Since we’ve talked at length about travel make-up, it only seems natural to also talk about other beauty regimes we take on the road, like hair care. It’s something that men and women deal with every day – unless they’re bald – and is important to looking good on the go. Why let your hair suffer the loss of space for products when you travel? Just because you can’t devote a whole bag to it, doesn’t mean you have to scale back on the way you treat your hair.
Does this post seem shorter than usual? You’ll be excited to know that my slacking is all for a good cause. The shortness of my post today is related to my return to my budget travel book. I’m doing another round of editing and additions, so we can self-publish by the end of summer or the beginning of fall. You’ll be able to purchase Shereen Travels Cheap on Amazon in hard copy for yourself and holiday gifts (*hint, hint*)! It’ll also be available on Kindle. I’ll update you as we go along. I suspect the editing, additions and more editing will take through the end of July. I want you to have as much information as possible when I’m done, so you’ll get your money’s worth!
Okay, so we all want to pack lighter and take less, but we also want to look good. Well, most of us anyway. I know a lot of people who don’t care or have that “I’ll never see those people again” mentality. I’m not talking to them, because the rest of us want to have nice looking hair, even for strangers. You want to be able to show your vacation pictures without feeling embarrassed. These are things you can control. Of course, you may need to tweak your beauty routine a bit for travel, because you don’t have the space to bring every hair product you own and you don’t really want to spend more time than you have to on it when you could be out and about having a good time. Where can you downsize or change up items to still have great looking locks?
Solid Shampoo Bars – These are one of my favorite travel items. Not only do you save space by not bringing a liquid, but these are super easy to use, make your hair silky and moisturized, keep the frizz down and don’t spill all over your stuff in your bag.
I was introduced to shampoo bars when I went to Disneyland and LUSH Cosmetics had just opened a store in Downtown Disney. My mom was in love with the bath bombs and other girly stuff and I was fascinated by the fact that you could rub soap on your head and not have it turn into a disaster. I bought an oatmeal one that claimed to moisturize and tame hair. With thick curly hair that tends to frizz if not treated properly, both those things were a plus. I tried it out and LOVED it. I only wished they also had them as a conditioner. Now they do!
The LUSH shampoo bar line comes in many different scents and ingredients, so you can pick just the right one for your hair type. The Jungle Solid Conditioner only comes in the one scent, but for my unruly hair, it did more than expected. It smoothed and detangled and was easy to use. It does have a high floral fragrance, along with other smells, but even with my allergies, it wasn’t bothersome.
These are greatly affordable and you can even get an aluminum case to keep them in when you travel, so they go from bag to shower and back without needing to wait for them to dry out. If you have a LUSH store near you, you can take the time to browse the many different kinds of shampoo bars they have, though, I’ll have to warn you that everything starts to smell the same after a while, because all the scents are mixing together in the small space. The shopping experience goes just as well online, without the watery eyes.
Dry Shampoo – This is another one of my new fab finds. I know dry shampoo is not new, but I have been reluctant to try it, because after all, I wash my hair. If you’re a flat ironer or you tend to have oily hair/scalp or you’re just lazy, this is a great product. Keep your hair lasting a day or two longer after shampooing by spraying this on your roots the day you SHOULD wash your hair, but don’t want to. It soaks up the excess oils and keeps your hair looking just as good as the day before. This is fantastic if you go on short trips or if you go on longer trips and just want to spend more time doing stuff…and not your hair.
Downsize Your Liquids – If you insist on taking your own shampoo and conditioner from home, make sure you decant them into travel bottles or, even better, buy them in travel sizes. This is also great for mousses, hairsprays and gels. I use spray gel to attack my hair and keep the flyaways to a minimum, so I bought a 2 oz. spray bottle in the trial-size section of the store for $1 and refill it every time I travel. If you can’t find smaller v where you normally shop, check out beauty supply stores or Minimus. They have everything under the sun in travel varieties and can help save you a ton of space when traveling. They are my go-to website for travel meds and beauty items I don’t already have at home.
Mini-Size Your Hair Appliances – So, you never leave home without your flat iron/blow dryer/curling iron. That’s okay. You don’t have to. If that’s what you need to make your hair “work”, then that’s what you need. I’m too lazy to use more than one thing, so I take my showers at night and opt for the flat iron. This helps in eliminating a blow dryer from my routine and it also helps me get out the house quicker in the morning, because I already took my shower and I flat iron before bed when it is mostly dry. When I wake up, I can just run a comb through it, slap on some make-up and go! But enough about me…
For those of you that are a slave to your appliances, the best way to travel with them is to leave them at home and replace them with smaller versions. Get travel-sized ones that retract or fold and you will find so much more room in your travel bag than before. Every company makes travel versions of their hair appliances, so take a trip to your local Target or wherever you go to buy these things (ULTA, maybe) and check out the selection. Conair and Remington have some fantastic selections and have a folding flat iron, folding mini hair dryer, mini flat iron (so cute!) and mini curling iron. They pack in half the space – sometimes less – as your full-sized ones at home and do the job just as well. Plus, when you have alternatives, you don’t have to keep unpacking and repacking them. They will always be in your bag, so you can just grab it and go. You may have forgotten socks, but at least your hair will look great!
So, if you’re wondering how any of this pertains to budget travel, I can tell you that it cuts down on the items you take, keeps your travel bag manageable and also lets you skip the baggage fees when you pack everything into a carry-on bag. The less (and smaller) you take, the easier it is to pack lighter and travel more efficiently. Once your plane lands, you can grab your bag and go right to checking in instead of standing around that cattle corral they call the baggage claim and watching everyone’s bags go around and around until they finally get yours off the cart and onto the conveyor. Believe me, people are jealous of those of us that grab our bag from the overhead and go straight to the taxi stand or car rental office.
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