Transitioning an Undercut to a Disconnected French Bob

By Sam Villa

“I do a lot of short hair cutting and love the versatility of an undercut, so naturally I have clients that eventually want to approach growing their hair out. This disconnected French bob is an easy way to blend an undercut back into the perimeter and still create a cool shape,” explains Twylla Jane, Sam Villa Ambassador, Redken Artist and owner of Lumos Nox Salon @twyllajane. Watch a video about the technique here

“It’s important to be honest with guests and let them know it can be a wild journey, filled with hats, scarves, headbands and accessories. They will need your guidance and support,” she adds. “And, never cut it off the first time they ask. Remind them that one week they may be miserable, but the next seven days could be their best hair days ever!”  

It takes about six months to grow out a short undercut. Three good transitioning options are: 

  • Blunt bob 
  • Graduated bob 
  • Mullet/mixie 

A client smiles as she shows off her disconnected french bob haircut. Tips for a Disconnected French Bob: 

  • Blow dry hair as smooth as possible—the goal of drying and cutting is to get everything as close to one length as possible. 
  • Establish a perimeter: The back will be longer, so start by cutting the hair that was originally left longer.
  • Use Sam Villa Signature Series 7” Dry Cutting Shears for detailing. They stay much sharper than using a wet shear on dry hair. 
  • Avoid taking out weight in front of the ears.This area tends to not have a lot of strength and hair takes longer to grow in. The front and sides will have less hair and shorter hair than the back, so be mindful when cleaning up.   
  • On the nape of the neck, use a Sam Villa Signature Series InvisiBlend Shear cutting up and at a diagonal to slowly remove length and leave a soft edge.
  • Take out weight and build a nice shape with square layering. Pull the hair straight up and cut to the top guide with vertical sections with straight graduation at 90 degrees. Then point cut to add layers and movement.   
  • Corners tend to get heavy when short hair is growing out. Take weight out from underneath with Sam Villa Classic Series 14 Tooth Point Cutting Shears. They remove texture and weight without leaving hard steps/lines. 

To learn more from the Sam Villa team, check out the free weekly Facebook Live classes and 10-minute YouTube tutorials. The complete catalogue of customizable education for salons, shows and events, including Thrive On, is available here.  

Sam Villa is co-founder and chief creative officer of the Sam Villa Company (Allvus, LLC), a leading education and styling tool company for the professional hair industry. He is also Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken 5th Avenue, a L’Oreal brand. Villa is the 2021 NAHA Educator of the Year, Hair Awards USA Hall of Fame Inductee, 2021 AHP Icon Stylist Influencer of the Year, 2020 International Hairdressing Awards ‘International Hair Influencer of the Year,’ the 2017 NAHA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Intercoiffure America/Canada Member, Behind the Chair Stylist Choice Award Winner for Favorite Platform Artist and Educator (2012, 2011 and 2007) and Favorite Overall Educator of the Year (2015). His inspiring education and innovative ergonomic styling tools can be experienced at The Sam Villa brand brings free digital education to everyone including hot tips and techniques, as well as access to livestreamed educational events. The company also offers professional tools for consumers so they can achieve salon-quality results at home with minimal effort.   


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is a French bob? A French bob is shorter than chin-length and can include blunt bangs and refined layers. 
  2. What is a mixie? A mixie is a combination of a mullet and a pixie haircut. The haircut is longer in the back and shorter in the front. 
  3. How long does it take to grow out an undercut? It can take up to six months to grow out an undercut. This also depends on how fast a client’s hair grows. If their hair doesn’t grow fast, it may take longer than six months. 
  4. What are good transitional haircuts for growing out an undercut? Some good transitional cuts to help the grow out of an undercut are the blunt bob, graduated bob, mullet, mixie, or pixie cut. 
  5. How do you style a French bob? If you’re curious how to style a French bob, a popular way to style it is with a messy, tousled look. Second day hair is best for this look. Using texturizing spray or paste will work great for achieving this. Use your favorite texturizing product and tousle your hair with your fingertips. 
  6. How do you cut a French bob for a client? To understand how to cut a French bob, follow these steps: First, establish a blunt perimeter; this is usually shorter than chin length. After establishing a perimeter, pull the hair straight up and cut to the top guide with vertical sections with straight graduation at 90 degrees. Then point cut to add layers and movement. You can add blunt bangs if desired to finish the look. 

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