The bob was having a major moment over the past few years, and the new shag works for the very same reason — there is something for everyone. The more modern shag is more feminine than it is ever been. The layers are more blended and not quite as short, and the length is really up to you.
As eternally cool as the look is, a highly layered cut like this can be intimidating to coif at home. For a lesson in all things shaggy, see how to get the new chop, plus the details on styling it in a unique way.
The key to styling the modern shag cut is accentuating the layers and bringing out the natural texture of your hair. The goal is body and movement, with the bulk of the volume focused through the mid-sections.
Start on clean, detangled, towel-dried hair that has been parted either in the middle or slightly off to the side. Grab a can of soft-hold mousse and scrunch golf ball-sized dollops into the length, focusing on evenly coating the layers. One dollop on each side should do it on fine to medium-weight hair; thick hair can handle double that.
Tip: If your hair is very thick, dry, curly, or frizzy, feel free to add a few drops of your go-to oil or serum after the mousse to counteract the drying effect. Follow the same strategy and scrunch a small amount into the lengths, but don't brush or comb — you are scrunching for a reason.
Work the product into you hair layers while cleverly molding your natural waves into place. The goal of this step is to add volume and definition through the layers, which helps to bring out the hair's natural bends, waves, or curls. The process for putting the mousse in helps to define how the hair will look.
Fret not if you have very straight hair — just keep going through the steps, and you might be surprised how much volume and body you will get.
You have two options when it comes to drying: Air-dry or break out a diffuser. Either way, lightly scrunch as you go to add definition. Those with fine and straight hair should not skip this step, as it will add more natural bends and volume.
If you take the diffuser route, pick the lowest speed and highest heat and be strategic, diffusing each section after you have molded it with your hands. Scrunch, then dry from the bottom, treating the diffuser a bit like a basket. Stop when the length of hair is 90% dry; roots can be a tad more damp.
Now it's time to bust out the old-school Velcro rollers. These are great to get a little smoothness and more volume. Fine or straight hair can opt for a small size; everyone else should go for medium-width.
Follow a specific pattern: one for your bangs going forward; two on the crown going backward. Allow hair to fully dry while you do your makeup or get dressed; if you are pressed for time, try a blast of the diffuser to speed things along.
Once hair is dry and completely cooled, if you used heat, gently pull out the rollers and finger-comb it into place.
To finish, apply hairspray for hold, but then also another spray to build texture, like a surf spray before giving the hair a final scrunch.