When I mention the cut “Shag” to many people, they immediately shudder and think of a 70s or 80s mullet. I get it: a layered haircut feels scary, kind of dated, and definitely a nightmare to grow out.
Yet, modern-day Shags have a few key differences. They’re softer than old-school mullets, and really take their cue from the multitude of Curtain Bang looks that are everywhere these days. And, whether you have a bob, middy or long hair, Shags are a great way to add some oomph to your look ~ particularly if it’s looking a bit flat or tired.
So, what exactly is the New Shag?
It’s a layered look that features a fringe of some sort ~ whether that be full-on bangs, a curtain like sweep or a few softer, shorter pieces around the front. Unlike mullets, modern Shags feature longer layers that work around the head, always remaining a little shorter than the overall length of the cut.
Who do they suit?
You might be surprised to hear that they suit pretty much everyone! The great thing about the New Shag is that it’s cut to enhance your hair’s natural texture, bringing out anything from subtle movement to full-on curls. The Shag also adds natural body to the top area, so it’s ideal if you want to make fine or flat hair appear fuller.
What should I ask for?
When it comes to cutting a New Shag, I often look to Meg Ryan in the 90s. Her hair had that great, round shape with shorter pieces at eye and nape height. More recently, Jung HoYeon from Squid Game and model Freja Beha Erichsen have shown us how to rock a bob or middy length Shag. As a top tip, don’t go too long with your overall cut. The longest I’d go is to your collarbones to keep it looking fresh.
True to the Hershesons way, our stylists cut the New Shag in a very visual, freehand way. A Shag shouldn’t be precise or graphic, but instead, exude ease and softness. Asking your colourist to add a little balayage will really add contour and dimension to your layers, creating even more movement and body.
How do I style it?
Step away from your curling tongs! The Shag taps into your hair’s natural texture, so simply air dry it with this all-in-one kit. To speed things up, you can add a little heat using the diffuser on the Great Hairdryer after prepping your wet hair with Almost Everything Cream to prevent frizz. For anyone with fine or flat hair, layer some Zhoosh Foam over the AEC before you diffuse ~ then rub some more into the roots once it’s dry to create more oomph and volume. One of the added bonuses of a New Shag is its versatility: tie it back, but leave the shorter bits at the front free to add softness and frame your face.