New Year, New 'Do: Simple Steps to Better Hair

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New Year, New 'Do: Simple Steps to Better Hair
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Soft, pretty and healthy-looking hair can be a woman's best accessory. After all, she wears it every day of her life. Though various stressors -- both natural and not -- take a toll on your mane, you can achieve stronger and more robust locks with a few simple steps. Choosing the best haircut and color for your face, along with employing certain products, will help better care of yourself is a must if you want hair that makes others envious.

Choose the Right Cut
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Choose the Right Cut

An unflattering hairdo is a serious hair "don't." Just because it looks good on Jennifer Aniston or Michelle Williams doesn't mean it'll work with your hair color or texture, skin tone, or face shape. Get inspired by someone else's hairstyle, but let your stylist have the ultimate say on your cut. He or she knows what'll work best for you.

Related: How to get a fresh hair style

Deep Condition
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Deep Condition

You probably already condition your hair every time you wash, but you should also deep condition at least once a week. Deep conditioning typically involves applying a deep moisturizer and letting it set for 15 minutes up to 8 hours. The extra moisturizing ingredients penetrate and improve the integrity of your hair, reducing breakage, dullness and dryness.

Related: How to moisturize your hair and scalp

Try DIY Hair Care
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Try DIY Hair Care

Your kitchen pantry and refrigerator may first serve as a resource for food, but the contents also double as nutrients for your hair. For example, a few tablespoons of warm olive oil applied to the shaft and ends of hair nourishes and protects your locks. "Marie Claire" says to combine one yolk, 1/2 cup honey, 2 tbsp. olive oil and two ripe avocados, apply to the hair and rinse after two hours.

Related: Get more DIY hair care tips

Reduce Heat Usage
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Reduce Heat Usage

Your hair can take only so much before it starts looking dowdy, dry and brittle. Heat-based styling tools, such as curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers, only further exasperate your locks. Reduce usage to no more than once every other day and always use a heat protectant product before using styling products.

Related: Compare ionic vs. ceramic hair dryers

Use a Toner
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Use a Toner

Hair toners are often lost in a crowd of shampoos, moisturizers, balms, serums and waxes. They should always have first-row access to your mane, though. Toners neutralize brassy, orange-colored pigments in hair and should especially be employed by blondes. A toner will add dimension to your hair and make the color look more natural.

Related: Learn more about hair toner

Buy a Boar Bristle Brush
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Buy a Boar Bristle Brush

Choose a boar bristle brush over plastic or synthetic types to promote shinier, healthier hair. Boar brushes effectively remove dirt, dust and debris, prevent hair breakage and stimulate the scalp. They are recommended particularly for those with very thick or hard-to-manage hair.

Related: How to choose a boar bristle brush

Use Shine Serum
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Use Shine Serum

So you want shinier hair? Make yours truly dazzle with a little assistance from a shine serum. Shine serums come in all forms and are applied to all hair types, including super curly, wavy, ultra thick or ultra thin. In addition to adding a glossy finish, shine serums protect hair from nature's elements and city smog throughout the day. Apply to dry hair before heading out the door.

Related: How to improve your hair's shine

Wash Less Frequently
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Wash Less Frequently

Many are taught from childhood to wash their hair every day. While your parents were right about showering daily, that doesn't mean you should shampoo every time you do. Every wash strips your hair of important oils produced by the scalp -- oils that moisturize, condition and protect. Wash only once every other day, and wait two if you can manage. To keep hair looking fresh, use a dry shampoo on the second day. Washing your hair less frequently actually makes your hair easier to style whether you're curling hair or braiding it.

Related: Master the art of dry hair products

Add Volume
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Add Volume

Voluminous hair denotes good health and looks fabulous to boot. If your hair is thin or flat, invest in a product that adds volume. Myriad products exist, including voluminizing shampoo and conditioner, pomades, balms and even serums. Another trick is to back comb hair and tease roots for added lift.

Related: Find hair volume products for every budget

Get Regular Trims
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Get Regular Trims

Crispy ends ruin any good hair day, but you can avoid that hair-tastrophe with regular trims. A trim, which is different than an full-on haircut, removes about an inch of your hair, nixing woes such as split ends and dry, crunchy bottoms. Get at least one trim in between haircuts to maintain luscious locks.

Related: Explore 7 celeb hairstyle inspirations

Eat Better
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Eat Better

The food you consume also plays a role in your hair's health. "Ladies Home Journal" says you can eat your way to better hair by increasing protein consumption (egg whites and beef are good choices); eating complex carbohydrates like brown, short-grain rice; and by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B, such as salmon and avocado.

Related: Check out 10 surprising super beauty foods

Exercise Often
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Exercise Often

With myriad benefits, an exercise routine should already be a part of your life. If not, consider having better hair as one more incentive to begin one. Exercise increases oxygen flow in your blood stream, promotes circulation and reduces stress. All three result in healthier hair and a healthier you. Even a simple 20-minute daily stretching regimen can improve hair health.

Related: Check out our "365-Day Guide to Exercise"

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