Articles > Haircuts > 4 Tricks to Master the Razor-Cut Shag
Last updated: December 09, 2022

4 Tricks to Master the Razor-Cut Shag

jayne edo razor cut shag
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4 Razor-Cutting Tips To Sharpen Your Skills

What’s the secret to the sexy, retro layered shags that pop up every single time we open IG? For shag expert and co-owner of Edo Salon Jayne Matthews (@jayne_edosalon), it’s a straight razor. The only problem? You’re uncomfortable with a razor, but all the pros use one! 


Have no fear: Jayne stopped by The BTC House to show us exactly how she creates her iconic razor-cut shags from start to finish. You can learn Jayne’s full technique in her 90-minute course, but keep reading to get four of her takeaway tips. Click here to receive UNLIMITED access to Jayne’s entire class on BTC University!


Check out the before & after below!

jayne edo razor cut shag tension tip razor cutting tips transformation
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1. Use this trick when cutting the fringe

Remember: Always take TENSION into consideration when cutting fringe to a desired length.


“With razor cutting, you need the hair to be a whole inch-and-a-half longer than you thought when it’s pulled with tension and carved into,” Jayne explains. That way, they will dry to the desired length.


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Pro Tip: Try using a detergent-free shampoo alternative like Hairstory New Wash Original One-Step Cleanser on your shag client to preserve and enhance their natural texture.


Jayne told us, “I don’t use shampoo at all in the salon because I like a supple texture that I can either have my client air-dry, or I can diffuse and use my hands to mold it into place.” That’s why she reaches for New Wash over a traditional shampoo.


Related: This Is Your Sign To Stop Shampooing Your Hair


2. Cut with a razor in large sections—here’s why!

Jayne takes one-inch to one-inch-and-a-half sections when working with a straight razor for a few reasons:


“I like to take pretty large sections because I’m going to get so much texture through the stroke of my straight razor. I don’t need a whole bunch of little small sections. It would create less strong of petals—if I use bigger sections, I can really carve into the hair,” says Jayne. She also finds larger sections easier to control. 


Pro Tip: Instead of cutting straight down the section, Jayne carves her signature “petals” into the hair, creating a short-to-long look within each section. 


jayne edo razor cut shag
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3. Afraid of creating damage? Here’s your fix! 

One reason stylists fear using a razor is creating damage or frizzy ends. Jayne’s solution? Tension and intention.


“With razor cutting, you have to use a lot of tension,” Jayne explains. “And then the razor slices right through the hair shaft and it doesn’t damage the hair at all. It only scratches the hair when there’s not enough tension.”


What does Jayne mean by tension and intention? “For me, that means just trusting that the hair is going to bounce up and keeping things really clean and really simple,” she says.

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4. Save the length for last 

“If you were to cut the ends first, and then give crown layers, and then give bangs; by the time you razor cut and air dried it, you would end up with a shoulder-length shag haircut,” explains Jayne.


If your client requested a shoulder-length shag, perfect! But Jayne’s client wanted to keep her length—that’s why Jayne starts in the front with the fringe, moves to the crown layers and trims the length last.


At the end of the cut, Jayne has her client tilt their head down as she carves one to two inches off the ends to the desired length.

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BONUS: Get More Comfortable Razor Cutting With Jayne’s Tips

“I was a scissor-cutter for five or six years before I became a razor cutter,” Jayne told us, adding that “the adjustment is real!” Jayne’s advice for practicing razor cutting is this: 


  • Watch her class one full time; then, watch it again with a mannequin (or willing friend) and a razor.
  • As you work, pause the class as needed to rewatch portions and practice.
  • Leave the fringe two inches longer than you’d like to allow adjustments for errors.
  • Then, try cutting at least one part of your haircut with a razor in the salon to practice.


Get UNLIMITED access on BTC University to: 

  • How To Cut A Bob With @chrisjones_hair
  • Face-Framing Shag By @rachelwstylist 
  • The Bixie With @brianacisneros 
  • Click here to subscribe!

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