I have terrible hair. No, it’s true, and I’m not just fishing for compliments here (ahem: the comment box is below. I’ll wait.) Sure, with the right products, some hair tools, and a lot of clip-on extensions, it looks OK. But naturally? It’s a mess. It’s both curly and wavy at the same time, frizzy, fly-away, prone to split ends and breakage, and thin. It tangles and breaks off if I so much as look at it the wrong way. And it has a never ending thirst for
blood moisture. Needless to say, it is difficult to travel with! If you’re blessed with genetically shiny, thick, bouncy hair that never has any issues while traveling, I hate you good for you! You can skip this section. For the rest of us follicle-challenged folks, read on.
Bring the shampoo and conditioner that you need. Don’t count on the hotel’s free bottles, or finding suitable hair products wherever you’re travelling. You won’t. Once you find a shampoo and conditionercombo that works, bring as much of it with you as you can!
A shampoo bar is a great alternative to a big bottle of shampoo, and even more moisturizing. Plus, a shampoo bar in a tin should last for months, and will never bust open and spill all over your suitcase (we’ve all been there).
- Haircare Travel Tip: Lush makes a fantastic shampoo bar in scents like Honey and Rose, or you can find your favorite scent on Etsy (Coffee? Rosemary Mint? Lemongrass Verbena? Bourbon Vanilla?) Omg, I want one of each!
Water can have a very different effect on your hair while traveling than you’re used to. “Hard water” as it’s called, is not actually ice (confusing, I know) but water that contains trace elements of chemicals and minerals. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can have a negative effect on your hair called buildup – just the same as what causes staining on your tub or tiled bathroom floor.
- Haircare Travel Tip: To wash away that buildup and keep it from damaging your hair, either bring a small amount of clarifying rinse or shampoo, or – my preference – bring a small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegarwith you! Distill the Apple Cider Vinegar with water and rinse your hair with it.
Bring a small travel-sized boar bristle brush. A plastic brush can be damaging to your hair – it tends to rip out tangles and can break fragile hair. An all natural boar bristle brush helps distribute product and natural oils throughout your hair, untangle it without breaking it, smooth it without flattening it, and help your hair stay shiny. It’s a crucial haircare tool and that I made sure to bring with me! I brought this one and it’s just the right size for travel. (Note: my husband also uses this on his beard – it’s a great beard brush!)
Pack a teeny, tiny hair straightener. I know, it’s silly to bring a hair straightener on a backpacking trip. But like … the alternative is having bangs that curl out and up like I’m a sk8r boi from the mid 2000’s. I air-dry my hair, so no need for a travel blowdryer, but you can pry my tiny straightener from my cold, dead hands.
Bring a pair of tiny, foldable scissors to trim split ends, cut bangs, trim beards, tidy up down there, and – if you’re up for it – give haircuts. This is the pair we brought with us.
- Haircare Travel Tip: ONLY use these scissors on hair – never on paper or anything else! You could potentially damage the blade which could in turn damage your hair.
Take special care with the ends of your hair. (Rhyme intentional.) The ends of your hair are the most prone to breakage and splitting, which leads to tangles and frizz – two things I am regretfully well versed in. I have a tiny tub of Lush Shine So Bright Split-End Treatment. I put it on my ends after showers, whenever they’re feeling dry, or just when I need to tame things down and smooth things out. I brush through with my boar bristle brush to spread the oils through my hair evenly.
Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are fantastic for hair. A little tub of coconut oil goes a long way. While it’s not great for facial skin, coconut oil is perfect for hair, hands and feet, and dry lips. And olive oil is an all-around beauty powerhouse!
- Haircare Travel Tip: A little bit of oil goes a long way: put a dime-sized drop in your hands and smooth through your hair starting with your ends.