THIS Is L.A.’s Raddest New Haircut — & It’s SO Easy To Style

The lob couldn't reign supreme forever. And with the help of an ultra-cool crew of Hollywood trendsetters, rad new models, and low-key L.A. locals, a hot new (but also kind of old) cut is taking the beauty world by storm. Drumroll, please. Let us all embrace the new shag.

"We’ve seen the bob have its major moment over the past few years, and the new shag works for the very same reason — there's something for everyone," Mara Roszak, celeb hairstylist to stars like Emma Stone, Lily Collins, and Zoe Saldana, tells us. "I am such a big fan of this haircut."


Devotees range from the new (Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, Julianne Hough) to the mainstay (Alexa Chung, Freja Beha), along with plenty of chic non-celebs. And while it does have a wonderfully '70s feeling, don't be mistaken — as Roszak points out, it's not the same as the one your mom rocked so effortlessly in pics before you were born. "The more modern shag is more feminine than it’s ever been," she explains. "The layers are more blended and not quite as short, and the length is really up to you."

Styling requires a fresh perspective as well. As eternally cool as the look is, we're the first to admit a highly layered cut like this can be intimidating to coif at home. For a lesson in all things shaggy, we spent a day at Mare, the brand-new salon of Roszak and celeb stylists Alex Polillo and Denis de Souza. Quickly taking the title of L.A.'s trendiest new hair spot, it was the perfect stomping ground for a crash course on the new cut.

Click through our slideshow to learn exactly how to get the new chop, plus the details on styling it in three unique ways.

A quick note on the tees you'll see on the following slides: Just like the modern shag, they're reworked classics, all found at L.A.'s coolest vintage store: the Foxhole.

1 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Day 1: The New Shag

As Roszak points out, the glorious thing about this chop is that it's far from one-size-fits-all. To get a version that's right for you, simply heed her advice.

"With this haircut, it’s really about working with the natural texture and shape of the hair," Roszak says. "You can have long hair or you can have hair above the shoulders — it should be tailored to each person."

That said, the most classic length is somewhere between the collarbone and the chest, although feel free to take that up or down. The bangs should be eyebrow-grazing and slightly longer on the sides.

As for layers, if your hair is wavy or curly, Roszak suggests allowing it to air-dry to show its natural pattern. Then, have your shortest layer hit around eye level. If your hair is straight or very fine, keep the shortest layer near mouth level — that way, it doesn't end up looking like a mullet.

A few more tips from Roszak: Since this cut is heavily reliant upon layering, color should be done post-cut. Also plan to have your bangs trimmed every few weeks; get a maintenance haircut every three months.
2 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
The key to styling the modern shag cut is accentuating the layers and bringing out the natural texture of your hair. The goal is body and movement, with the bulk of the volume focused through the mid-sections.

Start on clean, detangled, towel-dried hair that's been parted either in the middle or slightly off to the side. Grab a can of soft-hold mousse — Roszak prefers Sachajuan's Hair Mousse or Leonor Greyl Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice, both of which work for every texture — and scrunch golf ball-sized dollops into the length, focusing on evenly coating the layers. One dollop on each side should do it on fine to medium-weight hair; thick hair can handle double that.

Tip: If your hair is very thick, dry, curly, or frizzy, feel free to add a few drops of your go-to oil or serum after the mousse to counteract the drying effect. Follow the same strategy and scrunch a small amount into the lengths, but don't brush or comb — you're scrunching for a reason.
3 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Notice Roszak is working the product into Anastasia's layers while cleverly molding her natural waves into place. The goal of this step is to add volume and definition through the layers, which helps to bring out the hair's natural bends, waves, or curls. "The process for putting the mousse in helps to define how the hair will look," Roszak says.

Fret not if you have very straight hair — just keep going through the steps, and you might be surprised how much volume and body you'll get.
4 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
You have two options when it comes to drying: Air-dry or break out a diffuser. Either way, lightly scrunch as you go to add definition. Those with fine and straight hair should not skip this step, as it will add more natural bends and volume.

If you take the diffuser route, pick the lowest speed and highest heat and be strategic, diffusing each section after you've molded it with your hands. Scrunch, then dry from the bottom, treating the diffuser a bit like a basket. Stop when the length of hair is 90% dry; roots can be a tad more damp.

Tip: Most blowdryer models have a corresponding diffuser sold separately that will fit your dryer perfectly — or pick up a universal diffuser, like Solano's version that Roszak is using here.
5 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Now it's time to bust out the old-school Velcro rollers. "These are great to get a little smoothness and more volume," Roszak says. Fine or straight hair can opt for a small size; everyone else should go for medium-width. (A set of many sizes will work, or just hit up your local drugstore.)

Follow the pattern Roszak created here: one for your bangs going forward; two on the crown going backward. Allow hair to fully dry while you do your makeup or get dressed; if you're pressed for time, try a blast of the diffuser to speed things along.
6 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Once hair is dry (and completely cooled, if you used heat), gently pull out the rollers and finger-comb it into place.
7 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
To finish, Roszak cleverly applied two products to lock in the style. "You’re going to use your hairspray for hold, but then also another spray to build texture, like a surf spray," she says. She went for L'Oréal's Elnett hairspray and a mist of beach spray before giving the hair a final scrunch.

If at this point your hair has either not gained the volume and texture you desire, or it's gained too much texture or curl, you can break out a curling wand and add some definition. Stick to an iron the same size as your natural curls or waves, or if you have straight hair opt for a 1.25-inch for a natural-looking result.

Focus on accentuating movement, waves, or curls by going with the direction of the hair — don't try to reinvent the wheel.
8 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
And you're done! Keep clicking for tips for styling this look on day two.

Vintage tee from the Foxhole.
9 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Day 2: Mini Buns

The prospect of wearing your shag up can be intimidating. Thanks to tons of haphazard layers, even the simplest pony or topknot is a challenge. Sometimes, you got to just embrace the pieces falling out.

Roszak knew exactly what the solution was: double topknots. Start with dry hair that has been styled according to the previous how-to.

Hello, day-two hair!
10 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
To begin, blast dry shampoo or volumizing aerosol hair powder into two sections: all the strands above the ears, then all the hair below them. "Any dry shampoo will work," Roszak says, noting that the point of this move is to soak up oil and lend more grit to hold the style. She used Sachajuan's Volume Powder.
11 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Next, part the hair with the pointy end of a tail comb. The sharpness of the part balances the imperfect style.
12 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
On one side, twist the hair up and away from the part into a classic topknot.
13 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Using a small elastic — Goody's version works well and comes in various sizes for all hair densities — gently secure the base of the first bun. This doesn't need to be tight or perfect, as you'll still be adding pins. Repeat on the other side.

Once both buns are tied off, check their placement. Loosen and move into place as needed, and pull out any loose tendrils.

Optional: For a more romantic take, curl loose tendrils with a small iron.
14 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Once the buns are right where you want them, drive a French pin through the center of each and repeat until it feels secure. Mist your fingers with beach spray and run them over falling-down sections for more definition.

Tip: If your bangs are flat or lackluster, give them a boost by lightly misting with beach spray, setting in a Velcro roller, and adding a little diffused heat. Allow to fully cool before removing.
15 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
And you're done! Don't stress about sections slipping through the day. "Definitely let them fall!" Roszak says. "It's cute."

Keep clicking for our final look...

Vintage tee from the Foxhole; Topshop overalls.
16 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Day 3: '70s Curls

One of the best things about a highly layered cut is the ability to get big curls and lots of volume — no matter your natural texture. Roszak gave Anastasia classic ringlets, then mussed them up (using a unique trick) for a '70s-inspired look perfect for a night out. But the best part? This style works on clean, dry hair and on a day-three 'do!

Foxhole tee
; model's own denim jacket.
17 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Start with dry, detangled hair. If your roots feel oily, hit 'em with dry shampoo before starting.

Selecting the right curling iron has everything to do with your natural hair type and texture. Those with straight to very wavy hair should opt for a three-quarter-inch iron, while those with curly hair should select a half- or quarter-inch iron. (We know this is getting a little technical, but it's actually really worth it.) "If you have curly hair, pick a barrel that matches your curl size and focus on defining each section," Roszak says.

The goal is simple: Curl sections comparable to the size of your iron (a three-quarter-inch iron should curl a three-quarter-inch-wide section) from end to root. Go in alternate directions, either sectioning as you go or working from back to front.
18 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
To ensure each coil sets properly, gently slide the iron out of the ringlet and allow to cool without disturbing it.

Like all the styles in this slideshow, this cut is all about going with the hair, not against it, so respect your hair's natural curl pattern. Allow the lean of the section to dictate the direction of the curl.

Tip: If you have straight hair and you're afraid your locks won't hold a curl, set the sections around your face with hair pins for a more long-lasting hold. That being said, Roszak notes you likely won't need to. "Most hair will take the curl because the iron is so small," she explains.
19 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Repeat on the bangs, making sure you're going in the direction that feels the most natural. If your bangs are stick-straight, curl away from the face.
20 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Allow hair to completely cool, then go in with your hands and muss up the curls by ever-so-gently tugging and shaking apart random sections.
21 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
As you pull, you might want to build additional volume. To do so, grab a random section, hold the end with one hand, and softly run two fingers up the shaft. This will create lived-in texture and fullness.
22 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
To finish, carefully tease the sections on the crown by backcombing just the roots. Flip over your head, and shake out the rest of the curls before finger-combing into place. Mist with a very firm-hold hairspray — Roszak used Aveda's Pure Abundance Volumizing Hair Spray, but warns to be careful. "It's really strong," she says.
23 of 24
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
You're done! Three perfectly imperfect ways to wear the new shag cut.

Which is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.
24 of 24
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Load more...