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Last updated: January 15, 2020

Cutting A Shag: 7 Things To Definitely Do

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Cutting A Shag: 7 Things To Definitely Do

Have a cool-girl client looking for the perfect lived-in, summer style? A modern shag is great for edgy texture, movement and versatility, and adding fringe instantly ups the drama. To break down this retro cut we had Moroccanoil® Academy Educator Tab Salsman (@tabcutshair) drop knowledge at The BTC House in West Hollywood. So grab your scissors, ‘cuz we’ve got what you need to start this cool-girl shag! 


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1. Perfect Prep

Tab prefers to begin this cut wet, to better visualize the line of his perimeter. Then, detail dry, if needed, so he knows exactly where and how the texture will live when his client leaves the salon. For prep, Tab applied Moroccanoil® Treatment Light and the Hydrating Styling Cream to wet hair and combed through the ends as a cutting lotion combo.


2. Create Three Initial Sections:

One thing Tab recommends for sectioning this cut: diagonal partings. Why? To keep as much natural movement as possible. 

  • Two in the front using the client’s natural or desired part going just below the occipital bone. These sections can be divided into diagonal partings or curved diagonal parting during the cut if needed. 
  • One section in the back, using diagonal partings to the hairline.


PRO TIP: Create a diagonal parting that mirrors the desired angle of the end result. To help keep the angle consistent during the cut, comb through the section at the same angle.


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3. Creating A Textured Baseline  

“For this look, we want to create a perimeter that has movement and substance,” Tab explains. To achieve this, point cut the baseline with the scissors at an angle with the point angled towards the face. “The line of this shag isn’t wispy,” he clarifies. “It’s about choppy texture with some gentle softness.”  Point cutting at an angle, as opposed to parallel, will help create that texture and also remove the length.



4. Creating Interior Movement

To create movement within the interior, Tab uses a down-scissors cutting technique which will give the most movement without the look of definitive layers.


5. Where To Start:

Tab prefers to begin texturizing the interior right above the occipital bone and at the lowest part of the crown. “This area is where you will find the most natural curve,” he explains, “and the most cowlicks.”


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6. Cutting Motion:

There are two different cutting motions that can be used depending on the desired texture:

  • A fluttering motion with your scissors will create a choppier texture.
  • Slide cutting will create a softer, razor-like effect. Tab prefers to slide cut with a pair of sharp shears instead of a razor so the texture isn’t biased to one side. “A razor only has one sharp side, where scissors have two,” he explains. “So, with a razor the layer will be biased to either the right or left side. But with scissors, the texture will lay neutral which is important for the area of the head with the most movement.”


PRO TIP: For finer haired clients begin slide cutting low in the section. “The higher the starting point the softer the ends,” Tab explains.  “Finer hair clients need that density, so start slide cutting lower and at natural elevation to keep the perimeter heavy.”


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7. Creating the Center Fringe

To create a versatile fringe, take a center section about as wide as the width of the brow. Using the wide tooth side of a cutting comb, loosely point cut the fringe. Then, comb through the section again and point cut in the opposite direction. Tab breaks down his reasoning for this: “This gives the bang the ability to be styled on either side or straight down the center. It’s also a great technique to use if the client has a lot of cowlicks in the front.” Finish the fringe by point cutting at an angle on either side.


PRO TIP: If the fringe needs to be softened or texturized, bring the sections up 90 degrees from the round of the head and gently point cut into the fringe.


Check out the finished look! 


Click through the slideshow to check out more photos of Tab at The BTC House

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