I have hard stems with nothing on them.
try this: https://www.finegardening.com/article/pruning-hydrangeas
Patricia, dyeing is even easier today with Rit dye coming in a formula that is thicker, doesn’t fade easily, and can be shampooed and vacuumed to a soft texture. I’ve used the new dye and love the selection of colors, variety of uses, and feel of the finish. Best wishes, Jewell.
Cut all the hard stems, that are dead off every fall or spring.