5 Tips For Adding Volume & Movement To A Shag Cut On Straight Hair

Getting a fresh on-trend haircut changes your whole aesthetic. The right hairstyle can enhance your facial features and instantly make you look better, and the shag is one such haircut that you simply can't go wrong with.


Characterized by lots of volume, choppy layers, and textured bangs, this versatile haircut was first made famous by Hollywood royalty Jane Fonda in the early 1970s and has simply refused to go out of style since (via Hershesons). It has enjoyed several comebacks in recent decades (notably as a staple rockstar hairdo). Fortunately for all the nostalgic cool girls, a modern version of the shag is trending in 2023. The hugely popular haircut retains the feel and look of the classic shag but brings a contemporary twist. The length is all yours to play around with; it works with a medium length, a short bob, a long length, or even with a full-blown pixie cut.

As with all cool haircuts, the shag also thrives when given the proper care and maintenance. Staying true to its inherent features and keeping it looking its best requires just a little effort in the way of regular trims, the right products, and the right drying techniques (messy is the name of the game). If you have straight hair, these five hacks will help you get the best out of your glorious shag cut.


Be careful how you dry your straight shag

To ensure that your shag cut gets more volume, be vigilant with how you blow dry your hair after washing it. Straight hair naturally has less volume than curly or wavy hair, so it requires care when it comes to keeping it looking lovely and full. To create as much volume as possible, dry from the roots, lifting them with a round brush away from your scalp. You can also try hanging your hair upside down and drying, again brushing your hair away from the scalp. 


If you sport bangs with your straight shag, you will definitely benefit from using a hairdryer. Comb your face-framing strands away from your face as you dry to create the full, rounded look seen in the photo above. You can also use the same drying technique that you'd use to wave your hair, again with a rounded brush twisting away from the face, and then brush out the waves so you're left with straight hair that has a few kinks in it. 

Add in some product

As with all haircuts, the shag cut looks its best when it gets a little extra help from the right products, especially if you have straight hair. Since the shag haircut is a relatively low-maintenance one, you don't have to throw the kitchen sink at it. Just a simple combination of basic products can go a long way in helping you preserve the volume and liveliness of your straight shag.


Applying a mousse or adding some texturizing spray to your straight locks can do wonders in volumizing your shag. As its name suggests, texturizing spray adds much-needed grit and definition to your hair while increasing its bounce and movement. Mousse can also achieve the same effect, reducing pesky frizz and making the cut look fuller and more vibrant. If they don't give you enough lift, you can opt for some root spray. Once you've dried and styled your hair the way you want it, don't forget the hairspray to hold it all in place!

Just be sure not to add too much product, as this can weigh your hair down and actually make it more limp. Use a process of trial and error to find the ideal amount of product for your tresses. 


Get creative with the color

Adding an interesting color to your hair doesn't just make you look fly — if done within reason, coloring your straight shag can actually be good for countering flatness. Dyeing your hair can potentially increase its volume by giving the hair shafts a little extra body. Just keep in mind that bleaching your hair often leads to damage, which can make your hair thinner and flatter in the long run, per Healthline


Going for multiple shades on your shag cut adds definition and makes it appear fuller and thicker. So if you have naturally finer or thinner hair, which can make your shag feel lifeless and flat without waves, going for some highlights might be the solution for you. However, you can also apply an all-over color to make your whole head stand out. Saturated colors can give the illusion of more volume, even if they don't actually affect your strands in that way. 

Regularly touch up the layers

Even when a shag cut is straight rather than curly or wavy, it naturally has more volume than other cuts thanks to its signature choppy layers. The issue is that after a few weeks of growing out your straight shag, it will inevitably start sitting flatter on your head, decreasing the appearance of the core feature of shag haircuts, which is, well, being shaggy.


So going back to your hairstylist once every six to eight weeks to touch up your glorious straight shag is paramount if you want to keep your hair as voluminous as possible. This timespan gives you the ability to get the most out of your shag haircut before it requires some freshening up. A little trim will definitely work in your favor, with the extra weight being taken off your hair to give your shag cut back its volume, life, definition, and movement. 

Take the shape of your face into account

The shag haircut takes many shapes and forms, some leaning more towards wolf cuts and others treading into mullet territory, and each one flatters a specific face shape. It doesn't matter if your face is oval-shaped, heart-shaped, or square-shaped, because there is a shaggy 'do out there that suits you perfectly. Working with your face shape when getting a shag haircut will ensure that the hair frames the face with all the possible volume.


For ladies with shorter faces (round or square-shaped), the typical shag cut should work to make your face look longer, per MasterClass. This means you'll have lots of textured layers to frame your face. Shorter shag cuts also enhance this face type. But when you own a longer visage (oval or diamond-shaped), longer layers and parted or curtain bangs are the way to go because you want to balance out the length and angles by making the face appear rounder.