Women with curls may have different patterns and haircare routines, but they share at least one thing in common: the need to bring travel products for texture hair on holidays. You booked a getaway or took a red-eye flight planning to crush every look and blow everyone away with your curls. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee which products your hotel will provide, but we can assure you the right to feel good about your textured hair and self-image while jet-setting.
To ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, here’s a primer on care tips and travel products for textured hair—where to get them, how to pack them, and what to avoid at all costs. Gina Pickett, Biolage and Matrix national trainer and artist, has the 411 on how to travel with textured hair.
How do I manage my hair while traveling?
Textured hair folks know the struggle (and research!) it takes to understand a care and styling routine that keeps their curls healthy and beautiful. Although traveling points to exciting times, exposing textured hair to different climates, habits, and products can be quite stressful.
Pickett shares all her pro textured hair tips to take with you on your travels: “Some of the biggest mistakes made by textured hair folks while traveling is not planning ahead and considering the climate and what it can and will do to your hair. Your planning should consider ensuring that your haircare regime is nonnegotiable and should have a place in your checked luggage if traveling by air”.
Adapting to the destination’s climate is a must.
Once you’ve chosen your vacation destination, take a moment to research the local climate because you might have to make some product and styling changes. Pickett says it’s crucial to understand your hair’s unique needs and adjust your haircare routine based on the climates you’re traveling to.
Fight frizz in humidity.
When traveling to humid destinations, managing frizz can be a common concern for those with textured hair. Pickett advises acknowledging that your hair will absorb moisture from the air, causing swelling and frizz. Packing an anti-frizz protection spray like Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray will be very helpful in tropical getaways.
If you’re hoping to relax, protective styles might be the best option. Braids, twists, buns, and top knots can help you keep your hair controlled and protected from excessive humidity. If you prefer wearing your curls or coils and looking for more definition, Picket recommends using Matrix A Curl Can Dream: Mask, Light Hold Gel, Moisturizing Cream, and Lightweight Oil.
Dry climates require a hydration boost.
As for dry climates, not only is the scenario changed, but your hair will also have different needs, as shared by the artist: “In dry climates such as Arizona where I live, your hair if not maintained with regular visits to your local salon can be dry and brittle which can lead to breakage if not cared for due to the lack of or low moisture in the air.” Besides getting professional treatment once you get back home, prevent damage during your desert trip using a deep-conditioner like Matrix Food For Soft Rich Hydrating Treatment Mask.
Hats, caps, and updos are cute, but look out!
We’re sure you’re ready to accessorize during your time off, but be mindful of the excessive friction your hair might receive. Having your textured hair confined in hats, caps, and tight updos for too long can cause mechanical damage and lead to breakage and split ends. We suggest planning a rotation between hairstyles to rock accessorized looks while still protecting your locks. As for updos, try looser styles for more protection.
Textured hair needs protection during long-distance travel.
Before you even arrive at your destination, the hair care journey must begin on the road. “Traveling, especially long-distance journeys, can pose challenges for textured hair due to changes in climate, limited access to hair care products, and extended periods without regular maintenance,” alerts Pickett.
The expert recommends moisturizing your hair before your trip to prevent excessive dryness caused by recycled air on airplanes or prolonged exposure to air conditioning in cars. After using a mask, we like applying Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Treatment for deep repair.
Pack your own products.
This will come as no surprise, but the bland white shampoo and conditioner most hotel rooms provide as a universal option probably won’t work for your hair texture and curl pattern. Instead of taking the chance, trying it, and getting frustrated, ensure blissful peace by packing the formulas you already trust. A pro voyager tip is securing a set of reusable travel toiletry bottles to bring all your favorite products along without worrying about the weight of your bag.
Yes, that also includes the hotel’s hair dryer!
Product may be the prominent issue in your hotel room, but the need to pack your own arsenal also applies to supplies. Make sure you pack an extra large cap since the hotel’s plastic shower cap will certainly not fit all of your beautiful and voluminous curls.
If you plan on using heat, we recommend you bring your own hair dryer. Hotel hair dryers are notorious for their whining motors, high heat, and low airspeed. For your peace of mind, make the decision to skip out on them altogether. And, of course, don’t forget to use a heat-protecting product—Redken Extreme Play Safe Heat Protection Repair Treatment is great for thermal protection and hair strengthening.
We probably don’t have to tell you twice, but make sure whatever dryer you pack comes with a concentrator nozzle and diffuser. You’ll want to have a full set of hair styling products to cope with sudden changes in weather, spontaneous fancy plans, and general mane emergencies.
Bring a silk bonnet or pillowcase for extra care.
Suppose you want to take care of your textured hair even during sleep. In that case, Pickett suggests packing a silk bonnet or pillowcase with you: “Wearing a silk bonnet or traveling with a silk pillowcase will prevent any cotton material from absorbing all of the oils from your hair, as well as any friction from occurring when moving or shifting sides in your sleep, which can lead to the production of split ends.”
Moving one step further on the haircare cautions, also beware of the hotel’s towels. Unless you’re staying at a luxury resort, there’s a chance you’re using paper-thin, dry towels when you shower. These nubby bath sheets aren’t doing your hair any favors. Skip out on them totally, scrunching your hair with a cotton t-shirt instead to help ensure it retains the most moisture possible.
Protect your textured hair at beach and pool destinations.
Pickett warns that beach and pool destinations can be challenging for textured hair due to exposure to chlorine, saltwater, and excessive sun exposure. However, with proper care and protection, you can keep your textured hair healthy and minimize damage.
Here’s the expert’s suggestion: “If you are someone that wants to look extremely cute by the poolside and swim caps are just not your thing, I would recommend pre-wetting your hair and applying a generous amount of leave-in conditioner to create a barrier before entering the pool or ocean. This will help minimize chlorine or saltwater absorption because wet hair is less porous and can absorb less damaging elements”. After enjoying the sun, remove all chlorine or salt water from your hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner.
Sun exposure can also damage your textured hair.
Besides salty and chloride water, intensive sun exposure will also play a role in damaging your crown and hair during your summer vacation. You may not have known until now, but the same heat-protecting product you use for styling tools also protects your hair from the sun’s heat.
When flaunting your textured hair in the summer, use a leave-in conditioner with a heat protection advantage such as Matrix Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Hair Treatment, which serves as sunscreen for your hair, protecting up to 450 degrees.