Vacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the Least
Vacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the Least
by Shelli of Hairscapades
As you know, the airlines are bugging. They are essentially charging for luggage by the pound, with a separate fee for the clothes on your back O_o. So, when you learn that your airline is charging $43 for the first checked bag, $40 for carry-on and an additional $25-$100 for any luggage over the weight limit, you figure out how to make do with less really quickly!! Now, in the past, I’d pack everything but the kitchen sink … I hate being under-packed. But, my frugality far outweighs my fear of not having options, so I knew that, when I went on vacation to Playa del Carmen last week, I had to keep my checked bag under 40 lbs … and that meant big ol’ bottles of hair product were NOT making the cut!!
Vacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the Least
I came up with a plan to get through my vacation with good hair and
minimal products and effort. I had three initial goals in mind.

  1. Clean hair: I didn’t want to worry about shampooing on the trip.
  2. Well-Moisturized: Needed to make it through the week of heat, humidity and water activities.
  3. Sustained Style: I needed to start with a braided or twisted style that would last a few days, stretch my hair and could be transitioned into other styles through the week.

I pre-pooed/deep conditioned, washed and styled my hair in 12 braids on the Friday night before I left for my trip. Now, I was all set for the week with the exception of packing a few hair essentials. I settled on 3 products that I knew would satisfy multiple purposes and packed small, travel-sized containers of them. The items that made the cut?

  • A small squeeze bottle that I filled with Aubrey HSR Conditioner = moisturizer, styler, cleanser.
  • A small sample pot of Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade = shiner, sealer.
  • A carry-out container filled with Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel (a 1/2 c. container would have sufficed) = styler, slicker.
I also packed an empty spray bottle so that I could dilute the conditioner and make a liquid “leave-in” moisturizer to apply as needed.I also knew that I needed a few useful, but compact, hair tools! As I stated above, I wanted a style that I could transition throughout the week. So, I brought an empty spray bottle (to dilute the conditioner), my trusty banana clip, a black satin scrunchy, a few bobby pins, a set of Goody Spin Pins, 4 small perm rods, a small jaw clip and my sheathed purse shears to deal with any pesky knots and splits. Finally, I had to protect my hair! So, I packed a satin bonnet, wide and narrow satin scarves, my terry-lined shower cap and a satin pillowcase (never leave home without that either)!

And voila, vacation hair:
Vacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the LeastVacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the Least

Vacation Hair: Doing (and Packing) the Least

So, to wrap this up, here are my tips for easy, peezy vacation hair with minimal effort and products:

  • Wash, condition and style hair the day or night before the trip.
  • Choose an initial style that “travels” well (i.e. tolerates humidity, winds, snow, etc.), can last several days and can be converted into other styles later in the week.
  • Consider a stretched style so that, if washing and a detangling are necessary, it cuts down on the time needed to do it.
  • Think about the activities that you will be doing and how/if they will impact your hair so that you can select the right products for the job.
  • Select products that you don’t need a lot of so that you can bring travel size containers instead of full-size ones.
  • Select products that will serve multiple purposes.
  • Bring hair tools that will allow you to maintain and convert your look, if necessary, through the week.
  • Hats can be your friends in all seasons. They can conceal scalpy twists or braids, salvage a bad hair day and protect your hair from the elements.

And that’s it! Hope that it helps!


How do you do vacation hair? What products and tools do you consider essential? What tips do you have for making vacation hair painless?