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Tips for Travelling with Natural Hair

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, long distance or short distance, by car, train, plane or bus, we can all agree that travelling can be stressful. For us Naturals, the stress level can be easily escalated as we think of the tools and products to take with us so that we don’t end up paying for excess weight. Some of us might even have to worry about the effects of environmental changes on our hair and the cultural acceptance of our Afro hair in the host country.
However, in order to make sure that you and your hair have a great time while away, I suggest giving the following practical tips a try the next time you travel. 

Revolution Square, Cuba

Before Your Trip: 4 Key Things
1. Wash, condition, deep condition and perform all your elaborate hair rituals a night or two before your departure.
2. Put your hair in a style that should hold up for a few days.
3. Have a plan for the hairstyles you’ll be wearing through out the duration of your trip so that you’ll know the particular products and hair tools to bring with you
4. Research the environmental condition of the place you’ll be going to. Is it dusty, hot, humid, cold, or rainy? If so, it’s best to keep your hair in a “well behaved style” such as twists and buns which are able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Tools to Bring
Whether you’re going to be spending your days at the beach, sight seeing, or attending business meetings, having these simple tools on you will allow you to change up your styles when needed.
Rat Tail Comb: For sectioning
Paddle Brush to smooth out a bun, afro puff or pinned hairstyles
Hair Clips: For Sectioning
Bobby Pins: For pin ups
Hair Ties: For buns and puffs
Hair Accessories: To spice up your hair
Spray Bottle: For daily spritz if the environment of  your host country demands it
Satin Scarves: To smooth down those buns, puffs and pin up styles. Scarves can also protect your hair from the extreme heat and dusts which might be in excess in your host country
Hats: Can be used to serve the same purpose of a scarf and to cover up unpredictable bad hair days which can arise in extreme weather conditions
Satin Bonnet: For night time
Travel size product containers: to keep your products in

These saves space and weight

Products to Bring
Shampoo/Conditioner: For Impromptu wash, especially if you’ll be swimming or will be involved in some sort of extreme sports which will get your hair dirty.
Leave-In Conditioner and Moisturizers: To restore moisture back into the hair, especially after a long moisture sucking flight.
Oils/Butters: To seal in moisture after an impromptu hair wash and for your nightly scalp massage
Styler: This is completely optional

During Transit

Avoid going to the airport with big hair so that you can avoid the awkward hair pat down. Bounded styles such as twists, cornrows and flat twists are also able to withstand shrinkage and frizz. They’re also easy to sleep in during your long flight, car, train, or bus ride.
I wore an afro on the last day of my trip

During your trip
1. Avoid trying out new products and hairstyles which can be unpredictable and time consuming.
2. Be prepared for the extra attention, comments and remarks you will receive in your host country. Also be open to answer curious questions about the nature of your hair as the natural hair community is still growing and so the locals in your host country might be unfamiliar with it.
3. Be prepared to have your hair behave in ways you’ve never experienced before
4. Try and stick to low manipulation styles which will be accommodating to the climate of your host country and the activities you’ll be doing.
5. If you’re going on a business trip to a place where Afro hair isn’t common, conservative hairstyles such as a bun, roll tuck n pin, and twists will be suitable, rather than a full out twist out or afro which can be distracting.

How do you take care of your hair while travelling? What other tips can you add to this post?

Got other thoughts, ideas and comments about this post or other posts? I’d love to hear from you. Don’t be too shy to leave your “footprint” in the comment box below 🙂