Sure, the shape of a bob is fundamental. A great cut can make or break your hair’s ability to look delicious on the daily. But the soft-wave bob? Well, it’s proof that a little styling can breathe new life into your hair and make you fall back in love with it, even if you’re overdue for a cut.

In fact, that’s when a soft-wave bob works best. The unstructured shape compliments outgrown strands, especially if you like a laid-back, undone look. But equally, the breezy styling can help loosen up ultra-neat cuts, such as freshly chopped blunt bobs, and give them a much more relaxed vibe. 

So what exactly is the soft-wave bob? Simply put, it’s a looser, less structured wave that gives a slightly slept-in texture. It’s the hair equivalent of no-makeup makeup – minimally styled but still super natural looking. It’s exactly the right amount of relaxed.

And depending on your hair’s natural texture and your desired look, it can be achieved in a few ways. For instance, naturally curly hair textures can be encouraged with styling products (such as salt sprays, texturizing sprays, and curl creams) to emphasize the shape further. For straight-ish or wavy textures, air-drying hair that’s tucked behind ears or twisted into dinky buns can create a gorgeous soft wave. Or for something a little more glam, heat tools can introduce loose waves, especially when they’re brushed out to look like second- or third-day hair.

Beach waves have headlined for years, but for summer 2022, this offers an even subtler cool-girl take that looks more minimal, and less deliberate. 

Here are 10 of our favorite ways to wear the soft-wave bob.

The caramel soft-wave bob

Influencer Estela Newbold paired soft-wave sections at the front of her hair with pretty caramel money piece highlights.

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Baby braid soft-wave bob

Digital creator Steph Hui teamed naturally wavy hair with cute baby braids framing her face.

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