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Welcome to 2016! Our New Year’s (Hair) Resolutions

Every time another year ends, we’re inundated with these four words: “new year, new you.” We’re all for resetting our goals and reevaluating what motivates us, but frankly, we’re more interested in loving our existing assets — starting with our hair.

So here, we’re looking back at a few key lessons we’ve learned about keeping strands healthy and marching forward with the resolutions we’re making for our locks in 2016. Maybe you’ll find a few that feel right for you, and we’d love to hear about your own resolutions on our Facebook page.

p.s. Of course, if candy-colored hair or an edgy new bob are still calling your name, we say go for it. (And send us a pic!)

In 2016, we will… lighten up on the heat styling.

We know, we know — you’ve heard this one a million times. But using straighteners, hair dryers and curling irons on our hair suck out a ton of moisture, making it seriously breakable and prone to damage. Especially in the early months of 2016 (when hair is drier already due to cold temps and indoor heating), we’ll be keeping our heat tools in the drawer a bit more often than usual. Plus, natural hair is in anyway. Trust us.

In 2016, we won’t… skimp on conditioner.

When it comes to taking hair risks, the last thing you probably think about is your conditioner. But, surprisingly, lots of men and women skip, or downplay the importance of, this all-important step. Cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller, host of the Beauty Brains podcast and one of our go-to hair experts, explains that conditioner smooths the hair cuticle, increasing shine and reducing roughness — so using enough can help resolve external issues like hard water or heat-intensified dry hair. And if celeb stylist Monae Everett could tell every client just one thing, it would be to take the time to find the right conditioner for your hair. So go on, make moisturizing your tresses a priority in 2016.

In 2016, we will… remember that how we treat our bodies is almost as important as what goes on our heads.

It takes more than just quick fixes to get your healthiest hair. This year, instead of eating to cut calories, we’re focusing on how diet affects the health of our hair and how we feel about it. Leafy greens, salmon, legumes and oysters (who knew?!) are great places to start for shiny, strong strands — they’re chock full of vitamins and essential minerals. Getting enough sleep and exercise are hair-friendly resolutions, too.

In 2016, we will… make healthy hair-drying a regular routine.

It might not have occurred to you before, but so many of us are guilty of a seriously bad habit — rubbing our hair dry with a towel post-wash. Sounds pretty benign, right? Hair is way more susceptible to damage (think breakage or split ends) when wet, and friction is pretty much the number one way to destroy fragile strands. So this year, we’ll be drying our hair with a quick-drying, microfiber towel instead, and counting all the split ends we save.

In 2016, we will… do what’s right for us.

The best part about your hair is simple — it’s yours. As we’ve learned from our interviews with women of all hair types, you alone know what a bad hair day looks like (and how to fix it), and you know how to style it to feel most confident. That’s a powerful thing, so don’t forget it — and this year, make sure you listen to your instincts. Do some hair research, practice fun new styles and treat your hair like you know it wants to be treated. So here’s to 2016 and 365 days of good hair!