The Fall Haircut All the Cool Girls Have

Updated 09/30/16
Modern Hepburn

A shag can refer to a lot of things: what the British call a good one-night stand, a fuzzy carpet, and a piece-y, layered haircut. Today, we’re focusing on the latter—or rather, why all the cool girls seem smitten with fall’s newest version. A long-time model favorite, the shag has withstood the test of time for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that it’s supposed to look somewhat unkempt. (In other words, the perfect hairstyle for lazy girls.)

We first started noticing this model-loved cut around this time last year, and it's made a resurgence again come fall. This season’s reiteration is chopped right above the shoulder and comes with blunt, eyebrow-skimming bangs—and every model and actress seems to want to give it a try. Celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend dubbed it “the modern shag” and calls the final look “textured, piece-y, and sexy”—three of our all-time favorite adjectives to describe our hair.

Ahead, you’ll see many It girls pulling off the trending cut, each in her own style. Warning: Scrolling may cause a strong urge to speed-dial your hairstylist…

Keep scrolling to see the fall haircut that’s cool-girl approved!

Dave J Hogan/Getty

Dakota Johnson

Johnson’s version of the shag with bangs is tousled, choppy, and long with blunt bangs that part down the center. (Townsend also happens to be responsible for this chic cut.) To imitate her texture, warm up a medium-hold styling pomade, like Sally Hershberger’s 24K Superiority Complex Texturizing Paste ($40), in your hands; then spread throughout your dry strands.

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Taylor Swift

Swift debuted a choppier version of her signature sleek bob recently, and we can't get enough. A texturizing spray, like Amika’s Un.Done Texture Spray ($24), will give artfully messy life to fine hair.

Angela Weiss/Getty

Alexa Chung

Chung is the perennial poster girl for this style, and no list of cool-girl hairstyles would be complete without her in it.

Sienna Miller

The It-Brit actress opted to style her shag into soft waves—proof that the low-key hairstyle has earned a place on the red carpet.

Darren Garish/Getty

Cool-girl and model Freja Beha Erichson is the epitome of shag cut goals. 



If you prefer your hair on the sleeker end of the spectrum, don’t denounce the modern shag just yet—Ciara is proof that it looks just as good super straight, curling slightly inward at the ends.

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Mica Arganaraz

The It model proves that the shag works for curly hair, too—and that bangs can be part of the equation. Scrunch a light styling cream, like Leonor Greyl’s Éclat Naturel Styling Cream ($46), through damp strands to add shine and definition (but not too much definition) to your curls.

What do you think of this cut? Would you go for it? If not, we suggest you give one of these three other fall hair trends a try.

This story was originally published on November 5, 2015. 

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