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What is hair dusting?

Debby Harrington

Getting a haircut is not always about scalp massages and fresh locks.

There’s also the accompanying anxiety of not knowing if you’re actually going to get what you want.

Thankfully, more and more hairdressers are taking note of the curiously named ‘hair dusting’, so if you say just a trim, you’ll get just a trim. Hair dusting gets its name because so little is cut off the ends, what falls to the ground looks like dust.

Your hair is cut while dry and Canberra hairdresser Lexi Bannister has been doing it for years.

“Hair dusting is just a fancy term for dry cutting,” she says. “I call them eyelash trims because you’re just taking off the length of an eyelash and I generally always do that for people who are growing their hair.”

“When you cut it wet you can’t actually see what you’re cutting and sometimes you can take more than you actually need to take off.”

Lexi Bannister

Lexi ‘hair dusting’

“You can’t see split ends when it’s wet so you kind of just have to gauge where they stop and start.”

This is best for people who regret getting the epic chop or are aiming more Blake Lively than Jennifer Lawrence.

It also means visiting the salon religiously, so when your hairdresser tells you to come in every six to eight weeks, it’s not just so they can take more of your hard earned.

“Hairdressers say get regular haircuts because it’s about making sure you get fewer split ends,” Lexi says.

“If you wait too long, you end up getting more cut off because the split ends will travel and snap higher up the hair shaft, and that just defeats the purpose of trying to keep it long.”

But that’s not the only way to say farewell to your split ends. There’s also ‘scissor surfing’, where hairdressers basically glide their scissors across the top layer or surface of the hair, getting rid of split ends all over, not just on the ends.

Lexi is a fan of this too.

“Scissor surfing is where you’re bending all the split ends that are on the length of the hair and cutting the ends on that,” she says. “[It’s] a good way to keep them from travelling up.”

She says both these methods work for everyone to keep hair looking its best, but wishes more hairdressers would embrace new techniques.

“I think cutting needs to be looked at not just from a traditional point of view,” she explains. “Be open to new things, not just cutting the way you got taught 10 years ago because there’s so much new education now that shows that there are other ways to do things.”

Of course, the other element to growing your hair and keeping it healthy is picking the right products like treatments, hair masks (keeping them on for at least a couple of hours), quality shampoos and conditioners. A heat protectant spray when straightening or curling is also essential.


Debby Harrington

Debby is a journalist by trade who grew up in Perth before making her way to Canberra. As long as she can remember, her mother has always followed a beauty routine methodically, morning and night, which is where Debby developed her taste for the world of beauty. Debby loves trying new products and can’t live without lip balm, sunscreen and concealer. She also has her own blog featuring all things fashionable and beautiful so check out More about the Author

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