14.04.2021

Microdusting is ‘hair witchcraft’ if you want your strands to look healthy without losing the length

I get asked a fair bit about how I manage to keep my hair long and healthy, and the answer is with some help from my pal, top hair stylist, Hollie Rose Clarke, who (because I’m a wimp with hair cuts), introduced me to “microdusting”. It’s magic. I’ll let her explain…
There must have been some pretty bullet-proof extensions going in Rapunzel’s day – all that hair and no split ends? That, right there, is the fairytale. As for our own hair, anyone looking for healthy strands will know it’s tricky business to grow them out, or even maintain the length, without the bottom ending up stringy or skimpy.

What is microdusting?

“Microdusting or surface cutting is a technique that can remove all split ends, keep length and restore smoother, healthier looking hair,” explains Hollie. “It’s done by snipping the bottom of each strand to eliminate the damaged hair tip. The hair should be smoothed out first so that rebellious split ends stick up and show themselves. This way, when I glide my scissors over your hair, the unwanted tips and stray splits get removed, similar to removing lint from your favourite wool coat.”

Essentially it’s a technique (or as Hollie calls it “hair witchcraft”) that gently removes split ends and unhealthy flyaways without compromising length or the thickness of the hair. “The only true way to stop split hairs from continuing to split (which results in shorter and shorter fly always) is to cut them off,” she says.

What are ghost trims and nano trims?

Similar to microdusting, “these are terms we use to explain to clients who are very attached to their hair, or have a fear of going to the hairdressers (usually due to a hair horror story), that we will only be taking off what’s necessary,” explains Hollie. “The client will leave with healthier refreshed hair and, most importantly, the length that they are so attached to.”

The good news is, Hollie’s already shared her tips to microdusting your hair at home, if you really need to during lockdown, here. But since you’re not seeing anyone, now’s a good chance to leave your hair to grow as much as possible before you next see your hair stylist.

Trickier to DIY, are ghost layers or baby layers. “This is a technique where I give clients hair the illusion of layers by adding some very light surface movement to the hair without leaving the baseline wispy or without compromising the length or the thickness of the hair,” says Hollie. Definitely leave this to your hair stylist.

Why are these techniques better for our hair?

“These techniques are great for anyone wanting to grow their hair or maintain the length they love. They target the health of the hair and remove the damaged dry ends. Since you won’t lose any of your precious length, chances are you won’t put off making regular salon appointments [once they’re back up and running], which in turn will benefit your hair’s health.”

Are any types of hair that micro dusting won’t work for?

“This technique works on every hair type, the hair should be smoothed out so that the split ends show themselves and only they are removed.”

What finish does micro dusting achieve?

“Microdusting is a way to promote healthy hair growth. Not only does it improve the appearance of the hair, leaving it looking smooth and healthy with a glass like shine, but it can also help clients who have trouble managing frizz at home.”


This is how my hair looks after Hollie microdusts off all the knackered, straggly bits – thicker, fuller and with as much healthy length as possible.

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