Ever wondered how to take the best care of your hair when you are traveling internationally? If so then you have come to the right place. Indeed, below you will find a detailed and expert guide on all the ways you can look after your hair no matter what location or climate you find yourself in.
You’ll also get some tips on how to take care of your hair without having to pack a whole salon in your luggage. So what are you waiting for? Check out our insightful guide below.
Get familiar with your hair type
One of the best tips there is for taking care of your hair while traveling far away from home is to really get to know it. Now, this may sound silly, but bear with me, because there are all different types of hair and they all behave in slightly different ways and need different things.
In fact, there are 4 main types of hair:
- Coiled/ Kinky
Each type of hair is split into three additional categories labeled A, B, and C which relate to the specific pattern of the hair follicle as you can see in the video below:
By educating yourself on which type and category your hair is, you will be able to find the products and methods that are most effective for your hair. This is crucial if you want your hair to remain styleable and manageable when you are traveling. It will also help you identify the type of products that will work best for your hair no matter where you are in the world.
For example, as you can see in this post on 4A hair care tips, looking for moisturizing shampoos, and deep conditioners will be a must in whatever location you find yourself. Additionally, using a protective style like a pineapple, and packing a silk scrunchie or bonnet can help your curls keep their bounce for days, even as you travel.
Expect the unexpected
While you can eliminate a lot of hassle and pain by typing your hair before you leave on your travels, it’s also important to remember that the unexpected may happen. This is because it’s likely that you will be visiting places with climates, and water hardness types other than the ones you are used to, and this can wreak vast changes on your hair.
For instance, those with curly, wavy, or curly hair may find that it is a lot more frizzy in hot and humid climates such as Singapore, or Thailand than in cool and dry ones. Treatment for this includes lightweight products that smooth the shaft without weighing it down or causing it to become greasy.
Extreme cold can also severely impact hair causing it to dry out and the cuticle to lift, which makes it very difficult for moisture to stay within the shaft. The best solution to this problem to look out for is deep conditioning treatments that nourish the hair and protect it from the cold.
Additionally, if you find yourself in a harder water area than your hair is used remember to regularly clarify your hair to remove build-up. You can do this with clarifying shampoo or use a combination of vinegar and lemon juice to strip the build-up from the hair.
Hot styling tools and travel
First of all, when it comes to packing styling tools with you when you travel, then less is most definitely more. That means if you can do without it, it’s best to as you will make more room/ weight in your case, and you won’t have to worry about voltage issues ( a topic you can read more about in the next section.)
You won’t be able to do without every styling tool though, and that means where possible get travel-size items that pack up small and won’t take up too much room in your luggage. You’ll also want to make sure that you have travel-sized brushes and combs, including a shower or conditioner comb as this can make dealing with sun and salt-water-soaked hair a lot easier and minimize breakage.
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Indeed, not every country runs on the same voltage or uses the same plugs so that means if you are going to take styling tools like hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons you will need to check that they will work in your destination. Something that can help with this is to invest in dual voltage styling tools, which can work on more than one level of voltage. In fact, a dual voltage device means you won’t need to use an adapter, as long as the voltage matches the voltage that they use in the location that you are in.
This brings us to the matter of adapters and converters for hair-styling devices while traveling. It’s important to remember that an adapter changes the outlet so you can use a plug from another country in the location you are in. However, a converter will change the electrical current so you can use it with your device.
That means if you do not have a dual voltage device you will only need an adapter, but if you do not then you will need both to safely use your styling tools on your international travels.
If all the voltage and plug issues are enough to put you off taking styling tools altogether, then switching to nonheated styles might be the perfect solution. Indeed, if you have short hair clipped at lengths 1-3 then you should be able to air dry your hair with no problem at all in warmer climates. However, you still might want to make sure it’s thoroughly dry before you go out in cold climates with ice and snow, as this can cause your hair to freeze, damaging it and impacting your body temperature.
If you have longer hair that you want to wear curly, then it’s easy enough to use plaits and braids to create a curly pattern even in straight hair. All you need to do is plait or braid your hair while it’s damp and then let it dry naturally.
You may even wish to invest in one of the soft stylings, no heat curl kits that are now on the market. These come with a long ‘rope’ and scrunchies. Just wrap your hair around the ‘rope’ and fix it with the scrunchies and head to bed and in the morning you will have gorgeous soft curls. The idea for this was based on the robe tie method, so you could always just repurpose a rope tie as well if you have one in your room.
Hair accessories to pack
In addition to styling tools, it makes sense that you will want to pack hair/head accessories as well for your trip.
Caps and hats
Caps and hats are a great idea because they can help you hide a bad hair day, as well as protect your head and neck from the elements, especially the sun! Soft hats and caps are best because these will fold down easily and can be stored in your luggage as well as packed in your day bag for use at any time.
Headscarves are also a good idea to take when traveling because they are so versatile. They can be used to cover your head completely, as well as your face if necessary, something that is very helpful if you are in a dusty or sandy environment. They can also be used to create beautiful and easy-to-do styles for longer hair. Not to mention that they can be used to ensure that you match the cultural norms of the location you are visiting.
Hair pins and other accessories
Last of all when it comes to hair accessories to pack, those who prefer them or have longer hair may wish to include a stock of pins, bands, and a single crocodile clip. All of these can be used to create very quick styles that work well on hair that you have not had time to wash, or when you wish to have your hair away from your body in hotter environments.
Best haircuts for traveling
Last of all, it’s worth noting that you can cut down a great deal on the work and stress of maintaining your hair but investing and keeping the right cut. Indeed, the shorter and simpler the better is the name of the game here, and if you are bold enough this means shaving your head!
Shaving your head comes with all sorts of benefits ideal for those on the move a lot including not having to worry about where to source shampoo or conditioner (most people just use their shower gel). You also won’t need to worry about packing styling products or wasting time that you could be spending exploring a new destination on styling.
Although, you will want a decent electric head razor, packed safely in your hold luggage of course, and plenty of high SPF to apply so you don’t get sunburned in hotter or sunny climates.