Style 101: The Shag Cut

by hjiadmin / last updated February 1, 2022

the shag cos sakkas

As we kick off the new year, our new Style 101 series is here to give you some style inspiration – how to pull a look off and what to do if it goes wrong.

The shag haircut is an edgy classic which has recently come back into its own after a 1970 debut – being sported by stars such as Taylor Swift and Billie EilishTONI&GUY’s International Artistic Director, Cos Sakkas, walks us through the look and shares his tips and tricks for creating the perfect shag cut.

“I love the shag haircut. It’s edgy and non-conformist. But it was also its effortlessness because you can wash and go, or spend time styling it. It can be super soft and feminine in one style, or load it with products and give it more aggressive volume and you have a totally different feel. It’s incredibly versatile, it suggests a
rebellious nature and can really transform a client’s overall image,” explains Cos.

How to Create It

The shag suits all hair types and lengths, it’s the perfect cut to grow out an existing cut as it’s meant to look a little lived in. The natural texture of the client’s hair dictates how to approach cutting the shag.

On very straight hair, Cos tends to cut while the hair is wet and add the detail when hair is dry, while on
naturally wavy hair, he prefers to do the entire cut on dry hair. This way it’s easier to work with
the natural texture.

“When creating a shag of any length, start with the hair below the occipital bone, holding the section straight out at a 90-degree angle. I cut this section to the desired length and use it as my guide throughout the cut.”

Top Tips

When creating a fringe, take face shape into account.

With a wider face, you don’t want a thick, blunt fringe as this will make your face look wider still. Instead, cut in a narrow fringe and part in the centre to slim down the features. Slimmer faces can embrace heavier bangs.

Getting the right length of layers

The way they sit individually onto the cheekbones, the strength you give it on the outline, it’s really important that it doesn’t look, it still needs to be quite head-hugging otherwise you look like a nutter! Stays tight but loose to the head with no width, layers don’t create volume.

No No’s

  • Don’t get overzealous when removing weight from the mid and bottom layers — this can
    create a mullet rather than a shag.
  • Do not give it volume through the sides

For some shag cut inspiration, with looks from hairdressers check out our HJI gallery, such as Callum Standen-May. In our gallery, you can create bespoke searches by selecting the cut, style, length, colour (and many more!) categories that you’re looking for.

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