Traveling with curly hair: all the low-maintenance tips you need to look fabulous abroad.

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I all the time idea I had horrible hair. And I’m no longer simply fishing for compliments right here (ahem: the remark field is beneath. I’ll wait.) For my complete grownup lifestyles, my hair has simply been … no longer just right: it’s half-heartedly curly and wavy on the similar time, tremendous frizzy and fly-away, vulnerable to break up ends and breakage, and intensely skinny. It tangles and breaks off if I such a lot as have a look at it the fallacious method. And it has a unending thirst for blood moisture.

Keep in mind that, it used to be NOT amusing to journey with. Right through my year-long honeymoon, I backpacked all over the world with my hair shoved right into a messy bun, which I dreaded undoing as a result of I simply knew there can be terrible tangles and breakage to maintain. I didn’t have area in my journey backpack for conditioner, and I didn’t have a lot good fortune discovering any on my travels. I returned domestic with one of the most worst hair of my lifestyles, and I used to be in a position to cut all of it off.

However then I heard about one thing known as the “Curly Woman Approach.” And whilst the total way used to be extra concerned than I used to be truly ready to do, even making an attempt a half-a**ed lazy model of it in fact modified my lifestyles. I imply, most commonly it modified my hair, however it modified it such a lot that it spilled over into different portions of my lifestyles, too. The arrogance spice up used to be actual, y’all!

Unexpectedly, I didn’t have wishy-washy frizzy hair anymore. It became out that every one that frizz used to be in fact simply thirsty curls ready to are living lifestyles to their fullest attainable! And despite the fact that my hair continues to be tremendous skinny – my ponytail is the width of a pencil when it’s completely instantly – you’d by no means are aware of it to have a look at my hair when it’s curly. All you spot is complete, superb, bountiful curls! I felt like a brand new, assured, sassy, curly-haired individual in a position to take at the global.

Let me display y’all what I imply. Right here’s my sooner than hair, a wishy-washy tremendous mess with out a actual texture that couldn’t come to a decision if it used to be wavy or curly – and this used to be on a just right hair day:

Drinking watermelon juice in a swing in Nusa Lembongan, Bali.
My halfheartedly wavy hair no longer dwelling as much as its attainable whilst the remainder of me used to be having a terrific time in Bali.

And right here’s my after hair, stuffed with luscious outlined curls that I actually by no means even knew I will have:

Lia in a face mask at the airport
The Curly Woman Approach became me into the type of one that takes selfies on the airport – AFTER the flight. (Tip: pineapple your hair all the way through the flight for a quantity spice up!)

The item is, dwelling your curly lifestyles to its fullest attainable isn’t the best factor to tug off, particularly whilst touring. It’s a little bit labor-intensive, calls for a couple of area of interest pieces, and usually calls for some making plans forward. For me, what works best possible whilst touring is an overly low-maintenance model of my at-home curly hair regimen.

What do I imply by way of low upkeep? Smartly, whenever you’ve were given your curls locked in, you’re in good fortune: your hair will glance superb for 5 complete days. Yeah, that’s correct: 5 instantly days of excellent hair days in a row. (You’ll be able to nonetheless bathe if you need, regardless that. I imply, I every so often don’t. However you’ll be able to. I’ll give an explanation for later!) That in fact makes it value the additional effort on wash day. (As a result of I’m lazy.)

If it sounds somewhat intimidating, don’t fear: I’ve figured all of it out. Over the previous few years, I’ve controlled to take my curls internationally and discovered how you can are compatible my complete hair care regimen right into a tiny bag that matches smartly into my carry-on bag! So whether or not you’re a curl professional already otherwise you’re simply beginning to coax your hair to fulfill its curly attainable like me, right here’s the whole thing you’ll wish to take your curls at the street … or educate, airplane, bus, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, colectivo, moto-taxi, boat… actually anyplace, truly.

The Curly Woman Approach (whilst Touring)

Everybody has quite other diversifications of the unique “curly lady way” – which used to be coined and primary debuted on this ebook – and over time I’ve discovered what works best possible for me.

I’ve additionally discovered that the regimen issues greater than the true merchandise. My hair is okay and skinny, so so long as I’m no longer weighing it down with tremendous heavy product, the rest that may give it a variety of moisture with out product buildup or silicones will paintings for me! I’m most commonly simply the use of affordable merchandise – however they’re implemented very sparsely.

So, right here’s my regimen in a nutshell:

Step 1: The “Reset” Wash

The whole lot begins with a “reset” bathe. If all is going neatly all the way through this a part of the method, I received’t wish to reset my hair once more for every other 4-5 days.

The caveat is that that is the excessive upkeep bit. Call to mind it as an funding: the payoff for spending a couple of hours fiddling together with your curls is that your hair will glance superb for the remainder of your travel with nearly no effort.

First, right here’s the step by step procedure I take for laundry my hair.

  1. I get started by way of shampooing my roots with a gradual, sulfate-free shampoo. No longer everybody in fact wishes shampoo – many curly ladies blank with conditioner solely – however I to find that an excessive amount of conditioner weighs my skinny, light-weight hair down! My present favorites are Shea Moisture and Maui Moisture.
  2. I situation the entire method from my roots downwards with a light-weight, moisturizing conditioner. For me, it’s tremendous essential that my conditioner is light-weight as a result of my hair is tremendous light-weight.
  3. I situation my ends with a thick, heavy, moisturizing hair masks. That is the place my hair wishes maximum of its moisture, so I glob on a LOT of thick, heavy conditioner – however ONLY at the ends of my hair, so it doesn’t crush my quantity. The deep conditioner I’m recently the use of is that this Shea Moisture curl smoothie.
  4. I finger-comb my hair and clip it up for the remainder of my bathe. There are typically a couple of tangles to figure out at this level, and when I’ve kind of gotten the ones out of the way in which, I pile my hair on most sensible of my head and clip it as much as stay it out of the way in which and let my conditioner soak in.
  5. I comb thru my hair upside-town and wash out the conditioner. After I’m in a position to complete up, I run a wide-tooth comb thru my hair whilst upside-down – this is essential! At this level, you will have to be beginning to see “curl clumps” forming. Wash your hair out whilst nonetheless the other way up, taking particular care to stay the ones curl clumps in combination!

Now that you simply’re performed showering, it’s directly to the second one section: product utility and drying!

  1. Whilst nonetheless the other way up, “scrunch” your hair to lend a hand the ones curl clumps kind. You’re principally simply squeezing out some water, in order that while you get started making use of product, it received’t all combine with the surplus water and fall correct off! Take particular care to to it the other way up and gently, in order that your curl clumps get even curlier.
  2. Practice curl cream by way of “scrunching” the other way up. I don’t wish to do that each time, however every so often my hair wishes somewhat further spice up, and I to find {that a} curl-forming cream truly is helping! There are plenty of other curl lotions in the market. I truly like this one for my tremendous hair as it’s great and lightweight.
  3. Practice hair gel. That is by way of some distance, arms down, the MOST important a part of my regimen. Your gel is what is going to stay your curls going robust for the remainder of the week – it’s ESSENTIAL! There are two tactics I really like to use gel. First is identical scrunching movement I take advantage of to use cream. The second one way is known as “prayer arms” – you’re principally working your fingers down the duration of your hair, after which gently crunching once more to stay the ones curl clumps curly! I take advantage of this extraordinarily reasonable, tremendous nostalgic 90’s generation gel as it’s reasonable, has an excellent hang and implausible shine, and washes out absolutely in water so I by no means get product buildup. (Additionally, nostalgia.)
  4. Plop the use of a micro-fiber hair towel. You need to plop all your curls onto the highest of your hair and keep away from stretching them out. It’s tremendous simple to do the use of my favourite microfiber hair towel! After which, it’s in spite of everything time to turn right-side up.
  5. Air-dry or diffuse your hair. After letting your hair take a seat plopped in a towel for some time, you’ll be able to both take it down and let it air dry the remainder of the way in which, or for those who’re tight on time, use a blow-drier and diffuser to softly dry your hair whilst upside-down. In case you’re diffusing, get started on the roots util they’re dry, after which gently cup your hair up into the diffuser and push all of it upwards towards your head, so that you’re nonetheless maintaining the ones curl clumps clumped!
  6. When your hair is absolutely dry, “scrunch out the crunch.” That gel you implemented on your hair could have become a rock-hard little solid. Suppose Justin Timberlake’s “Ramen Noodles” glance within the 90’s. Whilst splendidly nostalgic, this isn’t the specified impact! You’ll wish to get a divorce that gel solid to liberate your bouncy, glossy curls. All it’s important to do is scrunch your hair like loopy together with your arms. I really like numerous quantity, so I’ll even fluff up my roots somewhat bit to truly get that gel damaged up! As soon as your crunch is absolutely scrunched out, congratulations: you have got stunning, glossy (that’s the gel), bouncy curls.
Curly haired girl wearing glasses and bright red lipstick drinking beer in Salt Lake City.
Not anything pairs with curly hair like vivid purple lipstick (and beer).

Step 2: The Repairs

My reset bathe takes numerous paintings. However fortuitously, I solely need to do it each 4-5 days. The remainder of the week, I simply perform a little upkeep to stay my curls taking a look just right! Right here’s what I do:

  • Sleep together with your hair piled on most sensible of your head.

Napping together with your hair in a “pineapple” assists in keeping your curls above your pillow and secure from getting stretched, frizzed-out, and in a different way ruined whilst you sleep! I normally simply pile it on the very most sensible of my head with a cushy scrunchy. Some people swear by way of the use of a buff or silk shawl, however I’ve by no means controlled to determine that out.

  • Refresh your curls each few days.

Round day 3, my curls get started taking a look somewhat flat and no more outlined, so it’s time for a refresh! There are 2 primary tactics I love to refresh.

The primary is by way of having a shower with my hair piled up on most sensible of my head in a scrunchy. I don’t get my hair rainy, however the steam from the bathe provides sufficient moisture to my hair to get all of it great and overrated once more, so by the point I pop out of the bathe, I’ve were given a variety of quantity once more.

The second is a bit more concerned. You’ll wish to combine somewhat little bit of conditioner and gel into a sprig bottle and fill it up with water.

Flip your hair upside-down and spritz it far and wide together with your refresh spray. Then, scrunch your hair (the similar method you do within the bathe) to lend a hand your damp hair re-form curls. The conditioner provides moisture, and the gel is helping set the curls once more. It’s possible you’ll wish to scrunch out the crunch somewhat bit in a couple of mins whenever you’ve dried!

In a pinch, even simply getting your arms rainy, flipping your head over and scrunching your curls a couple of occasions will lend a hand upload some quantity and definition. The bottom line is that curls CRAVE moisture, so any method you’ll be able to get moisture into them will lend a hand your curls kind!

And that’s it – that’ll stay you taking a look superb for every other 4-5 days!

Watching the sun rise in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Early morning curls whilst looking at the solar upward push in Chitwan Nationwide Park, Nepal.

Curly Hair Trip Necessities

There are a couple of hair gear that come together with me after I plan to rock curly hair. That is my whole curly hair journey packing checklist, and whilst it should look like so much, I’m in a position to shove all of this into a type of drawstring shoe-bags or a medium packing dice for tidy garage in my suitcase.

  • Trip blowdryer and journey diffuser: I in fact normally air-dry my hair at domestic, however time is a treasured commodity when touring and a blowdryer cuts dry time by way of more or less a zillion p.c! It’s additionally a important software in a chilly vacation spot – no one needs frozen hair (even though it seems to be truly cool). I take advantage of an overly small, foldable blow dryer with a collapsible curl diffuser that soak up a small quantity of area in my bag. Simply don’t fail to remember to convey alongside a plug adapter/converter for those who’ll be touring out of the country!
  • Microfiber hair towel: Together with a complete sized journey towel (since lodge towels by no means, ever are compatible me), I additionally convey alongside a small microfiber hair towel to lend a hand my hair dry quicker. I “plop” it whilst I’m getting dressed and in a position for the day after which blow-dry/diffuse it till it’s absolutely dry.
  • Scrunchies: I take advantage of scrunchies to pile my curls on most sensible of my head in a excessive ponytail in a single day. That method I don’t knock out the curls in a single day and get a quantity spice up within the morning! Any previous scrunchie will paintings, however silk scrunchies are best possible for taming frizz and sliding out of tangle-prone hair, like mine.
  • Hair product: In fact, you want tiny travel-sized bottles of all your crucial hair merchandise! I convey alongside my gel, curl defining cream, shampoo and conditioner decanted into little 1oz bottles. And I throw in a wide-tooth comb and a clip for the bathe, too. All of it suits in my zip-up striking journey toiletry case.
On the beach in Maui, Hawaii.
Right here’s a tip: you want much less product in sizzling, humid environments, like a tropical seashore. On seashore holidays, I will typically escape with simply moisturizing my sea salt-coated hair and embracing the waves!

Trip Guidelines for Curly Hair

Put your whole haircare merchandise into tiny, travel-friendly bottles.

We’re carry-on-only sorts, so all of our favourite merchandise (sure, Jeremy and I each use the very same hair merchandise) get decanted into little tiny bottles that smartly are compatible in our striking toiletry bag.

Deliver further conditioner!

Don’t rely at the lodge’s loose bottles, or discovering appropriate hair merchandise anywhere you’re touring. You received’t, and for those who do use some random lodge conditioner, you may finally end up making your hair worse – they’re typically loaded with silicones!

While you discover a shampoo and conditioner combo that works on your hair, convey as a lot of it with you as you’ll be able to – particularly conditioner, which you’ll be the use of a LOT greater than shampoo. I’ve a number of mini boxes of my conditioner packed into my journey toiletries case, so I by no means run out!

Use a t-shirt to plop for those who don’t have a micro-fiber towel.

I all the time convey alongside a microfiber hair towel to “plop” my hair in, however for those who fail to remember yours or don’t have one, you’ll be able to simply sub out a t-shirt, or any clean merchandise of clothes. It’s somewhat tougher to wrap round your head, however I to find that long-sleeved shirts paintings best possible.

What you completely will have to NOT do EVER, is lodge to a normal previous terrycloth towel, even for plopping. The ones little loops of thread at the floor of the towel really feel nice in your pores and skin, however they’re terrible on your hair! They reason frizz, disrupt your curl trend, suck up extra moisture than you need, and usually spoil a just right curl day.

By no means use a normal towel in your hair! Any cushy, clean blouse or merchandise of clothes is an development. (Simply be sure you pack a journey clothesline so you’ll be able to grasp your blouse as much as dry after your bathe.)

Curvy girl in a bikini printed with monstera leaves, turned away with one arm raised in a peace sign facing a beach with palm trees and water in the background.
Rocking curls and considered one of my favourite curvy-girl swimsuits in Maui, Hawaii.

Plan out your “wash days” strategically to suit into your itinerary.

Wash days are an entire factor. It takes my hair like, 5 hours to air-dry sufficient to the purpose the place I will “scrunch out the crunch.” And I don’t typically have 5 hours after I’m touring! Which is why I all the time pack a journey blowdrier and diffuser, however even that may soak up 45 treasured mins that I may just spend out having adventures.

So, I plan my wash days strategically. I bathe and reset my hair on journey days, comparable to after I’ll be on an extended flight or educate journey. I don’t care if I glance lovable all the way through the ones days, and it provides my hair quite a lot of time to completely set into the curls it’ll keep in till my subsequent reset day.

Then, for the following 4-5 days, I take advantage of more than a few tips to stay my curls taking a look just right, together with snoozing with my hair in a “pineapple,” dressed in my hair in a super-high ponytail whilst I bathe to take in moisture & quantity with out in fact getting rainy, and spritzing my hair with a refresh concoction of water, gel, and conditioner.

Water will have an overly other impact in your hair whilst touring than you’re used to.

Laborious water” because it’s known as, isn’t in fact ice (complicated, I do know) however water that incorporates hint parts of chemical substances and minerals. That isn’t essentially a foul factor, however it may well have a damaging impact in your hair known as buildup – simply the similar as what reasons staining in your bathtub or tiled toilet ground. And a variety of motels, hostels and holiday leases have demanding water!

To scrub away that icky buildup and stay it from harmful your hair, both convey a small quantity of clarifying rinse or shampoo, or – my desire – convey a small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar with you! Distill the Apple Cider Vinegar with water and rinse your hair with it. As a plus, watered down ACV could also be my favourite remedy for a foul sunburn!

Deliver a couple of tiny, foldable scissors.

That is only a common journey tip – scissors are tremendous to hand to have available. However relating to hair, scissors may also be truly useful. We’ve used ours to trim break up ends, minimize bangs, trim beards, tidy up down there, and – for those who’re up for it – give haircuts! That is the pair we introduced with us on our year-long honeymoon, which has include us in our suitcase ever since.

  • Haircare Trip Tip: ONLY use those scissors on hair –  by no means on paper or anything! It’s essential to probably harm the blade which might in flip harm your hair.
Jeremy exploring the Palace Market in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bonus photograph of my good-looking husband and his lil entrance curls! He swears by way of the Curly Woman Approach, too. Aside from his is 50x more uncomplicated as a result of his hair air dries in about 5 seconds.

Take particular care with the ends of your hair.

(Rhyme intentional.) The ends of your hair are probably the most vulnerable to breakage and splitting, which ends up in tangles and frizz – two issues I’m regretfully neatly versed in. I take a tiny bathtub of break up finish balm.  I put it on my ends after showers, every time they’re feeling dry, or simply after I wish to tame issues down and clean issues out. I brush thru with my boar bristle brush to unfold the oils thru my hair frivolously.

In a pinch, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are implausible for hair. 

A little bit bathtub of coconut oil or argan oil is going some distance. Whilst it’s no longer nice for facial pores and skin, coconut oil is best for hair, arms and toes, and dry lips.  

And each argan oil and olive oil are all-around good looks powerhouses! I convey Argan Oil on journeys to make use of for each my face and hair … however I’ve additionally been recognized to benefit from shared olive oil bottles in hostel kitchens, too.

A little bit little bit of oil is going some distance: put a dime-sized drop for your arms and clean thru your hair beginning together with your ends.

When all else fails, simply get your hair rainy and get started over.

The magic of curly hair is that each time you get your hair rainy or upload moisture, you have got a chance to reset your curls – even though you’re no longer doing an entire “reset” wash day.

You’ll be able to spray water into your hair, put it up right into a ponytail whilst you bathe your frame, or simply get your arms rainy within the sink and scrunch your hair to reset your curl trend.

I’ll ceaselessly do that with a specifically demanding curl up entrance that will get simply frizzed out – you’ll be able to actually re-curl a work of hair together with your finger and let it dry into an entire best lil’ corkscrew.

And now, my fellow curlies, pass forth and glance fabulous!

What questions do you have got about touring with curly hair? Drop me a remark beneath!

Psst: In search of extra pointers for feeling and looking implausible whilst touring? Check out a few of these different posts:

xo Lia & Jeremy signature graphic


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The Final Packing Record: 43 Will have to-Have Trip Pieces (by way of a Complete-Time Trip Blogger)