Photo Courtesy of MyCurlyArmy

How many times have you gone to a salon and asked for a trim, only to walk out several inches shorter than you bargained for? Especially with curly and coily hairs’ knack for shrinkage, the too-short trim is a common issue in the natural hair world. What you really wanted was a mini-trim, and the technical term for that is a “dusting.” You can either go to your stylist and ask for a dusting, or you can do it yourself at home, here’s how.

What is dusting?

A dusting is when a very small amount of hair is trimmed off the ends of the hair.  So little is removed that it looks like fine dust on the floor. Ends can be dusted to remove split ends before they become more severe.

How do I dust my hair?

  1. Take a small section of hair and divide it in two sections.
  2. Twist the section of hair so that it’s neat and smooth. You may notice little hairs that are split poking out from the twist.
  3. Dust by cutting the hair just above the split ends.
  4. Undo the twist and twist in the opposite direction in order to expose any other splits you may have missed.
  5. Repeat this process throughout the entire head. There should only be a light dusting of hair on your counters or floor.

How often should I dust my hair?

One should dust their hair every 6-8 weeks to keep split ends under control. 

What should I use?

Hair shears are the proper tool for this process.

Can I just use regular scissors?

Please keep your craft, kitchen and paper scissors far from your hair. A dull blade will only lead to further damage to your ends.

Where should I dust my hair?

Be sure to dust your hair under adequate natural lighting for best results. A beauty mirror with a magnified side is your best friend for those sections that are hard to see.


Nikki from the blog CurlyNikki Says:

I know I’m overdue for a trim when detangling becomes a beast, and when I too easily run across split ends. So once every two months, I dust or micro-trim after my hair has been twisted. I survey the ends of each twist, and snip off the last 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch. This keeps my ends neat and detangling sessions quick, while maintaining maximum length.  I trim more depending on the state of my ends, if I’m attempting to keep a bob shape and length (as I am now”> and/or how long it’s been since the last session.

In between dusting sessions, “search and destroy” missions keep my ends sharp. I conduct “search and destroys” whenever I happen to grab a curl and can see more than a split end or two without straining. I do this while sitting in front of the TV, standing in the bathroom mirror, or even while on the internet. The lighting in all three situations is perfect! After snipping a few, I become anal and my sessions can last more than an hour. I cut just above the split or jagged end and apply moisturizer and oil as I go. After I finish, I’m usually on my way to re-style because it leaves me with a frizzy, undefined mess.

Be sure to only use hair scissors when trimming. This is very important! I purchase my scissors from Walmart, Sally’s or Ulta and they usually run me between $10 and $40. I hide them from Hubby and only use them for hair, to keep them sharp as dull scissors can do more harm than good!

Do you dust your hair to avoid having to cut large amounts of damaged hair? Tell us your technique in the comment section below! 

This article was written by Good Hair Diaries and published on CurlyNikki.

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