For a long time, the shag haircut — a heavily layered cut inspired by the '70s — has been a style reserved for cool models and rock 'n' rollers who can totally pull off bouncy curls, a fringe swinging into their eyelashes, and snakeskin trousers. It's a look you admire in magazines and on Instagram, but can't quite envision on yourself.
That is until now, because the biggest haircut trend of 2020 is a modern take on the shag cut. It infuses soft layers, long fringe, lots of body, and just happens to be super flattering on everyone who tries it, including our own Junior Fashion Editor, Georgia Murray who was inspired to get the cut.
Sal Salcedo, a stylist at LA.'s Nova Arts Salon, tells us the shag style is having a moment because the cut is customisable — able to be styled on hair of every length and texture. "Your stylist should mind your natural texture when cutting your hair in a shag," Salcedo tells us. "A fringe bang with soft framing around the face gives the shaggy kind of look — then you can play with how long you keep your textural layers and your ends."
Ahead, we've rounded up the best shag haircuts from the trendiest salons — all broken down by hair length. So while we may not be able to help you find the perfect vintage snakeskin, infusing some shag into your next haircut will definitely up your cool factor when salons re-open.
A long cut becomes a lot edgier when you add a straight-across fringe
. "It’s a great take for those who love long hair, because you still get cool texture around the face, while preserving the length," explains Shaylee Blatz
, stylist at L.A.'s Nine Zero One Salon
. "A fringe ties the whole look together, giving a modern '70s vibe. The cut combines the softness of Brigitte Bardot’s iconic long, layers, and the movement of Farrah Fawcett epic shag."
A long fringe — skimming down around the eyelashes — works so well here. “I’m noticing people are growing their hair out longer and with a grown-out fringe
, keeping the ends blunt and fuss free," says celebrity stylist Laura Polko
This curly cut is gorgeous because the piece-y fringe spills down the forehead, bouncing around the eyelashes and creating a gorgeous halo effect around the face.
If your hair falls around your shoulders, you can try a shaggy lob
with a fringe to add an infusion of texture around the face. Celebrity stylist Jillian Halouska
says the trend is popular because of its versatility — meaning it's workable on every hair texture. "The mid-length shag cut lends itself to a variety of styles," she explains. "The defining element is the texture, which infuses more layers and softness than the blunt cut that was everywhere last year."
If your hair is fine and curly, Halouska recommends asking your stylist to blur the edges of your hair, softening your cut with long, seamless layers
. Add a wispy fringe and you'll have an edgy-yet-polished style like model Roberta Pecoraro.
If you're not ready to commit to a blunt bang — but still want the shaggy texture — you can try a long curtain fringe, with shorter, internal layers built in around the face. "We're seeing fringe
coming back in a big way," says Franck Izquierdo
, stylist and co-founder of IGK Hair
. "A long fringe with a choppy cut that still gives us texture — the look is kind of French."
If your face is more round in shape, a short, choppy bang is a great way to add a little dimension to your look. Here, the piece-y bang, layered texture, and golden balayage
colour focused at the tips of the hair all work together to frame the face.
Full-bodied curls can be shaped into a shag cut
for a style that reads round and polished, like model Cheyenne Maya Carty
. "Ask your stylist for long-to-medium layers for volume," recommends Mia Emilio, stylist at Devachan Salon
. "If they layers are too short, you'll get a cut that's a complete circle of curls, but longer layers will give that shaggy, messy look."
"I’m loving a short, shaggy cut with bangs right now," says celebrity stylist Jen Atkin
. "The look is all about movement and texture, especially towards the ends and in the fringe. And with styling, less is more — spritzing some salt spray, like Ouai Wave Spray
, and letting it do its thing is best."
A shag bob
should frame the face, falling between the cheekbone and jawline in length. Then the bang can fall anywhere on the forehead, wherever you're comfortable.
"Textured chops are great for girls who want to take their hair super short, but can't commit to a pixie style," says stylist Chaie De Jesus
from LA's Nova Arts Salon.