Style 101: The Shag Cut

Published 27th Mar 2024 by hjiadmin

A nod to the 70s, the Shag cut remains a popular choice for clients from every corner. The haircut is an edgy classic which has recently come back into its own, being sported by stars such as Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish. 

This Style 101 is here to give you some style inspiration, as TONI&GUY's Global Creative Director, and current British Hairdresser of the Year, Cos Sakkas, walks us through the look and shares his tips and tricks for creating the perfect shag cut.

"I love the shag haircut. It’s edgy and non-conformist. But it was also its effortlessness because you can wash and go, or spend time styling it. It can be super soft and feminine in one style, or load it with products and give it more aggressive volume and you have a totally different feel. It’s incredibly versatile, it suggests a rebellious nature and can really transform a client’s overall image," explains Cos.

How to Create It

The shag suits all hair types and lengths, it's the perfect cut to grow out an existing cut as it's meant to look a little lived in. The natural texture of the client’s hair dictates how to approach cutting the shag. On very straight hair, Cos tends to cut while the hair is wet and add the detail when hair is dry, while on naturally wavy hair, he prefers to do the entire cut on dry hair. This way it’s easier to work with the natural texture. "When creating a shag of any length, start with the hair below the occipital bone, holding the section straight out at a 90-degree angle. I cut this section to the desired length and use it as my guide throughout the cut."

Top Tips

When creating a fringe, take face shape into account: With a wider face, you don’t want a thick, blunt fringe as this will make your face look wider still. Instead, cut in a narrow fringe and part in the centre to slim down the features. Slimmer faces can embrace heavier bangs. 

Products: This cut looks best with some grit and texture running through the hair; sea salt sprays are a great way to achieve this.

No No's

  • Don’t get overzealous when removing weight from the mid and bottom layers — this can create a mullet rather than a shag.
  • Do not give it volume through the sides.

The shag's popularity has soared over the past few years, with A-Listers from every corner stepping out with the 'do. Here are some of our favourites:

For some shag cut inspiration, with looks from hairdressers check out our HJI gallery, such as Callum Standen-May. In our gallery, you can create bespoke searches by selecting the cut, style, length, colour (and many more!) categories that you're looking for.

Lead image credit: Raquel Saiz & Ulises Peluqueros



Published 27th Mar 2024

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