Sun, Sand, and Slay - 4 Tips for Perfect Hair on Your Next Trip
At least half of my social network just caught a glitch fare, so it's only fitting that I give you tips to stunt hard on the #travelnoire feed!
Whenever I had a vacation coming up, I knew the inevitable freakout about what to do with my hair was coming soon. The last thing I wanted was a total hair fail. I needed my hair to always be in tip top shape regardless of a new climate or even if I dived into water. I wanted something more exciting than the braids I’ve worn on vacation since childhood, yet more functional than the non-protective yet fashionable styles I usually wear.
I’ve finally come up with a few tips to help prepare your hair for your next “Slaycation”.
Don’t experiment with new styles right before vacation.
You want to be happy with your pictures right? Make sure you plan accordingly for your new style before you leave. Much like you would for a wedding, it helps to decide on a vacation style in advance and give it a test run. Make sure you install your protective styles a few days before vacation so that it’s not too tight throughout your vacation. Also, choose a style that can last the duration of your trip or a style that you can easily fix yourself if it starts to look rough.
Pack the essentials.
Of course, you already know to bring your travel size (3.4 oz) products and your satin scarf/pillowcase. Consider packing some items which can come in handy but are hard to find abroad – anti-humectant pomade, oils for your scalp, curl refresher, or a braid spray that reduces itching and tension. And, in case of emergency, make sure you take cover! Bring headwraps, wigs and hats as a last resort if your hair decides to take it’s own vacation!
Protect Your Strands from the Elements.
You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy! Salt water, chlorine, UV rays, heat, wind and dry climates can all wreak havoc on your hair. Before swimming in the ocean or pool, soak your hair and coat with heavy oils and butters to prevent salt and chlorine from drying your hair out. Wearing a swim cap, although unflattering, can add an extra layer of protection. If out in the hot equator sun, wear a hat or headwrap to protect your hair from the sun. Ultimately, try your best to maintain your normal wash/moisturizing routine but if you can’t, use wipes to clean your scalp and rinse or co-wash hair as needed.
Choosing the Look.
Should you get extensions or try to work with your hair au naturale? It depends on how much maintenance you want to do and how long your vacation is. Some long term options which still look good regardless of the environment or activities would be box braids, twists (senegalese, marley, havana, etc), cornrows/ghana braids, curly extensions, faux locs, or crochet braids. If you want something with more flexibility, opt for a wig. If you’re feeling confident and up to the task, rock your twist out or wash and go but make sure you maintain it properly.