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One-length cuts that fall between shoulder and chin have a beautiful, girl-next door simplicity; brushing the edges with sun-kissed lightness enhances this quality and softens the horizontal edge. The resulting look is classic, elegant, and effortless –– the sort of style that would suit a modern day Grace Kelly. The feminine, clean-lined design works with looks from preppy to hipster. Read on for my professional take on the steps to achieving breezy, American girl beauty. –– Laura Martin 

Step: Ask for a long, textured bob with soft ends and a choppy interior. Weight removal helps the bob swing and flow for a softer finish that works well with custom color. A slightly longer length makes more room for the melt, and gives the shape a lived-in feeling.

Step: Hand painted highlights focused on the tips of hair provide a sun-kissed fade. Keep the transition point from dark to light around the cheekbones to focus attention on the eyes. Keep colors within two levels for a subtle fade, or go for a fashion look by amping the contrast (shown in the picture on the left above).

Step: At home, mix a pea of texture paste with a small handful of styling whip; this combo gives light, texture-enhancing hold with a bit of grit. Scrunch into ends and then run the residue through roots. Tousle dry with finger and use a round paddle brush to smooth unruly areas. Finish with a mist of refinish dry shampoo for beachy texture.

Special thanks to Laura Martin, senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, for sharing professional hairstyling advice with Style Noted

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