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Having wild, curly hair is a double-edged sword. Yes, there are occasions when it looks amazing — but most of the time, it’s out of control with a mind of its own!
If you have wavy, curly or otherwise uncontrollable hair, you’ve likely got styling it down to a science: perfect products, tools and humidity conditions.
But when you travel, especially long-term travel, you don’t have those luxuries.
Here are the steps to traveling with uncontrollable, curly hair:
1. Get the right cut.
When you go to the salon, ask your stylist for a haircut that works with your hair’s natural shape — NOT a style that requires a round brush and a flatiron.
If you’re traveling long-term, get a style that can grow out easily without requiring frequent trims.
2. Keep your hair hydrated.
Keeping your curly hair moisturized and hydrated is the key to keeping it from becoming a frizzy mess.
For starters, stop highlighting your hair. In addition to requiring frequent, expensive touch-ups, it dries out your mane. Learn to love your natural color.
Second, curly hair doesn’t need to be washed as often. Don’t wash it more often than every other day.
Third, go easy on the heat styling. Leave the hairdryer and flatiron at home!
Fourth, if you’re spending lots of time outside, protect your hair from the sun as much as you can.
3. Use the right products.
Make sure you pack the right hair products. Gels and sprays are alcohol-based, so they dry out your hair. With curly hair, you want to stick to cream-based products.
Another tip: If your stylist recommends you buy expensive hair products, don’t buy them at the salon — go home and buy them on eBay. You can get them for half the price or less!
4. Let your hair dry while it’s in place.
Does your hair tend to explode when you let it air-dry? Try putting it into a loose braid, bun or French twist while wet. This is a super-easy way to get your hair to dry smooth. Don’t twist it too tightly, or only the outer layer will dry!
Braiding is also an excellent way to get natural-looking waves. Try different widths and styles!
5. Set it free.
Chances are you’ve been overstyling your curly hair for years. What if you did nothing to it at all, letting the chips fall where they may?
Don’t think I’m crazy!
Being in another climate could be just what your hair needs. The combination of air, humidity and native flora could combine to give you hair that looks surprisingly amazing.
I should know. The picture above is me after a few rainy days in Buenos Aires, no products or styling whatsoever. I could never get my hair that big and lustrous at home!
No matter what — never leave your hotel without a few elastics and extra-long hairpins in your purse. Even when your hair is looking gorgeous, bad hair days can strike out of nowhere!