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How I Look After My Hair While Travelling

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One of the hardest parts of travelling is finding a beauty routine that works. As well as making you look and feel great, it also has to be portable AND possible almost anywhere in the world. Which doesn’t sound particularly tricky… but it kinda is.

I used to think travelling meant roughing it in hostels and giving up all kinds of luxuries. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I was wrong.

If you’re travelling for a few weeks or a few months, it may be easy (and sensible) to forego your usual beauty routine and live a little more naturally for a while. But when you’re travelling full-time, indefinitely, it’s not so realistic to give those things up.

The one thing I’m constantly trying to bring back into my life is routine and some sense of normalcy. That’s true for my diet, for my hobbies and also for my hair and beauty regime. Here’s how I keep my hair feeling healthy and still enjoy some kind of beauty routine while on the road.

True story: I plaited my hair to swim and only took it out for this photo.

1 – Get a low-maintenance colour

You don’t have to give up the bleach just because you’re going travelling, but you might want to find a colour that’s easier to maintain than your regular full head of highlights.

I’m slowly easing back into my grown-out roots by getting subtle and spaced out highlights every 4-6 months, which means I don’t have to worry about top-ups while I’m away.

2 – Find the products that work

When I lived in London, I had boxes of shampoos, conditioners and styling products waiting to be tried. I was sure that, if I kept going, I would eventually find something that worked. It wasn’t until I started travelling full-time and had to find something that worked (very quickly!) that I finally slipped into a simple hair care routine that works for me.

When you can only carry a couple of items, it’s much easier to decide whether you really love something. If you don’t love a product and want to try something else, the one that isn’t working has to go. You can’t keep anything “just in case”. There’s no room for dead weight when you’re on the move.

Check out my travel beauty essentials to see the exact products I travel with!

3 – Find a go-to hairstyle

I love trying new hairstyles and getting glammed up as much as the next person, but my lifestyle requires convenience. Time spent fussing over my hair is time that could be spent exploring my current destination or building up my business, and I know which one I’d rather be doing!

My natural hair tends to end up in a half-straight, half-wavy kind of mess most of the time and needs constant styling. Instead of wasting hours trying to style it every day, I wear tape-in extensions that falls into a nice wave naturally – and take my natural hair into the wave with them. I use these tape-in extensions because they last for around 6-8 weeks and can be re-used for up to six months. Plus, I can apply and remove them myself, meaning I can fit any maintenance into my routine when it suits me (and don’t have to fork out a fortune!).

I wrote more about the extensions I wear and why they’re my favourite hair extensions for travel in this post.

4 – Take the tools that matter

I know lots of women who leave the straighteners and hair dryer at home when they travel, but I take mine with me. Again, it comes down to wanting to have as much normalcy – and as many home comforts – as possible while I’m on the road.

That said, I only carry two tools: ghd’s and a hairdryer. The ghd’s give me pretty much any hairstyle I want and the hairdryer means I don’t waste time fighting with hair that’s unruly because it dried naturally.

Hair extensions for travel

5 – Look after it!

I cannot stress this enough. I plait my hair while sleeping, tie it up when flying, brush it straight after swimming and only get it wet when I reeeally  have to (i.e. when I want to get cool underwater shots). I take days off from using heat tools at a time – the sun does enough damage already – and I use dry shampoo to avoid over-washing my hair and drying it out.

Look after your hair and it will be a whole lot easier to manage while travelling.

6 – Guzzle some water

If there’s one thing that solves most problems, it’s drinking water. It’s good for your health. It’s good for skin. You need it to stay hydrated – and so does your hair.

Even if you drink a lot of water at home, it can be easy to let that good habit slip while you’re travelling, especially if you’re in a country where you have to drink bottled water. Stay hydrated and your life will be a whole lot easier (and your hair a lot nicer).

Do you struggle with keeping your hair healthy while travelling? How do you handle changing climates?


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