Happy New (Hair) Year!

There’s nothing like the feel-good effects of a personal image overhaul; after all, change begets change and a new look can bring lasting benefits.

While there’s never a bad time to refresh and revive your hair, January’s a great month to kickstart a new you for the year ahead, starting with a fresh, exciting new hair color. So this time around, forget the already-abandoned diet plan and resolve to make 2016 the year of amazing hair.

Ring In A New Hue

It’s tempting to want to make a major change, says eSalon color director Estelle Baumhauer, “but avoid making drastic changes in one go.” Instead, she says to incrementally make small adjustments, staying within your tone and shade for the most natural (and least damaging) effect. “Especially with permanent color, a completely new shade can be totally shocking if you are unprepared for it.”

Try Before You Buy

Major color overhauls—say, from blonde to brunette—are best done in stages to avoid damage, but also a chance for you to get used to your color. “Consider trying a Demi-Permanent color first, so you can road test how your new shade will look before committing to a Permanent option,” says Estelle.

Fresh Is Best

Color adheres to healthy hair over dull, dry, damaged strands, so put some prep work in before the time comes to color. “Use a nourishing mask 24 hours before any color application,” says Estelle. “The mask helps to restructure the fiber of your hair, making it stronger so it can receive color better.”

Amp Up The Shine

Set off a new shade with a silky finish. Glossy strands are best achieved with a finishing product like Shining Armor Renewing Treatment Oil boosts up the gloss factor while protecting color from fade. “Apply to either clean, towel-dried hair for a lustrous finish or use on dry hair to help manage flyaways and hydrate split ends,” says Estelle. “Depending on your hair type, place 1-3 pumps into your palms, before rubbing together and applying from mid-lengths to ends.”

New Hair; New Look

The whole point of mixing it up for a fresh start 2016 is to reboot stagnant ways, so celebrate your reinvigorated color by perfecting a new styling technique or discovering complementary makeup tones and looks.

Et Voila! Now sit back and wait for the hair praise to start rolling in…