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 haircut. I’ve long admired the ‘70s-inspired 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.
What is the 'Sachel' haircut?
So when I heard about the trending 'Sachel' haircut, dreamt up by Babyliss ambassador and 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 fall and winter. The more I swiped through images of the cut online, like this one from hairstylist Sal Salcedo, the more I wanted in.
Who's a good candidate?
Whenever I cut my hair, I ask 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 texture. I tend 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; 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.
Prior to my fall haircut, my ends felt dry, brittle, some strands were longer than others. On top of that, it was flat, possibly caused by product buildup. So, my hair definitely needed some TLC. The volume and low-maintenance vibe of the Sachel appealed to me, but I was nervous about how much styling it might require. Luckily, when I arrived at Blue Tit’s Clapton Salon, my hairstylist Harley made me feel better. "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."
The Sachel is a great option for anyone trying to grow out a shag or mullet. Harley also said the Sachel is 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."
How is it cut and styled?
To begin, Harley sprayed detangling mist through 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, while still retaining a lot of the weight at the bottom. He only 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 a volumizing spray (for "thin and stressed hair") to create fullness and volume at the roots, followed by a 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. It’s a cut that looks great "disheveled" with a more natural finish, he says. Lastly, he added some loose waves with a barrel iron to enhance the layers, spraying them in place with a lightweight hairspray that still allows for some natural bounce.
The Sachel is a low-maintenance cut to style, but Harley recommends using a round brush 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," he says. If you want to make it slightly more glamorous, like we did, you can use an iron or straightener to create a bend in the hair.
That said, Harley advises against trying to make the Sachel look "too perfect". "It’s not that sort of haircut," he says. "You don’t want it to look flat." If I'm going to use just one product to style it myself, Harley recommends a texturizing product with a powdery finish that you use on the root and through the ends to give the hair more volume. [Editor's Note: The Dry Shampoo Brush by Violette_FR would be a good choice.]
The final result
After the blow dry had fallen out and I tried styling it myself, the Sachel still 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 looking for layered, swooshy hair — that's not curtain bangs or a bitty fringe — make the Sachel your fall haircut.
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.
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