Healthy Hair Resolutions: Tips for Keeping Your Hair Beautiful in 2016

Throughout my career I have found that great leaders have one thing in common that we can all live by: an internal quest for self-improvement and a steadfast resilience to be the best person they can be. After two months of late nights at the office and holiday festivities keeping us going nonstop, it's time to get our lives back in order in 2016. New year, new resolutions, and a refreshed new you.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Madison Reed, our continued mission is to empower you to look and feel your best, and that starts by keeping your hair color gorgeous and healthy.

Here are my tips for keeping your hair fabulous all year long.

Get Product Smart
For me, this one's personal. Next time you buy products for your hair, read the labels--make it your resolution this year and for life. The truth is, many of the most popular hair products on the market contain harsh chemicals that can damage your hair or put your health at risk. In fact, on average women put 168 chemicals in their body each day. It's now more important than ever to know exactly what is in your products so you can maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Common triggers for allergic reactions or irritation to hair color include PPD (para-phenylenediamine), resorcinol, parabens, gluten, and ammonia (as if the smell weren't bad enough). That's why Madison Reed products will never contain those chemicals.

A few important things to keep in mind:

If you have a history of allergic reactions or sensitivity, always do a patch test with new products. With hair color, mix a dab of color and a dab of activator, then apply it to the inside of your wrist or behind your ear. Cover it with a bandaid and wait 48 hours. If your skin reacts, wash off immediately. If you have a history of severe reactions, always check with your personal doctor or allergist first.

While we're on the subject, did you know that every new shade of hair color counts as a new product? That's because each color has a different formula, even when made by the same company. It makes sense, that's what makes the color different. So if you performed a patch test in the past, but decide to switch shades, make sure you run a new patch test to keep yourself safe and comfortable.

Of course, everyone is different, so you should listen to your body and consult your personal doctor as needed. Learn what to look out for with this easy, informative guide to allergic reactions and beauty product ingredients by medical advisor, Dr. Jan Hansen.

Become an "Elemental" Goddess
Your hair care products are not the only thing your hair must contend with in the coming year. Weather and outdoor elements like cold and sun can severely damage your hair. This year, take care of your hair with a few expert tips.

Cold, Dry Weather
In the cold of winter, it's likely you'll experience some serious dryness. Instead, make it your mission this winter (and year) to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize--from head to toe. Use nourishing hair care that's sulfate-free (so it doesn't strip your hair of color and nutrients) and designed to protect and repair your hair. Just one small change will keep you in good condition all season long.

Sun Exposure
Most people know that ultraviolet rays from the sun can be damaging to our bodies, prematurely aging skin and increasing your risk of cancer. But did you also know that those same harmful UVA/UVB rays can wreak havoc on your hair? They can damage your hair's cuticle (the outermost layer of the hair strand) leaving your hair feeling dry, worn, and weathered.

Sun protection isn't always top of mind during the winter, but you are still exposed to the same rays. Hats are a warm way to stay covered while looking your best. Here are four hairstyles to wear under hats that are quick and easy to do. You should also work in products that protect your hair every day, without having to stop and think about it, like color-protecting styling products.

Have Color-Treated Hair? Make 2016 a Year of Special Treatment
If you dye your hair, you probably know by now that your hair requires extra attention. Sticking to strict, intensive treatment routines is difficult even for the most compulsive hair-caretaker out there. Fear not! Taking care of color-treated hair is easier than you think, so take control this year with a routine of your own.

Get free personalized advice from colorists about which products you should be using to strengthen your hair and protect your color. Permanent color penetrates deep into your hair, and if made harshly can leave your hair feeling dry, fragile, and unhealthy. Avoid dyes with harsh chemicals and get hair care designed by people like Madison Reed who know color-treated hair.

Your Hair Is Your Best Friend, So Get To Know It
This is simple. Get to know what your hair type is. This may be obvious to you, but for many understanding what your hair type is can be more complicated than it appears. Apart from straight, curly, or wavy, other factors to consider are hair texture, porosity, and elasticity. Knowing the exact type of hair you have will help you make better, more educated decisions in the maintenance and care of your hair.

Remember, Healthy Body = Healthy Hair
There is one resolution I believe everyone must make: take good care of your body. It's no secret that having a healthy body and lifestyle can also help you achieve healthy gorgeous hair. There are plenty of ways to go about a healthier lifestyle, but I believe the most important part is to maintain a constant focus on your physical, mental and spiritual health by setting small, achievable goals. Take your time to do the due diligence upfront--and don't sweat the small stuff.

I started my company Madison Reed because I was curious about what exactly was inside the drugstore color. What I was discovered made me re-think not only my profession, but my entire outlook on life and what I was unknowingly consuming. I wanted better for myself and others.

This year, engage your curiosity, do your own research, make healthy decisions, and remember to live life brilliantly. You deserve better!

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