The ultimate unisex hairstyle is back! Drumroll please! Let’s welcome back with palms wide open for what probably is the coolest hairstyle ever created. It’s no surprise why it has so many adaptations. Long, lobs or short bobs, shag haircuts are probably the coolest, bed-head, low-maintenance hairstyles to try. It’s simply fantastic in any length, any age, any size. The choppy ends, lots of texture, and loads of layers in one are just fun, rebellious, and very rock n’ roll.
The hairstyle may have been born in the era wherein only the wackiest fashion can match it, but, nowadays, even the red carpet events full of elegant attires flaunt their shags! Through the years and how many heads it baptized, shag haircuts had its fair share of attention, —both good and bad. The shag has been presented with new faces that make the style more flattering to anyone.
From the mussed and layer-heavy from the ’70s (think Mick Jagger and Stevie Nicks,) to chic, subtle, short three decades later. Shag cuts resurrected in the most uncanny ways, —at least, in my opinion.
Why You Should Give Shag Haircuts A Shot?
Should you shag or should you not? You probably find it intimidating to sport this layer-packed haircut because of how overwhelming it might turn out on you. But the modern shags actually have a big step away from its descendant. It’s a very versatile hairstyle to switch to. The length that looks flattering on you depends on your hair texture. Meaning, modern shag cuts are a little softer in approach. You are surely in better hands with a professional hairstylist to create the best shag do’ for your lifestyle and hair type.
Choosing The Best Shag For You
Shag haircuts are really about working with your hair’s natural texture and shape. It can be shoulder-length, short or pass the shoulders. It should be tailored to each person. The classic cut is almost face-hugging, with the bangs eyebrow-grazing and slightly longer on the sides. Unlike other hairstyles, shag cuts only need air-dry to show its natural pattern. Also, the shag haircut is very much reliant upon layering, depending on how fast your hair grows, get a maintenance haircut every three months.
Fine Hair Straight Or Curly
One of the big challenges to sport this borrowed-from-the-70s hairstyle is with fine hair strands. It goes for both fine curly and fine straight. Shag doesn’t typically work with very fine hair. Both have similar takes for shag haircuts. For fine curly hair, the best shags are the short styles. The key to a cute shag for fine curls is to have a carefree, natural fullness and bounce. And of course, it needs very minimal hair products to avoid weighing the curls down. Adding highlights also help!
How to Style a Shag Hair Cut
Nothing troublesome is needed to style any shag haircut. You may apply a volumizing mousse to your clean, damp hair to create definition in the shaggy layers. You only need your hands and fingers to tousle and lift the hair until it’s dry enough. After all, it is meant to be slightly messy and carefree. Other styling options include a strong hold gel to create the structure for an edgier shag style. Or use grooming creams to achieve a softer, more manageable shag hairdo.
How The Shag Haircut Started And ‘Spiraled’
It might be worth to know about how this famous tousled, feathered, and layered hair started, as well as why it is back to the mainstream. In the 1970s, a barber named Paul McGregor introduced the iconic ‘shag cut,’ which opened to more popularity for celebrities like Jane Fonda, Mick Jagger, and David Cassidy, —just to name a few. In fact, more people today remember their hairstyles more than their other contributions in pop culture. After all, the hair is undeniably eye-catchy, youthful cut.
The length of the old-school shag cuts, back in its heydays hits between the collarbone and chest. Back in those days, it’s seriously the sexiest hairstyle to flatter most face shapes. Think David Cassidy, John Travolta, Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, down to Jennifer Aniston! If you are a 70’s, 80’s or early 90’s kid, you’ve seen this feathered coiffures worn by your aunts, uncles, and even your parents! Both Winona Ryder and Meg Ryan had shown that shag haircut is not only for long hair.
The Original Shag, —From Chrissie Hynde.
At the same time, the birth of a new raw and primitive sound called punk rock filled every ’70s & 80s teen’s memory, the punk shag was born. No one sports the ‘shag’ oh-so-well than the original unabashed rock and roll star Chrissie Hynde. The choppy bangs and shoulder-grazing shag haircut became a household name in the beauty industry after her. It was a sensational hairstyle that created more descendants in the following decades.
From Debbie Harry, Jennifer Aniston To Meg: 80s And 90’s Shag
In the 1980s, Blondie’s lead artist Debbie Harry gave the shag haircut a romantic, punk makeover. Her iconic wild teasing and bleach blonde shag was an ‘It Girl’ style that many girls in the 80s copied. The 70s feathers and 80s chops ended and made another different style with Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’ shag in the mid-90s.
Now that we are in 2018, we’ve seen the future of hairstyles in the continuous trends of pastel and platinum hues. Yet, in terms of cuts, what makes the most remarkable of-the-moment look is a throwback. Nowadays, it’s hard not to notice the increasing popularity of less sleek and less smooth hairstyles. The shag cut certainly made its mark through the decades, and isn’t it great that we are back on this sweet, low-maintenance trend?
The Best Shag-Inspo Styles You Should Try
The shag has pretty much adapted to current trends beautifully. So, if you’re thinking of an effortless style while growing your hair, the shag cut is a perfect choice. Wispy bangs, a center part, and the cropped layers, —this badass neighbor to the lob is undeniably cool! Inspired by the celebrity takes on the cut, we’ve rounded up our favorite picks of the best shag cuts. Keep scrolling to see now’s shag-i-licous styles borrowed from three decades back!
The Shaggy Mullet – Jane Fonda-inspired
Does helmet hair make you feel ‘heck no’? 70s star Jane Fonda made this helmet shag lookin’ super chic, but how about now? How else best would you give it a modern twist than dressing it up with a platinum color? We are talking about giving it the red tones for a shag with a touch of spice. Or make your shag edgier with silver hues for a beautifully messy, modern twist.
A rocker girl’s unkempt look reflected a shift in cultural and social amelioration, and it works so beautifully! The funky shag style features heavy bangs and an easy air-dried look. This style is great for both thick and fine hair. If you have thin hair, shaggy mullet can make your mane appear thicker with a few adjustments to maintain the volume.
The Shaggy Long Bob With Wavy Side-Swept Bangs
If you are blessed with thick hair, you can rock this shag without a problem. Women with fine hair can also pull this off and maintain it without so much trouble. Although, considering fine hair has tendencies to lose its body, play it smart with the layers to give it proper volume. Layering tricks has now ushered in daring styles that displays a special emphasis.
It doesn’t take a lot to transform a bob into a ‘shag bob’ with just a little help from your trusted hairstylist. It’s sorta messy, as what shag is supposed to look like, but it’s also chic as bobs are. You can also spruce it up with pastel highlights to personalize it. The throwback style still adapts to modern-day styling aspects, but with a subtle nod to shag’s heyday.
Loose Shaggy Curls With Choppy Bangs
Let me just re-iterate this before I continue, there are curlies with thin hair strands, and this curly shag hairstyle is for that hair type. The shag cuts are favorable for fine curls as the haircut leaves the top longer. If you want to capture the exact ‘shag,’ it’s best to keep your hair short to avoid weighing your gorgeous curls down. Also, when applying creamy styling products to give it a fuller body, keep it minimal to retain the natural ‘loose’ appearance.
Boho-Romantic Shag With Long Layered Bangs
Here’s another cool-girl’s perfectly undone look of choice. It’s a great go-to hairstyle when transitioning from a pretty short haircut to a lovely long hair. What gives this shag hairstyle a sweet kiss of vogue, is its chic messy, soft curls draping down past the shoulders. This shag boosts up the volume for fine-haired ladies. Plus primping your newly shag lengths with long bangs adds to the mysterious girl-next-door look.
It doesn’t matter if you’re blonde or brunette, you can wear that messy bed head look without inhibitions. Adding some undertones with this semi-hippie hair is just an option, but doesn’t make the hairdo less attractive without it. If you’re planning to go on a first date, take your hairstyle to the next level with this feminine and absolutely stylish boho-inspired shag!
Short Shaggy Bob, 80s Revival
Alison Brie gave this 80s revival a big shot of swagger, and soon after everyone wants to copy her hairstyle. If you’re done with center-parted, beachy waves, swap it with this cute shag bob! The versatility of this shag bob is super-sweet. You can start with the basic full bangs, and turn it into gorgeous side bangs when it grows long. Either of the two can give the extra bounce. You can also create depth and dimension to your short shag bob by adding chunky highlights.
Flirty Short Shaggy Bob: Meg Ryan-Inspired
Some classic haircuts have incredible stamina to stick around as one of the neat and trendy hairstyles. Does Sally Hershberger ring a bell? It’s that wash-and-wear hairstyle that made Meg Ryan’s character in IQ a style icon and is currently a boss babe haircut today. What makes it fashion-forward is the fact that you can do a lot or nothing with it and will still look sassy cool.
You can style it, leave it carefree or keep it messy. If you’re one of those who struggles with a series of bad hair days, you’d be thrilled to find that this throwback hair is back to keep your stubborn locks versed with the latest trends. Whether you are off for a Friday night party with friends or off for an interview, this flirty cut won’t fail to catch an eye and a smile.
Subtle Ombre Medium Shag
For three decades, celebrities, as well as every woman who wants to look trendy opts for a medium shag. Whatever texture your hair may be, the shag haircut offers possibilities that are right for you. The modern take of this vintage style incorporates messy layers and a subtle ombre. You can play with any pastel hues you want depending on your natural hair color. The hair color easily elevates your look. It creates an overall cool-girl vibe that both the young and the middle-aged women can wear. Soft Brown Blonde Waves or multi-tonal pastel purple, go for it!
Razor Cut Shoulder-Length Shag Bob
Styling-wise, sporting a bob doesn’t need real mastery, but flirting with the idea of having layers and razored edges is something else. The choppy texture amped with frizzy-looking tips fit a wild and carefree attitude. If your trouble is your unmanageable tresses, you might find this hairdo the perfect solution for a voguish makeover.
You can choose short fringe, side-swept bangs, or even asymmetrical bangs. However, the best way to nail the look is using the right tools to shape the edges in a spotless way. The artsy edginess of this shag haircut has been long stereotyped as the ‘bad girls hairstyle.’ If you are into punk rock with a dose of romantic hues, add some auburn streaks to your warm brown hair.
Chocolate Brown Wavy Long Shag: Ashley Simpson-Inspired Look
The singer and actress Ashlee Simpson is best remembered for her sweet, rock-ish super long shag. It’s one of the favorites among teens during the early 2000s. It is the look to copy for women with deep chocolate colored hair. The soft curls and choppy side-swept bangs frame the face and can accentuate a dramatic eyeliner. While the ultra long layers, especially with plenty of coordinating highlights, add to this frenzy feminine charm. If you’re aiming for a carefree hairstyle, you can borrow Ashlee’s iconic shag.
Curly Shag Short Bob
If you have fine natural curls and you don’t know what to do with it’s ‘messy’ look, give it some fresh perspective by shagging it up! You can check out some of the rad new models and low-key fashion influencers on Instagram, they’re rocking this look! You can too! So, leave your curlies alone and stop thinking of a drastic move to tame it if there’s a style that embraces its charm. Try a gorgeous shag short bob! Tousled curls look incredibly charming, easy to manage, and low-maintenance.
Flirty, Shaggy Angled Bob (For Thick-Haired Ladies)
An angled bob just made messier. Check Scarlette Johansson’s shag angled bob, apart from her previously mullet shag with razor spliced ends. What’s different about it? It’s basically taking advantage of thick locks by adding heavy layering to this shaggy cut. It’s still a cute shag hairdo without needing to achieve a perfect coif. It already looks amazing with all the layering. You only need to add some shiny finish to it to make it look hydrated.
Modern-Day Medium-Length Shag: Julianne Hough-Inspired Cut
The unrelenting reality after you had a short-hair makeover is what to do with it when it starts to grow out. How would you deal with an awkward stage hair, let your hair grow longer or go back to your hairstylist? Many went nuts over Julianne Hough’ cool shag after her photos of were posted on Instagram with the hashtag #moderndayshag. Her new hairstyle certainly proves that the coolest way to grow out a bobbed hair is to get a shag. The striking layers with great movement are an absolute trendsetter!
The Modern Gypsy Shag With Salmon Sushi Balayage
A gypsy shag is a free-spirited, a little rebellious, and sexy take on a layered cut. If you want to channel a look similar to the original gypsy shag in the 70s, more layers make for a better look than just a few. You can take inspiration from the wild and gypsy-esque hairstyle of Stevie Nicks. The gypsy shag hairstyle is best for thick hair, albeit more volume is needed if you have fine hair.
For a modern twist, you can trade out your side-swept bangs for a blunt yet texturized style. You may also chunk some hair color techniques without minding the roots. Adding salmon pink highlights and lowlights help give more illusion of fuller hair, plus it creates the more feminine, yet daring look.
Check other styles below, wear it proud and crazy or simply sleek and join the hair shag revolution!