Miley Cyrus, Keke Palmer, and Maisie Williams Love Their Shag Haircuts—Here’s How to Perfect the Cut
Celebrity hairstylists share how every hair type can hop on the trend.
ICYMI: The ’70s are alive and well. From funky floral patterns and wide-legged pants to classic bell bottoms and voluminous shag haircuts, some of the decade’s grooviest trends are making their rounds in modern-day fashion circles. As much as we love all aspects of the hip revival, today we’re here to talk about shag haircuts—the ultimate rock n’ roll style loved by Miley Cyrus, Keke Palmer, and Maisie Williams.
Ahead, learn how to score a stunning shag, as well as how to style it.
What is a shag haircut?
First things first: What constitutes as a shag? As the name implies, the unisex style is a bit disheveled and lived-in. It typically features a center part, lots of layers, loads of texture and long curtain bangs. The result? A voluminous ‘do that’s impossible to ignore.
How to score a picture-perfect shag cut:
According to celebrity hairstylist Graham Nation, a gorgeous shag haircut all comes down to nailing the layers. “The best way to achieve a shag haircut is exactly that, all in the haircut,” he says. “To prepare yourself before heading into the salon for the big chop, always do your research first. When looking at photos of shag haircuts, try to find photos with people who have the same hair type as you because that’s most likely what your haircut will look like.”
With that in mind, Nation, a UNITE Hair ambassador, recommends the following tips as a guide for getting the best shag haircut for every hair type.
Fine Hair: Shags can be tricky on fine hair—but they’re not impossible. Nation says to pay close attention to the shape and make sure your stylist isn’t over-cutting. That way, you’ll be able to maintain a voluminous shag.
Medium/Thick Hair: You’re most suited for a shag. “You will be able to get more texture cut into your hair and overall give your stylist more to ‘work’ with,” Nation says.
Coarse Hair: Accomplishing a shag on coarse hair will require quite a bit of thinning out. Nation says that this will lend to the pieceyness of a classic shag.
Curly Hair: Where many stylists prefer wet cuts over their dry counterparts, Nation says that when it comes to a curly shag, dry cuts are best.
How to ensure an A+ shag haircut:
While it definitely helps to have Nation’s tips in mind when walking into your cut, at the end of the day, your stylist will have the final say (or, shall we say, snip). Because of this, Nine Zero One stylist Emily Cable says that bringing a photo with you of exactly what you want is your best bet. That way, your stylist will be able to take your style preference and your hair type into account. Otherwise, Cable warns that every stylist has a slightly different perspective on what a shag is, which could potentially lead to results you’re not totally stoked about.
How to style your shag haircut:
The actual haircut is 90% of an A+ shag—the other 10% is about how you style it. You can let it air-dry, blow-dry it, or opt for a combination of the two. “My personal favorite is when I round brush the hair with lots of volume and then go back in and give big curls to add texture to the hair,” Cable says. “Add some texturizing spray and bam you have a bomb shag look!”