24 June 2024

How To Cut a Square Layered Shag

Learn how to cut an awe-inspiring square layered shag with renowned hairstylist, Sam Villa Ambassador Becka Bradshaw.

This season, shapes give a nod to the front musicians in rock’n’roll bands, styles that vibrate and move all on their own. As artists, we want to deconstruct these shapes to their very essence to create style that will function with minimal effort and allow the shape to sing with a driving clear voice that rises above the beat, says Becka Bradshaw, Sam Villa Ambassador @beckabradshaw who shares how to cut a square shag so no stylist misses a beat.

Note: Establish length on dry hair in the nape area first.


  • Cut vertically with a Sam Villa Signature Series 7” Dry Cutting Shear while elevated to horizontal 90°leaving length towards the perimeter. 
  • Use traveling sections and little to no over direction to allow this area to collapse with no buildup of weight. 

Sides and Back

  • Detach and leave at least an inch or two longer than the shortest pieces in the nape. Detachment allows for the function of length and movement while maintaining balance.  It removes bulk that can cause a shape to look contrived and wig-like. 
  • Elevate 45° above the horizontal line of 90°, compress horizontally and move around the head with no change in finger angle or over direction.  
  • After establishing the shape, texturize sections in the same elevation using a Sam Villa Signature Series 6.5” Reversible Blending Shear

Top and Crown 

  • Cut with a Sam Villa Signature Series Razor. Aim for a 5 – 7” layer shape to live between the cheek bones and lips.
  • Take horizontal sections and elevate to the vertical 90°. Add moisture with a continuous mist spray bottle and leave-in conditioner such as Redken One United to provide slip for the razor to glide. 
  • The razor will naturally cut a little shorter at the entry point, so alternate where the starting point is on either the left or the right to create the most natural movement on the top. 


  • Cut a fringe layer using traditional sectioning from each recession area to the forward slope of the head. This section should be elevated to 45° above the horizontal 90° and cut while overdirected to the natural part, leaving length toward the bottom of the shape. 
  • Detail the shape with channel cutting or back-cutting using a Sam Villa Artist Series 6” Slide Cutting Shear and enjoy the styling freedom and movement that the detached lengths give in this look.


  • Fine hair will benefit from styling with a blow dryer, paddle brush, and small amount of Redken Big Blowout to add weightless volume while wrap drying hair back and forth to break up any growth patterns. 
  • Once dry, style intuitively using hands and Redken Dry Texture Spray for an effortlessly cool vibe. 

CREDITS: Hair/Becka Bradshaw; Creative Director/Teresa Romero; Photographer/Nico Norsdström Obsidian and Blush; Makeup/Leticia Tapia and Delia Deleon; Wardrobe/Michi Lafary Obsidian and Blush; Model/Andrew Farmer.


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