Top of the Chops

Top of the Chops

From 1970’s musicians to contemporary model off-duty, the choppy, layered shag is the ultimate wearable unisex hairstyle

the roots

The shag first came into prominence in the 1970s when Jane Fonda’s long blonde hair was cut into a shoulder length textured style for her role in the neo-noir crime thriller, Klute. Soon after the style was adopted by rock chicks of the time, such as lead singer of The Pretenders Chrissie Hynde and Joan Jett of The Runaways, who wore their hair messy and with plenty of attitude. Not to be left out of the action The Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, also embraced the shag - laying the foundations of the undone unisex look.

style icons

The 1990’s saw the shag take on a more polished finish with perhaps the most iconic being Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’, complete with honey highlights. Continuing the 90s reincarnation, Meg Ryan’s post When Harry Met Sally days saw the actress sporting a subtly tousled blonde shag. And then there's the ultimate shag hair poster girl, Alexa Chung. Her grown-out bob is a faultless mix of dishevelled grunge texture and French-girl shine, finished with flattering eye-skimming bangs.

modern muses

Present-day celebs have adopted the shag hairstyle for its low-maintenance look. Taylor Swift proved that a new hairdo is the best way to move on from a breakup, sporting a textured flaxen coloured style after her split from Tom Hiddleston. The model squad have also sported shag cuts with Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen and Brit beauty Suki Waterhouse  epitomising off-duty cool. Thor actor Chris Hemsworth reps the look for longer-haired guys with a sun kissed blonde grown-out locks.


get the look

The SS17 catwalks saw different variations of the shag with Mary Katrantzou opting for the traditional textured 1970s style, while over at House of Holland, it was given a contemporary edge with a wet-look finish and a glossy sheen. Matthew Miller also chose a wet-look finish but left it naturally undone giving off a grunge vibe. For a retro feel spritz label.m Sea Salt Spray, £14.95, onto lengths and scrunch with hands for mussed up waves, or for more choppy separation, work in label.m Miracle Fibre, £13.95.

  • Words: Rebecca Parker

  • Banner Hair Photography: The Anastasia, Cut by Artistic Team, Colour by Artistic Team