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29 Trending Short Shag Haircuts in 2024

Looking for short shag haircut inspiration? Look no further than our complete guide. We’ll give you 30 trending examples, the key features of each, and things to consider before your next salon visit.

29 Short Shag Haircuts for Women

Short shag haircuts have been popular at different points in time, usually thanks to celebrities sporting them throughout the decades. Everyone from Taylor Swift to Mick Jagger and Jennifer Aniston has worn these trademark messy, choppy haircuts at some point.

What Is a Short Shag Haircut?

Short Shag Haircut explainer image on a tan background

A shag haircutcut is any cut that combines gradual layering with shorter layers near the top of the head and progressively longer layers underneath.

Think of a Christmas tree and how the top branches are shorter than the branches underneath. This type of cut gives the illusion of added height at the crown of the head.

It’s also perfect for messy styles and a tousled, slightly disheveled look. Short shag haircuts are some of the most popular versions of the shag. Short shags can be worn as short as a pixie or nearly to the shoulders.

They also have a ton of options:

  • Part it down the middle with bangs for a 70’s vibe
  • Opt for a hard side part
  • Use it for face-framing layers for a more modern look

If you’re considering getting a short shag cut, it’s helpful to have plenty of examples to look at. When you visit your stylist to request this cut, you should bring inspiration photos to show them exactly what you’re going for. 

And if you’d like to blend features of more than one cut below for your own unique take on the shag, just tell your stylist. “I like the bangs from this cut, but I’d like to combine that with the shorter layers we see in this other example.”   

Check out these examples of short shag haircuts to see which one might be best suited for you! We’re sure that with 30 examples, you’re sure to find a trendy style to fit your look and style.

30 Examples of Short Shag Haircuts

Short shag cuts have a lot of variation and flexibility. There are hundreds of ways to style it, several length options that fall under the short category, and endless ways to make it your own. Here are 30 of the best examples we found for these cuts.

Short Shag Haircut 1

Beautiful smiling redhead woman with a short shag haircut in a denim shirt on red brick wall grunge, industrial background. Young stylish girl on the street with retro photo camera.


A long, shaggy top complements the shorter back and sides of this casual cut. Long layers throughout the top keep it loose, freeform, and full of movement.

Short Shag Haircut 2

Beauty Young Woman Portrait over White Background. Beautiful Model Girl Face. Short Curly Hair, Fresh Clean Skin and Green Eyes. Hairstyle. Haircut

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

This choppy version of a long bob creates more body and volume in the hair, which is great for oval or square faces. Short layers throughout the hair add dimension and make the cut suitable for messy or formal styles.

Short Shag Haircut 3

Portrait of happy woman with short shag hair in basic t-shirt rejoicing and pointing finger at copyspace isolated over white background

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

A little tousling and light layering make this short shag haircut perfect for anyone who wants “wash and go” hair. When you’re up for styling, a curling or wave iron can add polish to this otherwise casual cut.

Short Shag Haircut 4

Closeup portrait of a beautiful young asian japanese girl woman with freckles with black short pixie haircut in red shawl scarf looking straight into the camera

Anna Kraynova/Shutterstock

Longer face-framing strands around the face with lots of layering throughout are the standout features of this short, shaggy cut.

Short Shag Haircut 5

Portrait happy smily young sexy girl listening to music in white headphones on an isolated yellow background. Pleasure. The emotions of people. Monotone. Copy space

Larina Marina/Shutterstock

Get a disheveled look that can be dressed up or down with a cut just above the shoulders and random, choppy layers throughout.

Short Shag Haircut 6

Photo of beautiful laughing woman with short hair

Belikova Oksana/Shutterstock

This haircut has a rocker vibe and so many different ways to style it. Ask for brow-length bangs and choppy layers throughout with shorter layers up front.

Short Shag Haircut 7

Blond model in studio rocking a short shag haircut and blue shirt against a light sky blue background


Straight hair can look great with a messy cut like this. Use pomade or wax to create a piecey look with lots of layers at different lengths.

Short Shag Haircut 8

Portrait of attractive blonde woman with curly short hair


This haircut is somewhat blunt on the bottom for a precise edge, but features lots of texture thanks to heavy layering throughout. Use a curling wand or iron to give it partial waves and accentuate the cut’s shagginess.

Short Shag Haircut 9

profile of a beautiful woman with red lips and short feathered red hair in modern bob over studio background

Luba V Nel/Shutterstock

Get the tousled, messy look with a shorter cut by having your stylist create volume at the crown with shorter layers that gradually transition into longer layers at the sides and nape of the neck.

Short Shag Haircut 10

Fresh hair color and cut


This cut is on the longer end of the short hair spectrum. But thanks to the shorter stacked back, it delivers that shag look for anyone who doesn’t want to go too short.

Short Shag Haircut 11

Hair bob with short curls on the female head with red hair side view against the background of black isolate.


Opt for looser waves instead of the tight curls in the photo, and this cut is positively shaggy. A little height at the back keeps it from laying flat to the head.

Short Shag Haircut 12

For a piece on short shag haircuts, Cheerful short-haired girl in trendy glasses posing with pleasure in new knitted attire. Indoor portrait of pleased curly young woman standing in front of yellow wall.

Look Studio/Shutterstock

This one is totally shagadelic, baby! The basic cut – short layers stacked in the back with longer layers around the sides – is paired with messy curls for a look that says “I woke up like this” in a good way.

Short Shag Haircut 13

Young woman portrait. Closeup beauty studio shoot. Healthy clean skin and perfect makeup on beautiful face of white model with short shag haircut

Yuri Shevtsov/Shutterstock

If you like the look of a tousled, messy cut but want to clean it up a bit, you’ll like this one. The layers and bangs are long and even for a more polished look that you can texturize and piece in different ways – we especially love this style with some soft waves.

Short Shag Haircut 14

Portrait of young pretty woman with short curly shag hairstyle wearing round hipster sunglasses and mint top, looking away, posing against white studio wall background

WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

This stacked bob keeps some layers long for an updated look. Shaggy cuts like these always look great in waves or curls to accentuate the different lengths of layers in the hair.

Short Shag Haircut 15

Beautiful young woman smiling with her new pair of eyeglasses isolated on white background


A deep side part looks great with long bangs that blend seamlessly into the short hair. Cut in gradual layers at the back, this cut has height at the crown that is super flattering for all face shapes.

Short Shag Haircut 16

Beautiful young woman outdoors. Romantic model in summer outfit. Short curly hair, fresh clean skin and blue eyes. Hairstyle. Haircut

Kseniia Perminova/Shutterstock

Even if you’re not sure about how you’ll deal with short hair, this cut can work for you. Keeping the front layers long creates the illusion of more length while making your mane more manageable.

Short Shag Haircut 17

Beautiful young woman wearing short shag hairstyle autumn outdoor, focus on a hair.

Lena Pan/Shutterstock

There’s something edgy about straight hair with a shaggy cut like this. You might want to use hair products to define the different layers and pieces for more visual interest.

Short Shag Haircut 18

Beautiful woman with short white hair on white background

Antonio Sanches/Shutterstock

This cut is pretty short in the back, fading from short to gradually longer layers around the side of the face. We love the asymmetrical look here!

Short Shag Haircut 19

Young woman with modern short shag hairstyle


Revive the Myspace days with this punchy shag cut. It works best with thick hair cut short in the back with choppy layers at the bottom of the front.

Short Shag Haircut 20

Closeup of beautiful young woman with red lips looking sideways on white background


A cross between a pixie cut and a shag cut, this is a great option if you’ve been itching to go super short or are growing out a pixie. The long face-framing layers give this cut dimension.

Short Shag Haircut 21

Image of woman with short hairstyle, view from behind. Haircut. Hairstyle


An undercut in the back takes this shaggy style to a new level. Keep the layers long in front for more styling options.

Short Shag Haircut 22

Girl with a short stylish haircut on a dark background. Space for text


This is like the sister cut of the one shown above without the undercut. You can wear it sleek and straight or add hair products to mess it up a bit.

Short Shag Haircut 23

Cosmetic studio concept against red background featuring a short shag haircut image against red background

Ariuxz Nawrocki/Shutterstock

Take the shaggy style to the max with these ultra-long layers around the face and shorter layers toward the sides and back.

Short Shag Haircut 24

Beautiful young woman with short pixie light blond hair looking at camera and smiling


Keeping a little more length on the face-framing layers makes this cut easy to style. Choppy layers around the back are perfect for creating the messy look.

Short Shag Haircut 25

Pretty young brunette in a sheer print blouse

Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock

Hair that nearly hits the shoulders is perfectly suited for a shag cut! As long as you have your stylist work in some messy layers throughout, this cut is easy to wear messy or polished.

Short Shag Haircut 26

Happy young fashion woman with pixie hair walking on city street Stylish female model in tank top and silk scarf


The shaggy haircut doesn’t always have to be worn messy. This is a great example of taming those signature layers of this style to lay down with added volume at the crown.

Short Shag Haircut 27

Young woman with a short shag haircut close up face beauty portrait.Short Hair style. Female model isolated white background.

Yuri Shevtsov/Shutterstock

Some soft, side-swept bangs look great with any shag cut. This short-medium length offers lots of styling flexibility.

Short Shag Haircut 28

Young woman with short hair posing beside graffiti background


Add a little more sass to your shag by styling it pin-straight with a hard part. The gradual layers throughout create interest at the ends, which are choppy and create dimension.

Short Shag Haircut 29

Young woman short hair wearing eyeglasses sitting at desk studying online on laptop distance education looking at screen laughing cheerful funny lecture

Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock

Fans of super-short hair will love this wavy take on a shag style. It’s one of the best wash-and-go cuts out there, and keeping the top a little longer widens your styling options.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Short Shag Cut

Choosing Your Short Shag Haircut with tips to get the best cut

Before you run to the salon to get this cut, there are a couple of points you should consider and keep in mind. Here’s what you should know about short, shaggy haircuts.

Shag cuts will make your hair texture more pronounced. Because shag cuts always feature shorter layers at the top of the head, there will be less weight pulling on your hair. So if you have natural curls or waves, they’ll become more pronounced with this cut. 

Growing out layers can be a pain. Layers are the main commonality between shaggy haircuts, and growing them out when the time comes can be a pain. You might notice some sections growing out faster than others, resulting in an uneven look.

The style will look weighed down once it grows out a bit, and you’ll be forced to either cut the hair to the length of the shortest layers or continue to get the layers trimmed every few weeks. 

Trends come and go. The shag cut trend is in right now, but styles come and go. Are you willing to have the choppy layers cut into your hair if you decide that it’s no longer the look for you a month or two down the road? Keep this in mind before you get it done. 

Bad layers will seriously mess up your hair. Layers done by an inexperienced stylist will not only look bad, but they can also hurt your hair. Razor cutting is a great way to add texture and dimension to a shag cut; However, layering done incorrectly with a razor can damage your hair cuticle, making it frizzy, weak, and prone to split ends. 

Not every shag cut flatters all face shapes. While there are adjustments your stylist can make to ensure the cut suits your face shape, most shaggy cuts are best avoided by those with heart-shaped, wide, or long face shapes. They are typically flattering for oval and square-shaped faces. 

Choosing the Right Shag Cut for You

Graphic titled should you get a short shag haircut against blue background with squiggles on the sides

Now that you’ve seen a range of examples and looked at a few important things to consider, you might be ready to choose the right cut for you. Getting a great haircut that will suit you involves the following. 

  • Length: Choose a cut in the right length for you, based on your face shape and how you plan to style it. If your hair is curly or wavy, both very short and longer shag cuts can be flattering. If your hair is pin-straight and you’ll need to style the cut each morning, choose a length that will be easiest to style.
  • Face Shape: Choose a cut that flatters your face shape, accentuating your favorite features while softening those you’d rather play down.
  • Maintenance: Shags with very short layers will require more trims and regular maintenance than those with longer, more blended layers. Consider how often you’re willing to visit the salon when making your choice.
  • Style Commitment: The shag style does require some degree of commitment no matter what, thanks to the layers throughout the hair. But some styles, like those featuring an undercut or very short layers around the face, will really mean you’re in this for the long haul.
  • Stylist Experience: When it comes to getting a shag cut, you want a stylist with lots of experience. The intricate layering requires years of expertise to properly pull off without damaging your hair.

If you’re set on a shag haircut with a shorter length, keep these things in mind as you browse examples of this iconic style. Decisions on new haircuts shouldn’t be made too quickly.

Give it some thought, and make sure you consider the pros and cons of this cut. Who knows? It might become your new signature look! To get started, head over to our salon finder tool to find your next stylist.

Click for Frequently Asked Questions

What is a short shag haircut?

A short shag haircut is a hairstyling technique that uses choppy layers to create more texture than a normal cut would have. The result is a modern, messy hairstyle that combines the lob with the traditional shag cut.

Is a shag haircut good for fine thinning hair?

Shag haircuts are good for fine, thinning hair because they're meant to use layers to add volume. The result is the appearance of hair that's fuller and has more volume, especially if your stylist incorporates blunt ends into the cut.

Are short shag haircuts outdated?

Shag haircuts, especially the short variety, are not outdated. In fact, thanks to TikTok and Instagram, the shag haircut is more popular than ever. If you're after a short haircut that adds dimension and volume, a shag is a great style to incorporate.

Can I have a shag haircut with thin hair?

Yes. You can have a shag haircut with thin hair. The whole point of a shag cut is to add volume, and the layers will do just that. Just be sure you don't take the length too short, as it may end up looking like a mullet.

What is a shag pixie cut?

As the name suggests, a shag pixie cut is a very short haircut that blends two popular hairstyles: the shag and the pixie. Adding a shag cut to a pixie hairstyle is a great way to make it appear thicker and add volume to your hair.

What Is a Short Shag Cut?

A short shag haircut is a hairstyle that features layered hair that is cut shorter in the back and longer in the front. The short shag haircut gives the appearance of a pixie cut, but with longer hair. This style is worn by those who want a low-maintenance hairstyle that is easy to style and looks good, both straight and curly.

How Do You Get a Short Shaggy Hair Look?

The short shaggy hair look is achieved using a clipper with varying length settings. The hair is cut in different lengths at the top to give it an uneven look. Hair gel or wax is used to style the hair to achieve the desired messy appearance.

Is a Shag Haircut Slimming?

A shag haircut is a great way to slim your face and make you look thinner. The haircut is layered and feathered, taking weight away from your face and making you look more streamlined. If you have a round face, this is a great way to slim your face and make it look more oval.

How Do You Style a Shag Pixie?

A shag pixie cut can be styled in many ways, such as tousled and messy or sleek and polished. Use a styling product like a pomade or mousse and scrunch hair to achieve a casual look, or use gel and smooth hair back for a sleek style. You can also use a curling iron or flat iron to create waves or curls.

Is Short Hair in for 2021?

Short hair is definitely in for 2021. Celebrities like Ariana Grande and Millie Bobby Brown have shown that short hair can be as chic as long hair. There are many different short hairstyles to choose from, so you're sure to find one that suits your personality and style.

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