Looking for an Upgrade? Here Are 40 Shag Haircuts You Will Actually Like

It’s not your imagination, the shag haircut is here to stay! If you’ve scrolled through your Insta feed recently chances are you’ve seen celebrities, strangers, friends, and your aunt Carol all with a fabulous new shag haircut. According to Glamour, the trend remerged in 2017 and we’re clearly all still very much obsessed with it. From Suki Waterhouse‘s iconic shags to Sandra Oh‘s glorious locks, we very well may be living in the golden age of the shag!

We wanted to get a better idea of the different types of shag haircuts you can get so we looked to celebrities and just normal folks to get a better idea of the possibilities. And, let us tell you, they’re almost endless. So, what is a shag haircut? It’s generally a center part with choppy layers and some form of bangs. But, the main thing is that the hair looks carefree yet still flattering. We’re seeing looser adaptations of the shag today and we are excited to share some of the newer styles with you for this list! Let’s talk shag!

Blunt Shag

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Taylor Swift has been nailing some form of a shag for years now. One of our favorite iterations was the blunt bangs meet shag look that she sported just a couple of years ago. If you like the idea of a straight line across the face and then flowing, messy locks on the side, it could be the shag haircut for you! Who doesn’t want hair like this superstar?

Curtain Bangs

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Curtain bangs can be subtle as the bangs pictured above or rather dramatic. You must choose your own destiny in this regard. These bangs often look less severe than blunt or short ones and flatter the face well. Curtain bangs are a perennial favorite shag haircut but every few years they seem to become trendy. We’re coming off of a peak curtain bang moment right now but you can totally go in this direction still.

Smooth Shag Haircut

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The softer, smoother shag haircut is really in style today. This smooth look is classy but still offers texture and movement. Alison Brie has really served some excellent looks with her smooth shags through the years. If you’re not after super chunky texture and instead want an understated and sophisticated look, something similar could be the right look for you.

Full Curls

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Name a celebrity with better hair than Tracee Ellis Ross. Iconic! Big, curly shags are just so dramatic and dynamic. If you’ve got some curls, really show them off with a shag. Don’t take our word for it. Ms. Ross’s hair is proof that curls belong in a shag. Do as Ross has done and you won’t regret it.

Heavy Bangs

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We are here for some heavy bangs! You can choose to part them for a slight curtain effect or do as this person has and keep them a block. Heavy bangs are having a moment right now as you will find them accompanying many a modern mullet. In the above example, you can see how the bangs have resulted in a glam rock look and how beautifully they can frame the face to make it look rounder if you’ve got a narrow face shape.

Bangs That Curl

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Let those bangs go au naturel in curls! As promised, here’s Sandra Oh sporting a curly shag look with curly bangs. What a dream! Like Tracee Ellis Ross, Ms. Oh knows that curls belong in a shag. This works best with a single layer but if you’d like chunkier bangs, ask your stylist to help you layer them for added depth.

Do the Mushroom

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Julianne Hough is not the only one who can pull off a mushroom shag! You too can rock this look with success. The key to this shape is to get a ton of volume at the top. You can even go heavy with the bangs to make it more dramatic. To keep your hair from looking like a bowl cut, ask your stylist to thin out and texture the ends to lighten things up and offer some movement.

Long Layers

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Dakota Johnson has made this shag her signature look and she has had some form of it now for years. The soft bangs really frame the face well while the longer layers appear luxurious and smooth. If you’re not looking for tons of texture, go a similar route for a shag that feels much more modern than the 1960s and 70s shags.

Highlight That Shag Haircut

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A shag haircut is pleasantly full of texture by nature but you can bring out even more dimension by strategically adding highlights. Take notes from Chrissy Teigen who is a queen of hair color. Kisses of blonde really do help bring focus to her face. You can do the same for a polished but not “I tried too hard” look.

Bebe Shag

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Zosia Mamet has had some notable shag haircuts through the years but her baby one, or as we like to call it “bebe,” was a really cute look that still maintained a softness. If you’re after a shoulder-length shag haircut, consider doing something similar for a modest but still beautiful look.

A Mullet for Today

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Miley Cyrus and all the other kids these days seem to be getting mullets. We think she pulls it off well and that they should not be such taboo haircuts. A mullet is simply a short shag haircut. If you feel so inclined, do as Cyrus has done and chop your hair off. There are signs that this trendy shag haircut might be slowing but walk the streets of any trendy neighborhood in a city near you and you’ll see them everywhere.

True to Form: Classic Shag Haircut

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Fashion superstar Alexa Chung has made a classic shag haircut her signature look for years now. It has varied in length but it’s almost always been a shag for the better part of the decade. You know what? If something works for you, stick to it. As the old adage goes: if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Do as Chung has done and a classic shag haircut could become your signature style too!

That Seventies Shag

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Suki Waterhouse could be partially to blame for the return of the shag haircut as the huge trend over the past few years as we know it. The model has sported some truly iconic shags that look like they came right out of Studio 54. Here’s one look that just screams 70s glam! While Waterhouse tends to color her hair blonde, if you’ve got darker locks, this is also a winning look.

The Good Beachy Shag

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No one is wearing the beachy shag better than Halle Berry these days. Unfortunately her “everyday” cut does not end up on the red carpet so you’ll need to pop on over to her Insta to see more of her absolutely stunning shag. With casual highlights and plenty of texture, you can look like a sun-kissed beachgoer every single day of the week with a shag like Ms. Berry’s!

IDGAF Shag

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Natasha Lyonne is one of the most intriguing people working in entertainment today. She tends to rock a curly shag look that’s not totally curly, not totally straight. The look is very “too cool to care” and paired with her good sense of humor and confidence it’s a total winner. Whether Lyonne goes shoulder-length or longer, the bangs are always a constant. We should all be so lucky to have her enviable bangs.

The Short Shag

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If you’re not looking to mullet (bless you) and you want something that’s a little easier to manage, a short shag haircut could be the perfect option for you. You can do your bangs in a cute way as this person has done or choose to sweep them to one side for a more contemporary look. You get the best of both worlds as this is part shag and part French bob. What’s not to love?

Shoulder-Length Shang Haircut

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Lana Condor proves that a shag at the shoulders can be the perfect happy medium for most people. If you’re looking for the Goldilocks of shag haircuts, one that’s not too long but not a short shag either, get it at shoulder length and go mellow with your bangs. Add texture to the ends for depth and dimension and also a bit more movement.

The Mini Chop

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You can still achieve a shag effect on a one-length cut! The ends just need to be a little choppy to get the shag look as the dynamic Kerry Washington has done here. This is similar to the short shag we shared with you a couple of cuts back but it’s a much more blunt look. Curls will add softness and a touch of romance.

Ultra-Long Shag

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One of the best-known wearers of the ultra-long shag haircut is Julia Roberts who tends to keep her long locks flowing all the way down her back. If you’re looking to switch up your long hair but don’t want to take off too much, just add some choppy layers throughout with the shorter pieces in the front near your face. It’s all about getting those front layers to taper in ever-so-slightly.

Learn to Love a Lob

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Selena Gomez was once the queen of the lob but she has since grown it out. We look back fondly on those lob days in which her hair looks very symmetrical and also somehow choppy at the same time. Unlike a normal lob, the shag gives so much more texture and organic movement. The side part is key for this cut even if the kids don’t like them anymore.

RELATED: 35 Laughably Bad Celebrity Hairstyles

Sixties Vibes

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Priyanka Chopra often styles her hair for events into a glam 60s look by choosing smooth waves over choppy texture and by adding a ton of volume at the crown of the head. Don’t go overboard or you’ll end up looking like a character from Mad Men. Adding texture to the crown results in a vintage, flirty look that Brigitte Bardot would approve of.

Easy-Breezy Shag

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Actor Meredith Hagner often wears a classic shag with longer bangs. The bangs are the perfect length and can be pushed behind the ears. Almost beachy almost flower child, this look is a real winner for those looking for an unfussy style. Easy layers and easy bangs mean easy-to-style hair. You know you want it!

Mini Bangs

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Teeny-tiny bangs often called “baby bangs,” push the shag look to its limit. If you’d like a shag haircut that feels fresh and modern go short with your bangs and either part them into mini curtain bangs or swoop them to one side for something fresh. We’ve been seeing less of these short bangs in recent years but we hope folks will still continue rocking them.

Highlight Your Curly Shag

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Highlights bring so much to any head of hair but the nature of curls really brings a little bit of color to life. If you’d like to lighten up your curly shag with some highlights, you should totally go for it. We love the way a golden color looks in the above style adding tons of dimension, depth, and texture. They will brighten up your whole face like you’ve been kissed by sunshine.

Super Soft Shag

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We could have easily nominated Chrissy Teigen again for this, but we thought we’d turn to the Kardashians for some inspiration. Kim Kardashian looks so excellent with her soft, long shag that perfectly frames her face. If you want some texture but don’t want anything “chunky” you should go with this softer look. Smooth is the name of the game for a soft shag so you might want to request a color glaze that will make your hair look and feel silky smooth and soft.

Shag Bob

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It’s a bob! No, it’s a shag! Get the best of both worlds with this bob and shag hybrid. To get a bob to go into a shag, you have to break some rules. The back will need to be cut shorter than the front to give you the movement you’re after. Just make sure those front pieces stay long enough to frame your face well. For this, we like a center part but you can experiment with a side part instead if that’s more your speed.

The Choppiest Lob

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Do the lob but ask for it to be as choppy and textured as possible for the ultimate medium-length style. You want dramatically short layers in there so don’t be afraid to commit. Also, you won’t want to leave your salon without some texturing spray it will help you make magic with this shag haircut.

Experiment with Color

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So, you’ve already got a shag haircut. Now, what? Because shag haircuts are so incredibly textured color really does bring them to life. While you could absolutely throw some highlights in there to achieve more visual interest, going full color is also rewarding! If you’ve got blue eyes, go warm with the color and if you’ve got darker eyes, make them pop with something moody or contrast with lighter, cool colors.

Really! Go Wild!

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We’re saying it again for the people who were turned off by the orange! Go with some fun colors to really show off all of the hard work your stylist put into layering and texturizing your beautiful shag haircut. Blue would be nice or even a lovely pastel. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to get weird. The more unique your hair the more singular your style will be, like a signature.

The Farrah Fawcett Flip

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Before we discuss the cut, how about the color of this copper-tinged hair? What a dream! If you’d like a retro vibe, do as Farrah Fawcett did and flip those bangs out. You’ll look like a total rockstar. In the above example, the bangs are heavier which has its virtues but you can go lighter with the bangs for more movement.

The Elongated Mullet

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Take a look at how the layers of this shag haircut hug the entire face from the forehead down to around the chin. Curtain bangs meet longer layers that frame the rest of the face in a most unique way. We like to think of this sort of cute as a really, really long mullet because it’s short-ish in the front and layered long in the back.

Crowned Into Shag

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We find a very smooth shag haircut in this example that has three distinct layers. The crown is the most pronounced and notable as it simultaneously gives 60s and 80s vibes. Go heavy on the top with a lot of volume at the crown if you’ve got a squarer face shape. After the crown, the next layer hits right below the jaw which helps bring roundness to the face. The final layer falls just below the shoulders with a little texture to keep things interesting.

Short Curly Bob

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This is a razor-cut shag haircut with short layers and a short fringe. Ask your stylist to remove any unwanted weight from the lower layers of the hair to keep things light and bright. We are obsessed with this woman’s curls and if you’ve got them, you’d be wise to show them off in this fashion.

Burgundy Shag Bob

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We know we’ve already shared some shag bobs with you but in this example, you can really see how a blunt bob works well. Burgundy color warms things up for the overall look. The bangs have been fashioned into a straight fringe while curls help fill the crown and sides with texture.

Side-Swept Shag

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A shag haircut with side-swept bangs is a winning look even if it’s not being favored much right now. Go big with texture for this style that looks totally carefree and natural. Request layers that hit at the cheek for a style this length to make those cheekbones pop.

Heavy Is the Head…

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Let’s take a trip to crown town! This adorable shag haircut focuses all of the attention on the crown which has some enviable volume. The rest of the hair is tapered down to reveal the face and rests just below the shoulders. This cut looks both retro and modern as it harkens back to the 70s and 80s while still looking current and new.

Galaxy Shag

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Here’s one of the shag haircuts that we’re actually more interested in the color for. We want to remind you that you make the rules when it comes to color. You can be as modest or adventurous as your heart desires. Aqua, lime green, purple, and blue all come together in this very youthful look. Have no fear, color warriors!

Long Curtain Bangs with a Short Style

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Most shag haircuts at this length will trim the bangs to hit right at the cheeks but that’s not the only way to go. You can go longer with curtain bangs and layers around the face for shorter cuts as well. This is a super easy-to-style cut that would look great on folks with rounder faces.

Highlights at the Face

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An emerging trend today is to have highlights in the bangs and in the layers closest to the face while leaving the other parts of the hair in the back and sides in a darker color. It adds a pop of color to darker hair tones while lightening and brightening the face. You could do just the bangs in the lighter color or work it into the longer layers as this person has done.

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The Shortest Shag

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Get yourself a super short shag haircut that’s not quite a mullet but not a bob either and you will never look back. Piecey bangs and flipped ends look so cute and youthful. Keep it short in the back but don’t be afraid to leave some length on the bangs that frame your face. Not only is this shag haircut a blast to look at, but it’s also extremely easy to style. Because it’s messy by nature, you can scrunch and go.

There you go! What did you think of these wonderful shag haircuts? There are tons of ways to make a shag all your own so speak to your stylist and ask for recommendations that will work best for your hair type and face shape. It’s easy to get bored with a certain style and you can absolutely switch things up with a brand new shag!

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