39 Ways to Wear the Shag Haircut, ’Cause It’s Just That Versatile

Eunice Lucero | 23 June 2017
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We’re feeling all shagadelic! Shag hairstyles, a.k.a. last year’s sleeper hit, are now more nuanced than ever.

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

ANDROGYNOUS

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.

grungy pony shag haircut
Very rocker-chic. Photo credit: indigitalimages

1. Grungy Pony

A flippy bang and lengths long enough to tie back into a careless ponytail give this interpretation a bad-girl feel.

rounded curls shag haircut
We adore this diplomatic, wear-anywhere cut. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

see through bangs shag haircut
This laid-back option is great for everyday. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

sleek bob shag haircut
Fine hair gets a boost with a fringe and some side layers. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Sleek Bob

On the flip side, amp up fine hair with a brow-hitting fringe and soft jaw-hugging layers at the ends.

short flippy shag haircut
An overall relaxed feel is what this look conveys. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

blown out shag haircut
A sleek, shiny shag is a stylish look for the office. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

blunt bang shag haircut
Keep the ends slightly flippy for more visual interest. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

helmet shag haircut
Don’t be spooked by the vintagey cut. Texture lends it a modern touch. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

thick wavy shag haircut
Lush, wavy hair is a prime candidate for an enviable shag. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

CURLY

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.

crimped curls shag haircut
A bit of a tighter wave lends a neater feel to this shag. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

cherubic shag haircut
In love with these strong spirals! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Cherubic

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.

air-dried shag haircut
A tiny bit of frizz loosens up this curly hairstyle. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

12. Air-Dried Curls

Naturally dried texture elevates a soft, medium-length shag, not to mention gives this full fringe some dimension.

moist finish shag haircut
Shiny and rounded, with a pretty texture to match. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

rough and rounded shag haircut
The slightly fuzzy look is a grittier take. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

loose corkscrews shag haircut
This oh-so-flirty shag gets added appeal from the light fringe. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

full and imprecise shag haircut
Wear with a pout for the full effect. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

curly lob shag haircut
It doesn’t get more charming or wholesome than this. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

PUNKY

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.

micro fringed shag haircut
A baby bang is one of today’s hottest trends. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

unicorn shag haircut
Equal parts fairy pixie and downtown rocker. Photo courtesy of Renée Valerie

19. Unicorn

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.

choppy mullet shag haircut
If you’re gonna go full shag, get all the details right.

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.

wet look shag haircut
A shag’s answer to the slick-back. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

rounded mullet
A strongly layered tail can be left down or tied up. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

pure platinum shag haircut
Have a purple shampoo handy to keep your color on-point. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

silver and rose gold shag haircut
This look is the prettiest take on silver we’ve seen thus far. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

beachy textured shag haircut
Beachy waves update the entire aesthetic. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

25. Beachy Texture

Subtle crimping and a slightly damp finish give this bleached blonde shag haircut a surf-to-turf appeal.

choppy bangs shag haircut
Focus the airflow on the crown when blow-drying to create more lift. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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!

rounded bang shag haircut
Some tiny level of static is enough punk for this look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

dual textured shag haircut
Wet and dry… get a haircut that can do both. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

28. Dual-Textured

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.

color block shag haircut
A sideways ombré is quietly subversive, just the way we like it. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

SWEET

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.

curtained bob
Classy and fuss-free. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

wispy shag haircut
This flippy ash blonde cut is a popular choice for street-style stars. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

monotone blonde shag haircut
Lemon yellow gets the pared-down treatment with delicate layering. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

bronde ombre shag haircut
The molten feel of this color is both luxe and aspirational. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

silver lob shag haircut
The curtain bangs punctuate the entire look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

platinum curtained shag haircut
All the layers in this look are exactly where they need to be. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

shoulder length with light bangs shag haircut
A stringy fringe is a cute, trending update. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

simple lob shag haircut
A thicker wave gives heft to this hairdo. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

stringy highlighted shag haircut
Use your fingers to point-style the sides and ends. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

full flippy shag haircut
A blunt bang offsets the lightness of the ends.

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.

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