The ‘pretty shag’ has cool-girl rebel vibes

The secret to a good shag? Meeting your match. When it comes to shag haircuts, it’s worth experimenting until you find one that fits. That’s why the pretty shag should be on your radar if you like the chop in principal, but prefer a softer take on all those short layers.

After all, a full-on shag cut is a baller move. It traditionally incorporates extremely choppy layers around the crown, and while it looks cool and rebellious, it’s a fairly brave commitment. And, since our hair is as much a statement of our personality as the clothes we wear, they have to align.

“A much more ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ girl is going to suit something different from a ‘sweet’ girl,” explains Luke Hersheson, Kérastase Consultant and CEO of Hershesons salon. A shag is tougher than most standard chops so “you’ve got to have the confidence to wear this look,” he explains. “As a hairdresser, it’s about who you decide to put that on. If you put the style on the wrong person, it just doesn’t work.”

The thing is, speaking from the “sweet girl” camp, I want in on the action (but only a little bit). Where a couple of years ago, I was on the fence about shag haircuts, I’m leaning into the shaggy vibe much more these days.

Maybe it’s all the incredible inspo being served up by the likes of LA stylist Sal Sal and cool-girls models Mica Arganaz and Suki Waterhouse; or maybe it’s all that phwoar volume.

Luke’s right, though. As smokin’ as a “full-on shag” may look on some, it’s not for everyone.

“Someone who likes a more traditional look is a different tribe,” says Luke. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt the elements of a cut that you like – the volume, the breeziness, the attitude – and combine it with your own style.

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