Sometimes, natural hair can be fickle and petty (AF). No matter how much effort we put in the night before, or even days before, our hair seems to have a life of its own. It seems that even the slightest shift in wind or humidity can tip the scales of fate in the wrong direction and leave our locs that we tirelessly care for looking busted. All this being said, let's now add in an early wake up, a flight, a quick change of country, time zone and temperature and our hair goes into complete shock!
We want you to be feelin' yourself. Always. We know you've packed the essentials for your next trip plus, few extras to take your 'fit to the next level. However, here are a few last minute tips to keep your hair fly and on point.
We can't plan for every single possibility, but we can come as prepared as possible. Here are a few natural hair travel mistakes we've made so that you don't have to.
Don't forget the brush
There are all types of naturals out there: some who swear by finger detangling, others a wide-tooth comb, and we have the traditionalists who still pull out the boar hair brush to get their edges laid. We're not suggesting that you re-evaluate your detangling method by any means. What we're saying is hey, maybe that twist-out won't last the duration of your trip, and you may need to slick, slack, smack and sha-lack your hair into a bun, pony, or french braid! Cue the brush from stage left! It weighs next to nothing, and can definitely come in handy! Trust us on this one! Better safe than sorry.
Humidity has no chill. None. Not even a little bit. In Madrid, the weather is dry, usually warm, and did we mention dry? Recently, I took a trip to Portugal and spent some time on the coast. My hair was big and glorious and ready to slay... until it met its match: Hello, humidity, you again?! I felt like the Wicked Witch screaming: "I'm melting, I'm melting!" My hair gave up: poof, plus misplaced strands, plus more poof and then a side of "What are those?!" to top it off. I wasn't ready (Kevin Hart voice). That being said, check the weather, friends. Check the overall climate of the place you're headed, and plan accordingly. What works at home may not work elsewhere. Madrid to Dubai, okay, maybe! Madrid to the Atlantic Ocean, well, not quite!
Bottle It Up!
It's okay, I can just find something at the drugstore when I land, and use that on my hair! We've all uttered those famous last words. It's not worth is! Invest in travel sized portions of your favorite products and take them with you. Shea Moisture now offers its most popular products in travel ready containers! Your hair will thank you!
More often than not, we end up investing even more time, energy and thought into bringing our curls back from the dead after a holiday than the time it would have taken to pack accordingly! Salt water, harsh winds, hard shower water, humidity, dryness; all of these things affect your locs, but luckily there are ways of minimizing the damage! Yes, that also means packing your vitamins, pillow cases and scarves! It may not seem like a big deal, but 5-7 days straying from the routine really can make a difference!
Pack a Hat
Here, friends, is a failsafe. We want you to be prepared, but not at the expense of enjoying your trip! When all else fails, throw on a hat, or scarf, or headband and keep rocking! Beanies, big floppy hats, fedoras or the Pharrell top-hat! The possibilities are endless!
What to leave at home:
Straighteners & Curling irons
Steamers (you'd be surprised)
Full sized versions of your favorite products
What to Pack (Just in case):
Silk scarf/ pillow case
Bobby pins/ clips
Your favorite products (travel size)
Extra hair ties
Hair is important, but it's not the end of the world. The reason we stress caring for natural hair especially on the road is because looking our best is linked to feeling our best! Inside and out! Natural hair, as many of you may know, is a marathon, not a sprint. Some times it's a cha-cha with two steps forward and three steps back. We've all been there, which is why we'd like nothing more than to pay it forward and prevent you from making the fumbles we've made in the past!
How do you care for your natural hair while traveling?
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.