The '70s shag haircut was the trend of 2020 - this is how to update the look for 2021

The shag haircut has surged in popularity this year thanks to celebs and BBC show The Serpent

Jenna Coleman in BBC's The Serpent
(Image credit: BBC )

Considering the style is extremely low maintenance, it's really no surprise that the last 12 months have cemented the '70s shag haircut as this year's go-to. With long, textured layers, you can leave your best hairdryer (opens in new tab) unplugged and let this bohemian style air dry instead.

Thanks to all those stay-at-home orders, searches for the hairstyle have doubled in the past year. We've all been looking for low-maintenance cuts to try alongside our home highlight kits (opens in new tab) and - thanks to a certain hit show set in the '70s - this retro shaggy cut has never been more in vogue. We'd go as far as to say the '70s shag haircut will be the most-frequently-asked-for style when hairdressers reopen in 2021 (opens in new tab).

Many celebrities are turning to modern versions of Jennifer Aniston's iconic, shaggy The Rachel haircut (opens in new tab), and both this style and this '70s inspired fringe (opens in new tab) have surged in popularity since BBC's The Serpent aired. 

Jenna Coleman in BBC's The Serpent

(Image credit: BBC)

The 2021 shag haircut - the 'mermaid shag'

According to celebrity hairdresser Laura Polko (opens in new tab), who has styled the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Priyanka Chopra, the "mermaid shag cut" is set to be huge in 2021. 

A modern twist on the classic shaggy style, the style involves lots of longer layers that don't require a lot of styling day-to-day. "The best part about having a good cut is the effortlessness of styling it," explains hairstylist Riawna Capri (opens in new tab). "For most shags, all your need is your favourite mist or serum to scrunch and go, and hydrate at the same time."

To elevate the style, use your best straighteners to style the ends into waves, "pulling each twist downwards to avoid it bouncing up into an overdone curl". (Polko recommends something like the T3 Lucea ID).

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Alternatively, if you're giving your hair a break from heat styling, simply scrunch in a hydrating serum for a more lived-in look.

Are you considering getting the shag haircut in 2021? We were sold at "low maintenance", personally...

Lucy Abbersteen
Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week. During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists.