Struggling to grow your hair longer?
Does it seem split ends are forever sabotaging your efforts no matter how faithfully you apply replenishing products and moisturizing hair masks?
Or at worst does your mane resemble the business end of a broom?
Which is enough to have you looking high and low on Google for what causes split dead split ends on hair. Am I right?
If any of this sounds like I’m speaking a foreign language, please raise your hand.
Yeah I didn’t think so. No hands raised.
That’s because we’re ALL too familiar with the Trip to Splitsville. (Even so. Do you know all the different types of split ends hair is prone to? Once you’ve read our 411 sharing article on them you will. Promise.)
Look. No one escapes problems with split ends entirely. No matter how resilient our strands and despite our best efforts at hydration we all get them from time to time.
For ages we’ve all heard that for your hair to live long and flourish regular trims are a must do.
Fail to keep things in trim and those pesky split ends will treat your inaction as an invitation to run up your strands.
Thinning and weakening them until they break.
While inviting an unflattering dullness to your mane.
But are regular trims really the best way to stop split ends in their tracks?
Especially if you’re looking to grow longer?
Despite being as touted THE approach to prevent split ends from proliferating – maybe not.
And that “maybe not” is a problem. One somewhat solved by knowing how to stop getting split ends. Click that link and read our look at the the top four things stylists suggest to stop frayed, dead ends in their tracks.
And if that isn’t enough we lay out six more ways to prevent split ends and breakage. Yeah more split end help.
But I digress.
Prevention aside, if regular trims are wrong, what’s right? What’s the better way?
Well one possible better way is a little known, and admittedly time consuming, process called “dusting”.
What Is It?
Think of it as a spa day for your hair. Or a way to refresh your locks by getting rid of the splits while still retaining the length.
This is not unlike shearing those annoying fuzz balls off sweaters. Very similar actually.
Better still it’s a process that helps most anyone looking to hold on to as much length as they possibly can as they go for longer, healthier locks. Reason being you’re only taking off maybe an eighth to a quarter of an inch off some strands.
You can also learn more in our FAQ article covering how to get rid of split ends at home using this technique.
Here’s the How To
There’s two super helpful DIY video segments further on down this dusting overview that shows you how. So you’ll definitely want to check those out.
In addition you may want to explore our deep dive into how to search and destroy split ends. When it comes to how to eliminate split ends this is a trimming method that works. We created that quick guide to spread the word.
But basically the idea is to make the frayed strands stand out so you can shear them off.
Believe it or not there’s definitely things you can do to make this happen.
First, and this may be obvious, but you only want to dust dry strands.
Also it’s really best to do this with the help of a strong light. Better still is sunlight.
If you don’t have sharp hair shears don’t bother. You won’t get a clean, healthy cut.
Oh and if you’re feeling stuck with splits because you don’t know best type of hair cutting shears for beginners to use at home help is on the way.
That’s right. We explore the traits the best hair cutting shears for home use all share.
Another tip? You’ll want to work with smaller sections maybe no bigger than a quarter of an inch wide.
To get there divide your mane into four or five manageable sections.
Clip up and out of the way those not being worked on.
From the remaining target section select that quarter inch part to dust. Dust away.
As you go it’s smart to clip the dusted sections up and out of the way too.
Ultimately you’ll want to go all around your head from one side to the other. But it’s unlikely you’ll be able to do that in one go.
I’ve also read that if at all possible you want to cut the strands at an angle not straight across. That’s because a diagonal cut is best if you’re looking to prevent future splitting.
But honestly this is easier said than done.
Plus I suspect it applies more to trimming, point cutting?, than dusting.
Then this last point here is important. And maybe surprising. Splits are not always at the end of the strand. If they’ve begun to move up towards your scalp they’ll be mid shaft or higher.
But don’t worry. The two video segments coming up will show you how to deal with these.
How Often Should You Dust Your Hair?
Yeah, a good question frequently asked is “How often should you dust your hair?”
Generally you’ll want to repeat the process every 4-8 weeks.
The answer really depends on how much you’re into hot tool styling, coloring, or chemical processing in one form or another.
All are tresses stressors.
All lead to frayed ends.
All should be kept to a minimum if your ends are easily traumatized or frazzled already.
So here’s what you do. Simply set aside time to dust more often if you often engage in hair damaging activities. (And you know who you are.)
Of course if you are just getting into this and you haven’t trimmed much less dusted your tresses for three, four months or more, then you’ll likely need a trim more so than a dusting.
Because it’s smart to start clean. I mean if you just start off dusting away, you’ll be undercutting the point where any actual damage begins which isn’t going to help as much.
Still over the long run dusting is a great way to give your locks a health boost without sacrificing length. Plus it’s the absolute best approach for those with fine, more delicate, strands.
Okay so it’s video time. You can make dead ends show themselves easily if you know how. This 60 clip shows one way to do that. Making cleaning up the dead ends less of a pain to do.
Solution: Three Finger Strand Dusting
Simply take a small section of hair between your index, middle and ring fingers positioning them near mid strand.
Slide the fingers down the selected section.
What this approach does is smooth out the hair while making it just a little taut so the bits that need dusted off pop up. Snip off those problem bits and you’re good.
Told you it was easy!
Solution: Twisted Strand Dusting
Twisted strand is a variation of the three finger method. It’s lets you take a closer look at your hair so that the parts needing to be snipped off will be obvious.
To get the most out of this approach, twist once going in one direction, then release and twist in the opposite direction.
This too is a great way to clean things up.
Of course about now you also should recognize this is going to take some time. Possibly a long time. And you’d be right. It is very time consuming.
This is exactly why many stylists won’t do it. The split end dusting process is almost like a haircut by itself only with just a tiny fraction of the hair cut off.
Still can you see why this is the perfect mane grooming technique for those trying to grow out their strands despite the friction they expose it to?
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Dominique Baker says
Good post. I used to do this. This post has made me want to start back up.
Yeah, this is a great way to keep splits at bay. Perfect to do when binge watching something on NetFlix!