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HomeTravelthe low upkeep information to wonderful curls overseas

the low upkeep information to wonderful curls overseas

Traveling with curly hair: all the low-maintenance tips you need to look fabulous abroad.

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I at all times thought I had horrible hair. And I’m not simply fishing for compliments right here (ahem: the remark field is beneath. I’ll wait.) For my complete grownup life, my hair has simply been … not good: it’s half-heartedly curly and wavy on the identical time, tremendous frizzy and fly-away, susceptible to separate ends and breakage, and very skinny. It tangles and breaks off if I a lot as take a look at it the unsuitable means. And it has a unending thirst for blood moisture.

Evidently, it was NOT enjoyable to journey with. Throughout my year-long honeymoon, I backpacked all over the world with my hair shoved right into a messy bun, which I dreaded undoing as a result of I simply knew there can be terrible tangles and breakage to take care of. I didn’t have house in my journey backpack for conditioner, and I didn’t have a lot luck discovering any on my travels. I returned residence with a number of the worst hair of my life, and I used to be prepared to cut all of it off.

However then I heard about one thing known as the “Curly Woman Methodology.” And whereas the total methodology was extra concerned than I used to be actually ready to do, even making an attempt a half-a**ed lazy model of it truly modified my life. I imply, largely it modified my hair, however it modified it a lot that it spilled over into different components of my life, too. The arrogance increase was actual, y’all!

Instantly, I didn’t have wishy-washy frizzy hair anymore. It turned out that every one that frizz was truly simply thirsty curls ready to reside life to their fullest potential! And although my hair remains to be tremendous skinny – my ponytail is the width of a pencil when it’s completely straight – you’d by no means comprehend it to take a look at my hair when it’s curly. All you see is full, superb, bountiful curls! I felt like a brand new, assured, sassy, curly-haired individual able to tackle the world.

Let me present y’all what I imply. Right here’s my earlier than hair, a wishy-washy effective mess with no actual texture that couldn’t determine if it was wavy or curly – and this was on a good hair day:

Drinking watermelon juice in a swing in Nusa Lembongan, Bali.
My halfheartedly wavy hair not dwelling as much as its potential whereas the remainder of me was having an incredible time in Bali.

And right here’s my after hair, filled with luscious outlined curls that I actually by no means even knew I might have:

Lia in a face mask at the airport
The Curly Woman Methodology turned me into the sort of one who takes selfies on the airport – AFTER the flight. (Tip: pineapple your hair through the flight for a quantity increase!)

The factor is, dwelling your curly life to its fullest potential shouldn’t be the best factor to tug off, particularly whereas touring. It’s a bit labor-intensive, requires a couple of area of interest objects, and customarily requires some planning forward. For me, what works finest whereas touring is a really low-maintenance model of my at-home curly hair routine.

What do I imply by low upkeep? Nicely, when you’ve acquired your curls locked in, you’re in luck: your hair will look wonderful for 5 complete days. Yeah, that’s proper: 5 straight days of fine hair days in a row. (You’ll be able to nonetheless bathe if you’d like, although. I imply, I typically don’t. However you possibly can. I’ll clarify later!) That really makes it value the additional effort on wash day. (As a result of I’m lazy.)

If it sounds a little bit intimidating, don’t fear: I’ve figured all of it out. Over the previous couple of years, I’ve managed to take my curls internationally and discovered methods to match my complete hair care routine right into a tiny bag that matches neatly into my carry-on bag! So whether or not you’re a curl professional already otherwise you’re simply beginning to coax your hair to fulfill its curly potential like me, right here’s every part you’ll must take your curls on the street … or practice, aircraft, bus, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, colectivo, moto-taxi, boat… actually wherever, actually.

The Curly Woman Methodology (whereas Touring)

Everybody has barely completely different variations of the unique “curly lady methodology” – which was coined and first debuted on this e-book – and over time I’ve discovered what works finest for me.

I’ve additionally discovered that the routine issues greater than the precise merchandise. My hair is ok and skinny, so so long as I’m not weighing it down with tremendous heavy product, something that may give it plenty of moisture with out product buildup or silicones will work for me! I’m largely simply utilizing cheap merchandise – however they’re utilized very fastidiously.

So, right here’s my routine in a nutshell:

Step 1: The “Reset” Wash

All the pieces begins with a “reset” bathe. If all goes nicely throughout this a part of the method, I gained’t must reset my hair once more for an additional 4-5 days.

The caveat is that that is the excessive upkeep bit. Consider it as an funding: the payoff for spending a couple of hours fiddling along with your curls is that your hair will look wonderful for the remainder of your journey with nearly no effort.

First, right here’s the step-by-step course of I take for laundry my hair.

  1. I begin by shampooing my roots with a delicate, sulfate-free shampoo. Not everybody truly wants shampoo – many curly women clear with conditioner solely – however I discover that an excessive amount of conditioner weighs my skinny, light-weight hair down! My present favorites are Shea Moisture and Maui Moisture.
  2. I situation all the best way from my roots downwards with a light-weight, moisturizing conditioner. For me, it’s tremendous essential that my conditioner is light-weight as a result of my hair is tremendous light-weight.
  3. I situation my ends with a thick, heavy, moisturizing hair masks. That is the place my hair wants most of its moisture, so I glob on a LOT of thick, heavy conditioner – however ONLY on the ends of my hair, so it doesn’t overwhelm my quantity. The deep conditioner I’m at present utilizing is that this Shea Moisture curl smoothie.
  4. I finger-comb my hair and clip it up for the remainder of my bathe. There are normally a couple of tangles to work out at this level, and as soon as I’ve roughly gotten these out of the best way, I pile my hair on high of my head and clip it as much as hold it out of the best way and let my conditioner soak in.
  5. I comb via my hair upside-town and wash out the conditioner. After I’m prepared to complete up, I run a wide-tooth comb via my hair whereas upside-down – this is essential! At this level, try to be beginning to see “curl clumps” forming. Wash your hair out whereas nonetheless the wrong way up, taking particular care to hold these curl clumps collectively!

Now that you simply’re accomplished showering, it’s on to the second half: product software and drying!

  1. Whereas nonetheless the wrong way up, “scrunch” your hair to assist these curl clumps kind. You’re mainly simply squeezing out some water, in order that if you begin making use of product, it gained’t all combine with the surplus water and fall proper off! Take particular care to to it the wrong way up and gently, in order that your curl clumps get even curlier.
  2. Apply curl cream by “scrunching” the wrong way up. I don’t want to do that each time, however typically my hair wants a little bit additional increase, and I discover {that a} curl-forming cream actually helps! There are a great deal of completely different curl lotions on the market. I actually like this one for my effective hair as a result of it’s good and light-weight.
  3. Apply hair gel. That is by far, arms down, the MOST essential a part of my routine. Your gel is what’s going to hold your curls going robust for the remainder of the week – it’s ESSENTIAL! There are two methods I like to use gel. First is similar scrunching movement I take advantage of to use cream. The second methodology is known as “prayer arms” – you’re mainly operating your palms down the size of your hair, after which gently crunching once more to maintain these curl clumps curly! I take advantage of this extraordinarily low-cost, tremendous nostalgic 90’s period gel as a result of it’s low-cost, has an awesome maintain and improbable shine, and washes out totally in water so I by no means get product buildup. (Additionally, nostalgia.)
  4. Plop utilizing a micro-fiber hair towel. You wish to plop all your curls onto the highest of your hair and keep away from stretching them out. It’s tremendous straightforward to do utilizing my favourite microfiber hair towel! After which, it’s lastly time to flip right-side up.
  5. Air-dry or diffuse your hair. After letting your hair sit plopped in a towel for some time, you possibly can both take it down and let it air dry the remainder of the best way, or if you happen to’re tight on time, use a blow-drier and diffuser to softly dry your hair whereas upside-down. In case you’re diffusing, begin on the roots util they’re dry, after which gently cup your hair up into the diffuser and push all of it upwards in opposition to your head, so that you’re nonetheless maintaining these curl clumps clumped!
  6. When your hair is totally dry, “scrunch out the crunch.” That gel you utilized to your hair can have become a rock-hard little forged. Assume Justin Timberlake’s “Ramen Noodles” look within the 90’s. Whereas splendidly nostalgic, this isn’t the specified impact! You’ll want to interrupt up that gel forged to launch your bouncy, shiny curls. All it’s a must to do is scrunch your hair like loopy along with your arms. I like a whole lot of quantity, so I’ll even fluff up my roots a little bit bit to actually get that gel damaged up! As soon as your crunch is totally scrunched out, congratulations: you’ve stunning, shiny (that’s the gel), bouncy curls.
Curly haired girl wearing glasses and bright red lipstick drinking beer in Salt Lake City.
Nothing pairs with curly hair like shiny crimson lipstick (and beer).

Step 2: The Upkeep

My reset bathe takes a whole lot of work. However fortunately, I solely must do it each 4-5 days. The remainder of the week, I simply do some upkeep to maintain my curls trying good! Right here’s what I do:

  • Sleep along with your hair piled on high of your head.

Sleeping along with your hair in a “pineapple” retains your curls above your pillow and protected against getting stretched, frizzed-out, and in any other case ruined when you sleep! I usually simply pile it on the very high of my head with a comfortable scrunchy. Some people swear through the use of a buff or silk scarf, however I’ve by no means managed to determine that out.

  • Refresh your curls each few days.

Round day 3, my curls begin trying a little bit flat and fewer outlined, so it’s time for a refresh! There are 2 fundamental methods I prefer to refresh.

The primary is by having a shower with my hair piled up on high of my head in a scrunchy. I don’t get my hair moist, however the steam from the bathe provides sufficient moisture to my hair to get all of it good and overrated once more, so by the point I come out of the bathe, I’ve acquired plenty of quantity once more.

The second is a bit more concerned. You’ll want to combine a little bit little bit of conditioner and gel into a sprig bottle and fill it up with water.

Flip your hair upside-down and spritz it throughout along with your refresh spray. Then, scrunch your hair (the identical means you do within the bathe) to assist your damp hair re-form curls. The conditioner provides moisture, and the gel helps set the curls once more. You would possibly must scrunch out the crunch a little bit bit in a couple of minutes when you’ve dried!

In a pinch, even simply getting your arms moist, flipping your head over and scrunching your curls a couple of occasions will assist add some quantity and definition. The secret’s that curls CRAVE moisture, so any means you will get moisture into them will assist your curls kind!

And that’s it – that’ll hold you trying wonderful for an additional 4-5 days!

Watching the sun rise in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Early morning curls whereas watching the solar rise in Chitwan Nationwide Park, Nepal.

Curly Hair Journey Necessities

There are a couple of hair instruments that come together with me after I plan to rock curly hair. That is my full curly hair journey packing checklist, and whereas it might seem to be loads, I’m in a position to shove all of this into a kind of drawstring shoe-bags or a medium packing dice for tidy storage in my suitcase.

  • Journey blowdryer and journey diffuser: I truly usually air-dry my hair at residence, however time is a treasured commodity when touring and a blowdryer cuts dry time by roughly a zillion %! It’s additionally a essential software in a chilly vacation spot – no one desires frozen hair (even when it appears to be like actually cool). I take advantage of a really small, foldable blow dryer with a collapsible curl diffuser that take up a small quantity of house in my bag. Simply don’t neglect to convey alongside a plug adapter/converter if you happen to’ll be touring overseas!
  • Microfiber hair towel: Together with a full sized journey towel (since resort towels by no means, ever match me), I additionally convey alongside a small microfiber hair towel to assist my hair dry sooner. I “plop” it whereas I’m getting dressed and prepared for the day after which blow-dry/diffuse it till it’s totally dry.
  • Scrunchies: I take advantage of scrunchies to pile my curls on high of my head in a excessive ponytail in a single day. That means I don’t knock out the curls in a single day and get a quantity increase within the morning! Any previous scrunchie will work, however silk scrunchies are finest for taming frizz and sliding out of tangle-prone hair, like mine.
  • Hair product: After all, you want tiny travel-sized bottles of all your important hair merchandise! I convey alongside my gel, curl defining cream, shampoo and conditioner decanted into little 1oz bottles. And I throw in a wide-tooth comb and a clip for the bathe, too. All of it matches in my zip-up hanging journey toiletry case.
On the beach in Maui, Hawaii.
Right here’s a tip: you want much less product in scorching, humid environments, like a tropical seaside. On seaside holidays, I can normally get away with simply moisturizing my sea salt-coated hair and embracing the waves!

Journey Suggestions for Curly Hair

Put all of your haircare merchandise into tiny, travel-friendly bottles.

We’re carry-on-only sorts, so all of our favourite merchandise (sure, Jeremy and I each use the very same hair merchandise) get decanted into little tiny bottles that neatly slot in our hanging toiletry bag.

Carry additional conditioner!

Don’t depend on the resort’s free bottles, or discovering appropriate hair merchandise wherever you’re touring. You gained’t, and if you happen to do use some random resort conditioner, you would possibly find yourself making your hair worse – they’re normally loaded with silicones!

When you discover a shampoo and conditioner combo that works in your hair, convey as a lot of it with you as you possibly can – particularly conditioner, which you’ll be utilizing a LOT greater than shampoo. I’ve a number of mini containers of my conditioner packed into my journey toiletries case, so I by no means run out!

Use a t-shirt to plop if you happen to don’t have a micro-fiber towel.

I at all times convey alongside a microfiber hair towel to “plop” my hair in, however if you happen to neglect yours or don’t have one, you possibly can simply sub out a t-shirt, or any clean merchandise of clothes. It’s a little bit more durable to wrap round your head, however I discover that long-sleeved shirts work finest.

What you completely ought to NOT do EVER, is resort to a daily previous terrycloth towel, even for plopping. These little loops of thread on the floor of the towel really feel nice in your pores and skin, however they’re terrible in your hair! They trigger frizz, disrupt your curl sample, suck up extra moisture than you need, and customarily damage a very good curl day.

By no means use a daily towel in your hair! Any comfortable, clean shirt or merchandise of clothes is an enchancment. (Simply be certain to pack a journey clothesline so you possibly can cling your shirt as much as dry after your bathe.)

Curvy girl in a bikini printed with monstera leaves, turned away with one arm raised in a peace sign facing a beach with palm trees and water in the background.
Rocking curls and one in all my favourite curvy-girl swimsuits in Maui, Hawaii.

Plan out your “wash days” strategically to suit into your itinerary.

Wash days are an entire factor. It takes my hair like, 5 hours to air-dry sufficient to the purpose the place I can “scrunch out the crunch.” And I don’t normally have 5 hours after I’m touring! Which is why I at all times pack a journey blowdrier and diffuser, however even that may take up 45 treasured minutes that I might spend out having adventures.

So, I plan my wash days strategically. I bathe and reset my hair on journey days, akin to after I’ll be on an extended flight or practice experience. I don’t care if I look cute throughout these days, and it provides my hair loads of time to totally set into the curls it’ll keep in till my subsequent reset day.

Then, for the subsequent 4-5 days, I take advantage of varied tips to maintain my curls trying good, together with sleeping with my hair in a “pineapple,” sporting my hair in a super-high ponytail whereas I bathe to take in moisture & quantity with out truly getting moist, and spritzing my hair with a refresh concoction of water, gel, and conditioner.

Water can have a really completely different impact in your hair whereas touring than you’re used to.

Arduous water” because it’s known as, shouldn’t be truly ice (complicated, I do know) however water that comprises hint parts of chemical substances and minerals. That isn’t essentially a nasty factor, however it will possibly have a adverse impact in your hair known as buildup – simply the identical as what causes staining in your tub or tiled lavatory flooring. And many inns, hostels and trip leases have exhausting water!

To scrub away that icky buildup and hold it from damaging your hair, both convey a small quantity of clarifying rinse or shampoo, or – my choice – convey a small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar with you! Distill the Apple Cider Vinegar with water and rinse your hair with it. As a plus, watered down ACV can be my favourite remedy for a nasty sunburn!

Carry a pair of tiny, foldable scissors.

That is only a normal journey tip – scissors are tremendous helpful to have readily available. However with regards to hair, scissors will be actually useful. We’ve used ours to trim cut up ends, reduce bangs, trim beards, tidy up down there, and – if you happen to’re up for it – give haircuts! That is the pair we introduced with us on our year-long honeymoon, which has include us in our suitcase ever since.

  • Haircare Journey Tip: ONLY use these scissors on hair –  by no means on paper or anything! You can probably injury the blade which might in flip injury your hair.
Jeremy exploring the Palace Market in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bonus picture of my good-looking husband and his lil entrance curls! He swears by the Curly Woman Methodology, too. Besides his is 50x simpler as a result of his hair air dries in about 5 seconds.

Take particular care with the ends of your hair.

(Rhyme intentional.) The ends of your hair are probably the most vulnerable to breakage and splitting, which results in tangles and frizz – two issues I’m regretfully nicely versed in. I take a tiny tub of cut up finish balm.  I put it on my ends after showers, each time they’re feeling dry, or simply after I must tame issues down and clean issues out. I brush via with my boar bristle brush to unfold the oils via my hair evenly.

In a pinch, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are improbable for hair. 

A little bit tub of coconut oil or argan oil goes a good distance. Whereas it’s not nice for facial pores and skin, coconut oil is ideal for hair, arms and toes, and dry lips.  

And each argan oil and olive oil are all-around magnificence powerhouses! I convey Argan Oil on journeys to make use of for each my face and hair … however I’ve additionally been recognized to reap the benefits of shared olive oil bottles in hostel kitchens, too.

A little bit little bit of oil goes a good distance: put a dime-sized drop in your arms and clean via your hair beginning along with your ends.

When all else fails, simply get your hair moist and begin over.

The magic of curly hair is that each time you get your hair moist or add moisture, you’ve a possibility to reset your curls – even if you happen to’re not doing an entire “reset” wash day.

You’ll be able to spray water into your hair, put it up right into a ponytail when you bathe your physique, or simply get your arms moist within the sink and scrunch your hair to reset your curl sample.

I’ll typically do that with a very annoying curl up entrance that will get simply frizzed out – you possibly can actually re-curl a bit of hair along with your finger and let it dry into an entire good lil’ corkscrew.

And now, my fellow curlies, go forth and look fabulous!

What questions do you’ve about touring with curly hair? Drop me a remark beneath!

Psst: In search of extra suggestions for feeling and looking improbable whereas touring? Check out a few of these different posts:

xo Lia & Jeremy signature graphic


Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Sources

Listed below are our favourite journey suggestions & sources for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra suggestions, take a look at our journey suggestions useful resource web page or our information to planning a visit.

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving suggestions: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a finances airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique inns or personal rooms in hostels. We use to e-book inns (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e-book hostels (low deposit, straightforward change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we choose to e-book utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor document. You may also e-book trip leases on Expedia and We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our residence and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Journey Insurance coverage Information to search out out why. We advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is among the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which can be good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We e-book all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely will we earn money again that we will spend on extra journey, however the card presents improbable journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automobile protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Be taught extra right here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC web site to analysis really useful drugs and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times advocate getting each vaccine really useful by the CDC! You will get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get a neighborhood’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We e-book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine methods to get from place to position, and e-book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we e-book a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental firms and discover the most effective deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re testing early or making the most of an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital data (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) secure, even if you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it helps you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO if you join!
  • What to Pack: Listed below are the journey necessities that we convey on each journey. We even have packing lists for scorching climate, chilly climate, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!


25 Necessities for Chilly Climate Journey: Winter Journey Packing Checklist

Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
He started his career as a columnist, contributing to the staff of a local blog. His articles with amusing views on everyday situations in the news soon became one of the main features of the current editions of the blog. For the divergences of thought about which direction the blog would follow. He left and founded three other great journalistic blogs,, and With a certain passion for writing, holder of a versatile talent, in addition to coordinating, directing, he writes fantastic scripts quickly, he likes to say that he writes for a select group of enthusiasts in love with serious and true writing.


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