Here's How To Rock A Shag Haircut On Straight Hair

Top stylists spill their tips.

How to rock a shag haircut on straight hair, according to pros.
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There are some things that just never go out of style, and shag haircuts are a textbook example. Like denim or matte red lipstick, the layered hairstyle has been solidified as a classic since it first entered the zeitgeist in the ’70s— just look at the countless celebs who continue to opt for the effortlessly chic cut as proof (including Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, and Halle Berry, to name just a few).

“The shag is the ultimate cool-girl hairstyle,” quips celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago. One reason for its enduring popularity? According to Larry Sims, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union, it’s because the haircut is incredibly low-maintenance. Because they’re choppy and undone by nature, shag cuts are the perfect get-up-and-go style. While the layers help enhance the texture of curly and wavy strands, shag haircuts on straight hair — when done right — can be a great way to add movement and volume. “On any face shape, shag haircuts are a great way to add texture to straight hair,” says celebrity hairstylist Sophie Rose.

So if you have stick-straight strands, there’s no reason to skip the hair trend — Bustle called on a handful of hairstylists for their tips on how to rock a shag haircut on straight hair. Scroll on for what to know before hitting up your favorite stylist.

1. Consider Your Face Shape

As with any haircut, Sims says the way a shag frames and falls around your face is key. When you’re working through what you want with your stylist, Rose says the goal should be to create a shape that brings out your natural features and “opens up the face.”

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2. Cut For Movement

A great shag, especially on straight hair, is all about creating movement. “When cutting the hair you want to make sure you’re getting the right amount of layers and movement, so going back in with thinning shears or point cutting your layers after the hair is dry is a great way to achieve that,” Santiago explains.

Sims and Rose actually like to go in with a razor for those finishing touches on a shag. “Slide cutting with a razor can add texture to the hair that scissors can’t,” Rose notes. “Most of the time, you let the fringe that the client is comfortable with be the guide.” Sims adds that you don’t want layers that are too blunt and heavy if your strands are straight. As Garnier celebrity hairstylist Ashley Streicher puts it: “It should be very blended so that you just see the movement in the hair and not the actual cuts.”

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3. Go Easy With The Blow Dryer

If you want to embrace your sleek strands while letting your layers shine, Sims says to drop the round brush. His tip? Let your hair air dry, or, if you’re determined to use a blow dryer, use it quickly and sparingly (maybe just at the roots) and without any comb or brush attachments.

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4. Add Product For Texture

Straight doesn’t mean flat and lifeless hair. Santiago recommends using mousse or a texturizing spray for, well, texture. And for a piece-y effect, she says a light pomade is perfect.

Devin Graciano, hairstylist and head of product development at Goldie Locks, agrees that the right products are key. “If your hair tends to fall flat, prep it with a root boost spray,” she says. Then, after it’s dry, she suggests applying a soft pliable wax with your fingertips for the “perfect amount of definition.” And that’s it: With a little zhuzhing, your shag is ready to go.

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