Taking Care of Natural Hair While Traveling
I admit: taking care of your hair while traveling is no easy task. Originally, when I started traveling the world (almost 3 months ago) I thought, “I can’t wear my hair natural, maybe I should get braids or just cut it off all together." — all because I thought it would be so hard to manage while hopping from place to place.
Well, I wasn’t wrong. But it is doable. I saw all of these girls with their big fros and kinky hair while traveling — and not to mention my Instagram name is Traveling Fro — so I knew I could make it work, too. It is not easy but below are some tips to keep your curls poppin’ while traveling:
Make use of travel size.
If you're like me and travel light, and don’t want to get hit with those baggage fees while hopping from place to place, organize yourself and put all of your product needs into 3 fl. oz. / 100ml bottles. Label them and keep them in a separate zip lock bag for ease of use.
That is the easy part.
Now you need to make your products last. Try not to be AS generous with the amount of product you would normally use at home, but of course make sure you are still getting the moisture you need. For example, if you usually deep condition once a week try once every two weeks to stretch your products. If you do skip a wash or deep condition just be sure you are keeping your hair moisturized in the between time.
Locate the Black hair care shops ASAP.
If you are staying somewhere for an extended period of time, do some research and find the Black hair areas. If you are in London, Paris, etc. — places with a high African population — you are golden. But prepare yourself: you may end up spending up to double the price you are used to. But if you prioritize and plan for ahead, the sticker shock won't be as bad. Think of it as a long term investment — well worth it!
If you are tight on budget or traveling to predominately white countries like the Scandinavian area, it may be pretty difficult to find Black hair care. Instead, head to a natural supermarket and stock up on some natural ingredients like aloe vera juice, olive oil, coconut oil to make your own products.
Get creative with protective styles.
Protective styles don’t always mean braids! You can rock scarves, turbans or beanies while your hair is twisted up underneath. Or get a little more bold and rock straight bantu knots. You aren’t from there and probably don’t know anyone — so what do you have to lose?
Wrap it up!
Speaking of wraps, this may seem obvious but wrap your hair up at night. When traveling, we tend to get out of our routine and get lazy; but wrapping is key to locking in moisture. The climate and water varies in from place to place and can leave your hair dry. Don’t just make a habit of it at night but also do so during transit. Planes, trains and buses especially with A/C will suck the moisture out — quick!
Take plenty of vitamins and HYDRATE.
Not only is there change in climate to deal with, but our body goes through a lot during travel. It takes the energy out of us and we and our hair need all of the nutrients it can get. Stay up on your vitamins and drink plenty of water!
What are some ways that you keep your natural hair healthy while traveling?