The Best Shag Haircut for Every Hair Length
The shag is an anomaly of a haircut because it works for literally every hair length. While the bob is strictly a haircut that falls between the chin and the shoulders, the shag transcends all hair length categories, from short to super long. You can have what's considered a "pixie" and still have a shag. And, yes, you can also have hair that falls far below your shoulders and have a shag, too.
So if length doesn't define it, what does? "The modern shag is a layered haircut paired with piece-y feathered ends, preferably with a fringed front or bangs," says celebrity hairstylist and R+Co collective member, Ashley Streicher. It also works with most hair textures, though Streicher says it can be a little tricker to style on fine hair.
Besides getting the actual cut down, the second most important thing about a shag is using the right styling products to define the layers and angles that make up the look. She loves texture-boosting formulas like TROPHY Shine + Texture Spray, SAIL Soft Wave Spray, and MANNEQUIN Styling Paste, while the InStyle beauty staff also points to Oribe Flash Form Finishing Spray Wax and OUAI Air Dry Foam.
Now that you have your shopping list under control, keep scrolling to check out 10 of the coolest modern shags to copy right now, from Julia Roberts's fringe-free style, to Emilia Clarke's pixie, and more.
Zendaya's long and curly shag is paired with a set of bangs that draw even more attention to her caramel highlights.
Celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee gave actress Sarah Hyland a bob-length shag haircut with shorter, choppier layers and side-swept bangs.
If you don't want to go full-on '70s, take your shag haircut cue from January Jones. Perfect for lob-length hair, the actress' style includes more subtle layers and shorter curtain bangs.
To get Halle Berry's shag, ask for long, blended angles around the face and wispy, choppy bangs.
Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë Grace Moretz once wore what you'd consider the "true shag" — a mid-length cut complete with long curtain bangs and plenty of choppy layers.
The added bonus of a shag? The hairstyle actually makes exposed roots look even better, so you can go ahead and cancel that salon appointment.
If you have long hair but don't want to lose any length, you can still embrace the shag vibe. Consider Natasha Lyonne's long, curly, voluminous look pure inspo.
Emilia Clarke's shaggy pixie is slightly more asymmetrical than others. With more length left on top, you can push hair to the front for a fringe-like effect, or sweep it all back.
Instead of going for a full bang, Janelle Monáe pushed the top section of her shaggy pixie to the side for an eyebrow-grazing, side-swept fringe effect.
While bangs are a defining factor of the shag, they're not essential. Take it from Julia Roberts, who debuted a lob-length version of the modern shag this year. Ask your stylist for choppier layers and a length that hits just at your shoulders or a little above.