How to take care of your hair when you travel

I promised you ages ago I would write a post on hair care tips while travelling. It’s taken me that long to find something that worked!!

I wanted to use natural hair care products but did not have much luck. I had to give up the fight to make it work because let’s face it we call care more about how we look than we like to admit.

Let me explain why there is no need to feel ashamed of this and why you should care about how you look.

Going all natural or just doing the best you can

Trying to live a natural, holistic life is so hard. I’ve been doing my best to do it, but am just fed up with mostly how stringy and dry my hair looks because of it.

Or, the last lot of products I used made my hair so greasy that my realtor asked me if I’d just come from a swim when I popped in to see her!!!

It got me thinking.

What am I trying to prove? Are normal hair and skin care products going to damage me so much? Is it worth using them if all I’m going to do is beat up on myself every time I look in the mirror and be constantly anxious about looking my best?

I think we’re taught too much that if you care about your body and looking good then you are soulless. Our body makes up a part of our soul, so if we aren’t happy with how we look it will affect our mental state and what we put out into the Universe.

It’s about balance. You don’t make your body and looks more important than your personality, how you treat others, your passion projects and how you serve, but you can certainly love your body and have it looking its best too.

I never used to think my body was important and now I understand why I’m seeing a chiropractor for three months to fix my crooked spine, amongst other things.

I’m going to follow my life motto:

Do the best from where you are with what you have.

I’ll be going natural and organic as much as I can.

I like this post by James Lonergan about focusing on the inside and letting the outside take care of itself. It fell in my Facebook stream at the exact time I was coming to the conclusion that always fretting over food, and natural products could have more negative consequences. (I’ve certainly given up using bicarb soda to clean. Blast it with some bleach and save me time.)

In my ideal world, I’d love to be pescatarian paleo: sugar-free, dairy free, gluten free, meat free. But, can you imagine the stress that comes trying to live this kind of life? So I’ve decided to do the best I can with it and when I can’t find a match I will eat what I want without feeling guilty.

I wrote more about the living a should life here! We get too many messages telling us how we should live which overwhelms and confuses us.

Go within and decide for yourself and do the best you can.

My struggles with maintaining my hair on my travels

I tried using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair and didn’t receive the shiny, healthy, full look that many others spoke of. It was challenging maintaining this routine travelling. We swapped between camper and apartments a bit, and I kept forgetting to pack my bicarb and vinegar, so ended up using normal shampoo anyway.

I tried various organic and natural hair shampoo and conditioners, but couldn’t find any that were decent. My hair was just so lifeless and stringy, and some made it look so oily and grimy after using it. Some were hard to get a lather up with.

I don’t carry blow dryers or many hair care products when I travel. I only blow dry my hair now if I have an important event or meeting to go to for work, and I rarely use hair spray or other products. So my hair care products that I pack to travel with are minimal.

You can see the toiletry bag I use here.

The hair products I use

Rahua – natural and organic hair care products

Rahua natural hair care products

My friend Christina from Hair Romance gave me some Rahua natural hair care products to try after I asked her if she had any magical natural solutions. She does organic, but not 100% natural as she’s not found a good solution either. (she’s also shared our hair care tips while travelling down below too!)

Rahua’s star ingredient is the rahua oil sourced from the Amazon jungle. This hair care range were the best natural products that I found by far. My hair came out a bit more lustrous, and it smelt divine and made my scalp feel loved, but I still felt something was lacking.

I like their voluminous spray that acts as a soft hold hairspray. I use it on those rare occasions I need to style my hair.

Appelles – organic hair and skin care products

Appelles hair care

I first saw the Appelles range in the Mantra apartments. I was intrigued by their label and organic Australian indigenous ingredients and tried them. I’m very wary of hotel products as they are usually crap, but these were particularly luxuriant and smelled divine.

Recently, they were in our boutique hotel and cottage during our Jacobs Creek stay, and I fell in love. My hair finally came out the way I wanted: shiny, full, clean and healthy looking. When I came home after the Barossa Trip, my Mum kept asking me what I had done with my hair as it looked so great. “The blond colour is standing out. It looks so good.” (verification of it looking so crap before!!)

mantaining hair on your travels

So I decided that this was the product I now needed to use for my hair. I loved how my hair felt and looked. I also have a sensitive scalp, and it felt very nurtured after using their products. And I loved that they used Australian essential oils. After travelling the country for 18 months, I’m into anything that has lemon myrtle and Kakadu Plum. #memories

I sussed Appelles out online and while they aren’t completely natural, they use certified organic Australian essential oils. They also use environmentally friendly and recyclable package, don’t do animal testing and are paraben free. The reviews of them online are good. I think I’ve found a happy medium. The shampoo and conditioner I bought from them online last week arrived yesterday and I’m so excited. They can only be purchased in limited hotels and stores.

Appelles organic hair care products

I contacted Appelles to tell them I was sharing their range and would they be willing to do a giveaway for you. They said they could give you a 20% discount instead.

I got this response and code 1 hour after I had purchased my shampoo and conditioner pack online. Bugger! I’m happy that we can give you the 20% off! And I might just go use this now to stock up.

Appelles also has a beautiful range of skin care products. You can select two samples to try when purchase products online. I grabbed the Bamboo scrub and Body Buff, which I’ve used at the hotel stay before and it’s lush. I also love their skin lotion and soap bars, which I have a few samples of as well.

These are the only hair and skin care products I take with me after a hotel stay.

Mira’s Hand Organic Moroccan Argan Oil

argan oil miras hand

I love putting pure Moroccan organic argan oil on the ends of my hair to keep them nourished and from splitting.

Mira’s Hand Argan Oil is 100% pure organic oil, not the fake Moroccan oil that you probably see everywhere. She often has sales so I grab my products then. My two small bottles (two for the price of one!) have lasted me over a year at a price of $40.

Dry Shampoo

I have a dry shampoo from De Lorenzo. It is especially handy for your three year old who screams like she’s being murdered when you attempt to wash her hair. It’s always a tad embarrassing in caravan park showers.

16 Hair care tips for when you travel

I’m completely lacking in hair care tips so I called on the advice from two friends who also happen to be hair experts!

A close up of a woman

Chrissie from Hair Romance has the most gorgeous hair, travels a lot, and has a NY Times Bestseller featuring 82 simple hairstyles called, Braids, Buns and Twists. We travelled with the book and the girls love choosing hairstyles from there for me to try on them.

(Her husband, Jim wrote this post for us on 27 things you should know before you travel to Cuba and Traveling to Cuba changes!)

1. Plan ahead for your hair care

Is this a relaxing trip or will you be going out a lot? Knowing your style of travel will help you decide what you need to do with your hair.

I like to give my hair a rest from styling on holidays. But if you have events or dinners to go to then pack some styling tools. Call and check if your hotel has a hairdryer.

Hot tip: I sometimes still pack my own as I use my hairdryer to iron my clothes (it’s a cheat that works really well on difficult to iron items like dresses!)

2. Managing your hair on work trips

Book a blow-dry for when you arrive. Often hotels have salons, or ask them to recommend one nearby. They may even have a stylist who can come to your room. Going to a salon saves you bringing a lot of products and tools and gives you a killer hair style.

Here are tips for making it last for days

3. Be careful of swimming in pools

Be careful of blonde hair going green in swimming pools – I just wrote a post here on how to avoid it happening and how to fix it if it happens to you.

4. Take care of hair on beach holidays

Keep a leave in conditioner spray in your beach bag. Salt (and chlorine) can dry your hair out so rinse your hair and seal it with a leave in conditioner. You can also DIY your own leave in spray by mixing 1 part conditioner to 5 parts water in a spray bottle. Just shake and spray on the ends of your hair after swimming.

5. Travelling to hot or humid destinations

Learn a couple of quick updos to tame your hair and keep your neck cool. Try this great quick updo for after the beach

6. How to find hairdressers on your travels

  • To find a good hairdresser while you’re travelling can be hard so I find someone with great hair  and ask them who does their hair. Personal recommendations are the best.
  • To communicate with hairdressers in other languages use pictures – this is the best advice even if you both speak the same language! You can’t describe colour in words so take in a photo to show what you mean.
  • Take in photos of your good hair days. Once you’ve had a haircut or colour that you like, take photos of it to show your hairdresser for next time. Take a few different angles so they can see the cut from all sides. If you’re travelling, you can also ask your hairdresser to write down the colour formula they use so your next hairdresser can follow on.
woman smiling with flowers behind her

Mirna from Mindful Gypsy is a travel blogger in my mentoring group and an ex-hairdresser, so I asked her for a few tips as well.

7. Slather your hair with oil/moisturizer before going into salt or chlorinated water

The idea is to let your hair absorb that so it can’t absorb damaging chlorine/salt. Then you’ll shampoo it out later and your hair will thank you for it.

8. Don’t use the free products

There’s a reason why they’re free. Usually with hair products cheap = nasty. Budget-friendly hair care will unfortunately damage your hair.

9.Invest in ONE good product

It’s important to invest in at least one thing that can put some sparkle back into your style. For very fine hair at shoulder length or shorter I’d say a good shampoo is more important, one that will strengthen your hair for some extra body and has light hydration so it doesn’t knot up too much. For longer hair, or hair prone to tangling, definitely go for a good mask/treatment that you can put on once a week or fortnight to add some moisture back into it.

10. Don’t go longer than a week without brushing your hair

It’s quite important to keep your hair smooth and to brush it all the way through from the scalp to ensure all the little knots are out. Tangled hair is more prone to breakage and if it gets really bad it causes more damage when you try to brush it out.

11. Protect your hair from the sun

Just as you would with your skin you need to put protection on your hair. Either with a hat, head scarf or some UV protecting spray, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t overheat and burn.

Easy hair styling tips for travel

12. Get some tousles with braids and buns

Put your hair in braids or loosely twisted buns, while it’s slightly damp then sleep on them. In the morning (or when your hair is completely dry) tousle them out with your fingers for some natural looking waves

13. Easy styling trick for oily hair

For easy styling of oily hair dab cornstarch onto your roots, which will act as a dry shampoo, so your hair doesn’t look dirty.

Apply it on the roots with a fluffy blush brush then work through with your fingers until it’s completely absorbed. It’ll help soak up excess oil AND give you some extra lift

14. Learn a couple of hairstyles

Learn a couple of styles for your personal hair type/length and get them down packed, so you always have a quick do to fall back on.

Youtube is a goldmine for this, and there’s not much you can’t find a video on! Everything from easy buns to fishtail braids, Youtube anything and start looking glamorous!

15. Incorporate a side part

To make wild hair look neater and more styled incorporate a side part. With the rest, you can wear it out or pull back into a braid, bun or ponytail

 16. Take some hair accessories!

There isn’t much that a headband or headscarf can’t fix! Otherwise, you can twist a few pieces away from the face secure them with some hair clips or bobby pins

How do you maintain your hair on your travels? Please share your best hair care tips

24 thoughts on “How to take care of your hair when you travel”

  1. Great tips for keeping your hairs well protected during extensive travel and tour trips. I will share it among my friends and close ones.

  2. This post is perfect timing! I am a naturopath so am passionate about minimising chemical use but I am yet to find a great natural shampoo and conditioner either. I am going to give your product suggestions a go. We are planning a 12 month trip around Aus next year so the travel tips will come in handy too! Thanks x

  3. Getting my haircut while traveling in Latin America was a scary thought. I waited until I got to a major city (Buenos Aires) and looked in the windows of all the salons until I found one that had a look/ vibe I liked. I wasn’t planning on it, but I even got my hair cut in a small city in Bolivia. I came across a modern-looking salon on a morning run, and I got one of the best haircuts of my life. I think the secret is to be observant. I also used your tip of carrying a good hair photo with me.

  4. I love these tips. In fact I am doing some of them like not using free products, always carrying UV spray whenever I travel and have hair accessories in hand. But I do use free shampoo whenever I stay in hotels in Japan. They use shiseido tsubaki which is good for my hair.

    Tokyo Blogger |

    1. I find Tsubaki is great until suddenly it isn’t. It’s designed for Asian hair and has a lot of silicone in it so for fine, Western hair it came become too heavy.

  5. I have to admit that it is hard to keep the hair healthy when you don’t have all of your products with you. It is hard to take them especially when you’re flying. But at least there are some products that you can just take with you.

  6. I just had to buy shampoo and conditioner in Europe and went to Yves Rocher. Their stuff is great on my hair and really cheap (this was in Prague, might be more pricey elsewhere) plus they have colour lock products. Maintain my hair colour is my biggest issue when travelling.

    Anyway, as a bonus, I got a nylon shopping bag for less than a buck. I have a share bathroom atm so it’s super handy, even has a little pocket for my room key.

  7. Some shampoo leave behind residue on your hair. So your hair will be harmed, dulled, greased by the residue byproducts. In spite of residue most hair type are able to keep its good position. So you should try to avoid the shampoo which is not Anti-Residue. The Anti-Residue Shampoo is best shampoo for oily hair

  8. I am actually looking forward to using organic products for my hair. I can say that commercial products can be damaging, so i plan to go organic soon. I’m glad I read this post. Thanks for sharing. Keep the tips coming.

  9. Thank you for sharing the information about the Easy hair styling tips for travel. I really glad enjoy read that topic.

    visit here

  10. I just loved this article! I have become the frequent traveler and your tips helps a lot to me towards caring my hair. Thank you for sharing great tips on hair care during travel.

  11. This article is really impressive with each point going into a lot of depth and detail. This can really give women confidence in their hairs appearance especially when they’re travelling and they have little time to deal with their hair. This article provides value for all women who need advice on their hair when they are on the move. The point about “Don’t go longer than a week without brushing your hair” is really interesting and something that all women should know about.

  12. What about taking a cordless flat iron? That’s what I take on all my trips. Then there’s no need to worry about whether it’s dual voltage or not, you simply have to have sufficient batteries.

  13. Great article! I am pretty much problematic in terms of air travel. Without a doubt, it sucks moisture out of everything, especially from hair and skin. LOL! I remember getting really frizzy hair after a thirteen hour flight!

    Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this post! It’s really helpful 🙂

  14. Thanks, Caroline
    for sharing the product reviews, it’s always good to listen to people who actually have tried a product and then reviewed, rather than those fake paid commercials where celebs just promote a product as brand ambassadors. for sure Mira’s Hand Organic Moroccan Argan Oil will be on my next shopping list. it sounds to me a good solution for Dry hairs.

  15. Harkirandeep Singh

    It is quite challenging to maintain hairs while travelling. I keep on travelling at short intervals usually & it is not easy to take care of hairs. But I like your suggestion about how to take care of hairs while swimming & at the beach. Thanks for sharing.

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