How to Style a Shag Based on Different Textures

More and more women are embracing the modern shag these days. "The new version is softer and adaptable to most hair lengths and textures,” says Jesse Linares, Sam Villa ArTeam. “Shags are great because they have structured modern lines, yet they’re full of movement, so the result is a disheveled shape and texture that women feel comfortable styling,” Linares says. 

For fine to medium texture:

  • Start by applying a liberal amount of volumizing mousse scalp to ends on damp, towel-dried hair. Redken's Aerate 08 all-over bodifying cream mousse provides a cushioned fullness without a "crunchy" finish.
  • Rough dry hair using the “Max Airflow” nozzle on the Sam Villa Artist Series Professional Blow Dryer, focus heat on the roots and direct hair up with hands. Move around the head until the root direction is set and the hair is 80 percent to 90% dry. 
  • Apply a generous amount of a strong volume product, like Redken Guts 10 volume spray mousse, to the root and mid-strand area, and continue the same rough-drying technique until hair is noticeably voluminous and 100 percent dry. This step can be repeated on dry hair several times until the desired results are achieved.
  • Finally, mist a thermal setting spray, like Redken's Iron Shape 11 thermal holding spray, onto ends and rough dry using cool air (to dry the product onto the hair strand without heating it away). Polish the ends and create movement using a Sam Villa Artist Series 2-in-1 Marcel Curling Iron and Wand 1” as a wand. Taking small to medium sections, pinch the ends of the hair and rotate wrist naturally around the barrel creating a soft spiral movement with naturally undone ends. Be random and take alternating sizes of sections for a natural finish.

For coarse, unruly texture: 

  • Start with a disciplined blow-dry. On damp, towel-dried hair, apply a moderate amount of a smoothing heat protectant from scalp to ends. Follow with a generous amount of Redken Satimwear 04 thermal smoothing blow-dry lotion. Blow-dry using the “Focused Heat” nozzle on the Sam Villa Artist Series Professional Blow Dryer, taking small sections and using a high-tension paddle brush to create the desired volume at the root area with polished ends. 
  • Working in sections, apply a heavy mist of thermal setting spray from scalp to ends. Rough dry using cool air (to dry the product onto the hair strand without over-heating it). 
  • Working in vertical sections from the bottom up, ribbon-curl the hair to create lean, side-to-side movement with a flat iron that has rounded plates like the Sam Villa Signature Series Sleekr Professional Straightening Iron. Hold the hair out from the head and insert the iron vertically. Close the iron and slide down the hair strand, rotating wrist to "ribbon curl" the hair.