We all know the girl. Every time you see her, she has a different color hair. One week it might be streaked with blond highlights, the next it is vibrant red. And so it goes until the day you see her with an extremely short cut or worse yet, a ball cap. When you ask what happened, she blames it on a color disaster. She got a hold of a box of color that had something wrong with it or some similar excuse. But you’ve seen it coming. I mean, how many times can you actually color your hair without it falling out? To avoid the same mistake, there are a few simple rules that you should follow. No, you don’t have to be relegated to wearing the same hair color all of the time. You can change your look every now and then. The key to it, though, is to know when and when not to color your hair to avoid hair color burn out. Before you color your hair, you should always check it to see if it is strong enough to withstand another coloring. There are a few ways that you should do this. First, shampoo your hair and feel it for overall dryness before you add conditioner. If your hair feels like straw or something other than hair, you should not color. You can also take an individual hair strand and test it for breakage. Simply apply tension to the hair strand until it breaks. If it breaks easily without stretching, you definitely cannot color. Another thing to look for is fading color. If you have been coloring your hair only to have the color fade out within a few weeks, your hair is in no condition for further coloring. In addition to checking your hair to see if it can be colored, you should also avoid certain color combinations to eliminate or reduce damage. When making hair color changes, avoid drastic differences. For example: Do not lighten your dark brown hair to platinum blond only to put deep red on it and then try to lighten it again. What you will end up with is mush. You should also wait a good while in between hair colors. Wait at least 6 to 8 weeks between root touchups. If you want to change your hair color completely, you should use the following time guidelines: Going darker – wait 4 weeks after last color. Going lighter – wait 8 weeks after last color. And always check to see if your hair is strong enough to withstand the service. If in doubt, ask a professional.