IS THE SHAG THE PERFECT HAIRCUT TREND FOR 2021?

Low-maintenance and tons of texture, Shaggy hairstyles are the latest trend for post-lockdown looks.

Posted in Inspiration, Trends & Culture Inspiration, Trends & Culture |

Everyone is talking about the SHAG haircut or, as Anthony and Bruno Mascolo called their version in the late ’70s, the ‘Shaggy Look’. It’s an all-time favourite hairstyle, that was iconic for the brothers.

It’s a style that is still wearable now, that’s adaptable, works on most hair types, whatever the texture, and looks good on both shoulder length and long hair. In fact, it is the perfect style for someone who has grown out their Bob and wants something with more movement and freedom.

The beauty of a Shag hairstyle is that it gives an infinite number of styling options and if the cut has been done well, it looks as good left to dry naturally, as it does carefully blow-dried, straightened or curled.

The perfect look for grown-out styles. | Credit: @joeltorresstyle

Credit: @joeltorresstyle

So why is the shag haircut on-trend right now?

There are some obvious reasons. Globally, this year many women have been unable to visit their hairdressers as regularly as usual, and many once-sharp hairstyles have just grown out. That means people have got used to easier, messy styling and want to continue this into the New Year. Then, of course, there is a trend for loungewear and ‘work from home’ fashions, leading to a more casual approach to style. And when everyone is forced to spend more time at home, and big events have been cancelled, ‘effortless’ has become a definite hot trend.

FUSE talks to TIGI’s master of the Shag haircut, Joel Torres, to get his angle on the trend and why he loves it so much. And if your clients are asking for this look, read on for some tips to ensure you make it contemporary and right for clients today.

Fuse: Where has the Shag hair trend come from?

Joel: Today, social media has huge power to create a trend. Pinterest, TikTok and Instagram are significant in the birth and evolution of pretty much every trend! An idea keeps appearing and then it’s just ‘out there’! That is what happened with the Shag haircut. I have actually been doing Shag haircuts for about six years now, and it’s interesting to me that my older pictures are now being shared more on Pinterest.

Fuse: Why do you like the haircut so much?

Joel: The reason I’m such a big fan of the shag haircut is partly that I love movies from the late 70s and 80s when a lot of the actresses had versions of this look. I love its sexiness, and how texture is embraced.

Fuse: But why is the Shag having a moment in 2020?

Joel: This year, obviously, people haven’t been able to go and see their hairdressers. On top of that, people aren’t socialising and are mainly working from home. So, more and more, they have embraced their natural texture, not bothering to blow-dry or use heated appliances.

Fuse: Have you moved on from your original Shag cut?

Joel: Today, there has definitely been a transition. The new look is what I call the ‘Pixie Shag’. It is basically an undercut. The top section takes inspiration from both the original Shag and the Mullet, with a fringe that’s shorter in the middle and longer at the sides. It’s often created with razor cutting and internal layering, and it’s a look that has become a real thing in California.

Fuse: Anyone famous wearing these looks?

Joel: Miley Cyrus has been wearing her hair in a Mullet/Shag style for a while and Taylor Swift recently had a similar look. Zendaya had a great shaggy haircut that really enhanced her natural texture. And for the original ‘Shaglet’ just look at Debbie Harry’s hair over the years!

Fuse: What type of client would you recommend for a Shag haircut?

Joel: Most clients could wear this hairstyle. It’s really versatile so can be created on short to long hair and for most hair types. It’s the perfect style for anyone wanting movement and texture, and an easy to maintain look. It would work great for clients that used to have a lob before Lockdown and their hair has now grown out.

Fuse: What is the main consideration when creating this type of hair cut?

Joel: Hair density! It’s super-important to control movement. People with thick hair need weight removed, but on fine hair you have to adapt the technique, keeping the layers heavy at the front with less layering at the back. And if a client has curly hair, you need to work with the natural texture and movement. When you get it right, it’s a look that’s easy to maintain.

Fuse: What about client suitability?

Joel: If someone has a very tiny face, then you need to be careful when cutting the fringe, and perhaps cut it so that it falls to the side. In other words, analyse your approach for each client. However, I believe that if the cut is amazing, anyone can wear it, no matter what their face shape. It will enhance and make the wearer look good. So I say: Go for it!

Fuse: When it comes to colour techniques for a Shag style, what would you recommend?

Joel: The aim is to frame the face and create dimension, so Hair Contouring or a Money Piece would work really well for Shag hairstyles. But also, just a soft touch of colour at the fringe area can look really effective and modern.

Fuse: What products do you like to use to create and style the Shag?

Joel: There are several products I reach for. I like to use a leave-in conditioner as a cutting lotion, such as TIGI Copyright Heat Protection Spray, to help keep moisture. I also like a control cream such as Multi Tasking Styling Cream.

On hair that requires volume, Bed Head Queen for a Day Thickening Spray is great as you can layer it into the hair and apply and reapply more as needed. But my absolute favourite is Bed Head Motor Mouth. I use this a lot as a cutting lotion and for styling.

So, it looks like the sleek and polished styles from the start of 2020 are over, at least for now, and clients are embracing this new, more relaxed trend. With the New Year just around the corner, clients will be open to change, so why not recommend a Shag style for their 2021 look?

Check out @joeltorresstyle for Shag cutting, styling and personalisation tips, and head over to Fuse Education to perfect those shaggy skills.

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