The "soft girl" look is a combination of edgy e-girl and carefree VSCO chic ... except she's less harsh than the e-girl and more done-up than the VSCO.
It's a style that's marked by an ultra-feminine, cutesy vibe. It's babyish, schoolgirl-ish and a little bit spicy rolled into one.
You'll see a soft girl wear pleated pastel skirts, platform sneakers, and almost any '90s accessory with oversized pieces. Her makeup includes pink blush and glossy lips with tattooed clouds on her cheeks.
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The hair, of course, is a huge part of the soft girl aesthetic. With a bunch of different ways to style and color it — and no official rules — there's a look for almost everyone. From long to short, wavy to straight, many soft girls opt to stick with their natural hair color while others get wild with rainbow streaks. Either way, bold accessories and styling are a notable part of the look. Whatever soft girl level you want to achieve, here's a guide for some key hair looks.
Color in general is a main feature of the soft girl aesthetic. You'll want to go with light pastels in your clothing and your hair. Pale pink shades are the classic go-to here and they're also very on-trend for the 2022 hair season. But you'll also see a lot of pale blues, unicorn rainbows and even bleach blond.
You may see some soft girls sporting darker shades of dye, but the quintessential look is one of pale pastels. You can fully commit to a color or change it up with temporary and semi-temporary methods like sprays or even markers. Some will easily wash out before the weekend is over.
For soft girls who want a bold, creative look, combine shades and colors. Part your hair down the middle and dye each side a different hue. Or you may want something like an ombre take. Try purple in the roots, pink in the middle and peachy at the ends. The more artsy types can jump in on the popular graffiti hair trend. Here, your hair is literally sprayed or hand-painted with ornate designs on its surface. It's the perfect opportunity to add cutesy, soft girl imagery like Hello Kitty or hearts.
Another 2022 trend that fits right in here is adding a bit of sparkle to your hair. It's a standout feature that's whimsical and definitely girly. You can get these looks with a skilled stylist, but if you want a temporary take, try some spray-in sparkle or clip-in extensions.
For all this color talk, believe it or not, many soft girls are sticking with their natural color. Like the '90s girls, accentuating your natural assets lends a gentle and feminine feel that fits right in with soft girl vibes.
Anyone can sport some kind of soft girl hairstyle regardless of hair length or texture — so work with what you've got and experiment with some of these styles.
Loose, blowout waves will help give you an ultra-feminine vibe. This look often works best with mid-length to longer hair and feels so very Disney princess. If you feel like wearing your hair down or showing it off, this may be your best bet. You can head to the salon for the perfect blowout or do it yourself at home. To get the look, be sure to apply a heat protectant first and wait until your hair is about 70% dry. Use a concentrator extension nozzle while blow-drying or get yourself an all-in-one blowout brush. Wrap one-inch sections around the round brush of your choice and point the nozzle downward to keep the cuticle of the hair smooth as you allow it to dry. Avoid high heat to get more bounce in your curls.
On day 2 or 3 of your blowout, throw it up in an ultra-high pony (also very on-trend this season). If your hair isn't long enough, buy some wavy ponytail extensions.Another common updo you'll see is pigtails. Soft girl pigtails are placed high on the side of the head, so be prepared to feel like you're in fifth grade again. If you want easy and high impact, it's the way to go. Throw on some cute barrettes, pull out a few long, face-framing tendrils and you’ve got the look. If you need something more understated try low pigtails or even braids.
Kick your pigtails up a notch with space buns. Reminiscent of Princess Leia, you basically create two buns with your high pigtail look. To achieve this, simply twist a pigtail, and then coil it around itself to form your bun. Secure with bobby pins — or even better, a big pastel scrunchy!
Bangs are a common soft girl feature that add a little something extra. Curtain bangs were the thing last year, but for 2022, it's all about the bottleneck bang. This bang is shorter in the middle between the brows and angles around the eyes to form a second bang layer that sits on the cheekbones and jaw. It perfectly frames any facial shape and looks great with updos. Just remember that bangs can be high-maintenance and tricky to get them to lay just right!
Long and flowing hair is traditionally very feminine, so it aligns with this aesthetic, but soft girls can still look girly with bobs or pixie cuts. Both of these cuts can be cutesy when done right. If you are going for the bob, bangs always look great. For the pixie, favor a soft, layered take and avoid jagged, strong edges. For both, choose the right color and accessories. These cuts can tend to appear more masculine and edgy, so if you are aiming for the full-on soft girl, choose feminine accessories.
The middle part is still in, and it's a classic that works well here. It looks good with or without bangs and is especially helpful for those with rounder faces. It creates a slimming effect that balances out your features and helps you to look even younger.
Even if you don't want all that color and aren't great with styling, there is one soft girl quick fix: accessories! That's right, with a few (or a ton) of the right barrettes and clips, you can easily have the look.
Barrettes are just… everything. Try out vintage-looking, resin ones — just be sure that they are in sweet, colorful shades. Or get a little wild with large butterfly clips. Basically, anything you saw in the '90s will go well here. Wear them with your hair down or in an updo. Keep it simple with barrettes clipped in by your temples, or place them all over your head.
This is another super-easy way to add femininity and style to your everyday soft girl look. Try a pretty flowered version with a topknot or be extra with a pair of bunny ears. Try any animal you like, really — just make sure it's fluffy and soft.
Another throwback to the '90s you will see with this vibe are big scrunchies. Again, opt for pastel and wrap them around your pigtails, buns, and ponies. Keep one on your wrist for just-in-case and choose silk brands to prevent hair breakage.
If you want just a touch of soft girl vibe, choose only one or two of these tips. If you are looking to go all-out, then carefully choose your cut, color and accessories to become an adorable, bonafide soft girl.