The shag is back. The haircut, this is, now not the pastime (although given the said worldwide “sex recession”, that wouldn’t be such a horrific component, both).
Shag hair – long layers that frame the face and tumble down the neck, a thick fringe to disappear at the back of – has lengthy been a diffused marker of feminine insurrection. This isn’t always a fashion that desires blowdrying, spraying, moussing or straightening. It is the predecessor to the chiselled punk cuts of the overdue 70s, earlier than the pomp and fluff of an 80s perm. It is windswept, danced-in, slept on. It is Rumours-generation Stevie Nicks, Anita Pallenberg within the 70s, put up teenager-idol Marianne Faithfull finding herself on the album Broken English.
The shag’s 2019 muse is Natasha Lyonne in the Netflix drama Russian Doll, in which she plays the curt, cursing, chain-smoking pc video games programmer Nadia, trapped in a time loop at her 36th birthday party. Her shag is purple and wild, her persona similar. This isn’t a lady for whom a bob or a bun or a beehive would do.

 


But to anybody thinking about the shag, heed this cautionary tale. I had one in the mid-00s, a wild time for hair, after an unforgivable Karen O bowl reduce. I lived with someone who washed her asymmetrical bob with organic washing powder so she could transfer from Lolita blond to emo black every week. Electro-indie had loads to reply for.
I spent 3 happy years with my shag. In terms of maintenance, a perimeter is a time dedication comparable to getting a puppy – however in any other case it definitely became wash-and-put on.

But then sooner or later in 2007, I went to the hairdresser’s for “a trim”. My hairdresser had known as in ill. Sandra will look when you, they said. Sandra had wonkily implemented her lipstick, I observed; some become smudged on her chin. Would she be this slapdash with my hair?
Yes, it grew to become out, she could. I’d walked in with a shag; I left with a mullet. And no longer a uneven Patti Smith or Chrissie Hynde do. I looked like Pat Sharp. “You ought to just dye it crimson,” shrugged my housemate, rising from the bathroom smelling like she’d just been on a spin cycle. Regretfully, I didn’t. It took me half a decade to grow it out.
So if you are going to do a shag, make sure you have an excellent hairdresser. I’ve performed it secure with my hair on account that then, but maybe it’s time to deliver my antique shag returned. But Sandra, in case you’re reading, positioned those scissors down.
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