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How To Style Shag Haircut. Photo KnowInsiders

Modern shag haircuts add your look a stylish edgy twist moving your hairstyles to the next level. A shag is fantastic in any length: short shaggy hairstyles are extremely sassy and sexy, with a medium shag haircut you are easily getting on-trend disheveled styles, while long shag haircuts are famous for their incredible all-over layers. Shags are equally good on fine and thick, curly and straight hair.

Shag haircuts for fine hair boost volume, and curly shag haircuts are great to settle recalcitrant frizz. And don’t forget to view the latest shaggy bob haircuts, if you don’t mind to surprise your good old bob with a modern quirk!

What is a shag haircut?

How To Style Shag Haircut In New Ways
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Originally created by barber Paul McGregor, the shag traditionally consists of layers that are feathered at the top and sides, making the hair full around the crown and thinner around the edges and throughout the ends.

“The shag is ideal for medium to thick hair types and straight, wavy or curly hair. It’s a cut for all lifestyles, but if you’re a tousle and go type, this cut is perfect for you. It’s low-maintenance and really shows off the natural texture of the hair. It’s perfect to style with a little volume mousse, let air dry or diffuse with a blow dryer. Because of its face-framing layers, it really accentuates the woman’s face,” explains Rachel.

Will a shag work on the fine hair?

If you have finer hair, DiFolco says the shag haircut is actually great for you. “I would absolutely recommend a shag to anyone with fine hair,” she says. Sometimes people with fine hair worry about “losing too much weight or volume from their hair, but fine hair can still be weighed down and that’s why it tends to hang and feel limp and lifeless.” The beauty of this layered style, says DiFolco, is that it works for everyone.

How to choose a shag haircut shape?

While the shag notoriously works for every hair type, that doesn’t mean that everyone should get the same exact cut. Today’s shag can have ’70s face-framing curtain bangs like Billie Eilish’s hair that broke the internet), a full fringe like Miley Cyrus’s current look, or go more dramatic and tow the line between a shag and mullet like Barbie Ferreira or Rihanna (or Miley earlier this year).

The best style for your hair and face shape is up to personal taste and how much change you’re willing to make. Wherever the bangs or layers land will direct the most attention to your face. If you’re still unsure, this is something your hairdresser can help you out with. “The key is to create each design specifically to each individual's hair texture, density, and wave pattern,” DiFolco told NYLON. Obviously, the longer the layers, the less dramatic the look and the easier it is to grow out, if you don’t end up falling in love with the new cut.

What are the key things to consider when cutting a shag?

1. Consultation

Since the shag has so many layers, it removes a lot of weight out of the hair and can catch a client off guard. “I feel that it is super important to always have a consultation first so the client fully understands the haircut and is not alarmed when they see so much hair being removed,” shares Rachel. “It can be shocking to women who are used to one length and long hair.”

2. Texture

Rachel approaches a shag cut differently depending on the client’s texture. It is important to take into consideration the client’s natural texture as well as how the client wears their hair 90 percent or more of the time. When cutting hair that is naturally straight, Rachel performs the entire cut wet and then details when it is dry. For hair that is wavy or curly, she prefers to cut the hair dry in its natural state in order to really customize and cater to the texture so it is easy to maintain and style.

3. Density

The shag haircut works on all density levels. However, a lot of people tend to mix up fine hair and thin hair. “I will never recommend a shag for thin hair because it is such a layered cut that it will take out too much weight and look like a mullet,” notes Rachel.

4. Length

Rachel likes to establish her client’s desired length first because it will be her guide to the rest of the cut. “Start with the hair below the occipital bone and hold the section straight out to 90 degrees. Cut your desired length and establish your perimeter. This will be your guide for the rest of your cut,” explains Rachel.

READ MORE: Simpliest Ways To Style Long Hair For Men 2022

How to style shag haircut

Short Shag Haircut

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Photo Pinterest

A shag haircut is a great way to add volume and texture to your short hair. The style is also known as a shaggy bob and has a timelessly chic vibe while still maintaining an edgy feel. A short shag haircut can be adapted to suit most face shapes, depending on the length of the bob haircut, the placement of the layers, and whether you add a fringe.

Long Shag Haircut

While the classic shag haircut is usually seen on medium-length hair, long-haired ladies can also rock the layered look. The layers add movement and dimension while taking some of the weight out, making a long shag haircut ideal for those with thicker hair. At the same time, the front layers will frame your face beautifully, so it doesn’t get lost in the ‘mass’ of your hair.

Medium Shag Haircut

Medium-length hair is classically suited to the shag haircut as all the layers frame and flatter your face. Low-maintenance and effortlessly cool, a medium shag haircut suits almost every face shape. Plus, it’s a versatile choice as it works for different hair types. Straight, fine hair in particular benefits from the added texture, volume, and movement of a shag – add a spritz of sea salt spray to give it that chic ‘undone’ finish.

Modern Shag Haircut

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Photo Pinterest

The modern shag haircut is a little more wearable than the classic ’70s version. It incorporates the shag’s signature choppy layers and fullness at the crown but is often cut with a razor to achieve a softer, more feminine vibe. Your stylist will also shape the cut so that it frames your face and balances out your features. The result is a fresh, youthful, and effortlessly chic haircut that can take you from day to night without any styling required.

Wavy Shag Haircut

One of the coolest styles for women is the wavy shag haircut. If your style leans more toward the retro, rock’n’roll side, or you’re just looking for the perfect cut for summer, move the wavy shag haircut to the top of your list. It is ideal for those with naturally wavy hair who want a low-maintenance and laidback look that’s still stylish and sexy. Whether your hair is short, medium-length, or long, this layered cut will flatter you.

Curly Shag Haircut

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Photo Pinterest

The shag haircut is not just for straight-haired ladies – it also looks great on a full head of bouncy curls! If you’re a fan of the ‘70s look, a curly shag is an excellent option for you. While the layers are less visible than on straight or wavy hair, they will provide your curls with more movement and direction. At the same time, the shag haircut gives the hair more shape while taking out some of the ‘weight’ of the hair, so the curls don’t look like one ‘mass.’ Choose a hairdresser who specializes in cutting curly hair for the best results.

70s Shag Haircut

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Photo Pinterest

Step back in time with a ’70s shag haircut! It has a slightly more masculine feel than the modern shag haircut, as well as having more volume at the crown and less in the ends. Ideal for ladies who love a cool, androgynous look, a ’70s shag has a relaxed vibe and a retro appeal. Plus, if you’re a fan of fashion inspired by this decade, you can complete your look with an era-appropriate hairstyle.

Shag Haircut for Women over 50

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Photo Pinterest

Because of its added volume and texture, a shag haircut can be an excellent choice for women over 50. That is because hair often thins over time, losing some of its body and thickness. At the same time, layers can be cut to frame and flatter the face, shaped to bring out the cheekbones and cover fine lines. Plus, if you are over 50, a shag haircut could recapture your fun memories and refresh your style, as well as revive the cool spirit of the ’70s.

Mushroom Shag

Photo glamour
Photo glamour

Tons of volume on top and thicker bangs make this shag stand apart from the rest. To keep it from looking like a bowl cut, thin out the ends the way Julianne Hough did. Just know that because it requires a lot of styling, it’s one of the more high-maintenance iterations of the shag.

Baby Shag

Photo glamour
Photo glamour

If you want to edge up your look just a little bit, go for a slight shag haircut like Allison Williams’s. Instead of being super choppy, the light layers allow her texture to pop.

Biggest mistakes you can make when cutting a shag

Removing too much weight

“One of the biggest mistakes made when cutting a shag is taking too much weight out of the mid and bottom layers, which can create an outdated mullet. An easy way to prevent this from happening is to leave the section behind the ear out. The hair has less density in that area so it is best to detail that section when the hair is dry and in its natural state. “This section can make or break the way your shag looks and take it from Marsha Brady to modern. We take hair cuts and evolve them by detailing dry and catering to each clients hair type,” explains Rachel.

Detailing on wet hair

“Always detail a shag haircut when the hair is dry because the way the hair lays changes from wet to dry,” recommends Rachel. Don’t remove weight on wet hair because it can be easy to take too much weight out. “It’s always important to detail hair when it’s in its natural state to truly take only the necessary weight out,” says Rachel. “I like to use my ARC™ Scissors™ SYMMETRY 30/2 Reversible Blender on the hair when it is dry to remove weight and texturize the bangs and face-framing layers.” Press play to watch Rachel’s dry detailing techniques in action in the video below!

Best shampoo and conditioner for shag haircuts

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Photo Instagram

Before styling, it all starts with the basics: shampoo and conditioner. “Look for shampoos and conditioners that have a volume-enhancing focus,” says Trygstad. This will make “doing” your hair even easier. The shag is a messy, ’70s-inspired style with lots of layers, so the added volume helps create rock-star texture and fullness so hair doesn’t fall flat.

Once you've washed your hair, “you can change the look with different products, or by either blow-drying [for] some volume or letting [it] dry with your natural texture,” Hernandez said. “[The shag] works really well as a wash-and-go style.” Hernandez sprayed Reverie Mare at the roots for volume—salt spray would improve hair texture—then applied Iles Formula to my bangs and at the ends for moisture.

Next up, bangs: She used a round brush to pull my thick hair straight, then curled the hair away from my face, setting with clips. She set two clips on each side and let the bangs air-dry, then started on zhuzhing the shoulder-length shaggy layers of my hair with her fingers. It would look even better on day two, she said—a huge bonus of having a medium-length shag—and all I had to do was “brush through tangles, [apply] light mist, then spray the Iles Formula to the ends before you twirl and scrunch the [bangs].” The clip method is a time-saver that still creates a nice curtain bang.

For those looking to create some major bang volume, try using rollers instead. “One great way to give the bang a poufy, bouncy texture is by using one Velcro roller,” says Trygstad. “After blow-drying, set the bang by rolling it back, away from the face.” Try one roller per side to keep it even.
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