(clockwise from top left: IMAXTREE, Getty, Indigital, Getty)
Over the last few months, I’ve grown out my bob, added some bangs, and tried face-framing layers. The result is grungy, easy to style, and adds volume to my fine mostly-straight strands. It’s a cut that was seen frequently on the runways at NYFW—check out the images above for examples. I call this look a shag, but it’s a far cry from the styles with that moniker worn by Jane Fonda, Pat Benatar, or Meg Ryan. The new shag—or “swag” if you’re into rebranding—is predicted to be one of the hottest cuts of 2016. But what does it look like and how exactly does it differ from previous variations? Click the notes to find out. –– Laura Martin
Bangs: The new shag has bangs, and they’re not piecey or wispy. In fact, the bangs are the keystone of this look. They determine the shortest length of the layers and add structure and bluntness to the shape. They can fall forward or to the side, be worn straight down or parted, but you have to have them.
Layers: A shag has to have layers, but the modern ones have most of the short pieces around the face. If you look at the styles above you’ll notice that the layers aren’t evenly distributed. The shortest pieces are around the face with a softer, less dramatic layering through sides and back.
Texture: The internal texture of this shape is loose, but the ends are kept fairly blunt, which keeps the style from feeling shattered or wispy. The modern shag is structured and won’t make hair feel thin or stringy. It’s worn soft, with minimal definition instead of stiff or super-piecey.
Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle