Traveling with Natural Hair? No problem!

Traveling with natural hair used to be a headache. On many occasions, I chose to wear my hair in a long term protective style or a simple ponytail for the entire trip so I wouldn’t have the hassle of deciding how I would style my hair. If I wore my hair out, I would either pack all my products and have overweight luggage or pack too few and have a hair catastrophe. After loads of trial and error, I have a few tips and tricks to share about how I maintain my healthy, natural hair while on vacation.


When traveling I always take into consideration where I am going and what’s on the agenda. If I’m going to a colder region, I opt for heavier products to seal in moisture and my hair will definitely be tucked away; however, if I am visiting another Caribbean country, I carry everything I’d need to tackle frizz and multiple wash days. When traveling to America, I honestly don’t bother packing hair products because it is one of the only times I can stock up and get everything I need. Your agenda and destination should be your number one guide when deciding what products you will take along.


If you are doing a short hop for less than an hour on a plane, this may not be too much of a concern, but a long haul flight with a long layover can definitely take a toll on your curls. At 40,000+ feet, your hair can get extremely dry and twist-outs or wash and go’s may not fare well after falling asleep resting on the headrest. Normally, I take a travel-sized spray bottle and spritz my hair with water once or twice before landing. I have also taken out my satin scarf/bonnet on the plane if I know I’m planning to sleep for the entire flight.

Need to keep your hair hydrated while traveling? Just add water. Click To Tweet


Visit a beauty supply or health store for travel sized containers to take your favorite products along with you. When I shop, I buy product minis or travel sized products to avoid overweight luggage charges when traveling. (I also get to sample the product before I commit to the full size price). Another reason I opt for travel size products is in the event that the product leaks, less of it ends up on my clothes. I had about two years ago where my Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo spilled all over my new suede neon green pumps. When I tried to get the shampoo out, the neon color washed out as well. Ever since, I only travel with full sized items if I am adding more items to my personal stock. When I do, I unscrew the top, place a bit of plastic over the hole and screw the top back on and it’s been spill free traveling ever since.


Now is not the time to experiment with new products or styles. Don’t do a new salon style just before traveling because it takes a few days for it to set the way it should. Don’t spend too much time trying out that new styling gel or that three strand twist out on YouTube. Nothing’s worse than having to throw your hair in a ponytail because the style didn’t work out. Vacations are meant for relaxing, not stressing over whether your curls will behave or not. If you’re anything like me, you won’t take any photos if your hair is a mess.

Related: Are your protective styles protecting your hair?

Do you have any tips to assist with effective packing for traveling when natural? Share them below in the comments.


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