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How To Try A Shag Haircut, Fall's Most Versatile Haircut Trend

photo of women with on-trend shag haircuts

When you consider getting a new haircut, there are a few key things to ask yourself. Will this haircut work with my hair type? Will it fit my laidback lifestyle? And, most importantly, is it on-trend? If you’ve been searching for a fall 2023 haircut that checks all of those boxes, look no further than the modern shag haircut.

Modern shag haircuts for women are everywhere lately, from celebrities flaunting the chop to everyday women looking for a low-maintenance haircut to try. If you’re interested in getting a shag haircut, we’re here to help! We tapped Philip Wolff, Matrix brand ambassador, to find out why this cut is trending again in 2023 and break down 10 of the best ways to try one at any length.

Good hair day by @ashleyrayhair.

What does a shag haircut look like?

A shag haircut features layers of various lengths to create a naturally-textured, choppy appearance. While the shag rose to popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s, modern variations of the shag have more blended layers that create a more natural-looking appearance, but still add texture and make styling easy.

“We all know fashion trends circulate over time, and each time they come back, there's a bit of a twist to fit the current times,” Wolff says.

According to Wolff, a shag is one of the most versatile haircuts you can get since it works on every hair length and texture.

“It's the kind of style that allows for an expression that shows there's a little rock ‘n roll in you. It's fun, flirty, sexy, and free-spirited,” Wolff says. “It says, ‘My hair doesn't necessarily need to be set perfectly in place. I like the freedom of wearing it where it wants to be.’"


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How do you style a shag haircut?

When it comes to styling a shag haircut, Wolff recommends embracing messy, second-day hair and amping up your natural texture with volumizing hair products. He recommends kicking off your routine with Matrix Total Results Root Up Wash Clarifying Shampoo.

“A shag equals layers and layers equal a great way to start is by using a volume-enhancing shampoo,” Wolf explains.

When you step out of the shower, gently scrunch your hair with a microfiber towel and apply a volumizing styling product like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Foam Volumizer Mousse throughout your strands. This bodifying mousse provides lift and touchable thickness. Apply a dime to quarter-sized amount of product to your strands depending on how much hair you have, evenly distributing from the roots to the ends. Then, blow dry as desired.

“If you have coarse or frizzy hair, use the blow dryer on medium to low setting warm and tousle dry with hands, maybe round brushing any key areas like a fringe, or crown area if needed,” Wolff says. “If your hair is straighter or finer, use full blast and high heat while aggressively tousle drying until fully dry.”

If you’re looking for more shag haircut inspiration, we’re gathered 10 of our favorite ways to wear the look.

The Best Shag Haircuts For Women To Try Now

Good hair day by @brunodviana.

Shag With Full Fringe

You’ll love this choppy bob with full bangs if you’re inspired by old-school versions of the shag. A cut like this also works wonders for anyone with straight hair looking to give their mane a texture boost.

Good hair day by @sazan.

Shaggy Waves

Shaggy layers create instant movement and body in natural wavy hair. If you want to flaunt beach waves 24/7, all you’ll need is a few well-placed layers and texturizing spray like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Wata Wave Texture Spray.

Good hair day by @olsicilia.

Mushroom Shag

The mushroom hairstyle made its big return a few years back—and we absolutely love the way choppy layers give the look a modern, easy-to-style twist.

Good hair day by @mizzchoi.

Shag With Deep Side Part

Try a deep side part to give your shag cut instant volume. Apply a few spritzes of Pureology Style + Protect Instant Levitation Mist throughout your strands to amp up your voluminous look. This conditioning formula elevates hair with 24 hours of weightless volume and heat protection.

Good hair day by @saniaclausdemina.

Shag With Curtain Bangs

A shag with curtain bangs gives us serious French girl vibes. This cut also combines two of fall 2023’s hottest haircut trends—so you’ll definitely want to post this look on your Instagram feed! Try air-drying your mane for effortless texture, or give yourself a blowout for a more polished look.

If you decide to blow dry, be sure to always use a heat protectant like Redken Pillow Proof Express Blow Dry Primer.

Good hair day by @cremedemichelle.

Shaggy Lob

If you’re looking to play with some length but aren’t ready to completely get rid of short hair, you can’t go wrong with a shaggy lob haircut.

Good hair day by @scissorking.

Curly Shag

You don’t need to have straight or wavy hair to make a shag haircut work for you. In fact, we’re obsessed with the way short, shaggy layers enhance the look of natural curls. Keep your ringlets intact and frizz-free throughout the day with a styling product like Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel.

Good hair day by @doug_theo.

Shaggy Pixie

Give your long pixie haircut an edgy vibe by incorporating shaggy layers throughout the cut. Use a hair gel like Biolage Styling Texture Sap Gel for a touchable, flexible finish that’s light to the touch.

Good hair day by @fil.freitas.

Shaggy Layers On Long Hair

Good news: if you’ve been working on growing out your hair, you don’t need to lose any length to try a shag haircut. Keep your lengths healthy and damage-free with a shampoo and conditioner system like Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner With Biotin. This system strengthens damaged hair and helps hair to grow longer and stronger.

Good hair day by @vivi_siqueira.

Extra Texture

When it comes to shag haircuts, we say the messier, the better! All you’ll need is a texturizing spray like L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray to give your cut a disheveled, tousled look. This works particularly well on second-day hair that needs a style refresh.

Interested in trying a shag haircut? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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