We decided to break down for you a how to cut a shag tutorial, using some cool layering techniques. 

This blog is a write-up of Matt Becks free salon education YouTube channel. Meaning you can watch this video to see the visuals. You can also subscribe to get more tutorials on cutting hair. The shag is super now and there's more than one way to achieve this look on your guests. 

First, get prepared to cut hair!! 

Gather up your things! Here's the tools you will need to create this shag hair cut- 

  • Scissors 
  • Clips 
  • Cutting combs 
  • Razor 
  • Blow-dryer 
  • Irons 

Now you need to section off.

Sectioning the hair will help break down the method and give you control for the look. 

We create a ''U'' shaped section up top, just below the parietal ridge, separating top and bottom. We then separate our sides from the back, using braids to keep it neat, following the hairline behind the ear. Take a vertical down the centre back, splitting it in two, and then create a slight diagonal forwards, below the occipital bone for our concave layers. 


TIP- concave layers are cut below the occipital bone. Convex layers are cut above. 

Cut the layers in the nape of the neck. 

Cutting our convex layers in the neck will give a beautiful scoop shape in the cut. 

The hair is pulled out and slightly up and we shift our hand upwards in a ''pivot'' motion and cut from short to long. At this stage, you want to assess your layering length. Let it go, look at it, pull it out and figure out if that is where you want the layer to live. The top length will determine the rest of the cut so it's crucial your happy with it and that the journey of the cut will follow your vision. 


Cut your following layers ''square'' 

This means you need to be thorough with your sectioning. The first cut will be mimicked in this section. 

After your first layer was cut, it has created a guide for you to follow. Half your following section will integrate half the first section. Your guide travels. The following section will be taken at the same thickness, elevation and cutting angle. Work methodically along one side from the center back and repeat on the opposite. 

TIP- Once the section is completed, check layers for balance. 

Cut the middle section of the back. 

Once our bottom section has been cut, we move up to the next segment of our cut. 

This section is a bit easier than the last, with no ''pivoting'' it's cut with straight out elevation. The start of this section is cut in the center back. Take a guide from your previous section, pull out and cut straight out from the head. Still following the ''square cutting'' method. 

TIP- Sectioning the sides away really helps control this haircut. The strength of a haircut like this can weaken around the sides with there being less hair density. So, sectioning this way will give you a safety from creating ''holes'' in the haircut. 

Now you need to cut the top section. 

Cutting the top section is super fun, we create our concave layer following the round of the head. 

Split your top section into 4 segments. Use the high point of the head as a guide. Choose the side you want to work on and start in the back. Take a section in the center back and follow the round of the head. Pull your following sections up to previous, still following the round of the head. 

Follow the convex layer technique in the front. 

Then you continue into the front quadrant of the side you have just cut.  

Starting in the center, again using the same cutting pattern, follow the round of the head. All the hair it elevated up. All is cut to the previous section. This means you will get a nice scoop of weight in the top and sides where it falls. Repeat this technique on the opposite quadrants of the top section. 

TIP- The perimeter is cut dry, this means we can see where the hair lives, when its dried. Blow-dry the hair and iron smooth to prepare for the next stage of cutting. 

Now cut your fringe area. 

We decide to cut a nice sharp fringe in the front to give a strong statement. 

Matt works on the fringe area by lifting it with his comb. He doesn't want it cut either flat to the head, or, with too much elevation. He starts in the middle of the fringe working outwards. When matt drops down his comb, he continues to cut into the fringe line. 

Now you need to soften hard edges. 

Personalizing a cut gives it the finishing touches to sit right for your guest. 

Matt sees that the top-back area is really strong and just wants to soften harsh edges. He pulls out his layers, in the sectioning pattern he cut. He's not changing the overall shape of the cut, he's diffusing the ends a little with point cutting. 

Grab your razor to cut the perimeter. 

Finally, Matt completes his cut with his Tri-Razor using a pinch cutting technique. 

This gives the ends a stronger yet jagged shape. Once he's finished removing hair, he styles the look out with a bit of product. Spray, wax, serum whatever you desire to complete your vision!! 


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