By Erin Lukas
Feb 03, 2017 @ 1:30 pm

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.”

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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.”

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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.