by Vanessa Yates
Anyone traveling who has curly hair knows that it comes with a lot of weight, and not just on your head. Traveling with hair product adds a few pounds to your bag and takes up a fair bit of space! Throw in the unpredictability of environmental factors and curly hair can seem less desirable than it looks.
Easy travel hair styles are helpful to ease bad hair days but when your mane is up in a frizz frenzy you need some extra help. I have found that sticking to a few tips for styling and maintaining curly hair really helps keep the defined curls that are loved!
Best Products for Curly Hair:
I like to use as little product as possible to save space in my bag. Creams and serums were often giving me too much frizz (that word we all dread) so I started exploring with a little hair glue/extra strength gel to define the curls and maintain them in heat. Wow was I impressed! Yes I looked like I could blend in with the wildlife in Africa on the first day with a mane like a lion if I use too much but after sleeping on my hair overnight it calms down to a great strong hold curl that lasts for days!
I use Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel and just a small amount goes a really long way. I have tried over 30 products of varying costs and lines and this is my favourite. Surprisingly, DIPPITY-DO is a close second. I also pack a travel size hairspray for a quick touch up.
How to Style Curly Hair:
I should note that I do sacrifice room in my pack for a travel hair dryer (and diffuser) as I have really thick hair and sometimes the humidity can leave my hair wet for longer than desired. Dryers are commonly available in hotels and fold up/travel hair dryers are becoming more available at less expensive costs.
After washing your hair, flip your head over, rub some of the gel/glue through your palms and disperse freely throughout your hair. Make sure to get the front roots as that part of your hair is seen and gets touched the most (the flirty flip)! Stand back up and split your hair (as in half up/half down). Rub some more gel in the back half of your hair
which is too often forgotten about. Diffuse or blow dry and you’re done!
If it comes out too ‘crunchy’ don’t worry, heat will naturally loosen the tightness of the gel. Having a little stiffness is a good thing as the weather can’t penetrate it as easily and it holds its curly shape. Throw it in elastic for the first day and sleeping on it will also tone down the wildness (if that is what you want).
Check out the Hot Tools Professional Ht1044 Travel Hair Dryer that folds and includes a detachable diffuser.
How to Maintain Curly Hair:
Keeping your hair up during the day is a great way to keep the curl for a long duration of time and it helps stay cool in the hot weather by not having hair on your neck. Bring it down at night to glam up a little and bring out the roar of that new outer lion! Going on a few days and still want to wear it down? Try a little hairspray and another blow dry (on dry hair) to give it a little extra volume.
The main purpose of the hard gel is to keep your curls tight for a long time. This means, keeping the washing to a minimum. Your hair will love the natural build-up of oil that will happen while no one will notice how long it has actually been (trust me, I’ve gone longer than I’d like to mention and I’ve still got compliments on it!)
Overall, the less you play with your hair (including keeping it up and away from the wind) the longer it will keep the fewer products you use and the more money you save – a travel girl’s secret to staying beautiful on a budget.
If you want to find out more about permanent hair straightening for curly hair, check out my post on Hair Rebonding . For tips on finding a salon, check out How to Find a Good Hair Salon when Traveling Abroad.
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Author Bio: Vanessa Yates and her backpack and have traveled 28 countries throughout North America, Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Her adventure continues in South East Asia where she will soon begin working at a Canadian international school in Malaysia. She hopes to never stop traveling!