Shag Hair: A Trendy Hairstyle Explained


Step into the world of  the shag – a trendsetting style that effortlessly blends laid-back charm with timeless edge. Trace its rebellious roots back to the 1970s and witness its evolution as it remains a beloved choice among trendsetters.

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What Is Shag Hair?

The Shag is a timeless and stylish haircut characterized by its layered and textured appearance. Originating in the 1970s and experiencing a resurgence in recent times, the shag haircut showcases short-to-medium-length layers that effortlessly create a slightly messy yet chic look. It's essentially a versatile style that can work with various hair types and face shapes and a more modern version of glam rock hair.


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How Do Stylists Make Shag Hair Work?

Stylists make shag hair work with exceptional layering skills. By strategically trimming hair into different lengths and angles, they add volume, movement, and a relaxed vibe to the hair, striking the ideal balance between polished and carefree styles. Our Iles Formula Finishing Serum, when used on dry hair, can be used to texturise the hair to deliver this look.

Is Shag Hair Suitable For Thin Hair?

Shag haircuts can work wonders for thin hair. The layering and texture bring an instant boost of volume and dimension, giving thin hair a fuller and more vibrant appearance. With carefully placed lengths and choppy ends, the shag haircut introduces movement that adds dynamism to thin strands. The shag's low-maintenance and easy styling also make it a practical choice for thin hair. 

How Can You Style Shag Hair?

Styling shag hair involves embracing the unique texture and layers of this popular haircut. To do so, simply:

  • Start Fresh: Begin with clean, dry hair as the canvas for your shag masterpiece. Cleanse and repair  with Iles Formula Shampoo and Conditioner for a fresh foundation.
  • Add Texture and Definition: Apply a small amount of Iles Formula Finishing Serum to enjoy an organic hold and memory to your hair when styling and heat protection of up to 450°F or 235°C. Once dry, apply more Finishing Serum to texturise,  enhance and define the unique layers of your shag haircut. 
  • Wave it Up: Utilize a flat iron or curling wand to create loose waves or curls, concentrating on the mid-lengths and ends. Do Some Crown Lift: Boost volume at the crown by gently teasing with an Iles Formula Comb using the backcombing technique. This comb is Wendy Iles’ favorite styling tool!

  • What Are The Benefits Of Having Shag Hair?

    Opting for a shag hairstyle isn't just about embracing a trend; it comes with its own set of advantages:

    Effortless Style

    Shag hair is a low maintenance look which effortlessly captures a relaxed and stylish vibe. The tousled appearance ensures your shag haircut remains chic even without extensive effort, allowing you to embrace the day with style and ease.


    The shag haircut boasts versatile charm by gracefully accommodating a range of hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly. This adaptability empowers individuals with diverse hair textures to effortlessly embrace the shag style.

    Volume And Texture

    Shag hair adds volume and texture to your hair through its expert layering. This creates a fuller appearance, enhancing your hair's overall vibrancy and resulting in hair that naturally exudes a dynamic and textured look.

    Low Maintenance

    Shag hair is low-maintenance, reducing the time and effort required for daily styling. Its naturally relaxed look means you can confidently sport it without the need for elaborate styling routines – just top your hair with Iles Formula Finishing Serum, and you’re good to go!


    The shag haircut's well-placed layers frame and highlight facial features, creating a flattering effect that suits many individuals. This adds a touch of elegance to your look, making you feel even more confident and stylish.

    Are you ready to rock that effortless shag hairstyle? Elevate your shag look with Iles Formula's haute performance formulas. From the deeply nourishing shampoo and conditioner to the versatile Finishing Serum and more, our formulas are here to give your hair a radiant lustre. Experience luxurious and instantaneous transformation with Iles Formula today.

    Are There Any Downsides To Having Shag Hair?

    While shag hair offers many benefits, it may not be ideal for everyone. Consider that growing out the style may involve consistent trims to retain its shape. Additionally, shag hair is better suited for hair that is shoulder-length or longer, making it less ideal for shorter hair types.

    However, for those embracing the shag style, maintaining hair health becomes paramount. Our Signature Shampoo and Conditioner are your allies in this journey, to care, repair and nourish, ensuring that your shag hair remains as vibrant and healthy as it is stylish. If you suffer from hair loss, add to your routine the Iles Formula Scalp + Hair Rejuvenating Booster, celebrated in Oprah's Beauty Awards 2023.

    What Are The Alternatives To Shag Hair?

    If the shag hairstyle doesn't suit your taste, you have several alternatives to explore:

    Pixie Cut

    The pixie cut is a short and versatile hairstyle that offers a bold and confident look. It requires minimal maintenance and is perfect for those who want to make a statement with their hair. Its shorter length makes it easy to style and manage, and it can be customized to suit various face shapes and personal styles.

    Bob Haircut

    The classic bob haircut is a timeless option that never goes out of style. Whether you choose a sleek chin-length bob or a longer variation, this haircut offers a neat and polished appearance. Bobs can be tailored to flatter different face shapes, and they work well for both formal and casual occasions.

    Layered Long Hair

    If you prefer to keep your long hair, adding layers can breathe new life into your look. Layered long hair adds movement, volume, and texture without sacrificing length. This style is versatile and can be worn in various ways, from loose waves to elegant updos.

    Wolf Cut

    The wolf cut is a contemporary and edgy choice that combines the best of both the mullet and shag hairstyles. It features shorter layers in the front and longer layers at the back, creating a dynamic contrast. This haircut is particularly popular among those who want a fashion-forward and daring appearance.


    Inspired by the graceful shape of butterfly wings, the butterfly cut offers soft and rounded layers with V-shaped ends. This whimsical hairstyle adds a touch of playfulness to your look while maintaining a chic and feminine vibe. The layers provide movement and dimension, making it a unique and eye-catching option.

    What Are The Differences Between The Butterfly Cut And Shag?

    The Butterfly and Shag are always popular haircut options, so let's explore their key differences:

    Butterfly Cut

    • Structured Layers: It features well-defined layers that resemble butterfly wings.
    • Symmetry: The butterfly cut haircut aims for symmetry and balance in its appearance.
    • Styling Versatility: While it offers some versatility, the butterfly cut’s styling options may be more limited compared to the shag.


    • Textured Layers: Shag haircuts are characterized by their textured and tousled layers.
    • Effortless Appeal: Shag hairstyles exude an effortless and carefree vibe, perfect for those seeking a laid-back yet stylish look.
    • Suitability: It works well with various hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly.

    When Do You Use Shaggy Style Over The Wolf Cut?

    You might choose the wolf cut over the shag hairstyle when you want a more dramatic and edgy look with a distinct length contrast between the front and back layers. The wolf cut works well for those seeking a bolder and trendier appearance, especially with straight or slightly wavy hair.

    Then again, the shaggy style is best when aiming for a more relaxed and effortless look with a softer and more even layering throughout. The shaggy style is versatile and suits various hair types, offering a natural movement and a less extreme appearance compared to the wolf cut.

    Let your preferences and hair type guide your choice in haircuts, and for effortless styling and maintenance, consider complementing your chosen cut with Iles Formula's haircare formulas

    Iles Formula is a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated haircare market, focusing on quality over quantity. Our products cater to all hair types – we believe in formulating less and formulating well. Discover the difference in Iles Formula's carefully crafted formulations today.

    What Is The Process Of Drying A Shaggy Hairstyle?

    Drying a shaggy hairstyle requires a specific approach to maintain its textured and effortless look. Follow these steps for the perfect finish:

  • Towel Dry: Pat your hair after washing and minimize frizz by avoiding harsh rubbing. For an optimal drying experience that's gentle on your hair, use Iles Formula Hair Turban Towel. This luxuriously soft, microfiber towel dries hair quickly without causing friction, reducing static, frizz, and breakage.
  • Apply Heat Protectant: Safeguard your hair with Iles Formula Finishing Serum before using styling tools. This protects your hair against heat of up to 450°F or 235°C.
  • Diffuse With Low Heat: Use a diffuser attachment on your hairdryer with low heat settings. Scrunch your hair upward while diffusing to amplify its natural texture.
  • Avoid Over-Drying: To keep the tousled look, prevent excessive drying. Allowing your hair to remain slightly damp enhances its relaxed appearance.
  • Finishing Touch: Apply a small amount of Iles Formula Finishing Serum to texturise and define the layers and add the finishing touch to your shaggy hairstyle.

  • What Is The History Of Shag Hair?

    Shag hair has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1970s when it first gained popularity. The credit for the shag haircut goes to British hairstylist Paul McGregor, who created the signature choppy and layered look. Icons of the era, including Jane Birkin, adopted and popularized the shag, with her effortlessly chic and tousled mane becoming emblematic of the style. Since then, shag hair has undergone various transformations and resurged in popularity multiple times, cementing its position as a timeless and beloved hairstyle.


    How often do I need to trim my shag haircut?

    The frequency of trims depends on your hair's growth rate and how well you want to maintain the style. Visiting your hairstylist every six to eight weeks on average will help keep your shag hair fresh and stylish.

    How do I find a hairstylist experienced in cutting shag hair?

    Look for hairstylists who specialize in trendy and modern haircuts. Check their portfolios and online reviews to ensure they have experience with shag haircuts.

    How do I prevent my shag haircut from looking too messy?

    Embrace the messy vibe of shag hair, but to prevent it from looking unkempt, regularly trim the layers and use styling products like Iles Formula Curl Revive or Finishing Serum to define and control the texture.

    Can I style my shag haircut differently for formal events?

    Shag hair offers incredible styling flexibility. You can easily transform your casual, tousled look into a more polished and elegant hairstyle for special occasions using styling tools and products.

    Can I wear my shag hair up in a ponytail or bun?

    Shag hair allows for easy updos like messy buns and ponytails, giving you styling versatility. To elevate your updo, use Iles Formula Twilly Hair Ties, designed in collaboration with French artist Noémie Lacroix and made in France using 100% silk.

    What type of styling tools are best for shag hair?

    Depending on the desired style, a curling wand, flat iron, or diffuser can be useful for achieving various shaggy looks. When using heated tools, it's essential to protect your hair. The Iles Formula Finishing Serum offers protective styling against heated tools (up to 450°F / 235°C), UV rays, and color fade, ensuring your hair remains healthy and vibrant.

    Is Shag Hair suitable for all age groups?

    Shag haircuts are ageless and can be adapted to suit anyone, regardless of age.

    Can I dye my shag hair to add highlights or a new color?

    Shag haircuts are versatile enough to accommodate various hair colors and highlights, allowing you to customize your look. Just remember to care for your hair with haute performance and deeply nourishing products like Iles Formula to keep damages at bay.

    Can I get a shag haircut if my hair is very thick and heavy?

    Shag haircuts can work wonders for thick and heavy hair – the layering helps reduce bulk and add movement.