By Erin Lukas
Updated Feb 03, 2017 @ 1:30 pm
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A hard beauty truth: Split ends can’t be made whole again. Although there’s a whole arsenal of products that can make fried ends look better, the only way you can really fix the situation is by trimming off the damaged hair.

But what if you’re growing out your hair and don’t want to sacrifice any of your length? Meet hair dusting. It’s a way of cutting off the dead ends without going shorter by an inch or two. “Hair dusting is healthy hair measure. It is a technique in which you only address the damaged ends of the hair and not necessarily any length from the haircut at all,” explains L.A.-based hairstylist Sal Salcedo who uses the technique on his clients. “It is a grooming technique that allows the hair strand to be healthy by removing what is unhealthy and by doing so allowing for growth and stopping further breakage.”

It’s done by snipping the bottom of each strand to eliminate the damaged hair tip, similar to removing lint from your favorite wool jacket. While Salcedo says the technique works on all hair types, strands should be smoothed out first so that the split ends stick up. This way, when your stylist runs their scissors over your hair, the stray pieces get removed. So, why haven’t you heard of hair dusting before? According to Salcedo the method can be time consuming since you’re only taking off about an eighth of an inch on each hair strand.

Since you won’t lose any of your precious length, chances are you won’t put off making regular salon appointments, which in turn will benefit your mane’s health. “Since we all know that all hair weakens at some point, if you never cut your hair at all, it’s only a matter of time before the oldest, and weakest portion of the hair strand, the ends, breaks and splits,” Honey Artists hairstylist Corey Tuttle says. “This will prolong the damage and possibly make it worse by not cutting and holding on to the ends of your hair. Dusting your hair will eliminate the downside of both scenarios.”

Want to see the technique in action? Look no further than Salcedo’s Instagram.

Pretty mesmerizing, right? If you want your hair dusted the next time you visit your stylist, Salcedo says to make sure you tell them at the beginning of your appointment to only snip the ends of your strands. The Best Hair Brushes for Every Hair Type

Image zoom Wet Brush Original Detangler

If you have fine, straight hair

“I have very fine hair, but quite a lot of it. And detangling my strands has been a painful chore since I was a child. I’ve experimented with various brushes over the years, and admittedly didn’t think much about The Wet Brush when the bright-colored tool first hit my desk. But somehow the combination of incredibly flexible bristles and a soft, collapsible base makes for a truly painless experience. I can brush out my straight hair in under a minute, removing all knots without breaking strands in the process. I rarely use another.” —Angelique Serrano, Beauty Director Courtesy

Image zoom L. Erickson Standard Hair Brush

If you have fine hair that appears oily at the roots

"While boar bristles are great for distributing strands' natural oils, that’s exactly the opposite of what I want for my baby-fine, grease-prone hair. So I’ve turned to soft nylon bristles, which I’ve found detangle my fine waves without straightening out the bends entirely. Bonus: L. Erickson’s all-nylon Standard Hair Brush has a charitable tie-in—for every purchase, a hygiene kit is donated to a child in need." —Dianna Mazzone, Assistant Beauty Editor Courtesy

Image zoom Harry Josh Detangling Brush

If you have fine, curly hair

“I have fine curls, but plenty of strands. And I can never, ever dry brush it, or my hair will instantly turn to frizz. So I load up on the conditioner in the shower and then brush through with the Harry Josh Detangling Brush which has widely-space plastic bristles. My hair dries smooth and knot-free." —Selene Milano, Senior Beauty Editor Courtesy

Image zoom Tangle Teezer: The Original Detangling Hair Brush

If you have thick, wavy hair

"I’m a big fan of the Tangle Teezer brush. I have really thick, wavy hair, and this brush helps me remove knots without yanking out too many strands. The teeth glide easily through wet or dry hair, and I especially love how the unique shape allows me to really grip the brush. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve broken a brush handle after some aggressive hair-pulling caused me to drop it on the floor.” —Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor Courtesy

Image zoom Sheila Stotts Removal Brush

If you have thick, curly hair

“My curls tangle at the slightest touch, but I’ve yet to find a knot that the Sheila Stotts Removal Brush can’t handle, thanks to its thin metal bristles. I’m so devoted to it that I have one at my desk, and one in my handbag at all times.” —Amanda Etkind, Beauty Intern Courtesy 1 of 5 Advertisement