When I’m planning for a trip, envisioning my hair style is right up there with booking an Airbnb. There are so many different hairstyles to choose from and when I decide on a style I usually base it on how I imagine myself looking in smiling photos, the type of clothes or colors the place I’m visiting makes me feel, or the type of activities I’ll be doing. If you have literally no idea what to do with your hair for an upcoming trip, this might help you get an idea of what would work for you.
Planning by itinerary
It’s great to prep your hair for what your trip may involve. You want to make sure your natural hair or protective styles are prepared for the itinerary just as much as your budget is. You don’t want your hair to ever cause you stress during a trip or keep you from doing fun things.
It’s heating up in many places so taking a dip in the beach is often on the itinerary. I’ve found that protective style where majority, if not all, of my hair is tucked away, saves so much time during trips where I’ll be getting my hair wet because I don’t have to worry about spending long periods of time washing and detangling my hair. I also usually just have a carry-on, and travel sized products aren’t enough to encompass an entire wash day yet alone multiple from several days of swimming and such. My go-to styles for these activities are:
- Box braids
- Crochet braids
- Marley/Havana twists
Box braids have never failed and can go with any trip or occasion. I still wash my hair after getting it fully submerged. My scalp and mind feel better when I know I don’t have any dirt or germs still on my hair. But it takes significantly less time for this process. Crochet is also one of my favorite go-to’s for trips, but I consider the actual hair I want to install for such activities. Straight hair crochet tends to require more maintenance in general to avoid tangles and frizziness, so I would probably avoid this for a trip. Other delicate type of textures and patterns that frizz easily also wouldn’t be ideal. I would pay special attention to reviews of the specific hair brand you’re considering so that you know what to expect from being active outside and in water.
Going on a vacay is the perfect time to be adventurous. There’s jet-skiing, para-sailing, zip-lining, and maybe even bungy jumping for those living on the edge. With all of these activities you don’t want to be the one caught on camera with your wig flying off the boat. Make sure your wig is secured lol! But in all seriousness, is your intended style durable enough for all of the antics you’re trying to get into. Packing the necessary tools is always great for this. Always bring more than you need for any touch ups along your trip. I wrote a blog post on the most helpful things to pack for your natural hair and you can check it out here.
- Bobby pins
- Gel/edge control
- Sewing needle/thread
- Crochet hook
- Hair balls (that’s what I call them. Also known as “hair-ties” or “hair bands”)
Planning by weather
For the hot and humid weather upon us, the less added weight and friction is the move. For spring/summer weather I love going with shorter lengths that avoid hanging down my back and causing more sweating. This may mean trying some bob box braids, shorter crochet styles, updos that move hair away from the face.
- Havana twists – super lightweight
- High puff- up and out of the way
- Feed-in braids – pulls hair away from face, not tons of hair added
For cold or moderate weather, I found having a headwrap comes in handy. When I was in Ghana in the late summer, I wore my natural hair out and the weather would start out humid with some days of sprinkles here and there. I styled my hair with headwraps during the unpredictable weather and I was ready to go! It’s also great for cold weather since the wrap adds some extra warmth and you can even tuck your ears underneath.
Duration of trip
Do you need a style to last you a few weeks? Is it a style you want to wear even after the trip? How much maintenance will this require? These are some of the questions I ask when referring to how long I’ll be away.
- Twist out – for a trip under 5 days, styling as it stretches out
- Clip ins for a quick weekend girls trip
- Switch it up with a couple of wigs
- Wrap it up for on the go moments and events
- Crochet always works
Planning by your vision
Most of all I plan by doing whatever style it is that I imagine myself having and make the rest work around that. If I want my fro out in a tropical climate, I can make that work. Or if I envision dancing at festivals with braids down my back then that’s what I’ll do. At the end of the day you’re going on a trip to have fun and you can do whatever it is that your heart desires with your hair. All that matters is that you’re comfortable and killing it!
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