The shag cut first made major waves (pun very much intended) in the 1970s. Then, just like the French manicure and other nostalgic beauty trends, the style came back into mainstream culture (aka flooded every Insta feed) and suddenly, shag haircuts were everywhere in 2021.
But what exactly makes the retro style so beloved? According to experts, it’s all about its versatility. “Its trademark is face-framing layers that are feathered at the top and sides, giving you a full-bodied look around the crown and a thinner look around the edges and at the ends,” says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. “[It] is a low-maintenance style that spotlights your hair’s natural, beautiful texture.”
“Shag cuts can work on nearly any hair texture or type,” adds founder of Maggie Rose Salon and haircare brand Naturally Drenched Jamila Powell. “[They] can elevate thin hair because they will give the appearance of fuller, more volumized hair, especially if you ask for blunt ends.”
A universally-flattering cut that you can style in countless ways? There’s really not much more you can ask for. So if you have thin hair and are looking for ways to amp up the volume, try it out. Start with considering the six shag haircuts for fine hair below that will give your ‘do body and drama, guaranteed.
The Shag Mullet Haircut
Mullets have made a comeback — just take a cue from singer Miley Cyrus. Fitzsimons says a razor-cutting technique is needed to add texture for shorter hair to create that effortless, cool vibe. “It’s a low-maintenance cut that will allow you to style your hair in seconds, but make it look like it took hours,” he says.
The Shaggy Bob Haircut
Obsessing over Squid Game? Same. But other than thinking about whether or not you would survive any of those games, you can also be getting some serious hair inspo from Netflix’s newest thriller. Model-turned-actor Jung Ho-yeon shows off her short shag haircut and grown-out curtain bangs for a casual style that’s perfect for more than just surviving a deadly game of “Red light, green light.”
The Shag Haircut With Bangs
Singer Billie Eilish styles her short shag cut with fringe bangs, giving a real ’70s vibe to her look. If you need more convincing on whether to go shag or not, Powell says one of the added benefits to this cut is that it’s super low-maintenance.
She explains that these choppy layers grow out and seamlessly transition a longer shag and recommends using a deep conditioner or scalp treatment (her favorite is the Naturally Drenched Rebalance Pre-Conditioner) to keep your shag haircut looking healthy.
The Blunt Shag Haircut
Forgive this second pun, but I’ll keep it blunt: This shag cut is super chic. Lana Condor wears her short shag cut with razor cut ends, adding texture that gives the appearance of more volume. Paired with blunt bangs, and it’s really a striking hairstyle that you should copy ASAP.
The Layered, Curly Shag Haircut
Layers are always a great way to define your face. With a shag cut, you also get the bonus benefits of adding definition and volume to fine hair. Fitzsimons says to use a soft-hold styling mousse or texture spray on detangled and towel-dried hair to keep hair looking full.
He also recommends using moisturizing styling products like Daily Dose Miracle Moisture Leave-In Conditioner or NatureLab. Tokyo’s Perfect Shine Oil Mist to prevent hair from drying out or getting too frizzy. “Have fun with your shag haircut, take advantage of your natural beauty, and don’t be afraid to play with different products to achieve that optimal look,” he says.
The Long Shag Haircut With Curtain Bangs
A personal favorite of Fitzsimons is a long shag haircut with curtain bangs; he says it’s the perfect cut to channel your inner rock star. “People with wavy and curly hair are particularly suited to the shag cut because they are already used to taking on the world with that lived-in, yet still stunning hair,” he says. “The longer your hair, the more layers, and textures you’ll be able to create, so feel free to get creative with it.”
Here, Halle Berry’s long shag cut has slight waves to it, with her curtain bangs curled at the ends for the ultimate beachy waves.