You + your hair color. It’s truly a fine romance. Whether you’re a bling-bling blonde, a fiery redhead, a chestnut-maned brunette or a member of the unicorn tribe, your hair color completes you. It also probably takes a bite out of your budget, so you’re all about finding ways to make it last. Here are five pro secrets for helping your hair color go the distance.

1. Use a Dry Clean Flat Iron to Style Your Hair.On laundry day, your fine fabrics bypass the washing machine and are whisked straight to the dry cleaners. There, they remain untouched by the water and detergents that can cause them to fade. The same approach will prolong the life of your hair color. A dry clean flat iron–a tool like the game-changing Beyond with silicone-sheathed plates–prevents premature color fading by shielding your strands from direct contact with scorching heat. You get all the smoothing and styling benefits of a styling iron, without the color-leaching sizzle and burn!
2. Shampoo Less Frequently. The more you wash your blue jeans, the more they fade.The equation makes sense for hair color, too. Less frequent scrubbing, hot water and soapmeans your color will stay vibrant longer. Today’s dry shampoos are a godsend for hair color-lovers. They allow you to stretch those days between shampoos and keep your hair fresh and oil-free.
3. Go Sulfate-Free.Sulfates can strip hair of color, as well as the natural oils that keep hair color looking glossy. So look for sulfate-free shampoo and conditioning formulas designed expressly to coddle colored locks.
4. Lock in Moisture.Soft and shiny are everything when it comes to hair color, so keeping it nourished and moisturized with regular conditioning treatments is a smart move.
5. Practice Safe Sports. Sun, saltwater and chlorine are no friends of hair color. Your daily laps may be the best thing for your abs, so don’t stop, but do protect your hair color. One smart strategy is to coat your hair with a rich conditioning mask and then cover it with a swim cap if you’re hitting the water, or a hat if you’re just hitting the sand.