4 Ways to Protect Your Hair While Traveling


Setting off to a long-awaited journey, I (just like most women all over the world) want to look perfect, in spite of changing climate and time zones, crazy winds, high humidity, heat, cold, junk food, jet lags, and other stressful surprises of long roads.

And I do! By trial and error, I’ve managed to find the best ways to make my hair trip maximally safe, healthy, and beautiful. I always believed that taking proper skin and hair care during tedious flights and rides is impossible, however, it turned out that it is difficult but still possible. My key to success is proper planning and thorough preparation for every specific trip in advance.

So, here’s the list of things you can do (or not do) before your travel to take care of your hair:

  • If you’re planning to dye your hair, do it no less than a week before your trip: this time is needed to let your locks recover and the color get softer.
  • Any chemical treatment like a perm should be done at least three weeks before the travel.
  • Trim your hair before setting off.
  • Plan ahead your hair care depending on the style of your travel. Is it relaxing or active? Is it gonna be a beach holiday with lots of sun and salt water or is it a place with extremely cold temperatures? Will you style up your hair for special events or dinners during your trip?
  • Check if your hotel offers their hairdryers.
  • Prepare a compact and comfy make-up bag that prevents your products from spilling.
  • Opt for multifunctional hair products.

That’s what can be done when you’re looking forward to your vacation. And now let’s come to four hair care tips while traveling.

The best ways to protect your hair specifically during your trip:

1. Minimize Your Usual Hair Routine

What we’re talking about in this section is such ordinary stuff as washing, brushing, and blow-drying your locks – and yes, they can become a sentence for your hair. Surprisingly, these super simple and even trivial daily ‘rituals’ can damage your hair while traveling. Let’s expand on this:

  • Washing Your Hair

It is an issue of great importance not to wash your hair every day, despite so many people do it anyway. This habit is destructive as it strips your hair of the natural oils essential to keep it shiny and healthy. Having stopped washing your hair too frequently, you’ll notice it getting less oily. Besides, washing your hair is also a kind of stress for your locks, which is the least needed while traveling – the period when all your body experiences major changes, inconveniences, and stress.Life hacks:

  • Use dry shampoo before styling to help your hair in between washes – apply it only on the roots.
  • If traveling to Europe or Asia consider buying a water softener, as the hard water of those countries makes the hair messier and dryer.

Brushing Your Hair

Probably the easiest and the most unusual answer to ‘how to take care of hair while traveling’ kind of questions is to brush it once a day without letting it “go”. Be careful with that ‘barefoot traveler’ thing, as the longer you go without combing, the harder it will be to brush them back without dealing with knots and tangles. All you need is to make a morning (or evening) brushing your beauty ritual and allow several minutes for that. Also, remember not to comb your hair too much as it’s gonna get oily very soon.

  • Drying & Styling

This one is pretty obvious, as excessive usage of hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons is proved to be destructive for hair. And during the traveling, especially with changing weather and climate, it gets twice more dangerous.

2. Learn Easy Protective Hair Styling Tips

The right hairstyle is an integral part of my ideal hair trip, despite I never got really crafty with my hair. But believe me, a couple of quick updos are definitely worth mastering, at least to avoid lugging your hair around a backpack and popping in/out a public transport, not mentioning keeping your neck cool and preventing harmful effect of sun, wind, and temperatures on your locks.

  • Top knots and buns deservedly are the most popular protective hairstyles for short natural hair, as they can keep even the shortest strands away from your hair.
  • Various braids and ponytails are great practical and stylish protective hairstyles for people with long hair.
  • Use dry shampoo to give extra volume at the roots.
  • Take some hair accessories to simplify your hair styling routine. Bobby pins, hair clips, headbands, hair scarves, hair ties, hats will surely come in handy.

3. Be Picky about Your Hair Products for Travelling

Referring to the advice about planning your hair care for traveling beforehand, which was mentioned above, it’s fair to emphasize the importance of thorough choice of hair products for your trips. Remember that your hair traveling kit will hardly be the same you use daily, as your locks require much more nutrition and moisture than usual.

So, that’s what you should consider:

  • Avoid free products – the ones hotels offer. They’re likely to be budget-friendly, so the risk of damaging your hair with them is very high.
  • Buy detangling products. Deep conditioning masks and classic conditioners along with a tangle teaser comb are your best friends for a trip.
  • And conditioning again! I mention this point again just to show you HOW important it is to condition your locks every time you wash them. Besides detangling effect, this hair product offers protection and moisture for a shiny look of your hair.
  • Bring coconut oil, as it’s probably the best ultimate trip beauty product-multitasker. Apply a bit of it on the tips before a long plane ride to add extra moisture; spread coconut oil in your hair instead of a conditioner after coming out of the sea or ocean; do a coconut mask after long hours of plane rides to give the recovering treatment to your hair.
  • Don’t forget about the dry shampoo, which comes in handy both when you can’t wash your hair being on the road and when you wanna give some boost at the roots to your vacation hairstyle (See more here http://thehairstyledaily.com/).

4. Dealing with Sun & Water: Beach Holidays

The reason I decided to focus on beach holidays hair treatment in this separate paragraph is quite obvious: this kind of traveling is the most popular worldwide. And the harm caused by sun, wind and salty water your locks get during several weeks of your holiday is often much bigger than the one caused by the usage of blow-dryers and hair straighteners during a year.  So, it’s essential to discuss all possible ways of hair damage prevention while traveling to hot destinations with picturesque beaches and gentle ocean waves.

  • Protect Your Hair from the Sun

No matter if you’re planning to sunbathe all day long or go sightseeing and walk, you’ll probably spend most of your time in the sun, which super damaging to your hair. The easiest way to prevent that negative effect is to wear a hat or a headscarf (they’ll prevent you from the heat stroke and your face from sunburn too). But if you’re not really into cappies, try some UV hair protecting spray instead.

  • Moisturize Your Hair

Coat your hair with ANY moisturizer or oil before going into salt or chlorinated water. The more – the better. The idea is rather simple: the more moisturizing conditioner your hair absorbs, the less salt and chlorine damage your hair. Still, if swimming in the sea or ocean, opt for maximally natural moisturizers to stay eco-friendly and avoid affecting the marine life. After you’re done at the pool or beach, just rinse or slightly shampoo your hair.

  • Use a Leave-In Conditioner Spray

If you don’t moisturize your hair before going to the water, you still can help your locks – just put a leave-in conditioner spray in your beach bag. You can spray it on your hair after swimming right on the beach, so this option is very comfortable. Also, it can be really cheap if you DIY this product. All you need is to mix your ordinary hair conditioner with water (1:5) in a spray bottle.

  • Swimming Pools Danger

If you dye your hair blonde, your color can be seriously endangered by the chlorine water in the swimming pool. Don’t wanna get that green or yellow shade of your pearly locks? Oils, sunscreens, and upstyles come in handy again!

Bottom Line

Traveling throughout the world, getting to know new cultures, meeting different people, finding out about local traditions, tasting uncommon dishes, taking photos on paradise islands is wonderful. And all these experiences are definitely worth those sacrifices, compromises, and inconveniences the skilled travelers face.

All you need to succeed and look like a million bucks even during the most exhausting and challenging trips is to get prepared.


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