ICONIC: The Modern-Day Bardot Haircut
Look out-- the 60’s are making a comeback! The “Bardot cut” has been making appearances on runways and red carpets for over half a century, and it’s back on trend once again.
Inspired by French style icon Brigitte Bardot, this timeless haircut is all about effortless, layered volume paired with long curtain fringes (also called “Bardot bangs”).
Sam Villa offers an updated take on the classic look by layering a bob shape on top of a shag. This chic-yet-carefree cut flatters all face shapes and delivers natural texture without sacrificing length.
Read on to discover how to achieve today’s light and playful volume with soft, lived-in layers that bring out your guests’ best facial features.
Sectioning for the Modern Bardot-Inspired Haircut
Correctly sectioning and prepping the hair makes it SO much easier to create natural, diffused texture in less time! Think maximum impact with minimal work.
For these Bardot-inspired layers, Sam recommends starting with wet hair and allowing it to dry naturally as you work. Prep the strands with Redken One United for better manageability and frizz control as the hair air-dries. Then divide the hair into the following sections:
- A horseshoe-shaped section at the crown of the head
- A vertical section behind the ear on each side (bring this section farther back behind the ear to support your face-framing layers)
- A horizontal section at the back of the head, just beneath the horseshoe-shaped section (create an arc shape rather than a straight line across the bottom of this section for softer edges), divided in two parts along the midline
- A half-moon section at the nape of the neck
Roll each section up into a barrel curl shape and secure it to the head with sectioning clips. This helps to encourage natural movement in the hair, even before you start cutting!
Cutting the Modern Bardot Shape
Step #1: Begin at the half-moon section in the nape area. Using a comb that contrasts with the color of the hair, elevate this section vertically and cut a guide diagonally from the top of the section.
Divide the nape section in half along the midline. Place the comb into one of the sections with the spine towards the ground and the teeth pointing up. Elevate the hair vertically and rotate the comb so that it tilts down towards the nape.
Cut the hair horizontally to the length of the guide, and repeat on the opposite side. The result is soft, flowing short-to-long layers with natural symmetry. Using the 7" Dry Cutting Swivel Shear allows you to easily maneuver into cutting positions while keeping your wrist straight.
Step #2: Now move on to the two center-back sections between the nape and the crown. Pick up the guide piece from the center-top of the nape section. Elevate one section of hair diagonally and over-direct towards the midline.
Place the comb vertically into the hair and bring it down the hair shaft until it reaches the guide. Then place your fingers under the comb, rotate so they are parallel to the floor, and cut the hair horizontally to the length of the guide. Repeat with the other center-back section.
Step #3: Face-framing layers are a non-negotiable for any Bardot cut. The challenge is to create lots of natural movement and texture while maintaining length and density around your client’s hairline. Remember, over-direction helps to preserve length when cutting layers.
Working with one of the side sections behind the ear, elevate the hair diagonally and over-direct towards the midline. Pick up a guide from the center-top of the section that you just cut, and place it underneath the hair.
Slide your two guide fingers down the hair shaft at a diagonal until you reach the guide. Then rotate your fingers so that they are parallel to the floor and cut the hair horizontally to the length of the guide.
Repeat with the behind-the-ear section on the opposite side. You should now have three detached sections or “tiers” that visually blend together with no hard lines.
Step #4: Isolate the hair that you’ve already cut with sectioning clips and unclip the horseshoe-shaped section at the crown. Comb the hair forward and use the sectioning tooth of your comb to weave out a ½” horizontal sub-section from the back of the crown area. The weave helps to create a softer, more blended edge in your layers.
Pick up a guide from the center-top of the section underneath the crown, and overlap it with the sub-section. Elevate the hair at a steep diagonal, over-direct it back and away from the head, and point cut into the ends.
Separate another horizontal sub-section in front of the last one. Again, use your comb to weave out the hair rather than drawing a hard line. Pick up a guide from the section that you just cut, overlap the guide with the new hair, elevate the hair diagonally back and point cut into the ends.
Repeat this process, working from back to front in small horizontal sub-sections and taking a guide piece from the last section that you cut. When you reach the ear level, elevate the hair vertically instead of over-directing towards the back. Continue until you finish cutting all the hair in the horseshoe-shaped section.
Step #5: Remove the clips and tickle the hair to bring out the bob shape. At this stage you can go back and enhance the face-framing texture if needed. The magic of the detached sections is that the soft, blended layers are already built into the shape of the haircut!
Finishing the Modern Bardot-Inspired Haircut
As you style the Bardot cut, think about defining the texture to make those layers POP! Begin by applying Redken Outshine 01 and Redken One United to nearly-dry hair after cutting.
Next, place your hand into a section of hair, wrapping the strands over and under your fingers to create a wave “mold”. Diffuse this section on low-medium heat and speed. Hold the diffuser and your hand still, and let the airflow do the work. Repeat with all remaining sections.
Viewing Classic Styles Through Fresh Eyes
Artists and stylists have always looked to the past as a source of inspiration, and the Bardot-inspired layered cuts of today are no exception.
As the trend toward natural movement and lived-in texture continues to grow, this re-imagining of Brigitte Bardot’s iconic haircut is the perfect blend of retro and modern. Elegance never goes out of style… or, as Sam Villa likes to say, “Simplicity is today’s brilliance!”
It’s all about using the latest tools and cutting techniques to elevate a classic shape. Grab your dry cutting shears and mannequin, and master these fresh layering techniques today!