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5 best women's shag haircuts: the secrets to a stunning shag haircut

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The shag haircut is an iconic style that has been popular since the early 1970s. But what exactly is a shag haircut, and what are the best shag styles to try in 2024

Here, we introduce you to five awesome shag styles to try and reveal some insider secrets to styling and maintaining the shag haircut of your dreams this year.

What is a shag haircut?

Inspired by rock and roll, a shag haircut is a casual, messy hairstyle that features a prominent fringe. From a 70s shag haircut to a modern shag haircut, there are several styles to consider and lots of ways to achieve your desired look.

We've come a long way since the original shag styles of the 70s and 80s (Mick Jagger, anyone?), and the look has been refined over the decades as a brilliant style for men and women alike.

Though historically popular, the shag is making a comeback, and it's an easy, low-maintenance hairstyle that is captivating the attention in 2024. Let's look at some shag haircuts you might like to consider.

Top 5 best shag haircuts for women

From vintage looks to modern takes on this classic style, here are five inspired shag haircuts to try out this year:

1. The modern shag - Best medium shag haircut

A modern, layered shag haircut is all about opting for softer layers to deliver a less clumsy-looking style. Very feminine, the modern shag includes bangs and waves, and it's an awesome style for women with medium and long-length hair in particular.

The modern shag - Best medium shag haircut

2. Shaggy Bob - Best short shag haircut

Based on a retro French bob, the shaggy bob is slightly shorter than the modern shag and is inspired by the choppier shag look that was popular in the 1980s. Women with longer faces tend to look great with a shaggy bob, but it's not the best style for those with rounder complexions.

Shaggy Bob - Best short shag haircut

3. Old school shag - Best long shag haircut

Looking to transport your look back to the golden age of rock and roll? The old school is the closest to an 80s shag haircut you can style in the modern day. Retro, bushy, and wavy, the old-school shag is a vintage style that is perfect for women with shoulder-length hair.

Old school shag - Best long shag haircut

4. Cropped shag - Best shag haircut for women over 50

Looking for the perfect shag haircuts for women over 50? We recommend the cropped shag. The key here is to cut the top half layers short to achieve volume and shape while cropping the style further down. It's sophisticated and a great alternative to the old-school shag.

Cropped shag - Best shag haircut for women over 50

5. Curly shag - Best layered shag haircut

A shag haircut is not only a winner for people with long, straight hair, as proven by this look. You can curl your natural waves into a curly shag style. The layers add major volume to the middle section of your hair, and if you use a curling mousse to accentuate your curls, you will rock a brilliant shag style.

Curly shag - Best layered shag haircut

5 shag styling secrets you can't afford to ignore

Whether you're going for the curly shag or the old-school shag, you need to know how to look after your style. Here are some secrets that will help you style and maintain your shag to turn heads for all the right reasons:

Secret 1. The hair dryer is key

One of the signatures of all shag haircuts is loose bangs. The best way to achieve brilliant bangs is via a blowout and a round brush, which help you achieve that classic fringe look that is central to every style.

You need to have the best hair dryer to blow dry your bangs to perfection. The Laifen Swift Special is the perfect choice, as it comes with adjustable heat settings to make life easier. It also features ionic technology, which is helpful for reducing harmful frizz and keeping your shag looking voluminous and sleek.

Secret 2. Use a texturing spray

Texture is key to the modern shag, so it's helpful to use a texturing spray to assist you. Sea salt spray is a great option, as it enhances the natural texture of your waves and curls.

If you have curly hair, you can use a curling iron and a styling cream to accentuate your curls, which is a great way to achieve the curly shag introduced above.

Secret 3. Choose a shag that is suited to your hairstyle

As explained above, there are several different types of shag haircuts for you to consider. The best way to choose one is to think about your natural style. Wavy and curled hair is typically more voluminous than straight hair, so it's a great option for thicker shags like the modern and old-school styles.

If you have thinner and shorter hair, the shaggy bob or the cropped shag could be good options for you as they are easier to maintain.

Secret 4. Elevate your shag with color

Though not essential, adding color to your shag is a great way to elevate your chosen style. Highlights work brilliantly in a shag haircut, particularly when opting for something like the layered shaggy bob.

Some stylists have experimented with balayage for an ombre look in shag haircuts, and the results are inspiring!

Secret 5. Treat your shag with dry shampoo

Using dry shampoo is a good way to prevent your shag haircut from looking greasy. You can apply a small amount of dry shampoo after your shower, which you can then massage into your scalp. Dry shampoo is a great option for short and medium-length shags in particular.

The bottom line

Shag haircuts have made a comeback this year, and the shag is one of the hottest looks in 2024. Make sure you have the best hair dryer at your disposal to blow dry your bangs to perfection and achieve the retro shag look you've always dreamed of. You can also read our shag haircut FAQs below for more information.


Q1: Is a shag haircut for men a good idea?

Yes, both men and women can rock a shag haircut. In fact, the style was popularized by men in the rock and roll scene in the 70s and 80s, so it's definitely a style that men can achieve.

Is a shag haircut for men a good idea?

Q2: How do you cut a shag haircut?

There are so many different shag haircut styles you can go for, so the way that you cut it will depend on your chosen style. We recommend taking a photo as inspiration for your stylist if you want to try a shag haircut this year.

Q3: When did shag haircuts originate?

The shag haircut first appeared in New York in the 1970s, and it was popularized by rockers of the decade.

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