New Year celebrations have come and gone quickly, but perhaps our resolutions are still in place.

One important resolution is to take better care of ourselves – relative to exercise, nutrition and appearance (I’m certain that is in the top three). Our priorities take a commitment both monetarily and in the time we devote.

These should be important enough to spend the money and time to achieve the best of the time we have. There is an adage that we get what we pay for. Most of the time this is true.

Basically what I’m saying is don’t skimp on your health and looks. That includes your hair. Professional color and cut is extremely important.

Let’s reflect again on our on-going class, Hair Color 101. When hair color is applied to the hair, the outside cuticle layers open to allow the color in.

At the same time, your natural color is being lifted from the hair. Because of this, the new growth is the only hair the color should be applied to.

If the previously colored hair has the color applied again, every time you apply the boxed color, your natural color is lifted more. Of course, you don’t see this at the beginning because it’s camouflaged by the color.

Shortly after the hair is colored and it has been shampooed a few times, the brassy hair will begin to show from underneath because of repeatedly lifting the color. This is what I call “hair color hell.”

Do-it-yourself hair color inevitably ends up like this.

Then the professional correction costs much, much more than having it done professionally to begin with. If you honestly look around you should be able to spot these people (or be spotted, as the case may be).

The hair has bands of color, some brassier than others. The color should never touch previously colored hair. Over-processing is dull because that cuticle layer isn’t closed back down with boxed color. Therefore no reflection or shine.

Also one more telltale sign that boxed color is being used vs. a professional application is that the color tends to be flat and one-dimensional.

Have I convinced you to spend a little more money on yourself? Just think how briefly an expensive dinner stays with you. Then, think how long a professional cut and color lasts.

Feeling great when looking in the mirror makes our day. Residual pounds? Or shiny, healthy hair?

The second of the choices is the most important all day long. It’s a new year. Time for a new do.

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