Here’s an idea for the New Year: Let’s all start 2017 with a new ‘do. I’m talking women and men alike. Or let’s at least update the style or color we’ve had for too long. Change is great.

We all start the year with great intentions of joining the gym, getting a trainer, having Botox, etc. Why not let someone else help you to look your best much less expensively and with no sweat at all? That’s a no-brainer.

You can look younger and thinner with the proper cut and color. It’s truly amazing what the right shaped cut will do for your overall image. I promise professional products and the education and knowledge of the stylist is crucial and will make all the difference in the world.

I’ve repeatedly written about the upside-down triangle-shaped cut and professional color and how the person applying it must be trained properly and have more education than just graduating from beauty school.

It breaks my heart knowing how many people try to color their own hair because they haven’t found someone that listens to what they want and can achieve the task.

When planning to get a new ‘do, you must be realistic. Don’t be afraid to stop someone and compliment her haircut or color. That would make her day. Also ask who does her hair. Ask more than one person and see if you hear the same stylist’s name more than once.

Schedule a consultation, which should be complementary. Bring pictures with examples of things you like and don’t like. Discuss maintenance of the hairstyles and if they would work with your hair and lifestyle. Look at others leaving the salon. If they look happy (not just if you like the way they look), make a note.

You should be certain that your new do is something that you can style easily and that you have the products needed to achieve the look at home. Gravity, humidity, salty air, wind and life in general have an impact on your hair staying in place.

The stylist should know how to give you a style that draws attention to the eyes and cheekbones and takes the focus away from the jaw and neck – i.e., the upside-down triangle.

Also, remember that the older we get, the lighter our hair should be around the face – and I don’t mean gray. At-home colorists and stylists who don’t understand how to apply color to give it dimension get results that unfortunately leave the blah, not flattering color I see way too frequently.

You should be instructed by your stylist how to maintain your style and color. If it is done properly and professionally it should last longer and look great for longer. It should be worth every penny spent.

Treat yourselves to a new look this year. You can look younger, thinner and updated with the right stylist, products, color and style. You deserve to look your best.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.