Trending Haircut for 2021: The Modern Shag
Aug 22, 2022 | By Maria Eliza Pineda
Behold... the Trending Haircut for 2021
The shag or “shaggy” haircut is definitely not a new thing. It was all the rage back in the 70s along with leather jackets and the punk rock movement. This style was popular because of its effortless, messy look that fit perfectly with the vibe of the era. The 70s shag consisted of very short, severe layers that gradually got longer and thinner at the ends. This produced a super feathery and bold look that was perfect for headbanging to your favorite rock anthem.
With the rise of Tiktok and Gen Z, the shag has now come back stronger than ever with some pretty sick variations that can suit any style whether you’re going for the original, punkier version or a more feminine version of the cut. The modern shag has taken over 2021 and we are loving it!
Also Read: Top Short Hairstyles in 2021
K-style has been a trendsetting phenomenon for the past decades now and it’s no different for the shag. Both men and women from South Korea have been spotted rocking the modern shag with some beautiful variations of the bold cut. This new look gives homage to the short layers at the top and tapered bottom of the original cut but modernizes it with softer, more gradual layers. This gives a more feminine, pretty vibe rather than the bolder, chic look of the old-fashioned shag.
Courtesy of Pinterest
This look is perfect for those who don’t really want a drastic, super shaggy cut. It’s a subtle, wearable version of this punky trend.
We all know the chaotic world that is DIY hair projects on Tiktok. People have now included the shag cut or as they would call it the “wolf cut” in their DIY haircut experiments on TikTok. It consists of taking all your hair up in a high ponytail right at the very top of the head and cutting your hair like that. There have also been variations of this with people taking multiple sections and making more layers.
Now, I can’t say that this is a foolproof way to cut hair. There are definitely some mixed results out there ranging from absolutely gorgeous to wait-maybe-I-shouldn’t-have-done-this. Check out this compilation of people DIYing a shag haircut at home:
However, if you want something a little bit more legit and thorough, you can watch these videos to find out how to give yourself a proper shag using tips and tricks from professional hairdressers:
Celebrities have also hopped onto the shaggy cut train! These celebrities show the incredible range of a shag haircut. Depending on what kind of vibe you want, you can change up a few things about your shag and get a completely different result! From cool and casual, wild and daring, to pretty and glamorous. The shag can do it all. Here are some Hollywood celebs that you can take inspiration from:
Courtesy of Instagram @taylorswift
Taylor Swift is one of the first ones to bring back this style with a modern twist. She shocked everyone back in 2017 with her iconic #Bleachella look with platinum blonde hair and a very short shaggy haircut. It was quite a change from her usual girl-next-door vibes. Taylor has had multiple variations of this cut and is still rocking a more toned-down, casual look that’s perfect for her recent folksy vibe. She shows the great range of a shag cut going for very different looks but still managing to rock them both!
Courtesy of Instagram @billieeilish
Billie Eilish has always been known for her crazy hair colors. But people went absolutely bonkers when she debuted her new long, platinum blonde, shaggy haircut. It’s a shocking change from her previous neon green roots and black locks. She went from bold and quirky to showing off a more feminine, grown-up side as she also changes her music and image to go along with it. This is the perfect example of a modern shag that isn’t too choppy, going for softer layers that blend together nicely.
Debbie Ryan pays homage to the punkier version of the shag cut and goes for the super short feathery layers and tapered ends. It’s a nice in-between that’s still modern and wearable but also has that striking quality that the original 70s rockstar shag cut had. She looks absolutely amazing and someone that can totally rock out with the OGs.
Courtesy of Instagram @ddlovato
Demi Lovato made it clear in their latest documentary “Dancing with the Devil” that they were ready to take that big step and cut it all off. Many of us find comfort and safety having longer locks and Demi was ready to shed that and become a more confident version of themselves. After cutting off their locks and sporting a short ‘do for a while, Demi then went on to rock a daring cut that is a mix between a shag and a mullet. This is not for the faint of heart but it is definitely an iconic look. You have to be quite committed! If you’re looking for a unique and liberating change, take the plunge and try it out.
Miley Cyrus is another pioneer of the mullet/shag comeback! Back in 2019, she revealed her striking new look, sporting a blonde shag that’s super choppy, tapered, and an homage to the mullet hairstyle that her dad was famous for. It’s a little less severe than Demi Lovato’s shag and definitely a more wearable version of the mullet. Fits her wild and spunky personality so perfectly!
Courtesy of Instagram @chrisappleton1
Jennifer Lopez shows us that shags can also be elegant and very glamorous! She went for a super long shag with soft layers that blend with each other beautifully. She also shows that she can rock a sophisticated, glamorous look and a grungier, cooler look just by changing the way she styles her hair.
Why You Should Get a Shag
Are you convinced yet? Seeing all these people looking amazing with their shag haircut is definitely tempting, right? But maybe you’re still wondering if it’s a good idea and if it will look good on you. Here are just a few reasons why you should go for the shag:
Hair can feel dull and boring when there is no depth with the cut and color. Getting a shag will add many distinguishable layers to your hair that will liven up your look and give it some depth. Gone is the boring mousy look and hello cool textures!
For Curlies and Wavies
A shaggy haircut is absolutely made for curlies and wavies. Most of the time, people will have to style their hair in a certain way to achieve that artfully messy bedhead look with the shag. The layers often lay flat if you have straight hair. However, if you have curly or wavy hair, a shag cut will be perfect for you. Those wispy layers will naturally form those pretty “flicks” that so many are dying to attain. The layering of a shaggy cut will also cause your curls to become lighter and have more definition! It’s a win-win.
Contrary to popular belief, having one-length hair isn’t actually going to make your hair look thicker. While the length may look thicker, the hair is going to be really heavy and there won’t be enough lightness in the hair to achieve that voluminous look. Getting layers is the best way to add some depth and volume. A shag has really short layers at the very top of the hair and it gives the illusion of tons of volume at the roots. This is so much better than having limp roots and bottom-heavy locks.
A shag cut has amazing regrowth quality. Meaning, there won’t really be any awkward phases when you’re growing it out. You’re just gonna get some nice layers that still look pretty good even once your shag starts to grow out. It can be ages till you get another haircut and you’ll be fine.
Light and Healthy
Getting a shag is a good way to chop off some of those dead ends without losing too much length in your hair. You’re gonna get the benefits of a big chop but not actually look like you cut all your hair off. This means that your hair will be much healthier and lighter. Easier to wash and dry, too!
I'm not gonna do it, girl. I'm just thinking about it... I did it.
I think we’ve all been this TikTok meme, right? If you’re looking for a sign if you should go through with getting a modern shag, this is it! Take the leap and try out something new and exciting. Why not get the hottest haircut trend right now? Do it, girl!