If you had asked any beauty insider back in January what the big hair trends for the year ahead would be, it’s unlikely anyone would have said grown-out roots, wonky fringes, and patchy box dye jobs. Yet here we are. The year is finally drawing to a close, and it’s safe to say that the face of beauty has changed substantially over the past 11 months, most notably when it comes to our hair. Whatever your signature style, whether you started the year with ice-white lengths or a sleek, glass-like bob, chances are 2020 has messed with your hair game.
Sure, we all started this ride feeling optimistic that we would be able to return to our trusty stylists and get our signature locks back just as soon as things "blew over," but as time has moved on so have our hair priorities. The truth is chic but high-maintenance styles just aren’t cooperating with the rest of our lives right now. We are having to deal with a lack of salon appointments and social events, but above everything else, we just can’t be bothered to style our hair every day.
So how do we proceed? Well, most experts we have spoken to advise that 2021 could be time to embrace a hair change. However, unlike big hair trends of yesteryear (blunt bob, we’re looking at you), the It style for 2021 is set to be a whole lot easier to deal with. At a time when we’re all looking for a hairstyle that’s fuss-free, easy to manage, and versatile, it’s no surprise that the iconic '70s shag is making a comeback. Revlon Professional global artistic ambassador Mark Leeson says, “The shag is the ultimate undone statement haircut. It’s choppy and full of texture and makes for a refreshing change to long, one-length hair. On a daily basis, you don’t need to do much to a well-cut shag style, as the texture and shape are already cut into it.”
“The feathered texture works for most lengths and is great for curly and Afro hair, too. To keep it modern, combine voluminous curls with a short, face-framing, ringlet fringe,” says Leeson. The key to executing the style in 2021? Keep things textured and carefree but opt for a softer cut. “You have to make sure your stylist doesn’t cut in too many layers because this could really date the look,” he adds.
Convinced? Keep scrolling for the very best shag hairstyles out there and to get some serious inspiration ahead of your next (and long-anticipated) hair appointment.
Suki Waterhouse's blown-out bangs make for the ultimate face framers.
A long, tousled shag looks just as great thrown up into a ponytail as it does when its worn down.
While the iconic '70s shag was a little longer, this super-choppy, undone pixie cut has all of the low-maintenance shag inspo you need if you favour shorter styles.
Zendaya's curly shag has proven one of the most sought-after styles of the past decade, and we're still not over it.
Give your shag cut a French-girl touch by incorporating a simple root stretch. Not only does it look chic, but it also helps minimise the contrast when your blonde starts to grow out.
If you prefer to keep things understated, keep layers long and don't go in too short around the face.
This is all of the proof you need that a grown-out shag cut looks just as chic as it does when it is first styled.
This is exactly the sort of cool, modern style Leeson is talking about when he recommends a short ringlet fringe.
If you ask us, Halle Berry is queen of the 21st-century shag. Sure, she might be better known for her iconic pixie cut, but we think her tousled, honey-tinted lengths look just as great.
Leeson says the key to maintaining a healthy shag is in ensuring you keep strands nourished and strong with hydrating masks and treatments.
The best bit about a long, wavy shag cut is that it requires minimal styling. Keeping things minimal and messy is the way.
Julia Stegner's retro style epitomises the laid-back, cool-girl vibe that the shag cut has come to represent.
Tousled, voluminous curls look impossibly chic when cut into a choppy shag. Opting for a wispy, slightly parted fringe creates a softer look.
She's been rocking the same shag-style cut for years, and Alexa Chung's signature look is just as chic now as it was 10 years ago.
We couldn't be more in love with this soft, fluffy look if we tried. The short layers, the wispy curls, the flyaways over the face… It's perfection.
We're getting serious '70s vibes from this blonde shag, and we're not mad about it. The wavy, parted fringe is laid-back hair goals.
Teaming a textured shag with a short, full fringe is seriously on-trend right now.
If your hair is fine and poker-straight, leave things simple and just create a bit of texture in the ends for serious French-girl vibes.
She's had her fair share of iconic hairstyles over the years, but Victoria Beckham's choppy, balayaged style is, by far, our favourite.
A shag is the ultimate way to create some shape and take some weight out of thicker styles.
Shop Styling Products Perfect for Shag Hairstyles
Spray this leave-in conditioner into ends to keep choppy strands healthy and nourished.
This stuff is the ultimate hair booster. To add volume and carefree texture into your shag, just blast all over and scrunch the hair in your hands.
If you have thick, curly, and textured or Afro hair and want heat styling, these straighteners can't be beaten.
Blunt cuts might be high-maintenance, but they are a sure-fire way to keep hair healthy. Opting for a textured shag cut means you need to keep strands strong and resilient, and this hair treatment is the best guy for the job.
Make sure your hair is healthy and strong before you hack off and thin out the ends with this super-restoring mask.
For shorter styles, run this Texture Paste through ends for a messy (but effortlessly chic) finish.
So much more than a hairspray, this product acts as a dry shampoo, texturiser, and long-lasting hold spray. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also gives hair an effortlessly cool vibe in a matter of seconds.
A liberal misting of this once a day before styling will leave lengths moisturised, conditioned, and protected against UV and heat damage. It's a total all-rounder.
If you have naturally flat and fine hair, create some lift and movement with this super-clever hot brush.
If you don't like the feeling of having too much product in your hair, this volumising spray gives next-level lift and texture with virtually no weight.