Who doesn’t love a rockin’ shag haircut? This once-iconic hairstyle has seen quite the fashion resurgence in recent seasons. For better or worse, designers and stylists alike have recycled this look from the ’80s in all its punk-rock glory, and have updated it to feature more wearable details, such as a softer, more luscious curl, fuller bangs and subtler layers. The result—yes, you can take your eyerolls back now—is a fresh, slightly French-girl feel that’s both avant-garde and even slightly sweet.
So what are we saying? It’s official: Shag haircuts are back, unironically—and from the looks of it, are here to stay. And just in case you were still (understandably, perhaps traumatically?) on the fence about this hot microtrend, we put together a super-duper comprehensive list of the most definitive shag hairstyles we found on the runways, to show how the look can work with different tastes. Scroll on to see which aesthetic is up your alley:
39 Shaggy Hairstyles for Every Kinda Gal
Key styling product: Bed Head by TIGI Stick
If you’re more of a ’90s gal, a.k.a. the era the gender-bender theme hit it big, then consider this iteration of short shag hairstyles. They’re slightly rough-and-tumble, artfully tousled to denote a certain imperfection; anything too much was just, well, too much. This was the decade of minimalism, after all, and air-dried hair that looked just a few hours out of the shower (or 20 minutes out of bed, your choice) was what earned a second look. Finger-styled texture and lengths that blurred the line between traditionally feminine and masculine are hallmarks of this style. Teamed with barely-there makeup via nude lip balm, a few dabs of texturizing wax and a grungy cool outfit, and you’ve just hit your best throwback yet.
1. Grungy Pony
A flippy bang and lengths long enough to tie back into a careless ponytail give this interpretation a bad-girl feel.
2. Rounded Curls
Blessed with curls? Ask your stylist for a softly rounded shape. Wear with a diffused middle part for more devil-may-care authenticity.
3. See-Through Bangs
Back in the day, we all had a pretty laid-back attitude about our fringe. Emulate this chill with a loose, wavy shag haircut with a light bang hitting right at the eye.
4. Sleek Bob
On the flip side, amp up fine hair with a brow-hitting fringe and soft jaw-hugging layers at the ends.
5. Short and Flippy
Can you say trés cool? This quietly confident look features a bobbed length and shaggy layers cut throughout the silhouette for more swing and body.
6. Blown Out
A straight-haired version of the see-through bang, this cut includes some beveled layering at the sides and back, with a long fringe. Style by blow-drying with a paddle brush for a smooth, non-puffy effect.
7. Blunt Bang
Or: how air-drying can look really chic on a good haircut. Loosely textured layers keep the striking fringe from looking over-the-top.
8. Helmet Shag
The iconic shag shape can still work today—with a few upgrades, of course. A shorter step between layers, as well as a natural texture that can work either as a feathered or curled look, ensures you’re not veering into backwater territories.
9. Thick Waves
A true wash-and-wear look if we’ve ever seen one, this haircut is ideal for those whose routines consist of showering and not much else. The hair’s natural texture is left to shine on its own, with little other than a center part providing the sex appeal.
Key styling product: Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Curl Defining Soft Touch Curls Mousse
Maybe it’s the fact that these looks remind us of a modern femme fatale, but there’s certainly a French ingénue vibe going on here we can’t dismiss. Curly shaggy hairstyles see the grunge in the equation and raise it to a level of insouciance—it’s a lot of hair, alright, and worn more often than not with an equally springy fringe, it also means a lot of look, and a whole lot of style. It’s a luscious, continental twist on a once-cheesy haircut, and is oftentimes the best accessory to an already-devastatingly cool outfit. Scrunch in some mousse after washing, recreate that healthy je ne sais quoi flush and watch your Parisian charm increase by the second.
10. Crimped Curls
This longish, precisely cut look is one that works impeccably with its texture. The diffused curls seem light and manageable, and the fringe area is understated yet unique.
Good girl with a past? Perhaps. There’s no way to tell, so we’re just assuming this invitingly springy, innocently sexy shag belongs to an equally complex individual. Tip: We’d totally wear this with winged liner and whisper-thin hoops this season.
12. Air-Dried Curls
Naturally dried texture elevates a soft, medium-length shag, not to mention gives this full fringe some dimension.
13. Moist Finish
Blow-drying with a diffuser—who on earth has time for that? Embrace the shower-fresh dampness (with a bit of mousse, of course, since you’re not that crazy) for a youthful, squeaky-clean feel.
14. Rough and Rounded
If you’re big on kinkier textures, this saltier version might work for you. A sea salt spray helps give your curls a matte finish, as well as provide a bit of chunkiness to the overall rounded cut.
15. Loose Corkscrews
Soften up those curls after applying product by raking your fingers through—this results in a separated ringlet, but still with some polish and control.
16. Full and Imprecise
All hail the mophead! This shag features an almost imperceptible transition from the bang to layer area, which is great for those with sparser curls who wish to emulate some fullness and roundness.
17. Curly Lob
We love this wearable shag that takes its cues from the long bob, particularly when paired with a sweet little bang for more interest.
Key styling product: Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator
Short shag haircuts come into their unapologetic own under this category, where high-contrast, high-octane details reign supreme. Whether in the form of subversive, show-stopping hues or a style that closely resembles, dare we say it, the much-maligned mullet, these variations have the shag coming home to its punk-rock roots. The trick to keeping things still decidedly on-trend (and not hopelessly outdated, like you spent the last 35 years in a bunker) is to go full throttle with color. Platinum and jet black get top honors in rocker-chic, especially with the fashion hardware to match, while alternative shades and chunky ombrés prove that you can merge today’s cutesy viral trends with some razor-sharp—and refreshingly directional—edge.
18. Micro Fringed
How to make today’s mullet seem like you didn’t just gave up on life? Update it with a baby bang. A choppy micro fringe, together with wispy side layers, are best worn with a shorter length, textured as much as you can take it.
Flip the script on pretty mermaid color by going back to its standout core ethics. There’s no way you won’t get noticed with this look, so make it worth everyone’s while and amp up the texture at the root while you’re at it.
20. Choppy Mullet
This undisputable early ’80s throwback gets an A for detail: Everything from the buzzed cowlick area to the two-toned wisps is spot-on Hair Rocker uniform.
21. Wet-Look Shag
Show off a true jet-black shade with a wet finish. Apply the product in a downward motion from your crown, and mat any leftovers onto the ends, finger-styling for more shaggy separation.
22. Rounded Mullet
Not all mullets have to have a biker aesthetic. This crisper version features a clean, blown-out crown and loosely swingy ends that you can tie up or leave down as the occasion sees fit.
23. Pure Platinum
Make a statement while still keeping a more manageable silhouette with a pure white blonde. Disclaimer: A shag will have your ends on display, so go for regular trims to make sure constant bleaching doesn’t get the best of your locks.
24. Silver and Rose Gold
Want a quitter take on bright white? Choose a silvery shade with some rose gold babylights, which, when worn with a baby bang and a lobbed length, gives a new meaning to pretty in punk.
25. Beachy Texture
Subtle crimping and a slightly damp finish give this bleached blonde shag haircut a surf-to-turf appeal.
26. Choppy Bangs
A full crown area gets broken up with some point-cutting at the fringe and temples. Points for a multi-tonal blonde shade!
27. Rounded Bang
A crescent-moon fringe—a big trend in the ’70s—features longer layers at the temples, which give this shag a more flattering silhouette.
No need for loud color to get the point across—that point being you’re clearly a rule-maker, wearing a wet-and-dry look not many can get away with. Moistened, stringy curls are only even more emphasized with a full, puffy bang.
29. Color-Block Crown
Fans of the ombré look can get behind this understatedly edgy version of the shag haircut, which features a distinct two-toned crown in natural brown hues.
Key styling product: TRESemmé Repair and Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray
The heroine doesn’t always have to have tower-length hair to win our hearts. These pretty, more feminized varieties keep the shag’s inherent moxie, while smoothing out its rough edges for a look that’s still within the realm of fashionably daring, without ever veering into campy territories. Sophisticated and even somewhat uptown—that middle-parted bang, quintessential—these short, shaggy hairstyles are sleek and quietly layered, echoing the chic, jet-setting refinement of the wearer. Muted neutrals, dusty eyeliner and an overall simple elegance also provide some synchronicity to this grownup look.
30. Curtained Bob
Mimic the fresh swing and bounce of a freshly washed bob by lightly blow-drying hair and splitting your fringe in two. Leave those subtle layers product free to maintain that airy vibe.
31. Wispy Shag
A curtained fringe that hits just at the cheekbones is sultry without being vulgar, and this haircut blends it artfully with the rest of its layers.
32. Sunny Blonde
A bright yellow blonde is summery by all counts; the subtle razoring at the fringe and side layers is what keeps this looking expensive.
33. Bronde Ombré
Given the right level of smudging near the break, ombré can definitely look natural on shorter lengths, just like with this shiny ash brown version.
34. Silver Lob
A glossy silver-white blonde gives personality to a simpler shag haircut, while providing fans of the granny hair trend with a sleeker color option.
35. Platinum and Curtained
This crisp, impeccably cut shag can be recreated by asking for long, cheekbone-length bangs, and layers that brush the collarbone. The pristine blonde also ups the style quotient of this hairstyle.
36. Shoulder-Length with Light Bangs
Another style with a definite air-dried quality (but on straight hair), this look utilizes the see-through fringe trend to give this playful look an easygoing charm.
37. Simple Shaggy Lob
This clean-cut version has an almost ecclesiastical, Old World bent, while the rumple on the bang area gives it a more modern touch.
38. Stringy and Highlighted
Uptown meets downtown in this more texturized version, which relies on a tag team of strategic lowlights and some product to provide added oomph. Finish the look by tucking the sides behind your ears, but leaving the sideburns loose.
39. Full with Flippy Layers
A full, no-nonsense fringe is the perfect foil for the flippy ends of this look, which can be upstyled in a chic bun or blown out for more polish.
Looking for more on the shag? Check out how to master the look.