It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, so no wonder technology has adapted to make changing your hair color so darn simple. In fact, switching up the shade of your strands is such a cinch, it’s easy to go overboard by dyeing your hair to the point of damaging it.
Lucky for us all, there’s an easy way to tell if your hair is in a state suitable for color or if it requires some TLC before your next dye job. “Pull a section of hair smooth and very taut between your fingers,” says Elizabeth Maloy, stylist and color specialist at New York City’s Paul Labrecque Salon. “Add a drop of water onto the surface of the section, counting how long it takes to disappear. If the water is absorbed by the hair in less than ten seconds, the cuticle is compromised and strands are too damaged to be dyed properly.”
If you didn’t pass the first time, along with laying off heat tools, Maloy recommends bi-weekly deep conditioning treatments to nurse your hair back to heath. Every few weeks, try the water droplet test again—with a little discipline, you’ll be ready to go bronde in no time.