ joie de vivre, this vintage style has remained a favorite for decades.
The French bob also has a softness that differentiates it from other bob styles. Although it’s often cut bluntly in one length, stylists can add subtle layers for those who don’t have stick-straight hair. If you’re one of them, celebrity hairstylist Garren’s advice to Byrdie is to look for a stylist who can work with your natural wave pattern and knows how to use scissors and razors to finetune a haircut so you don’t end up with a boxy bob. “You can ask for the same length for all hair types. That’s the beauty of [the French bob],” IGK founder Aaron Grenia added.
Even with its short length, it can be styled in different ways. Although often paired with a blunt fringe, wispy, side-swept, and micro bangs also look good with a French bob. Sans bangs, it’s fun to switch up where you part your hair with this haircut. Sport it sleek and straight one day then mussed up the next.