Now You Know: A Hairstylist Shares 11 Helpful Tips for Youthful, Healthy Hair

Shiny locks for life.

By Lourdes Avila Uribe
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Like me, you probably grew up hearing that your hair is on a seven-year cycle. It isn’t exactly an accurate number, but it’s not entirely devoid of fact either. What we do know is that a single strand of hair has a lifespan between two and seven years. After that, the hair falls out and is replaced by a new one—but not always! Genetics and the natural aging process also play a huge part in hair changes. So it makes sense that as the decades wear on, we start to notice shifts in our hair, from growth cycle to texture, grays, and much more. But as well all know, prevention is everything, so I tapped a hairstylist to give us her best anti-aging hair tips and product recommendations.

We may not all have Cindy Crawford hair, but we can come pretty close! Common issues like thinning, grays, dryness, and changing texture can be confounding and stressful, but there are plenty of ways, along with amazing products at a range of prices to treat these issues. Hairstylist Betsy Duggan is sharing her foolproof anti-aging tips and tricks, along with some of her favorite go-to’s.

Betsy Duggan

Duggan is a natural blonde specialist and hairstylist based in New York City.

As always, she is quick to remind us that those who notice they are losing significant amounts of hair overnight should speak to their dermatologist ASAP, as it could be a sign of another health problem. Luckily, most issues are common and there are solutions at the ready.

Keep reading for Duggan’s anti-aging hair tips!

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1. Keep hair mositurized

As hair ages, it naturally gets coarser and frizzier. This could be a result of graying hair, heat styling damage, the result of years of coloring, and more. Duggan recommends using a moisturizing hair mask at least once a week to infuse your hair with nourishing, ultra-hydrating ingredients.

A cult-fave mask beloved by hairstylists

This beauty is infused with a patented technology that repairs bonds and adds shine, smoothness, and body—all while providing intense moisture to treat damaged hair.

Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intensifying Moisture Mask, $28

2. Take hair supplements

Once considered an extreme step, hair supplements are officially in the mainstream. (I used to have to hit the local supplement store in my hometown and wade through a sea of bodybuilders in search of protein powders just to find biotin.) Duggan has seen many of her clients who deal with hair loss have success with Nutrafol and similar hair supplements.

For curbing hair loss and thinning

Duggan often recommends this supplement for those looking to target root causes of thinning hair, like stress, environmental causes, and nutrition. It’s a physician-formulated, clinically effective supplement that leaves you with visibly thicker, stronger hair and less shedding.

Nutrafol, $88

To keep hair shiny, healthy, and strong

These vegan gummies feature a combination of clinically researched nutrients for stronger, healthier hair that includes biotin, zinc, B12, PABA, folic acid, and Fo-Ti. It even supports hair pigmentation for healthy hair color.

HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair Hair Growth Vegan Gummies with Biotin and Folic Acid, $26

3. Treat your scalp

It’s easy to forget that caring for and prioritizing your scalp is a very important part of whole hair health. Using products that are specifically formulated for the scalp, along with regular scalp massage, has been proven to lead to longer, thicker, healthier hair.

Stimulate your scalp with this yummy massager

All hair types can enjoy this hand-held massager that helps increase circulation to support healthy scalp and hair.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager, $18

A high-end, powerfully effective scalp serum

There’s simply no denying that Dr. Sturm knows her stuff. This serum provides intense hydration while boosting overall scalp health for strong, shiny hair thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid and papaya extract.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Scalp Serum, $100

The affordable new kid on the block

Hair wellness begins at the scalp. (And, growth does too.) Aceite de Moska is a heritage scalp remedy that helps to promote healthy hair, nourishes and magnifies shine, and smoothes cuticles to combat frizz. It was inspired by the long-cherished Aceite de Moska—derived from the Dominican Republic.

Ceremonia Aceite de Moska, $25

4. Get a humidifier

Duggan often recommends that her clients with flaky, itchy scalps and dry hair try using a humidifier during the dry winter months. Bonus, it is great for your skin as well!

Keep things simple with a nightstand-friendly device

This humidifier promotes healthy, glowing skin and hair while alleviating cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. We love a multitasker. You can also add essential oils for a relaxing touch. The best part? No mist, therefore, no mold either!

Canopy Humidifier Starter Set, $150

5. Use a purple shampoo for grays

As a huge fan of naturally graying hair, Duggan reminds us that “gray hair no longer signals aging—it’s a chic badge of honor that women of all ages are embracing.” But she emphasizes the importance of using a purple shampoo to keep grays bright and glimmering, instead of dull and yellowing.

You just can’t go wrong with Olaplex.

This shampoo is made for natural or color-treated hair and allows for customizable toning levels to neutralize brassiness and brighten hair.

Olaplex No. 4-P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo, $28

6. Invest in a low-heat styling option

Few things do more damage to one’s hair than heat styling. However, Duggan knows as well as anyone that sometimes, cutting out heat styling altogether simply isn’t an option. That’s why investing in low-heat styling options can make a huge difference to the quality of your hair’s health, especially if you are using heat on your hair multiple times a week.

You won’t regret treating yourself to this iconic hair dryer

An investment to be sure, this hairdryer is nothing short of revolutionary. It quickly dries hair without using extreme heat and can be used on all kinds of different hair types.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $399

7. Resist the urge to cut bangs

When Duggan first mentioned this tip, I had to resist the urge to roll my eyes and laugh—then I realized that this is exactly what I did when dealing with stress-related hair loss a few years back. Spoiler alert: I instantly regretted it. When your hairline is thinning, panic can set in that leads you to think cutting bangs will help it look better. Please trust me when I say that it will not.

Duggan explained that when you cut bangs, you are essentially losing about 1/4 of the hair that would normally be adding volume and thickness to your head overall. If you are abundant in hair then, by all means, go ahead—you have bang hair to spare. But if you’re dealing with hair loss and all of a sudden chop a quarter of your hair off, you’ll likely be shocked to see how thin it looks and feels.

8. Shampoo less

Most of us are probably shampooing too much. Unless you have ultra-oily hair, Duggan notes three or four times a week is usually more than enough. The trick is to use a great sulfate-free shampoo and to wash locks twice in one sitting. It keeps hair cleaner for a longer amount of time—trust!

Use a clarifying shampoo on oily hair

This purifying shampoo is designed to remove product build-up and clarify the scalp to reset any and all hair types.

Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo, $36

Protect your tresses with shampoos that are specially formulated to strengthen and repair hair

This luxurious shampoo uses the power of plants to repair bonds, improve hair health, and remove excess oils, product buildup, and pollution that can damage hair.

Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo, $35

9. Use a thickening serum or spray

Fake it until you make it! Luckily, many thickening serums and sprays not only give you the immediate look of fuller volume, but actually feature powerful active ingredients that work to strengthen, protect, and promote hair growth.

This beloved hair-growth serum is one of Duggan’s favorites

A surprising blend of concentrated mung bean, red clover, curcumin, and nicotiana benthamiana extracts circulate more effectively into problem areas to strengthen roots and increase the appearance of hair density, thickness, and volume.

Vegamour GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum, $68

Get a salon-quality blow out with this thickening spray

Vitamin B5 helps this spray to not only build volume from the roots, but also gives you the option of control at the ends. Honey and Aloe Leaf Extracts help prevent moisture loss, so hair looks full, shiny, and smooth.

R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray, $30

10. Use heat protectant

When heat styling is inevitable, heat protectant is an absolute must. It protects the hair follicle from the stresses of heat styling and helps to prevent breakage, dryness, split ends, and more.

A heat protectant and leave-in moisturizer in one

This tropical-scented leave-in hydrator works for curls, coils, braids, textured and dry hair looking to add moisture, especially at the ends. It’s my favorite way to protect hair from heat styling without breaking the bank. A little bit goes a long way!

Lush Revive Hair Moisturizer, $22.95

11. Invest in a great hair oil

Duggan loves adding a bit of shine with hair oil. Not only do hair oils keep hair healthy and hydrated, but many are infused with ingredients that help to strengthen and protect locks as well. You can’t go wrong with these classics.

An iconic oil treatment

This protective oil can be used in various ways to promote health and shine in dull, dry, or damaged hair. Apply it as a treatment before shampooing to keep hair hydrated or smooth through damp hair before styling for a soft, smooth finish. The formula also protects hair during coloring treatments and from ocean water, chlorine, and sun.

Leonor Greyl L’Huile de Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment, $59

The timeless investment

The apricot oil-based formula was designed to nurture and maintain damaged hair. A little goes a long way!

Rodin Luxury Hair Oil, $70