Everything You Need to Know About the Soft Crop

Published 26th Apr 2024 by Josie Jackson

It’s no secret that bobs have been dominating hair trends in recent months, with styles like the Preppy Bob and the Butterfly Bob trending across social media – combined, these hashtags have been searched more than 500,000 times on TikTok alone. However, you may have noticed that some of your clients can’t fight the urge to keep going shorter (much like clients that find it hard not to keep going blonder). The Soft Crop – a style shorter than your typical bob but longer than a pixie – could be exactly the cut to appease these clients.

What is the Soft Crop?

The Soft Crop is a versatile style, with Ben Nott, ELEVEN Australia Educator, sharing: “The soft crop haircut embodies a fusion of classic and contemporary styles, offering a dynamic look that can be tailored to suit various hair types and personal aesthetics. Its adaptability makes it an excellent choice for those transitioning from a bob to a shorter style, or for anyone navigating the intermediate stages of hair growth.” The Soft Crop is also proving popular due to its effortless silhouette, with Rory Antonio explaining: “It’s an alternative, modern look that contrasts with that ‘straight-out-of-the-salon’ look.”

Discussing the Soft Crop in more detail, Ben adds: “The technique focuses on enhancing texture and reducing weight, creating a lively, voluminous appearance without the rigidity of straight lines. This approach results in a haircut that is not only stylish but also practical, providing ease of maintenance and a multitude of styling options.” Brandon Messinger, Denman Creative, also shares some thoughts on the structure and versatility of the Soft Crop, explaining: “Think grown-out crop or short Bixie. It’s the perfect in between style. The tapered length at the neck means that there is still plenty of hair to play with, offering variety when it comes to how the client chooses to wear their hair.”

How to Cut a Soft Crop

As with every cut, there are different techniques that can be employed to create the final look. Brandon shares his method, explaining: “I would approach a soft crop almost exactly the same way I do a crop, except stretching out the length and keeping the cut fairly square through the sides and back to soften the perimeter.” He also highlights some key pressure points to watch out for, adding: “You must employ some form of layering to hug and complement the head shape. Be careful that there isn’t any weight in the perimeter as you don’t want any solidity there.”

Meanwhile, Sian Roscoe, INDOLA’s UK Ambassador, explains: “When approaching this haircut, I tend to cut at a slight angle round the back and sides to maintain an element of weight around the recession area that I can cut into once dried – this is to ensure the hair isn’t left looking thin in those more problem areas. Once I have dried and styled, I will really soften into the perimeter of the haircut, which is great for the client because it maintains that soft finish.”

As for the best tools to use, Rory favours a razor over harsh clippers, and also suggests point-cutting to define wispy edges and soft lines. “Think when Drew Barrymore had her drastic 90’s crop and how soft and interchangeable the cut was,” he explains. “I would always recommend cutting it half an inch longer than what you think is right and wait until you have blow-dried the hair before you pick up the scissors again.”

How to Style a Soft Crop

Much like cutting a Soft Crop, there are a multitude of ways that this haircut can be styled. Ben shares his thoughts, telling us: “Embracing the natural texture and movement of your client’s hair can lead to a more vibrant and dynamic look. I would recommend to my clients that they avoid heat styling tools like straightening irons, as this not only preserves the integrity of their hair, but also helps to maintain its natural volume and curl.”

Lead image: Philipp Haug

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 26th Apr 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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