Strand & Lock

What Does A Shag Haircut Look Like & How Can You Get One?

One of social media’s hottest hair trends, the shag has become quite the phenomenon and is most certainly a good shout if you’re looking to switch up your style.

The shag has evolved somewhat over the years, but one thing’s for sure, the 70s/80s inspired vibe lives on through the modern shaggy layered cut. Giving off a cool, rock-and-roll, casual and effortless look, the shag will be sure to have you looking on point. 

So, what does a shag haircut look like and how can you get one? We’ve broken down the essentials for you below.


What does a shag haircut look like? 

This popular retro inspired hairstyle consists of lots of face-framing layers, combined with a choppy finish, which adds natural volume and texture to your hair, music to the ears of anyone with fine hair. 

This hairstyle is also incredibly versatile and can work on short, medium and long hair, along with being adapted to suit different hair textures, from bone straight through to curly. Another bonus about the shag cut is that it can be tailored to suit different face shapes, there’s a variation for everyone.

A fringe is also a must for the contemporary shag, but you can adapt this to suit your preferences; consider side-swept bangs or curtain bangs.


Short Shag

A short shag will give you a more choppy finish which is perfect for elevating thinner hair.


Medium Shag

A medium shag can help to accentuate the features on round faces with the right amount of face-framing.


Long Shag

A long shag haircut is great for thicker hair and also perfect for those who want to enjoy this edgy style without losing their length. This variation is the most modern take on the shag.  


The top trends for shag haircut

Here are the current top trending variations of the shag haircut.


  • Mullet 

This 70’s-inspired cut truly stands the test of time, remaining a popular choice amongst the style conscious. The mullet has longer hair at the back of the head with shorter layers at the front and crown. This attention-grabbing style has many variations to suit a plethora of hair lengths and types. 

Revived with a modern softness, the mullet shag is ultra-cool, but don’t just take a word for it; the likes of Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira and top model Gigi Hadid among many others have rocked this cool-girl style. 

Woman with a blonde shag haircut

Image Credit – Pinterest


  • Wolf

Wild and free, the wolf cut is a hybrid between the traditional shag and the mullet. 

This look consists of laid-back, tousled hair, made up of short choppy layers at the top and longer layers on the sides and back. On top the hair is full of volume which is then tapered towards the ends, much like a mullet cut, but with a more modern shape. 

You can go for varied lengths from short, or medium length to long, this style suits a variation of different hair types. 

If you’re looking for wolf style inpo, you’ll want to look at the likes of Billie Eilish and Debby Ryan.

Woman with a brown wolf haircut

Image Credit – Pinterest


  • Blonde

Up the ante by going for a blonde hair colour, you’ll instantly be stepping into the “girls with the cool hair” club. 

Have a scroll through Instagram or TikTok for some inspo to help you decide whether to go for a more natural blonde, or to take things to the next level with a standout platinum blonde.  

Billie Eilish with blonde shag haircut

Image Credit – @billieeilish


How to ask for a shag cut

So now you know what a shag hairstyle is, the next important step is knowing what to ask your stylist for. 

Here are some key pointers to share with your stylist to achieve a modern shag haircut –


  • Layers, upon layers

The less is more rule does not apply here. You’ll want your stylist to add lots of layers, these will need to be choppy with shorter, face framing layers on the top and longer tapered layers towards the bottom.


  • Lots of movement 

Having a tousled finish is important for nailing this look, the layers will help you to create natural movement. Your stylist will be able to advise on the best way to create movement for your hair type and length, as this will vary depending on whether you have thick hair or thin hair and your natural hair texture.


  • Textured and casual

Another key element of the shag cut is for it to have an abundance of texture, some will be achieved through your haircut and then you can also use products to build on this. You’ll want your hair to look naturally textured, although you may need to put in some work to achieve this, the goal is for it to look casual and effortless.


  • Bring a picture of what you are envisioning

Type “shag haircut” into Instagram or TikTok and you’ll be flooded with a plethora of hair inspo. Choose your favourite one and take this along to your appointment to help your stylist to visualise exactly what you’re looking for.


How to dry shag hair

Once you have the cut, you’ll of course also need to style it after washing your hair; while natural air-drying is the most ideal option, your hair texture may require some additional work with a hairdryer and some products.

For a curly shag, the diffuser is your best friend. Use this to get right down to the roots, but be sure to adjust your settings to both a low temperature and speed. When it comes to drying the longer strands towards the back of the hair, you can set your diffuser to a higher temperature, but continue with a low speed. After drying the hair, use your fingers to correct your curls. Finally, go back over your hair with the diffuser to fluff the hair out a little.

If your hair is thin to medium thickness, you can achieve natural texture and volume by towel-drying your hair and using a volumising mousse to add some additional depth.

Why not get creative, for example, try blowing the ends out for a more 90s style, or work into a lazy beach wave for straight hair. The possibilities are endless.

We advise speaking to your stylist for additional after-care tips to help you to maintain your shag haircut.


Get a shag haircut at Strand & Lock London

If you’re ready to try out the shag cut for yourself, book in a consultation and our stylists will support you in finding the right style for you, tailored to suit your hair type and face shape.

Check out our services here or get in touch if you have any questions. 

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