Hairstyles for Bichon Frise

Bichon frise require significant grooming.
Bichon image by Olive from

The bichon frise is a small lap dog known for its friendly disposition and affinity for retrieving. They are normally white, although some breeders have begun breeding different colors, such as buff and apricot. Some dogs are born with small tufts of color around their feet and faces. Their curly, thick hair requires regular grooming to prevent matting and an unkempt appearance. Regardless of the hairstyle you choose, you will need to brush your dog's hair at least once daily and remove mats if they develop. If your dog is frequently matted, it may indicate you should choose a different hairstyle.

Puppy Cut

In the first couple of months, a bichon frise's hair may not be fully grown in and it can be difficult to achieve show dog hair styles. Most owners opt instead for a puppy cut. The hair is cut with scissors to the length of about one inch all over the body. Because of the coarse hair texture, your dog will still require regular brushing to prevent mats, but this style makes brushing much less cumbersome. Some owners opt to add bows to the top of their dog's head after giving a puppy cut.


Shaving a bichon frise can help keep her cool, eliminate mats and help you avoid tiresome fur maintenance. The fur is shaved along the body and feet and either shaved or clipped very closely around the face. Because the breed has light skin that is prone to sunburn, your dog will require sunscreen if she is going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time, and her fur will begin to grow back in two to six weeks.

Show Dog Clip

The show clip is the style required for show dogs, but owners without show dogs may choose this style for a dramatic, glamorous look. The hair all over the body is trimmed with scissors to about two inches and brushed or combed to prevent mats. The hair around the face and on top of the head is kept long and combed downward, with a tuft of hair on top of the head. The hair around the face, neck and ears is trimmed to blend in with the longer hair on the head.

Creative Styles

Many owners take advantage of the bichon frise's white hair and dye the hair bright or unusual colors such as pink or blue. If you opt to dye your dog's hair, have a professional groomer do it and only use non-toxic, pet-safe dyes. Other owners choose to braid sections of the hair, especially around the face, and add bows. While some owners like putting rhinestones and glitter in their dogs' hair, these styles are generally not safe because they pose a choking hazard and glitter can irritate your dog's eyes and nose.


  • Bichone Frise; Richard G. Beauchamp
  • Bichone Frise; Juliette Cunliffe

About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits