Ask The Experts...What is a Shag Cut? March 28, 2019 13:42

The Shag Haircut... a retro casual cool

When you think about the shag haircut, you might immediately associate it with rock n roll. It is casual, somewhat messy, and eminently cool, immediately bringing to mind images of famous musicians such as Joan Jett and Mick Jagger.

However, the shag haircut isn't relegated simply to the category of musicians – it's an extremely versatile and on trend hairstyle that can be worn in a number of different ways and with a huge variety of hair texture.

 The shag hairstyle is based on the graduated bob, whereby the hair is combed closely to the scalp. It was created by the barber Paul McGregor, (he created it for Jane Fonda for the movie Klute) and it features a series of layers that are often feathered on the top to create an illusion of volume.

While the hair is pretty full around the crown, it thins off around the edges and towards the fringe. What's interesting to note is that at its conception, the shag hairstyle was designed to be entirely unisex and has been worn by celebrities of both genders ever since. In the 70s it was adopted by the likes of Joan Jett and Rod Steward, and it became a popular 90s hairstyle after Jennifer Aniston wore a variation of it in Friends, earning it the moniker "the Rachel" hairstyle.

The shag haircut isn't a static hairstyle – it comes in many forms and variations depending on the tastes and proclivities of the wearer. Because the shag hairstyle is more about textures and layers, it tends to work well regardless of the length of the wearer's hair. For that reason, there are a number of different short shag haircuts to suit face-framing androgynous looks, as well as all kinds of rock-inspired long shag hairstyles.

Short shag haircuts are usually the retro type ones you often see in vintage music videos – they're airy, voluminous and rarely touch the shoulder, if at all. Long shag hairstyles, on the other hand, can easily descend past the shoulders while still retaining that choppy, messy look that the wearers usually love.

They work just as well with bangs as without, and are adaptable to both curly or straight hairstyles, thick hair or thin. As you can probably tell, the great thing about the shag hairstyle is that it's completely versatile: choose how you are feeling in the morning and style it to your taste.