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Hair Dusting Keeps Strands Looking Youthful and Healthy! Plus You Can Do the Haircut Technique at Home

And the products that prevent split ends from forming in the first place

Sometimes, you simply want your split ends to, well, split — but without sacrificing a lot of length. If you’re tired of constant trims but still crave long, youthful, healthy hair, then hair dusting might just be your secret weapon. This haircut technique promises to remove split ends with laser focus, all while preserving your precious lengthy hair. But is hair dusting too good to be true? One stylist’s “inch” might in fact be three to another. Here, all of the benefits of hair dusting, whether it works for all hair types, and how to achieve salon-worthy results from the comfort of your own home. Plus, we’ll answer the burning question: how often should you remove split ends with hair dusting? Keep scrolling for the 411 from top hairstylists.

What is hair dusting?

Woman with split ends that needs hair dusting

James Pecis, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Blu & Green, says that hair dusting refers to cleaning up split ends. “Dusting is when I will take section by section, looking for split and damaged areas and cut the minimal amount to keep the hair in a good state,” he says.

“This is a cut where you don’t get rid of length, only damaged split ends,” adds Laura Polko, celebrity hairstylist and John Frieda House of Frieda ambassador. “You basically flip the hair up and cut the ends almost as if you were dusting off a sweater.” Something that’s important to note? A dusting still takes time. “It’s not actually a quick cut, if dusting is done properly, it is a tedious process to get rid of the split ends,” notes Polko.

And another thing to keep in mind when it comes to hair dusting: “A dusting or a trim is still a haircut!” says Scott Fabian, a hairstylist at Sally Hershberger NoMad Salon. “It’s simply that the amount of hair that is being taken off is a much smaller amount,” he explains.

To see this technique in action, check out the below video from the YouTube channel.

The benefits of hair dusting

Simply put, in essence, hair dusting keeps your hair length while removing split ends to make hair healthier, says Polko. It also helps tidy up the perimeter of your cut, which can sometimes show unevenness where split ends or heat damage occurs, says Chaz Dean, celebrity hairstylist and colorist and founder of WEN hair care.

Woman with smooth, split ends-free hair after having hair dusting done
Andreas Kuehn/Getty

According to Fabian, there are quite a few different benefits from getting a dusting that help you to keep and maintain your haircuts and style. “It also prevents split ends from getting worse and splitting further,” he says. And Pecis adds that when your hair starts to split at the ends, “you cannot ‘un-spilt it,’ or put it back together.” Instead, he says, “to avoid further splitting and more damage, it is good to cut it off clean to keep the integrity of your hair. You can keep your hair looking fresher, longer without doing a full cut.”

Related: At-Home Hair Bonding Products Reverse Damage for Healthy, Youthful Strands Without Spending $100s at the Salon

Does hair dusting work for all hair types?

Yes,” says Fabian, adding that dusting is the best way to maintain healthy hair. Pecis agrees but notes you might approach it differently depending on your hair type. “With curls and coils I would approach it more organically and use my hands to pull pieces and address the ends, but with straighter hair I would use a comb and do it in methodical sectioning,” says Pecis.

How to do hair dusting at home

When it comes to just removing split ends, dusting can be done at home. Dean says to make sure you have very sharp scissors or shears — and maybe an extra set of hands to help you. He also mentions that it’s good to use a fine-tooth comb to comb down the sections of your hair evenly.

“With straight to wavy hair, you can split the hair down the middle, forehead to nape, and pull the hair forward on each side or the face,” explains Pecis. Then, “elevate the hair 45 degrees up and forward and look for unhappy ends. With curls, kinks and coils, use your hands and your eye. If you see it, snip it.” Pecis says that you can also pull curls and inspect the ends. “Use the tip of the scissors to ‘point’ cut it,” he suggests. 

One caveat? “If you find yourself cutting more than a few busted pieces and you start trimming , then you should probably see a hairdresser because you need more than just a dusting,” advises Pecis. And Dean agrees saying, “the point is to not start cutting a new ‘guide’ into your hairstyle, which would cause you to have to match that all the way around,”

To see an in-depth tutorial for hair dusting, watch the below video from the tyme YouTube channel.

How often should hair dusting be done?

Fabian says that hair dusting can be done anywhere from six to 12 weeks depending on your length and style. It’s an especially great technique for those who like to go a long time in between cuts.

Pecis advises that a hair dusting is done in between long haircuts. “If you are getting a haircut between one and three months, you probably don’t need dusting,” he says. Dean offers the same advice, noting only doing this technique on as-needed basis, “or when you’ve gone a long time in between haircuts with no plans for another scheduled appointment.”

Tips for avoiding split ends

1. Use a heat protectant

Heat styling can damage hair and lead to split ends. Be sure to use a heat protectant spray before using any hot styling tools as a way to prevent damage from the get-go.

Related: 9 Best Heat Protectants for Fine Hair + More to Keep Strands Strong and Healthy

2. Deep condition your hair regularly

Using a hair mask regularly helps to hydrate and strengthen hair, which can help to prevent split ends. Aim to deep condition your hair once a week or once every two weeks.

3. Avoid tight hairstyles

Tight hairstyles can put stress on hair and lead to breakage. That’s why it’s recommended to avoid wearing your hair in super-tight ponytails, braids or buns too often.

4. Eat a healthy diet

Lastly, eating a healthy diet made up of hair-nourishing nutrients can help keep your hair healthy and strong. That’s why it’s good to include a lot of protein, fruits and vegetables in your diet.

The best products that help with split ends

John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave In Conditioner, a product that can be used to prevent split ends like hair dusting
John Frieda/Amazon

John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave In Conditioner

For her part, Polko doesn’t suggest doing dusting at home other than in the front. “That’s because it’s tricky when you can’t see the back of the head,” she says. So in between cuts, Polko advises using products to keep your hair healthy like John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave In Conditioner. It contains a blend of natural oils like olive, argan and coconut oils that nourish and condition hair to prevent splitting or damage.

Mielle Organics
Rice Water Split End Therapy

Mielle Organics Rice Water Split End Therapy

Priced at a reasonable $10, this treatment from Mielle is formulated with rice water to strengthen hair, thwarting breakage and mending split ends.

Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum

Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum

While this is more of a splurge, a little goes a long way. That means it will last you for nearly a year when used as needed. It works for all hair types, lengths and textures and helps by sealing frayed ends so hair looks smoother in no time. 

Andrew Fitzsimons Virgin Repair Restructuring Serum, a product that reduces split ends like hair dusting
Andrew Fitzsimons

Andrew Fitzsimmons Virgin Repair Restructuring Serum

We love this wallet-friendly formula. Just use on damp hair before a blowout to help mend split ends —plus, it also keeps any frizz at bay.

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner, a product that helps with split ends like hair dusting
L’Oréal Paris/Amazon

L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner

Another solid drugstore option, this is a leave-in conditioner that helps to repair damage, add moisture and protect hair from heat styling. It can also help to mend your split ends while preventing future hair breakage.

Splitender Pro 2

Splitender Pro 2

While it’s no substitute for a professional, it will buy you time in between appointments. This gadget snips off just dead ends easily. You just brush it through your hair, it automatically chops off the ends and keeps them in a plastic case for you to empty out post-trim.

See more expert-backed hair care advice:

Are You Double Shampooing? Here’s Why Experts Say You Should for a Deep Cleanse

Treating Scalp Inflammation Can Reverse Hair Loss — Experts Share the Easy + Soothing Remedies

6 Best Hair Oils That Treat Thinning Hair, Restore Shine, Fight Frizz + More

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