I love to travel, like a lot. But traveling with curly hair can make packing a tad… complicated.
For a while, packing everything I needed to care for my curls looked a lot like this:
It wasn’t exactly practical.
The truth is, if you want space to pack your cute sandals, you’ve got to streamline your curly hair routine and pack only the essentials. Not sure how to start? You’re in luck, some of our favorite curly hair bloggers shared their tips for traveling with curly hair.
When you’re packing
“If you’re only going for 3-4 days, don’t pack shampoo or conditioner, just wash your hair before your trip and bring refreshers,” suggests Bianca Renee (aka @mzbiancarenee). For tips on how to fresh your next day hair check out this video.
If you’re traveling longer, consider this tip from India (aka @indiabatson):
“I always pack a travel sized shampoo, but a regular sized bottle of conditioner because what curly girl doesn’t need a gallon of conditioner at all times?!” #TRUTH.
Going to an even dryer climate? Eden (aka @edenmarley) says skip a cleanser altogether, “I never shampoo on vacation, I always use a cleansing conditioner, specifically so my hair doesn’t dry out.”
If you’ve got a routine that features multiple styling products, this part of packing can be totally overwhelming. “Focus on packing multi-tasking products,” says Traycee (aka @trayceesimmons), “My favorite product to travel with is DevaCurl One Condition because I can use it as a detangler, rinse out conditioner, and leave-in styler.”
You should also DEFINITELY research the climate you’re traveling to, says Bianca Renee. You’ll want different products for a dry versus tropical trip. “If it’s humid, bring your Ultra Defining Gel for extra hold,”she suggests.
If you’re just packing a carry-on, turn to solid stylers, says Diane (aka @dianemary126). “The TSA won’t confiscate products like a Beautiful Mess.” You can also find travel size hair products to save time and space.
Fun fact: DevaCurl just launched mini kits of some of their classic products (one for wavy, curly, and super curly). But if you can’t find travel sizes, “Squeeze or pump your must-have products into mini bottles—and label them,” says Alexis (aka @alexiskristiana).
Another great way to minimize product packing? Focus on preserving your curls and extending your style. “You should always protect your hair at night, especially when you travel. Hotels always have drying cotton pillows,” says Jessica (aka @mahoganycurls). “Bring a silk pillowcase,” says Carley (aka @carleyknobloch). Or take a cue from India, “I packed my DevaScarf to wrap around my pillow at night so I have soft, touchable hair the next day and then I use it as a hair accessory during the day!”
“Be sure to also pack a spray bottle, so you can re-wet your hair and extend your style,” says Amber (aka @amusedblog).
The last essential? “Clips and bobby pins for various “next day” vacation hairstyles, so you can minimize wash days!” says Gena (aka @glammeup).
When you’re on the plane
Everyone knows, “Airplanes are full of dry recycled air that isn’t forgiving on your hair,” says Callie (aka @calliendiaye).
Give your hair a boost before your trip by deep conditioning your curls the night before, suggests Alexandra (aka @alexandra_jia).
To keep your curls in tack while resting your head on those pesky plane seats, “Put your hair up in a loose pineapple so your curls don’t get crushed,” says Brandi (aka @theglambelle) or “wrap your hair in a satin scarf,” says Callie.
When you get to your destination
Forgot your towel too? “Use an old t-shirt to dry your curls after cleansing since hotel towels can be harsh on curly hair,” says Brooke (aka @ecofabulousliving).
If you need to get up and go early in the morning, “Rock a protective style. It’s much easier,” says Courtney (aka @curlsandcouture).
Some easy travel hairstyle options?
“A pineapple or bantu knots are easy to do on the go,” says Alexandra.
“Braids are always a go-to on a beach/tropical vacation for me,” says Carly (aka @carly_amador).
So there you have it, simple tips to help you pack, preserve your curls, and create easy styles for the next time you travel. What are your best tricks for traveling with curly hair? Share with us in the comments below.