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The last thing you want to worry about is your hair when you’re on the go. However, a well-groomed do adds the perfect touch to any travel outfit. Read on to find out how to style curly hair while traveling!
How to Style Curly Hair When Traveling
by Vanessa Yates
Table Of Contents
Having curly hair requires extra love and care. My own solution is to get my naturally curly hair permanently straightened. For others who love their curls, Vanessa Yates shares her expert hair tips for how to maintain curly hair while traveling the globe. She knows what she’s talking about – she’s got an awesome set of curls that always look amazing even in the South East Asia humidity!
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 favorite. 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.
Not sure if it’s worth traveling with a blow dryer? Read this!
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 you’re looking for the best travel hair diffuser, read this post!
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).
I use and recommend this Hot Tools Travel Hair Dryer because it’s dual voltage and has a diffuser, too!
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.
Plan to travel with hair tools? Read this post on voltage converters and travel adapters.
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.
What are your tips for how to style curly hair while traveling? Comment below! For more travel beauty tips, please read:
For more travel beauty tips, please read:
- Traveling With Jewelry: 10 DIY Packing Tips & Tricks
- The Beauty Junki’es Guide to a Minimal Travel Makeup Kit
- 5 Best Makeup Palettes for Travel
- Best Hair Products for Travelers with High Maintenance Manes
Hope you liked this post on how to style curly hair while traveling. Please share the love on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
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!
I’m really surprised coconut oil doesn’t get mentioned at all. I use it for everything! I use it as a leave in conditioner, wash my face with it, use it as lip balm and body lotion. I have super long, thick curls, so I just load up a goobtoob or 2 and freeze, so it stays solid through the tsa check.
Does it work the same once it thaws out?
Check out the ‘hot sock’ diffuser (can find it on amazon!). I use this baby at home and take it whenever I go anywhere where I will blow dry/diffuse my curls. It is elastic and literally does fit on ANY dryer, compresses FLAT and weighs practically nothing! For product, I love Ouidad heat and humidity gel. It’s light and works great!
Curly hair….. gotta have products. I will be spending a month in France and I will pack with carry on only. My biggest concern is that 3 oz. allowed carryon will not take care of the frizz and curl for a month. Where can I find products there, yes this is my first trip to France. Also, scarves are great with curly hair. Always a good stand by when I travel. It will be summertime, are hats acceptable in France?
Hi Deb! What if you pack (2) 3oz bottles of your favorite product? I will also post this question on Facebook later today to get more input for you. Thanks!
I am just going to try my best with curly styling cream and gel! I hope it doesn’t go too frizzy with all of the humidity in SE Asia!
The humidity is so high right now! You might need a small hair spray to calm it down a bit. We curly haired girls are suffering but you’ll be having so much fun, it will be an after thought! small price to pay 😉
Thanks for reading!
I love the Mixed Chicks leave in conditioner. It made my hair amaaaazingly curly, beautiful locks. It is however, not travel friendly, and hardly sold anywhere. A blow dryer has become a necessity though, if you want hair you actually enjoy looking at! lol
Sounds like a curly hair dream! Thanks for the tip 🙂