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Context : Mom and her daughter went together to the hair salon. and Mom is telling hair dresser her requirements about daughter's haircut.

Mom : I would like to see some layers around her face to accentuate that fabulous bone structure. Maybe an inch or two off in the back, but leave the length, followed by some honey-blonde lowlights all around.

In this conversation, what does the part in bold mean? Could you turn the sentence into more easier detailed sentence?

In this sentence, how does 'off' work and mean?

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I would like to see some layers around her face to accentuate that fabulous bone structure. Maybe an inch or two off in the back, but leave the length, followed by some honey-blonde lowlights all around.

The bold expression means that one or two inch has to be trimmed or cut if they seem it fit, or if they think it is needed (hairdressers usually know much more about your hair than you do). Other than that the length whatever it is should be kept intact. Like if someone has waist length hair, then it should not reduce to shoulder length or something.

off here is an adverb meaning to remove or discard. See the second entry under adverb column here.

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"Maybe [you could cut] an inch or two [of hair] off in the back..." Maybe is used to convey a polite suggestion rather than a command.

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  • "At the back" sounds more "native English" to me, "in the back" sounds incorrect. – Prime Mover Jan 11 at 14:45
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    @PrimeMover British English, certainly. As the OP used 'Mom' I assume they may be using American English, in which I think 'in back' is idiomatic. I decided not to complicate matters by correcting that part! – Kate Bunting Jan 11 at 14:57

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