Calling all black girls who travel! This post is for you. Whenever I’m planning a trip, one of the first things on my mind (and probably yours, too) is: What am I going to do with my hair? Will I be getting in the water? Will I have enough time to spend on my hair? I wish this wasn’t the case, but the reality is most of us don’t have that get-up-and-go type of hair. The good news is you can enjoy your travels while keeping your hair in check. Whether you’re relaxed, transitioning, or natural, your hair is a big deal and l have a list of hair care tips for the traveling black woman to share with you!
This is my number one tip. If you’re looking to save time and be care free while traveling, this is how you do it. Get braids, twists, faux locks or my personal favorite – wigs. Braids, twists, and faux loc extensions are as equally stylish as they are low maintenance. With some patience and about $40, you can do it yourself at home after watching a few Youtube videos. The alternative is to go a hair shop specializing in braided extensions, which in that case, you’re looking at $150 or more. Another great advantage of this style is that it is very long wearing (approx. 4-6 weeks), which makes it a perfect option for long-term travel. I wore self installed twists while hiking in Colorado over the summer.
The next protective styling option is wigs, but I’m not talking about the synthetic ones our dear grannies have been known to sport! Not only do they offer a different look than braided styles, but you can remove them at night to take care of your real hair underneath. This is especially important for the traveling black girl who still wants her natural hair to flourish. Don’t worry about looking fake. If you invest in a nice human hair wig (like the ones from RPGShow), they’re more natural looking than ever and are answer to your hair woes. Head over to Youtube to learn how to slay (put on) your wig and how to make your own. My newest DIY curly wig has traveled to Canada, China, Chicago and California.
Leave the hot tools at home
Maybe protective styles aren’t your thing and you’re going to wear your own tresses. My advice to you is to leave the styling tools at home. That means no blow dryer, flat iron, curling wand, or any other tool that you have to plug in. I dare you. Not only is heat styling damaging, but these tools weigh you down. In my experience, they’re time consuming, the cords are fussy and you have to wait for them to cool before packing them back into your suitcase. I challenge you to try some of the beautiful hair styles that don’t require heat, such as twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots and crown braids. If you’re new to these styles, check out the tutorials on Youtube. You’ll have to spend some time prepping the night before, but at least you’re traveling lighter and not frying your hair to oblivion.
Travel size products
I’ll admit this is the one I’m still working on. I had to pay $25 both ways to check a bag on Air Canada this past summer because I didn’t transfer my hair products to travel size containers. Don’t let this be you. Wouldn’t you rather put that money towards eating another really good meal or going on one more excursion? Shampoos, conditioners, oils, gels, and creamy moisturizers can all be transferred to smaller bottles within the 3.4 oz TSA requirement. Another must have is an empty spray bottle that you can fill up at your destination to spritz your hair with. I’ve also noticed that Shea Moisture (a brand loved by natural girls everywhere!) has started offering trial size bottles that are perfect for travel.
Satin pillow case or scarf
No matter what hairstyle you’re going to wear during your travels, bring a satin pillow case or scarf. I always bring my pillow case and slip it over the hotel pillow to protect my hair from the moisture sucking cotton sheets. The last thing you need is breakage interfering with your length retention.
There’s no need to stress over your hair! By using these tips, reduce the time spent on your hair and practice healthy hair care all while maximizing the time spent enjoying your trip.
What helpful tips do you have when you're on the move?
Tiffany is travel + lifestyle blogger aiming to inspire globally minded millennial women to escape the mundane (if only for a moment), embrace their inner wanderlust, and to boldly live life on their own terms. You can find more of her tip and experiences on her blog.