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Last updated: May 09, 2023

Shags: 3 Tips For Cutting Texturized Layers

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How To Create Maximum Texture Without Texturizing Scissors

Now that shags are the reigning haircut of the year, we’re always looking for time-saving techniques you can use without sacrificing the trendy results your clients are requesting. You’re in luck! ARC™ Scissors Team Member Carolynn Judd (@styled_by_carolynn) is sharing her best techniques for texturizing layers without creating holes in the haircut below.


Keep scrolling for three texturizing tips to start using ASAP and click here for Carolynn’s entire course on BTC University!


Inside Carolynn’s Haircutting Tool Kit

Using one pair of scissors to establish the shape and create texture, cut the hair from wet to dry AND create blended layers might seem like an impossible haircut dream—but it’s not! 


That’s why Carolynn used the PHANTOM Swivel from ARC™ Scissors. They are Made in Japan and allow her to cut through wet and dry hair without snagging or pulling (which can cause frayed ends.) 


Pro Tip: Why a swivel? Carolynn loves to cut with the ARC Phantom Swivel because it eases the tension on her wrist and elbow. The thumb rest rotates to give her maximum movement, so she doesn’t have to adjust her entire arm when cutting different angles. 


Learn Carolynn’s cutting tips below and click here to purchase your pair of ARC™ Scissors and use her techniques in the salon!



3 Cutting Tips For Creating Texture

You can learn Carolynn’s entire technique in her 90-minute course on BTC University, but we’re teasing these need-to-know cutting tips now!


Tip #1: Cut alternate lengths to create shape and texture  

Shags are all about piece-y, textured ends. So, Carolynn cuts both long and short subsections into the perimeter to create shape and texture at the same time. Here’s how: 


  • Starting at the nape, divide the section it into five vertical subsections. 
  • Pinch the bottom of the subsection, holding at zero elevation and slight tension.
  • Use the axis of the scissor to slide cut down, creating a point at the ends. 
  • Cut the next subsection slightly shorter than the previous one. Alternate the length for each subsection from long to short.
  • The finished section should have about five alternating subsections. 


Pro Tip: The ending subsections on either side should be the longer length. This avoids creating any holes in the perimeter when adding in layers. 


Tip #2: Avoid shelf layers with shear shattering 

To avoid a hard disconnection between layers, Carolynn uses her signature shear-shattering technique to soften square sections and create a more blended texture. 


“Take one-inch vertical sections and overdirect them straight out,” Carolynn explains. “Then, shear-shatter the bottom inch of the section evenly to create a soft, square layer,” she adds. 


Tip #3: Section around the ear to avoid a hole

Use a cutting comb to measure around the ear to maintain the connection between the front and back of the haircut. “Whatever hair is covered by the comb leave it alone. This is your insurance. If you overdirect that out, it will create a huge hole in that section,” Carolynn explains. 


Slide for the before and after!

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Have questions? Carolynn has answers!

One of the benefits of watching a course on BTC University? Artists are able to answer your questions in REAL TIME! Here are some technical questions viewers had for Carolynn during her livestream:


Question: Why don’t you use a texturizing shear for this cut?


Answer: “It always depends on the client. My client today has really nice hair and I don’t need to worry about removing a ton of weight at once to achieve the cut we are going for. Also, this technique is here to make your life easier so you don’t have to worry about going back in through each section to create texture because you are already doing that with your straight shears.” 


Q: Could you twist each subsection instead of pinching?


A: “Twisting can give the cut more organic results, because not every section is twisted evenly. Also, the length variations in twisting are very different and less uniform, pinching can create the same result without having to go back in and clean up any stray longer pieces.”


Ready to learn more? Become a BTC-U Member and receive unlimited access to Carolynn’s entire course on BTC University!

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