I’m all for the natural hair movement and loving your curls! I’ve also been one to just straighten my hair for a trip because it’s easier, I don’t have to worry about carrying products with me and it takes less time. While straightening your hair is definitely unhealthy for your hair, I hate to admit that I definitely went this route when traveling quite a few times. I’m trying to keep my hair healthy and this is something that I have struggled with especially with traveling so often. I have definitely traveled a bit with my natural curls and thought it would be good to share my experience and tips.
The majority of the time when I’m traveling I just take a carryon suitcase because I can’t be bothered with going to baggage claim and waiting and since a lot of my trips are quick about 3-4 days, I don’t want to risk my luggage being lost and not making the trip. Traveling with only a carryon complicates things when you’re natural because of the liquids rule. Don’t worry though, it is still possible to travel with a carryon and have all of the hair products you need! To overcome the liquids rule you can go to your local drugstore or supermarket and buy the clear bottles that are specifically for traveling. I believe you are limited to 3oz or less and these bottles meet the requirements. They aren’t very expensive either! Once you get your bottles, you only have to decide what products you will dispense into the bottles. Whenever I travel, I always take leave-in conditioner, conditioner and a curl activator. Occasionally, I bring coconut oil with me as well. If your trip is for a short duration, this should be all you need and maybe a detangler.
Protective hairstyles such as braids, twists and wigs are some other options if you’re worried about what do with your hair while traveling. Many times the night before a flight I will twist my hair and take my twists out the next day upon arrival to my accommodation. I’ll do this and it will last for the entire weekend, the only thing I have to do is add a little leave-in conditioner and I’m good to go! How do I save my hair? I pineapple my hair and use a bandana to wrap around my head. Another option is bantu knots. You can leave the bantu knots in or take them out the next day after they are dry and this should last you a good few days. To refresh you only need to add some leave-in conditioner and maybe some curl activator.
In the photos above, my hair was either twisted the night before and I let out my twists or I did a wash and go with some leave-in conditioner and a curl activator. My favorite products are from Shea Moisture, Creme of Nature and Miss Jessie. All of the products I use are sulfate free as well as paraben free which is much healthier for your hair. I use a combination of all of these brands for all of my hair products. Creme of Nature has an amazing curl activator, Miss Jessie has a few products that I absolutely love! I use a curl definer, leave-in conditioner and detangler from this brand that are all amazing! Shea Moisture has a a wide range of products from shampoos, conditioners to leave-in conditioners, hair masks, etc. You can’t really go wrong with any of the products from their line.
Traveling while natural doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult! I’ve embraced my curls a lot more and have gotten more comfortable with traveling with my curls instead of straightening my hair. Once you figure out what works best for your curl pattern and how to maintain it for a few days, traveling while natural will become a breeze!