I’m a naturalista (not sure who came up with that term but thanks) but planning out how my hair is going to look and be maintained has become a factor in my travels since I studied abroad in the early 2000s. I like to diversify my look and I know that my hair is not weather friendly so I have to plan how I will do my hair before I hit the road.
So here are some things to consider and tips to avoid a hair disaster when traveling overseas with naturally curly hair:
- Will my curling iron work in this country if I choose to go with a straight look? Sure you can get an adapter but they don’t always work. I’m looking at you Italy where a girl had gotten her hair freshly blown out and her adapter did NOT work the whole time with her curling iron. Somehow, with the help of bobby pins and a satin scarf I was able to maintain my unrelaxed hair. Morale of the story? Always prepare for the break down of your adapter.
- Will my hair be patted down at the airport and do I care? The bigger the curl the bigger the chance. I won’t jump to the idea that its discrimination and instead look at it in a practical way. I have forgotten I stuck pencils in my curly fro so it’s possible a TSA agent would want to touch the hair while going through security. This is also true if you are wearing wigs or weaves.
- Do I want to wear a protective style? Speaking of wigs and weaves. Sometimes the easiest option or back up is a wig. Also you could wear a braided style which is the easiest of them all. You don’t have to worry about adapters or the weather.
- Am I checking luggage? This is a question that actually matters because if I wear my hair in its natural state I have a few products (aka liquids) that have to be considered. I have some that I put in small containers so that they can go in the boarding size. However, if I’m going for a longer period of time I have to check my bag because I’ll have too much product.
- Does the destination I am going to have shops where I can find my hair products?
If I really don’t want to check in my bag and just chance it with the small amount of product I carry on board then I need to consider whether the city I am visiting sells products for my hair type. Back in the day this was an actual concern but many of the towns I visit nowadays carry natural hair care product lines. However, if I’m visiting Budapest or Hong Kong, I won’t be expecting to see my hair care lines so this might play a role in what hair style choice I plan.
So maybe these considerations seem silly but if you have ever lost luggage where all your hair care products resided, had to buy a curling iron because your adapter didn’t work or had to scower a town (never to find) products to style your hair, trust me you don’t want to. Call me vain, but a type a cosmo girl likes to look nice when she’s traveling.