Last year, the lob dominated as the most popular haircut. It was lob after lob after lob. You couldn’t go a week without a celeb chopping off their long hair. It was easy to forget that there were other haircuts to choose from besides the lob because it was everywhere. The lob is still a popular look for 2021, but we are seeing the mid-length style evolve into different looks. One of the looks that we are seeing more and more of is the shag haircut. The shag popped up on the heads of stylish models at Fashion Month and on trendy It girls.
“Shag” is a phrase we hear often in reference to haircuts, but what exactly is the look? Hairstylist Umberto describes it as, “A tangled mass of hair or hair that is layered. The variation of layers can be based on how basic or edgy you want to go.” Shag haircuts can be intimating to some people, especially because of the whole “tangled mass of hair” thing. However, shags are nowhere near as difficult to pull off as a fashion mullet. You don’t need to be Zendaya or Lady Gaga to pull one-off. Umberto explains that a shag can be adapted to suit almost any length with any amount of body and bend.
If you have any sort of texture in your hair, a shag haircut will work for you. Umberto states that if you have dead straight hair, it’s a harder look to achieve. However, you can still achieve the look with lots of straight layers and bangs. You can also get the look by adding a wave and making texturizing hair products like the Umberto Beverly Hills Dry Texture Spray, your best friend.
If you’re concerned about a shag haircut being flattering for your face shape, the good thing about a shag is that the haircut can easily be adapted to suit any face shape. A good hairstylist will know where to start the layers in the shag to accent your face in the most flattering way.
Are you convinced to try a shag? If so, there are a few considerations to make before the chop. Prior to sitting in the chair at the salon, Umberto says to think about your lifestyle and work environment. Some people can get away with a “tangled mass of hair” at work, while others need a style that can be tamed slightly for the office. You should also consider whether you want bangs or not.
In addition to being versatile, the shag is fairly low maintenance. Umberto states that you can go about three months between haircut appointments with a good shag haircut. If you decide to get bangs, you will only need to worry about getting them trimmed more frequently.
For those ready to make the chop, don’t be scared. If you are one of the many people who has a lob haircut, you can easily make your lob into a shag haircut. All your hairstylist has to do is take the weight out of the sides and top, then disconnect the hair from top to bottom. It sounds complicated, but it’s all about a few clever snips in strategic places.
For those with fine hair, Umberto suggests getting a hairstyle with shorter layers on the crown, then longer disconnected layers flowing down. This will allow the ends to flick out and tuck back, thus creating more movement and body.
For those with natural hair, the texture of your hair will determine how it’s cut. Your hairstylist may need to go in and cut the bulkiness out of your hair. This will allow the outer curls to drop instead of sitting up high on a bed of curls.
Umberto’s number one tip for pulling off a shag haircut is to not forget about hair products. He explains, “This is a fun, effortless style that can be achieved with the right grooming products.” After shampooing and conditioning, Umberto suggests using a curl-enhancing product such as the Umberto Beverly Hills Curl Enhancing Lotion, from roots to ends. This is important even if you don’t want to curl. The curl-enhancing lotion will help seal the cuticle and enhance your hair’s natural movement. After you apply your product, do not reach for your blow dryer. Umberto says to use your fingers to play with the hair. Then try to let your mane star air dry. In the end, use the blow dryer to smooth out the ends. Finally, add a bit of texture with a product like Umberto Beverly Hills Dry Texture Spray, $9.99. The goal of the look is shaggy but not to look like a shaggy dog, and the right products will help you achieve the look.
(Photos: Getty Images)
Beauty Expert & Hairstylist, Contributing Editor
Dorothy has been a beauty fanatic since she was a preteen growing up in a small Idaho town. She honed her makeup and hair skills on her willing mother and she’s a pro with a pair of tweezers, having fixed many a friend’s unibrow in college. Susan believes the true secret to beauty comes from within, but the right application of mascara and lipstick can help.