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

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.

So what are we saying? It’s official: Shag haircuts are back—and from the looks of it, are here to stay. And just in case you were still on the fence about this hot micro-trend, 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:

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.

1. Grungy Pony

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

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

2. Rounded Curls

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

Blessed with curls? Ask your stylist for a softly rounded shape. Wear with a diffused middle part for more devil-may-care authenticity. Shag hairstyles work extremely well on naturally curly strands.

3. See-Through Bangs

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

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

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

On the flip side, amp up fine hair with a brow-hitting fringe and soft jaw-hugging layers at the ends. A style like this is great if you have hair on the thinner side, but still want to try out short shag haircuts.

5. Short and Flippy

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

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

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

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.

Get the perfect blowout style by prepping with Nexxus Weightless Style Smooth & Full Blow Dry Balm. This balm is formulated to speed up the blow-dry process and leave you with silky smooth strands and lots of body.

7. Blunt Bang Shag Hairstyles

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

Air-drying can look really chic on a good haircut. Loosely textured layers keep the striking fringe from looking over the top. A bold fringe like this makes a statement that draws attention to your shag haircut but isn’t too out there.

8. Helmet Shag Haircut

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

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

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

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.

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.

10. Crimped Curls

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

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.

11. Cherubic Shag Cut

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

Good girl with a past? Perhaps. There’s no way to tell, so we’re just assuming this invitingly springy, innocently sultry shag cut 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

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

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

Pump up the curls with some Suave Luscious Curls Curl Defining Cream. Work this product into damp or dry hair to reveal bounce and definition in your curls.

13. Moist Finish

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

Blow-drying with a diffuser—who on earth has time for that? Embrace the shower-fresh dampness (with a bit of mousse, of course) for a youthful, squeaky-clean feel.

14. Rougher and Rounded

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

If you’re big on coily textures, this very ’90s 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 Shag Hairstyles

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

Soften up those curls after applying the product by raking your fingers through—this results in a separated ringlet, but still with some polish and control.

16. Full and Imprecise

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

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

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

We love this wearable shag that takes its cues from the long bob, particularly when paired with a sweet little bang for more interest.

Short shag haircuts come into their unapologetic own under this category, where high-contrast, high-octane details reign supreme. The trick to keeping things still decidedly on-trend 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

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

How to make today’s mullet seem like you didn’t just give up on life? Update it with a baby bang. A choppy micro fringe, together with wispy side layers, is best worn with a shorter length, textured as much as you can take it.

19. Unicorn

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

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

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

This indisputable 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 Short Shag Haircuts

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

Show off a true jet-black shade with a wet finish. Apply gel product in a downward motion from your crown, and mat any leftovers onto the ends, finger-styling for more shaggy separation.

22. Rounded Mullet

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

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

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

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

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

Want a quieter take on bright white? Choose a silvery shade with some rose gold babylights which, when worn with a baby bang and a lobbed length, give a new meaning to pretty in punk.

25. Beachy Texture

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

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

Amp up the beachy texture with a few spritzes of Suave Dry Texture Finishing Spray.

26. Choppy Bangs

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

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

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

A crescent-moon fringe—a big trend in the ’70s—features longer layers at the temples, which give this shag a more flattering silhouette.

28. Dual-Textured

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

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

shag haircut color block
Quietly subversive, just the way we love it. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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

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.

30. Curtained Bob

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

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

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

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

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

A bright yellow blonde is summery by all counts; the subtle razoring at the fringe and side layers are what keeps this looking expensive.

33. Bronde Ombré

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Give your color the occasional revival and shine boost by washing with TRESemmé Gloss Clear High Shine Deep ConditionerThis deep conditioner is perfect for giving colored strands an extra pop of shine, so put it into your wash routine when you see fit.

36. Shoulder-Length with Light Bangs

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

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

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

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

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

Uptown meets downtown in this more texturized version, which relies on a tag team of strategic lowlights and some products to provide added oomph. Finish the look by tucking the sides behind your ears, but leaving the sideburns loose.

39. Full with Flippy Layers

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

A full, no-nonsense fringe is the perfect foil for the flippy ends of this look, which can be up-styled in a chic bun or blown out for more polish.

40. Bent Bob

shag haircut bent bob
Give your hair some bending movement. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Create some movement in your shag haircut with a straightener. By using a straightener to “crimp” your hair, you can create a loose bend to movement and texture.

As the shag continues to make its great comeback, now is the perfect time to choose a shag style and rock the look before it goes totally mainstream.

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