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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Long Shag Haircut?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

A long shag haircut offers the wearer a level of protection from the heat of a summer sun far beyond that of other hair styles. By layering the top and sides of the hair, a long shag haircut allows the head to breathe while covering the back of the wearer's neck and preventing sunburn. Often worn by those who emulate a certain savoir faire among a particular social group, the long shag haircut can identify the wearer as one of the popular pack, but it can also refer to a wearer's split from popular culture. Often referred to in the social media as being a hairstyle for those who are out of touch with popular trends, a long shag haircut can occasionally make the wearer the focus of laughter and ridicule.

Popular in the 1980s, the long shag haircut became the style of those who wished to take on a certain persona emulated by the music scene's rougher element. Punk rockers and rock performers strutted their long shag haircut across the stage and carried on with a bad boy attitude. Soon, the long shag haircut found its way onto the streets of the world in the form of a claim to fame statement style of rough-neck or troubled youth. Simply wearing this hairstyle in a high school was often cause for identification as a trouble maker.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

For the youth who did not simply want to be another gear in the human machine, the shag hairstyle expressed to all who gazed upon them that they were not another face in the crowd. Depending on which side of the style a person was on, this could be either a pro or a con. Generally agreed upon by many past and present wearers of the style, the long shag haircut was hot in the summer and often difficult to manage in high humidity. The hair must be styled in such a manner that the top is held high and bristle-like while the long back locks were allowed to flow freely over the shoulders and collar line.

Another con to the style was the length of time it would often require for a person to grow hair long enough to accurately depict the style. This typically led to long periods of time with uncontrollable and messy hair while the wearer was constantly bombarded with requests to have his hair cut. Many times, a person wishing to take on the long shag haircut was coaxed into receiving a shorter cut before his was right for the longer style.

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