It's the new cool-girl hairstyle that's perfect for embracing your natural hair texture - from short to long, curly to straight we round up shag haircuts to suit everyone
The countdown to salons opening their doors is well and truly on (fingers crossed for 12 April) and our thoughts are turning to the styles we'll be rocking come April 12. According to top stylist Adam Reed, we'll all be asking for a 'shag' haircut. "Soft, tousled and textured haircuts with strong perimeters will be hot on the wish list, with movement and lift," he told us. Characterised by lots of layering, especially around the crown and an outgrown face-framing fringe, the shag is set to be everywhere this summer.
“I’m seeing my clients ask for more layers as well as a huge rise in curly fringes,” says Bradley Deeming, stylist at London hair destination Salon 64 . “This, for me, is the start of the shag revolution.”
And the good news? It’s ideal if you’re fed up of cajoling your hair into styles that don’t work with your natural texture (guilty!) “We’ve had years of flattening hair and changing the natural texture of the hair to achieve looks,” says Craig Clark, associate colour director at London salon Linnaean . “People have simply grown tired of forcing their hair into shapes that don’t really suit their texture and are opting to embrace their natural texture instead. The shag style is having a moment because the cut is customisable and able to be styled on hair of every length and texture.”
The shag hair cut particularly suits curly girls – like Taylor Swift who has been rocking the look since 2017. “A shag cut is great for allowing the client with natural curls the opportunity to wear something different and have a “look” rather than the tendency for a lot of curly haired people to wear their hair just long with some layers,” adds Craig.
“The shag is a great haircut for people with curly or wavy hair because the movement is already there,” agrees stylist Darren Fowler creative director of Fowler 35 . “As long as you have a great hair cut, the shape, movement and texture will all add to a soft feminine, sexy look.”
Having said that, there’s no need to shy away from the shag if you’ve got straight hair; the cut suits most hair types aside from super curly or very fine.
How to style the shag hair cut
The shag is a really easy look to style – ideal if you’re a wash and go kind of girl. “The cut is completely designed around your personal hair texture so no need to battle with heat styling,” says Craig. “A simple diffuse dry will create the perfect shag look.”
Who suits a shag haircut?
“The shag is all about your attitude,' says Gorka Arraras, head of creative at Charles Worthington Salons . “It suits almost any face shape as it’s tailored to suit you.”
Darren agrees, adding: “The shag haircut will suit most face shapes except for someone who has a particularly round face shape as, especially with the fringe, it would cut off half the face and make it look shorter. If you have some hair length or a slightly more angular chin then it definitely works very well.”
Length is key to this look - while Selena and Taylor both wore their shaggy hair cuts around shoulder length, any shorted could be problematic.
“You have to have some length of hair to have a shag haircut and it’s all about the layering,” says Darren. “It’s basically a haircut made up of lots of different layers of different lengths.”
What to ask for
If asking your stylist for a shag makes you feel a bit weird, make sure to go to the salon armed with pictures of the style and ask for a heavily layered cut with choppy sliced ends worn in many different lengths. Add a soft-face framing fringe for the shaggy look – how long you want to wear your fringe depends on your hair type, and if you’re willing to go to battle with it to keep it in submission!
Shag hair cut inspiration
The chin-length shag haircut
Proving that even if your hair is above your shoulders a shag still works - plus giving us all the fringe goals. Who said curly girls couldn't rock a fringe?
The shag / mullet hybrid
Billie Eilish's black and green haircut treads a fine line between modern mullet and shag, but the abundance of layers puts it in shag category - for mullet-inspo, check out Miley Cyrus' 'do .
The long shag haircut
Shorter shag haircuts are likely to be bouncier but long shag cuts are equally stylish. Shorter layers take the weight out of the curls allowing them to spring up into defined coils around the face.
The bleach blonde shag
Taylor has been quietly rocking a shag haircut since her Reputation era in 2017; she has naturally curly hair but shows how you can work with your natural texture with a shag or go against it for a more polished look. Switch your parting about to shake up the style.
The shag with a full fringe
Channel rock and roll vibes by pairing a shag haircut with a full fringe. Wear with liquid eyeliner flicks and a black polo neck for ultimate chic points.
The bobbed shag hair cut
This tousled looks gives us total Ashlee Simpson in 2004 vibes - without all the emo angst. Lightened tips brighten this look up for a 2020 take on the style we all wanted in year nine.
The shag with a heavy fringe
Shags are mostly worn with fluffy fringes, but a gradiated heavy fringe works too - you'll need very thick hair to pull this one off. The heavier the hair the better it will hold in place for this look.
The model-worthy shag
From waist-length braids to natural curls, Zendaya can do no wrong in our eyes but this shag hairstyle might be our favourite. We wouldn't be surprised if this is where Selena got her shag inspiration from...
The rose gold shag
The shag might be an understated, low maintenance look, but that's not to say your colour needs to be. Add a touch of glam to your undone style with a rose gold hue.