Mid-length Soft Shag: The Best Medium Length Shag Haircut!
Looking for a textured, voluminous layered haircut for your guests with medium length hair? Try this soft, lived-in shag from Sam Villa ArTeam member Ellen Devine!
Sam Villa Tools
- Signature Series Short Cutting Comb
- Signature Series Tail Comb
- Signature Series Razor
- Dry Sectioning Clips
- Light Pro Ionic Blow Dryer
- Deep Bowl Diffuser
- Signature Series Paddle Brush
- Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner
- One United
- Oil for All
- Full Frame
Prepping for the Mid-Length Shag
- Shampoo and condition the hair with Redken Extreme Length.
- Prep the hair with Redken One United and detangle using the Signature Series Paddle Brush.
PRO TIP: Before you begin cutting, analyze your guest’s head shape by locating their partial ridge. You can rock the spine of the comb vertically off the side of your guest's head to find this.
PRO TIP: To find where the apex of the head rounds into the parietal ridge, place a comb flat on the top of the head and look for where the head starts to round.
Sectioning for the Mid-Length Shag
Working off a center part, subsection off a small triangle at the front hairline with the Signature Series Short Cutting Comb to begin establishing your fringe area.
PRO TIP: When you need to remist damp hair to add moisture, spray water onto the comb and use the comb to distribute the water through the hair. That way, you won’t risk making your guest uncomfortable with water dripping in their face. This is especially helpful when working on the fringe area.
- Continue your sectioning off the center part from the apex of the head down to the nape.
- Using the Signature Series Tail Comb in a contrasting color, create a horizontal zig zag section. Start at the recession area and follow the parietal ridge in a horseshoe shape around the crown to the other recession area on the opposite side of the head.
PRO TIP: Hold your tail comb like a pencil when creating zig zag sections. The zig zag sections will help to create diffused layers and softer lines when cutting.
PRO TIP: Make sure your zig zag sectioning is on an upward angle around the ear to maintain length and avoid creating a hole.
PRO TIP: Be mindful of the recession when creating your zig zags to protect the perimeter in sparser areas.
PRO TIP: Place your Dry Sectioning Clips into the hair with the opening of the clips facing up so gravity is holding the hair in place.
PRO TIP: Apply Redken One United and Oil for All through the mid shafts and ends to add slip to the hair before beginning your razor work. This is super important if you’re working on higher texture types.
Cutting the Fringe and Face Frame
Release the fringe area and create a smaller triangle that's about 1/2" in width and lives inside your larger triangle section. Begin creating your design lines by establishing your guide with the straight blade of your Signature Series Razor. Elevate your fringe to 90 degrees, then overdirect the fringe to the opposite side and use smaller strokes to skim the hair and establish your line.
PRO TIP: Cutting with a razor saves time in the salon, as it allows you to remove weight while establishing design lines.
PRO TIP: The Sam Villa Razor Trio Set is great for longer length clients as it comes with different razor options. You can change out the blades easily depending on the density of the hair around the head shape and adjust accordingly.
- Drop your larger triangle section and overdirect the hair to the opposite side. Take smaller strokes with the Signature Series Razor, coming in vertically and diagonally to remove weight while establishing the length. Make sure you're cutting from the interior out and follow your guide to connect the fringe into a face frame.
- Drop the face frame sections and hold the hair out at a slight diagonal. Overdirect to the center front of your client's face and skim the face frame with the Signature Series Razor using small vertical strokes.
Cutting the Layers
- Establish your guide for layering by taking a vertical section about 1" in width from the center back of the head. Elevate this section up 45 degrees above the horizontal 90 (or a HIGH 45/145 degrees) and slide cut with your razor horizontal to the floor. Cut until you run out of hair and the length drops out. This guideline will remain stationary.
Continue layering the back of the head by taking vertical sections, overdirecting the hair to the center back stationary guide, elevating to 45 degrees above the horizontal 90 and slide cutting with a horizontal razor.
PRO TIP: This technique is called condensed cutting when you’re cutting larger sections at once. Condensed cutting helps to create texture in the hair.
PRO TIP: Make sure to comb both sides of your sections to ensure precision and control when cutting with a razor.
PRO TIP: Overdirection to the center back helps to preserve length and weight, especially for finer haired guests who want a shag but also want to maintain length or thickness.
- Drop your zig zag partings on the top of the head. Elevate the hair straight up to 180 degrees and razor cut with the Signature Series Razor, using soft strokes and holding your razor on a slight angle.
Continue layering the top of the head by using a traveling guide, elevating the hair straight up to 180 degrees and softly skimming the ends with your razor.
PRO TIP: For disconnected cuts like shags, you can section off the length with Dry Sectioning Clips to ensure you're not going to remove any more length.
- Release the sections on the sides of the head, elevate the hair straight up to 180 degrees and cut vertically with your razor to marry the layers on the crown of the head to the front sides. Repeat on the opposite side.
Marry the front face frame into the length by softly skimming the hair with a channel cutting technique so you don’t remove too much length.
PRO TIP: For finer hair types, use softer tension with the razor so as not to remove too much length when motion cutting.
PRO TIP: When you want less texture and weight removal, use your wrist when skimming and stroking the hair with the razor. When you want more aggressive weight removal, get your elbow involved for a stronger motion-cutting technique.
Styling the Soft Shag
- Apply Redken Full Frame to damp hair and softly scrunch from ends to roots. You'll get medium control and tons of hold with this product.
Diffuse the hair on low speed and high heat. Simply rest the hair in the Deep Bowl Diffuser on the Light Pro Ionic Blow Dryer and oscillate the hair to encourage the natural curl pattern to come out.
PRO TIP: For maximum volume, have your client flip their head forward and back to encourage more lift at the roots.
PRO TIP: For more bend and curl in the hair, place the diffuser into the hair and twist it at the root.