We all know that we need to get rid of our split ends to keep our hair healthy, but most of us think that means we have to chop off a lot of our locks to do so. So we pile on a million different products trying to fake healthy hair, all the while knowing that we’re not fixing the problem. Happy to report we just heard about the perfect solve for banishing not only the damaged ends of your hair without going majorly shorter, but also all the broken bits that can run the length of a strand. It’s called hair dusting.

What exactly is hair dusting?

This nifty process involves snipping away such small amounts of dry hair that it resembles dust as it hits the floor. While it’s a good idea to regularly snip off the dead bits at the end of each strand (which can be done without removing more than 1/8-inch or so), the trick to having really healthy hair is to realize that breakage doesn’t only occur at the ends of your hair; it can happen anywhere along a strand. To “dust” strands with this damage, smooth out a small section of dry hair and bend it so that any splits and breaks stick out. Then, take a pair of scissors and snip away those broken strands. Work your way around your head, as this blogger does in this video:

Why you haven’t heard of dusting before

While the results are fantastic, this process has the potential to take a good amount of time, depending on the thickness and amount of hair you have. But with a payoff as great as not having to take chunks of length off the ends, it might just be worth it, right?

Try this trick for dusting if you have curly hair

If your hair is so curly that it can’t be completely smoothed down, simply take two half-inch strands of hair and twist them tightly together. This will cause the split ends to pop out so that they can be cut off.

How often you should dust

Depending on your hair type, your stylist may suggest dusting your hair every 5 to 7 weeks. If you have fine hair, which is more susceptible to breakage and split ends, or if you’re regularly frying it with heat and/or chemicals, you may have to get dusted more frequently.