Well, here we are in December. It’s the last month of one of the hardest years I can remember - both on a grand scheme, and on a personal level. And while it may have been difficult to keep on keepin’ on, I’m going to go ahead and give myself props for never giving up and even maintaining a mostly optimistic attitude through it all.

So how to start a new year positively? While it might sound trite, for me, it usually starts with some kind of visual transformation - even a little one. Sure it’s a great way to feel good about yourself, but it can be even more than that. It can be a way to remind yourself of your convictions and your promises to yourself, even during the times when they are hard to hold onto.

A few weeks ago, I enlisted the help of Sassoon Salon (who always seem to be on the other end of my bat phone these days) to embrace their UTOPIA collection and make a few changes that may seem subtle to some, but were huge for me. The concept behind the UTOPIA collection? Optimism of the unknown. Because the only way to create the future you want is step into it with the best attitude (and the bestestest hair).

And that is why, in this last month of this fairly crappy year, I’m going a little more high definition - from my new rose mocha balayage (swooooon), to embracing my natural texture! Cheesy as it may sound, they both represent something to me. The desert-inspired hair color reminds me that it’s ok to be outspoken. Learning how to embrace my natural texture is my way of becoming even more comfortable with who I truly am - and harnessing the power of - me!

And since I’ve never been skilled at making my natural texture look good, I had to pick Creative Director Michael Forrey’s brain as much as possible! So for all you curly or wavy-haired girls out there who have always found it easier to straighten than deal with all that texture, here are some seriously useful tips, straight from the master himself:

  1. After washing, Michael loosely hand twisted 1 inch sections of my hair (all over my head) to make the curls dry more uniformly. (have been doing this ever since and it werks)

  2. Use a diffuser (something I haven’t really used a lot before) which essentially dries your hair without moving it around too much or disrupting the natural texture. If you’re too lazy  for a diffuser (guilty), Michael also suggests letting your hair air dry for a similar effect.

  3. This is a big one and a huge lesson for me: DO NOT play with your hair until it is FULLY dried! That’s how frizz happens, and frizz can’t sit with us.

  4. Once your hair is dry, it’s time to style! Michael used a wand on my hair very loosely and casually added a few curls to even everything out, curling one section inwards towards the face, and the next section outwards (in order to avoid the ringlet look). This is something you can skip, do a little of, or do a lot of, all depending on your preference.

  5. Smooth out those ends! I love the wild look I get when I let my hair go natural, but it can get a little ‘cave woman’ if I don’t keep the ends polished. Michael just added a little serum at the ends and I was set!

And that’s all it took to get me ready to charge into the future! Bring on 2017!

Are you planning any transformations for the new year?