THERE are many ways you might be taxing your glorious tresses. What’s your emergency? Well, grieve not; there are easy fixes at hand (from Redbook).

Take the hair-raising test

• Pluck out a strand of hair at the root and examine the base. Strong hair has a thick bulb; if there’s no bulb, the hair follicle isn’t healthy, according to Michael Shaun Corby, global creative director for Alterna Hair Care. The cause? Damage from styling or, potentially, genetically linked hair loss.

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• Give it a tug. Wrap a strand of hair around your index finger and thumb (like a piece of string), then use your other hand to tug on it. If it snaps immediately, your hair is lacking moisture; if it stretches, like bubble gum, says Corby , it needs protein, which strengthens the hair’s keratin bonds.

• Do the “sink or float” test. Drop a strand of hair into a glass of water. A healthy strand will float. If it sinks, the shaft is porous.

This can happen to color-treated hair, but it can also occur with a protein deficiency.

• To get a fair picture of your hair’s overall health, repeat tests on at least four strands from different parts of your head, suggests Donna Maggi, education manager of Nioxin, a hair- and scalp-care company.

Stop a bad-hair day before it starts

• If you go outside with wet hair. Outdoor elements (wind, cool temperatures) can be rough even for dry hair, explains Corby. But when hair is wet, it’s actually more fragile and susceptible to breakage.

Healthy-hair fix. Try styling products designed to cut drying time.

• If you use a blow-dryer. In a cheaply made blow-dryer, the coil and motor can overheat, frying your hair’s cuticle. The tip-off: The louder the sound, the poorer the quality, Corby says. But a professional blow-dryer isn’t always better, says Erin Anderson, VO5 celebrity stylist. They’re powerful and can burn hair if used incorrectly, she says.

• If you still smoke. That nasty habit is not only bad for skin, it pollutes your hair, says Anderson.

Smoke leaves residue on the scalp and hair, making it look dull.

Healthy-hair fix. Yes, quit. Also, use a clarifying shampoo monthly, and consider a facial for your scalp. Just like the rest of our skin, the skin on our scalp needs to be addressed, says Maggi.

• If you don’t use ultra-violet (UV) protection. You shield your hair from UV rays at the beach, but what about at the office? Like the sun, the fluorescent lighting in your office fades color and damages hair’s integrity.

Healthy-hair fix. Use styling products with UV-B and UV-A protection. It’s important to have “protectors” in your styling products, too. Styling products stay in hair, while your shampoo rinses out.

• If you wear your hair in ponytails a lot! If you wear your hair in a ponytail or a bun in the same spot every day, you’re causing breakage, says Anderson.

Healthy-hair fix. Let your hair down! But if you must put it up, look for elastics with a plastic-y feel so they glide through hair, says Corby.

• If you don’t address your dandruff. You never want to leave dandruff to its own devices. The more you scratch, the worse it gets, and you’ll end up damaging your scalp. And a healthy scalp means healthy hair.

Healthy-hair fix. Stop the itch with a dandruff-controlling shampoo and the latest innovation: dandruff-fighting conditioner.