16 Short Shag Haircuts For Inspiration!

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First appearing in the 70s, the shag haircut became a wildly popular hairstyle at the time for both men and women. The Shag is back and though it still has its signature features, it has evolved to a much more loose interpretation of the original (thankfully!).

It’s easy to understand the appeal of the shag resurgence because there is a shag style out there for almost every hair type and texture and it can be adapted to any length.

Its slightly unkempt and effortlessly cool vibe, not to mention its low-maintenance and pretty easy styling, appeals to a wide range of people which is why it’s so popular.

We’ve put together this inspiration list of short shag haircuts.

Time to find your new do!


What is a Shag Haircut?

A shag haircut is characterized by lots of layers and texture, with more volume around the crown and thinning out around the edges and throughout the ends. Traditionally a shag haircut also includes center-parted bangs, but the modern-day shag has evolved to include different bang and style adaptations.

Regardless of the adaptations, a good shag cut should carve weight in the right places, giving fine hair more volume, while making thick hair more manageable, and curly hair softer.

The more contemporary shag varies in the number of layers and finishes for the edges. Every hair thickness and length has its ideal shag. The modern shag no longer exudes 80s hair band, but runs the gamut from tomboyish to sultry and 70s retro beach babe to rocker chick and everything in between, hence its current popularity!

There really is a shag out there for everyone.

Short Shag Haircuts

The short shag is one of the more modern interpretations of the shag, which was traditionally a shoulder-length or longer cut. It’s not only just a shorter version of the original.

Part of the evolution of the shag is its incorporation of different styles while still maintaining the shag’s signature layers and texture.

#1. Short Shag

This cut is essentially a shorter version of the traditional shag. Added waves and piecey bangs update and soften the look.

Credit: Instagram / novaartssalon

#2. Super Short Shag

Looking to go even shorter? This super short shag should do the trick. For fine straight hair, a little texturizing spray will give you more volume.

Credit: Instagram / beckyelizabethhair 

#3. Chin-length Shag with Side Part

Here’s a good example of the shag evolution. Long layers add natural-looking volume, keeping the bulk of the hair at the top, but unlike the traditional shag that has center-parted bangs, this chin-length cut has a side part and side-swept bangs. This creates a lived-in, casual look.

Credit: Instagram / hairdresser

 #4. Sleek Razor Cut Shag

Now you probably never thought you’d hear the word ‘sleek’ used to describe a shag haircut. But this is yet another example of the evolution of the shag. It’s Perfect for those with straight hair. Lots of layers, finely chopped bangs, and textured ends tame this shag for a smoother look.

For the extra sleek look, work a shine-enhancing oil throughout your hair.

Credit: Instagram / cutyourhair

#5. French Bob Shag

This style merges the French bob with shag layers to bring both these styles into the 21st century.

Credit: Instagram / annvmariv

#6. Pixie Shag

Have fine, straight hair? Take a flat, one-dimensional pixie cut to the next level by incorporating shaggy, choppy layers. For lift and volume, use an all-over texturizing spray and texture paste on the ends to give it that separated piecey look. One of the great things about a shortcut is that you can wear a headband for a little extra bling without looking like you’re 12 years old!

Credit: Instagram / alineh_a 

#7. Short Shag with Curtain Bangs

A shorter shag is better for thinner hair, as the different lengths add more volume. This ultra-casual short layered choppy shag is both boyish and bold. But the curtain bangs and wispy, thinned-out ends soften it up to give it a feminine touch.

Credit: Instagram /  classiclois_hairstylist

#8. Stacked Shag with Deep Side Part

Combining a stacked bob with long, choppy layers is perfect for those with thicker hair. Shaggy layers remove excess bulk and weight which creates loads of volume that is still manageable.

Credit: Instagram / headrushdesigns

#9. Blue Ombre Shag w/o Bangs

One of the things that makes a shag a shag is the bangs. But hey, if you don’t want bangs, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a short shag and opting out of the fringe.

There are also no rules that state you can’t go for a striking colored ombre! A short shag is a great cut to experiment with color.

Credit: Instagram / rockyvitelli

#10. Short Blunt Cut Shag

A straightforward, yet sassy hairstyle, a blunt cut shag makes for a cleaner look than its messy-ended shag cousin. Paired with face-framing textured bangs, this makes for a casual, go-anywhere style.

Credit: Instagram / salsalhair

#11. Short Curly Shag

If you want to play up your curls or you’ve just had enough of the burden of longer hair and the maintenance that goes along with it, a short curly shag will be perfect for you.

Just remember: the shorter the hair, the lighter the hair will be, and the shorter the curls will bounce back.

Credit: Instagram / ashton_beauty

#12. Scrunched Inverted Shag

Short back layers that gradually become longer towards the front is a great option for those looking for a face-framing hairstyle. The wispy ends and bangs with the scrunched look adds more of an edge.

This haircut may be just the update you’ve been needing!

Credit: Instagram / cutyourhair 

#13. Pixie Mullet Shag

Three styles for the price of one! Now granted not everyone will be able to pull off this look, but if you can – go for it! Try adding some intense color while you’re at it. Because if you can rock the pixie mullet shag, you may as well go all out!

Credit: Instagram / skipdoeshair

 #14. Short Shag Long Bangs

Long shaggy bangs on this short cut bring the bulk of the volume front and center. This is a great cut for those with thick hair who want to accentuate cheekbones. It’s also a good cut for those with a prominent brow they want to minimize.

Credit: Instagram / silviagullon

#15. Short Soft Shag

Whether your hair is thick or thin, this cut will work. Long shaggy layers will relieve thick hair of excess bulk while providing finer hair with more volume. Center parted curtain bangs complete the look. For this cut, styling products are a must – namely a texturizing mousse or spray.

Credit: Instagram / chrisjones_hair

#16. Short Side Parted Spiky Shag

Talk about shaggy chic! Despite its rocker roots, the modern shag can be whatever you want to make it. And in this case, the short shaggy layers around the sides and back, and the longer layers towards the front are purposeful, as opposed to random.

And they all come together to create a look that is chic and sophisticated, yet edgy at the same time.

Maintaining this style will require some hair products and styling time, but as you can see, the effort is SO worth the results.

Credit: Instagram / pauldaveyhair

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).