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Shag Haircuts for Women Over 50 Add Instant Pizzaz + Volume to Any Length Hair

Celebrity hairstylists explain exactly what to ask your stylist for

It’s true that everything old is new again and that statement couldn’t be more true than with shag haircuts. While this hairstyle got its start in the 1970s when Jane Fonda first sported the look, shaggy styles are one of the biggest hair trends today as TikToks about these cuts have over 555 million views. And what makes shag haircuts especially great for women over 50 is all of the texture that’s created by the style, which helps to turn back the clock for those of us with thinner-looking manes. Keep scrolling to learn how you can look stunning and youthful with a shag.

What sets a shag haircut apart from other cuts

You’re likely familiar with this type of haircut but might be wondering what makes it different than the average layered hairstyle.

“I’d describe a shag haircut as having shorter, more square layers than a traditional layered cut where the layers are long,” explains hairstylist Carrie Butterworth. “The ends are also more textured.” This gives the cut a youthful, “lived in” look, as Butterworth notes that the texture is cut into the style, which gives hair movement and dimension from roots to ends. (Click through to see more layered hairstyles for women over 50.)

Shania Twain with a shag haircut that shows shag haircuts for women over 50 are flattering
Shania Twain, 58

The above photo of Shania Twain is the perfect example of the texture from layers that make up a shag cut. Shags also commonly feature bangs, but can be created without if you prefer a fringe-less style.

To see how transformative a shag haircut can be and how one is cut, check out the below video from the Sexy Hair YouTube channel.

Why shag haircuts for women over 50 are flattering

“A shag haircut can work for a woman over 50 who’s looking to spice up her look a little bit,” says Butterworth. Read on for how all the age-defying perks of shag haircuts.

1. They make hair look thicker

The heavily textured style thanks to its layers of various lengths throughout creates the illusion of a thicker head of hair. All of the layering prevents hair from lying flat against the scalp or hanging lifelessly on the sides of the face.

2. They conceal aging beauty bothers

A shag cut’s texture and movement distracts the eye from and optically softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And when the cut is on shoulder-length and longer locks, it can direct attention away from a crepey neck.

Sharon Osbourne with a shag haircut
Sharon Osbourne, 70Getty

Infusing a shag with side-swept bangs, as shown on Sharon Osbourne above, help blur crow’s feet. (Click through to learn more about Sharon Osbourne’s experience with Ozempic.)

3. They flatter all face shapes

No matter if you have a round, oval, square or heart-shaped face, a shag will work for you. That’s because the layers slim a round face, offset the narrowness of an oval face and soften the harsh angles of square and heart-shaped jawlines. To get the benefits, talk to your hairstylist who will be able to tailor the layers and bangs that make up a shag to your face shape for the most flattering look.

4. They work for all hair types and lengths

The shaggy style adds texture and volume to straight or fine hair and enhances the texture of naturally wavy or curly hair. And it can also be cut on all hair lengths: short, medium and long as you’ll see below.

(Click through to see more of a related shag cut called the wolf cut.)

The 3 lengths of a shag haircut + what to ask for

Here, the three lengths of shag haircuts for women over 50 and celebrity inspiration photos that you can show your hairstylist at your next salon visit to get the trendy style.

1. Shag haircuts for women over 50: If you have short hair

Lisa Rinna with a short shag haircut
Lisa Rinna, 60Getty

For strands that are ear-length and above like Lisa Rinna’s signature ‘do, a shag’s layers prop hair up and off of the scalp for mega movement and volume.

Ask your stylist for: Stacked razor-cut layers that begin 3 inches away from roots and piecey, brow-skimming side bangs.

Related: How Lisa Rinna’s Hair Cut Changed Her Life: And How You Can Get the Look

2. Shag haircuts for women over 50: If you have shoulder-length hair

Reba McEntire with a shag haircut on shoulder length hair that shows how shag haircuts for women over 50 can be flattering
Reba McEntire, 68Getty

A mid-length shag cut like Reba McEntire’s above creates a face-framing effect that highlights gorgeous facial features. And snipping in full bangs help cleverly conceal forehead wrinkles or any sparse spots along the hairline. (Click through to see more bangs for receding hairlines.)

Ask your stylist for: Textured, face-framing layers that graduate from the temples downward and full, wispy fringe.

3. Shag haircuts for women over 50: If you have long hair

Halle Berry with a shag hair cut on long hair
Halle Berry, 57Getty

Adding choppy layers to longer locks as shown on Halle Berry above keeps hair that falls past the shoulders from looking limp and lifeless.

Ask your stylist for: Curtain bangs that seamlessly blend into long, choppy layers that “feather” down from the ears.

How to style shag haircuts

The best part about a shag is that it’s a low-maintenance look. That’s because this cut is more “messy” and textured by nature, which means it doesn’t require much styling or upkeep.

“This haircut is easy to style because you can just add some styling cream or mousse, flip your head upside down, blow dry and arrange as you see fit,” says Butterworth. It’s a very hands-off cut that Butterworth says “doesn’t require excessive blowing out with a brush.” (Click through to see more wash and wear haircuts that flatter women over 50.)

Gayle King
Gayle King, 68

While you can blow out the cut or infuse it with waves (as shown on Gayle King above) to emphasize the cut’s layers and create added volume, Butterworth says “less is more when it comes to styling this haircut.”

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

For more hair inspiration for women over 50, click through these stories:

8 Bang Styles That Conceal a Receding Hairline + Make Hair Look Thicker

How to Style Thinning Hair So It Looks Twice as Thick

Hush Cuts Are the Latest Way to Add Beautiful Volume to Thinning or Flat Hair

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