The Shag Haircut For Men: Then + Now

By Matt V


What is a shag haircut? It’s a shaped haircut with lots of layers. The shag usually has bangs, waves or curls, sideburns, and long hair at the neck. But not always.

This 70s and 80s and sometimes 90s style is back for both men and women. It evokes previous eras of music and styles as well as a more innocent time – when men permed their hair and wore Spandex as a fashion statement. David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and Eddie Van Halen are a few notable rock ‘n’ roll shag haircuts.

This layered men’s haircut is excellent for wavy or curly hair. It creates a flattering shape while bringing out texture and adding movement. That shag still works for straight hair, it just won’t have as much volume. Unless you get a perm.

Check out these short, medium length, and long shag haircuts for men. These old and cuts can have a retro feel, rocker vibes, or look futuristic.

Men’s Shag Haircut

Shag haircut men
Jack Mead

It’s hard to say if this long layered cut with fringe is from the past or the future but it definitely looks good. Short layers on top add volume all around while there is plenty of length around the sides and back.

70s Shag Haircut

70s shag hair men Frank Zappa
Enjoy Co. Hair Collective

From Rod Stewart to Frank Zappa, this wavy-curly cut was the look to have in the 70s, and is again today. If you can add the handlebar mustache, even better.

Shag Haircuts For Short Hair

Short and shaggy haircuts tend to have uneven bangs and length at the back with some texture and volume. This can be the beginning of a growing out period or the final length.

Cool new fringe haircuts men
Jack Mead

The crop haircut brought back bangs for men. Now there are lots of fresh ways to wear fringe, like this choppy cut that adds texture all over.

Messy haircuts men
Jelle Vissers

For a retro, rocker feel, wear hair longer with plenty of textured cutting and messy styling. At every length, the shag reveals the ear.

Crop mullet haircut men
Aaron Kiely

Another version of the crop, this cool cut trades the usual fade for a longer mullet-inspired neckline.

Choppy crop haricut
Enjoy Co. Hair Collective

For straight hair, layers and choppy cuts help build the volume that textured hair has naturally. A little product and styling with fingers do the rest.

Brit pop shag hair guys men
Joe and Co.

Shag styles with long fringe have been popular with Brit pop bands like Pulp and Oasis.

Short shag haircut men
Christian Miranda

This fresh style is definitely business at the front and party at the back, contrasting short straight fringe with longer, wavy hair at the back.

Rocker hair shag wavy curly men
Rokk Man Barbers

This wavy haircut has a classic shape plus plenty of layers to bring out texture and keep hair easy to style. The heavy sideburn area really makes the profile.

Medium Length Shaggy Haircuts

Men’s medium hair is longer than short and shorter than long, with plenty of different cuts and styles, even within the shag. Depending on the cut, hair can appear to be longer or shorter. Or with a mullet, be both at the same time.

Man bob with bangs
Nicholas Giberson

The longer hair is, the shaggier it can be. Here’s a cool man bob with bangs styled messy.

Cool shag mullet haircut Asian men
Joe and Co.

This is the classic shag haircut shape with thick, straight hair. Textured ends add that shaggy look to stick straight hair. This cut is also trending with a temple fade instead of the full sideburn area.

Medium length haircuts men
Aaron Kiely

Men’s hair is getting longer and looser and here’s a great example. It’s a classic men’s cut with a hint of extra length and plenty of layered movement.

90s shag haircut men
Spencer Lloyd Patrick Grimshaw

Blonde accents add to the 90s feel of this look and emphasize the bangs and long neckline of this cool wavy shag.

How to style a shag haircut
Jesse P. Gil

While the shag haircut is most often worn down with loose fringe, that is not the only option. Here’s a cool messy pomp that flows into long layers.

Wavy + Curly Shag Hair

The shag was made for textured hair, creating a flattering shape and bringing out wave and curl. Play with the proportion of bangs to length to create your own look.

Bob Dylan curly shag haircut men
Linda Lehto

This Bob Dylan haircut is as timeless as his music. The shape is full but layers keep hair light.

Cool curly shag mullet haircut men
Casey K.

We may never have thought to combine a mustache, baby bangs, and curly mullet but now we’re thinking again.

Curly shag haircut men
Kamilla Albani

For a different ration of front to back, this cool look is heavy on fringe and lighter on the flow.

Long curly haircut men
Lyric at Republic Salon

And back to the rock star comparisons, this look is inspired by Eddie Van Halen but has aged better than some of their tunes. With light fringe and shoulder-length hair, this looks is as much surfer as it is rocker.

Long Shag For Men

If that long, straight haircut isn’t for you, check out these shags with shape, movement, and flow. Styling is as easy as working a lightweight product like a hair cream through damp hair and letting it dry. Or for maximum volume, use a blow dryer.

Cool long shag haircut men
Aaron Kiely

If you haven’t had a haircut for a year, you may have discovered that straight hair has some texture. Keep the length and clean it up with this cool, neck grazing haircut.

Emo hair for teenage guys
Jessi Bennet

This emo-inspired shag creates adds so much life to otherwise flat hair. Plus hair is lighter, moveable, and easy to style.

Long fine hair men
Dip And Gloss

For straight hair with a little bit of wave, the shag haircut brings out that texture and volume. For this fine hair, try a lightweight product like a mousse to fight frizz or salt spray to enhance texture.

Shag haircut long hair men
Ollie Taylor-Banks Hair

That smile when you look good and know it. Shaggy layers can make long hair for men so much easier to wear that you’ll never want to pull it back into a bun or ponytail.

Long shag hair men
The Color Bar Ventura

These long golden locks have hints of Farrah Fawcett wings and we’re here for it.

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