Old Trends Made New: How to Cut a Modern Mullet, Shag or Pageboy

It’s no secret that trends tend to come back around after time has passed. Doc Martens and high-waisted jeans are just two examples of current fads we’ve seen before. Hair and beauty trends are no different so don’t be surprised to see styles that were popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s making a comeback.

Younger generations claim trends as their own by making subtle changes that make everything old feel new again. When a client asks for a hairstyle that was popular decades ago, be sure to do your research so you’re giving them the modern version and not an outdated cut.

Three hairstyles that are making a contemporary comeback are the pageboy, the shag, and the mullet so let’s talk about how to keep these styles current.

The Pageboy

The original pageboy featured a very full bang and a taper starting at the edge of the bangs that continued past the ears. The entire cut was significantly rounded under. Short versions almost resemble what would be considered a bowl cut.

The modern take on the pageboy still highlights a full bang, but the side taper is typically much less dramatic. Layers help the hair to round under and you can add texture to provide a less-finished look if that’s what your client wants.

The Shag

In the 80s and 90s the shag haircut was characterized by short layers throughout with choppy ends and fullness at the crown. The modern shag has softer layers, a denser perimeter, and often some sort of bangs.

The shag is ideal for medium to thick hair types and works on straight, wavy, or curly textures. For clients with very fine or thin hair, the shag may not work well as the layering can actually give the appearance of flatter hair rather than fullness.

Be sure to detail the cut while hair is dry and in its natural texture to avoid taking out too much weight. The layers of the shag haircut are meant to make this the ideal wash and go style so you’ll want to texturize when hair is at its natural dry state to ensure the layers work with your client’s texture.

The Mullet

If “modern mullet” sounds like an oxymoron to you, then you’re in for a surprise because this style is making a comeback. Think Miley Cyrus, not Billy Ray Cyrus! The modern mullet is more glam, less country and a lot of women are embracing this edgy trend.

The contemporary mullet can be short or long, sleek or tousled, but the hallmark feature of the traditional mullet remains with shorter layers in the front and longer sections toward the back. Bangs are pretty much a given with the modern mullet, but the fringe is more piecey and undone.

The Bottom Line

Trends often run in cycles, but the fun is in modernizing an old trend to make it feel contemporary instead of outdated. Each of these haircuts had its hayday at least a couple of decades ago, but bold stylists will learn how to make these styles feel current.