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There are certain haircuts I’ll just never be brave enough to ask for. Among them are the classic bob and a pixie cut but there's also the shag. I’ve long admired the ‘70s-inspired, cool girl cut — beloved by the likes of Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus — for its short, choppy layers, natural texture and exaggerated volume. But the thought of adding loads of wispy layers to my already quite fine and damaged hair always seemed like a recipe for disaster.
So when I heard about the trending 'Sachel' haircut, dreamt up by BaByliss ambassador and session stylist Syd Hayes, it piqued my interest. As the name suggests, the Sachel is a cross between the shag and The Rachel — the iconic, shoulder-skimming ‘90s cut — with longer, more polished layers and a subtle, face-framing fringe.
Not only is it a convenient cut for anyone trying to grow out their shag, it’s also the perfect option for someone (me) who isn't bold enough for a full head of layers but still wants bangs and a bit more texture for autumn and winter. The more I swiped through images of the cut online, like this one from hairstylist Sal Salcedo, the more I wanted in.
Whenever I’ve had my hair cut in recent years, I’ve asked for the same style: a long side fringe and blunt ends, with as little length taken off as possible since my hair grows at a snail’s pace. It’s a failsafe cut that’s easy to maintain with my fine, wavy hair.
I’ve tended to shy away from too many layers because of my active lifestyle and penchant for a high ponytail (sweaty hair stuck to my face during workouts is a no-no). Plus, I’m low maintenance and lazy when it comes to my hair. I shampoo, condition and leave it to air-dry. I might straighten the ends if I’m going out but if I'm honest, I don’t always use heat protection.
Unsurprisingly, then, my hair was dry, brittle and breaking at the ends, meaning some bits were longer than others. On top of that, it was flat, possibly caused by a buildup of products that likely weren’t the right ones to begin with. Clearly, my hair needed some TLC.
The volume and low-maintenance vibe of the Sachel was what appealed most but I was nervous about how much styling it might require. Luckily, when I arrived at Blue Tit’s Clapton salon, my hairstylist Harley allayed my fears. "It’s easy to style yourself — you should be able to just get up in the morning and put a bit of salt spray and wax in it to get that texture. It’s quite a low-maintenance haircut."
As well as being a great option for anyone trying to grow out their shag or mullet, Harley also said the Sachel was perfectly suited to my hair type. "It’s best for people with fine to medium hair rather than thicker hair because you want that texture and more body at the root."
To begin, Harley sprayed OWAY Thermo-Detangling Cloud to untangle my hair before sectioning it off to add the layers. To do this, he elevated the sections above my head at 90 degrees to create the soft, '90s texture that the Sachel is all about and retain a lot of the weight at the bottom. Next, he took off an inch or two from the ends because I didn’t want to lose too much of my slow-growing hair.
Then it was on to the styling. Harley used OWAY Bodifying Hair Renewer spray (for "thin and stressed hair") to create fullness and volume at the roots, followed by OWAY Sublime Hair Milk to eliminate frizz. He blow-dried my hair using a barrel brush to create a glossy finish but reassured me that leaving the Sachel to air-dry would be fine, too, as it’s a cut that looks great "dishevelled", with a more natural finish. Lastly, he added some loose waves with a tong to enhance the layers, holding them in place with OWAY Molding Mist, a hairspray that still allows for some natural bounce.
The Sachel is a low-maintenance cut to style at home but Harley recommends using a round brush where possible to create body. "The haircut is meant to have texture but it doesn’t need to be perfectly styled so it’s quite easy to do it at home yourself." If you want to make it slightly more glamorous, like we did, you can use a tong, a wand or straighteners to create a bend in the hair.
Saying that, Harley advises against trying to make the Sachel look "too perfect". "It’s not that sort of haircut. You don’t want it to look flat." If I'm going to use just one product to style it myself, he recommends OWAY Volume & Texture Hair Puff, a texturising product with a powdery finish that you use on the root and through the ends to give the hair more volume.
Even after the blow-dry had fallen out and I tried styling it myself, the Sachel looked fresh. It's edgier and more voluminous than my usual cut without being worlds away from it. Thankfully, given my tendency to wear my hair out of my face most days, the layers weren’t so short that they made me look like a pineapple either.
If you're planning to hop on the autumn and winter beauty trend of layered, swooshy hair — whether you’re thinking about curtain bangs or a bitty fringe — ask for the Sachel before everyone else does.