Hair Care For The Frequent Traveler

Travel can take its toll on your hair, whether you’re backpacking for a month or are just doing a weekend beach trip. Whatever hair type or length you have, you can keep your mane in tiptop shape while traveling.

Before Your Trip

1. Deep condition your hair. If you’re heading straight to the beach or any outdoor adventure, your hair will be subjected to intense heat and saltwater. If you’re going on an airplane ride, cabin air will dry out your hair. Whatever your immediate itinerary is, it’s best to apply extra conditioner or hair treatment prior to the trip to make sure your hair is prepared for sudden changes in temperature and harsh elements of nature.

2. Do not color your hair right before a beach trip. Water is the enemy of freshly colored hair. Did you know that 80% of color fade is caused by water alone, and not shampooing? Swimming in the beach or pool on the first week after coloring will not only make your hair color fade fast, but may also make your hair turn brassy—or in some cases, green! Set your hair appointment after your trip.

3. Pack your favorite hair products. It’s tempting to cut back on toiletries to make room for luggage space, but please pack hair care. If you can’t find the travel-sized versions, use refillable travel containers for your personal shampoo and conditioner. Consider the weather of your destination before packing hair products. Will it be humid, winter, or windy? Click here for tips on packing a light toiletry kit.

The travel shampoo and conditioner duo I’m currently using is Human Heart Nature Natural Shampoo, ₱49.75 (50ml) and Natural Conditioner, ₱49.75 (50ml). They come in TSA-friendly sizes and are made from natural ingredients that work well with my colored, curly hair. My favorite variant is Mandarin Fresh. It smells like newly peeled oranges whenever I shower!

During Your Trip

3. Apply hair SPF. It’s not just our skin that needs sunscreen. Extreme sun exposure can alter your hair color and cause damage. If you can’t find hair SPF, use a wide-brimmed hat or head wrap to protect your hair and scalp.

I always bring my trusty Beach Hut Hair and Scalp Clear Spray Sunblock with SPF 20, ₱349 (140ml) to the beach.

4. Do not use the free hotel shampoos. There’s a reason why they’re free (Clue: They’re cheap!). Generic hotel shampoos are often made of poor quality ingredients and lots of sulfate that is bad for your hair. Unless your hotel provides luxury beauty brands like L’Occitane (one of my favorites!), you’re better off packing your own TSA-friendly hair products.

5. Try dry shampoo. When you’re constantly on the go or stuck in long commutes, your need to refresh your hair to avoid feeling icky. Jet-setters use dry shampoo to absorb the bad smell and grime from the hair, especially when the next shower won’t be until a few more hours or days (It happens!). For straight-haired girls, apply it on your scalp and then brush your hair. For curly-haired travelers like myself, spray it on your scalp, do a gentle scalp massage, and tousle your locks. Click here for my video tutorial.

Dry shampoo brands that come in travel sizes (L-R): Etude House OMG! Dry Shampoo, ₱448 (50ml), Joico Dry Shampoo, $5.99 (45ml), and Snoe Beauty Hair Heroes Super Fresh Dry Shampoo, ₱599 (2.12oz)

After Your Trip

6. Pamper your locks. As soon as you get back home, that’s when you’ll notice all the damage your hair has accumulated. Go for a DIY deep-conditioning treatment as soon as you arrive home. Do that 1-2x a week for at least a month after your long travel.

DIY hair treatments I’m currently using to hydrate my dry curls (L-R): Human Heart Nature Natural Hair Revival Coco Mask, P329.75 (150g), Watsons Smoothing Treatment Conditioner For Rough or Curly Hair, ₱199 (200ml), and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, ₱1,750 (100ml) or ₱995 (50ml)

7. Book that salon appointment. The best time to see your trusty hairstylist and colorist is after your beach trip. Ask them to trim all the split ends, refresh your hairstyle, and re-color your hair that has lost its vibrancy to sun and saltwater exposure. Make sure you won’t be going on beach trips after the salon appointment.

What are your travel hair care tips?

April 17, 2018

Headshot by Alfred Mendoza courtesy of BDJ Box. Product photos from Beach Hut, Human Heart Nature, Joico, Nuxe, Snoe Beauty, and Watsons.