Nina Dobrev
Getty Images; Courtesy Photo

Nina Dobrev takes her gorgeous hair very seriously. “I’m very anal about my hair,” The Vampire Diaries star told InStyle.com this week. “When I first got my job on the show, my mom told me, ‘We know they need your hair for today, you need it for life. You can’t let them sizzle it off.’” And Momma Dobrev is right, which is why the 22-year-old actress takes special precautions against all the blow-drying, straightening, and curling that happens on set, and when working with her hairstylist Riawna Capri. Her trick, washing her brunet strands three times a week, and rotating in one of three mask treatments every third wash—a Keratin treatment, Softa Treatment by Unite, or a hair mask by MoroccanOil. “Sometimes I put the hair mask on and a shower cap on top and drive like that to work,” Dobrev explained. “I look like an old lady!” But it’s worth it. “It’s been a dream of mine to be a L’Oreal or Pantene girl. That’s why I’m keeping it healthy—and long—until they ask me. That’s my incentive.” Click through the gallery to see more photos of her hair!

Catch Dobrev in The Vampire Diaries tonight and every Thursday at 8/7c on The CW.