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the long and short of it

a stylist's guide to the perfect summer haircut.

by: liza darwin

all photos by getty images

July 02 2014

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Summer is great for tons of reasons, but real talk: the season sort of sucks for your hair. Being out in the sun all day means dryness, the ocean can cause breakagae, and humidity is basically the worst, period. While you could use the heat as the perfect opportunity to bite the bullet and try a bob, for those who aren't willing to part with their mane quite yet, it's OK--there are ways to keep your length without sweating to death.

The secret? It's all about the internal layers to ditch the weight. I learned this beauty hack when I visited senior stylist Heather Packer at Soho's Cutler Salon. This way you can keep the same longer silhouette (AKA, no awkward soccer mom cuts), while injecting some additional texture. Check out Packer's guide to getting the look for yourself below, so you'll know exactly what to say for your next hair appointment.

For people who want to keep the long-haired look, but shed a lot of the weight, what would you suggest?

I like to cut girls’ hairs with a razor, and that way I can take a lot of weight out and you can feel like you’ve lost a lot of hair--but it still looks really long. And then it also helps, of course, because you don’t always want to blow dry your hair, and if you remove weight with a razor, it brings out the natural texture and then you can wear it beach-y and natural with little effort.

What is the ideal length that people should shoot for that still falls into the long category and is typically flattering on most people?

I think that a couple of inches, like three inches or so, below collarbone. Everyone looks at it and sees long hair. There’s no question about that. But it’s not too much and it lightens it up quite a lot.

If somebody is going try this cut, what should they tell their hairdresser to give direction?

Tell them that they would like to bring out their natural texture and remove some weight. And do more internal layers, rather than layering on the perimeter. Because layering on the perimeter can sometimes cause frizziness and it will cause it to get big in humidity. Where if you do some internal layers, by taking weight out, it will keep it down. And at the same time it will bring out the natural texture.

Finally, which types of products that you would recommend?

I like creamy products, like pearl creams or a grooming type cream. It adds separation and a whole frizz-down also. And then, salt sprays. Sea-salt sprays. Lots of different companies make sea-salt sprays.Pureology makes a really good sea-salt spray that I like. This product mixed with a cream helps bring out the natural texture, and then you won’t have to do too much with your hair.

Get inspired by the girls who rock the look in the gallery.

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