If you're shopping for a new 'do but want to keep your length, we have a proposition for you: the long shag. The shag haircut, which we can thank icons like Farrah Fawcett and Joan Jett for, gives you a little more edge to a classic layered look while also giving your hair natural volume. "The shag has been around since the early 1970s. Inspired by rock and roll, the haircut was a symbol of effortless freedom. It's basically an overly layered mid-length to long haircut that promotes volume and texture," says stylist Chris Jones.
Meet the Expert
- Gretchen Friese is BosleyMD's trichologist and stylist. She is also a hairstylist and salon director at Foushee SalonSpa in Denver.
- Chris Jones is a stylist and the owner of Salon Bugatti. He is also a Virtue ambassador.
And in case you're wondering if you can pull off this style, don't. This is a cut that works for every type of hair texture and face shape. It's true: Long shag haircuts make layered hair just that much more fun. But don't just take our word for it. We tapped Jones and hair pro Gretchen Friese to get their industry insight into what makes this trend so appealing along with a roundup of our favorite celeb long shag looks—with styling tips to match.
Keep scrolling to see 20 celebrities who effortless sport a long shag haircut.
We like to think that Alexa Chung was one of the first to bring back this trend. Her iconic shag-and-bangs combo has inspired many to imitate her look. Her undone texture and thick bangs look oh so effortless, even at a formal event.
Long shag haircuts were made for natural curls, as seen here on Zendaya. Her curly texture adds tons of volume and movement. Friese agrees: "With this style, straight or wavy hair wouldn’t have the same effect."
Never has the shag looked as sultry as it does on Heidi Klum. Apparently "It's the effortless movement and texture you get with minimal work at home" that makes the shag so appealing, according to Jones. Whereas many of today’s cuts have been simplified to fewer layers and shorter lengths, he says, "the shag goes against the grain, breaks the mold, and brings back a softer, sexier more feminine vibe."
Selena Gomez rocks a medium-to-long shag that brings out the best of her curls (read: bouncy, defined, and hydrated). For a similar look, ask your hairstylist to cut your bangs with a razor for an edgier cut.
Shay Mitchell wears her long shag haircut with beach waves. The undone texture accentuates the layers in her hair, giving her those fresh-from-the-shore vibes. Friese says, "This long shag is great because it really opens up her face" and works best on wavy and straight hair. She advises, "Use a volumizing gel and casually blow-dry. Finish with an extra-large barrel curling iron to create the texture at the ends."
Natasha Lyonne's fiery red mane is on point. Those with curly or wavy tresses have the ideal canvas to rock this hairstyle, whereas "straight hair would fall flat with this cut," comments Friese. She recommends using BosleyMD Blow Dry and Styling Gel to replicate Lyonne's shagadelic 'do: "Blow-dry while scrunching the hair with hands and finish with a medium-barrel curling iron for definition."
The modern shag is more than just edgy; in fact, Ciara here shows us how it can be interpreted as romantic. Highlights help to brighten her already glowing complexion while curling hair outward gives off a casual-cool finish.
Priyanka Chopra's soft fringe totally complements her layered cut while loose waves help to highlight movement. To achieve a similar style, Jones says to apply a small amount of Virtue 6-in-1 Styler to damp hair. Then blow-dry and finish with texturizing spray to get that undone finish.
While a shag cut is often viewed as being messy and boho, Gabrielle Union proves that it can also be sleek and smooth. Best of all, it works on all hair types: "Curly hair will need to use a smoothing product and blow the hair out straight with a bend at the ends. For wavy and straight strands, blow-dry and use a large-barrel curling iron," says Friese. Add a nice brown tint for good measure.
Behati Prinsloo's shag cut naturally frames her face—basically, it's layer perfection. Simply put some sea salt spray in your hair for a similar style. It's low maintenance and super sultry.
Halle Berry looks youthful with this shag-fringe combo that underscores light, airy texture. "The beauty of this haircut actually lives in the form of a soft pony. Tons of height in the crown and all that softness that falls around the face," comments Jones.
To style, prep hair with a volumizing mousse pre-blow-dry and follow with texturizing spray. The secret ingredient? "A light dusting of Virtue Lifting Powder in the crown for added volume," reveals Jones.
Katie Holmes channels Farrah Fawcett with this soft, feathered shag. Volume is key to nailing this 'do so try priming hair with something like BosleyMD Volumizing & Thickening Mousse, which is a root-lifting and volumizing product in one, says Friese. Then "blow-dry hair outward using a medium-sized round brush concentrating on volume at the crown and feathering away from the face."
J.Lo's Flash Dance-inspired mop gets a 21st-century makeover. Layers give her curls an added boost while a leave-in conditioner like Briogeo Curl Charisma provides much-needed moisture to keep frizz at bay.
Camila Cabello demonstrates the wearability of the shag. "This in my opinion is a slightly more modern, conservative approach to the long shag," says Jones. "The long fringe complements the soft layers without feeling overly layered," he adds. To get her lustrous locks, try one of our must-have shine-inducing products.
We are loving the effortless waves with Frida Gustavsson's long shag. Her curtain bangs flawlessly frame her green eyes. According to Friese, "They give this cut a little something extra." She recommends this style for those with wavy or straight strands. "Use a volumizing mousse and medium-sized round brush to create this look. Focus on creating the wavy shape at the ends," she says.
Dakota Johnson wears a shag haircut with soft, wispy layers and a slight wave. The waves highlight her layers, but she kept her texture sleek and shiny, probably thanks to a good serum, like this one from OGX.
The light hits just right as model Samantha Archibald shows off her visually effortless shag. This casual-cool style is the ultimate it-girl 'do since it is both low maintenance and stylish. Spray a few spritzes of OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray. Not only will it give you that tousled texture, but its argan oil formula will keep strands hydrated and healthy.
Taylor Swift has had a shag cut since 2014 and has been growing it out. The longer length gives her that edge to match her newest music. The choppy layers alleviate some of her hair's weight while also serving to perfectly frame her face. While this shaggy style is relatively low maintenance, the lash-grazing bangs require a bit more upkeep. Monthly trims should keep them in check.
It's all about texture with Julia Roberts's carefree long shag haircut. Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray will help you get there and works especially well for those with wavy to curly strands. Style "using a lightweight gel and either diffusing the hair or even air-drying and loosening up the locks with fingers once the hair is dry," instructs Friese.