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HomeTravel Newsthe 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 under. 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 intensely skinny. It tangles and breaks off if I a lot as take a look at it the unsuitable method. And it has a unending thirst for blood moisture.

For sure, it was NOT enjoyable to journey with. Throughout my year-long honeymoon, I backpacked world wide 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 cope with. 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 dwelling with a few 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 Lady Methodology.” And whereas the total technique was extra concerned than I used to be actually ready to do, even attempting a half-a**ed lazy model of it really modified my life. I imply, principally it modified my hair, nevertheless it modified it a lot that it spilled over into different elements of my life, too. The arrogance enhance was actual, y’all!

All of a sudden, I didn’t have wishy-washy frizzy hair anymore. It turned out that each one that frizz was really simply thirsty curls ready to dwell life to their fullest potential! And though my hair continues to be tremendous skinny – my ponytail is the width of a pencil when it’s completely straight – you’d by no means understand it to have 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 positive mess with no actual texture that couldn’t resolve 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 a tremendous time in Bali.

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

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

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

What do I imply by low upkeep? Properly, when you’ve received 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 may nonetheless bathe in order for you, although. I imply, I generally don’t. However you’ll be able to. 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 all the things you’ll have to take your curls on the street … or prepare, airplane, bus, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, colectivo, moto-taxi, boat… actually wherever, actually.

The Curly Lady Methodology (whereas Touring)

Everybody has barely completely different variations of the unique “curly woman technique” – which was coined and first debuted on this e book – and over time I’ve discovered what works greatest 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 a lot of moisture with out product buildup or silicones will work for me! I’m principally simply utilizing cheap merchandise – however they’re utilized very fastidiously.

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

Step 1: The “Reset” Wash

Every part begins with a “reset” bathe. If all goes nicely throughout this a part of the method, I received’t have to reset my hair once more for one more 4-5 days.

The caveat is that that is the excessive upkeep bit. Consider it as an funding: the payoff for spending just a few hours fiddling together 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 really wants shampoo – many curly ladies 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 way in which from my roots downwards with a light-weight, moisturizing conditioner. For me, it’s tremendous vital 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 crush my quantity. The deep conditioner I’m at the moment 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 just a few tangles to work out at this level, and as soon as I’ve kind of gotten these out of the way in which, I pile my hair on prime of my head and clip it as much as hold it out of the way in which and let my conditioner soak in.
  5. I comb by my hair upside-town and wash out the conditioner. After I’m prepared to complete up, I run a wide-tooth comb by my hair whereas upside-down – this is essential! At this level, you have to be beginning to see “curl clumps” forming. Wash your hair out whereas nonetheless the other way up, taking particular care to hold these curl clumps collectively!
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Now that you just’re executed showering, it’s on to the second half: product software and drying!

  1. Whereas nonetheless the other way up, “scrunch” your hair to assist these curl clumps kind. You’re mainly simply squeezing out some water, in order that once you begin making use of product, it received’t all combine with the surplus water and fall proper off! Take particular care to to it the other way up and gently, in order that your curl clumps get even curlier.
  2. Apply curl cream by “scrunching” the other way up. I don’t want to do that each time, however generally my hair wants a little bit further enhance, 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 positive hair as a result of it’s good and light-weight.
  3. Apply hair gel. That is by far, palms down, the MOST vital a part of my routine. Your gel is what is going to hold your curls going sturdy for the remainder of the week – it’s ESSENTIAL! There are two methods I like to use gel. First is identical scrunching movement I exploit to use cream. The second technique is named “prayer palms” – you’re mainly working your palms down the size of your hair, after which gently crunching once more to maintain these curl clumps curly! I exploit this extraordinarily low cost, tremendous nostalgic 90’s period gel as a result of it’s low cost, has an important maintain and improbable shine, and washes out absolutely in water so I by no means get product buildup. (Additionally, nostalgia.)
  4. Plop utilizing a micro-fiber hair towel. You wish to plop your entire curls onto the highest of your hair and keep away from stretching them out. It’s tremendous simple 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’ll be able to both take it down and let it air dry the remainder of the way in which, or in case you’re tight on time, use a blow-drier and diffuser to softly dry your hair whereas upside-down. If you happen to’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 towards your head, so that you’re nonetheless conserving these curl clumps clumped!
  6. When your hair is absolutely dry, “scrunch out the crunch.” That gel you utilized to your hair may have become a rock-hard little solid. Suppose 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 solid to launch your bouncy, shiny curls. All it’s a must to do is scrunch your hair like loopy together with your palms. I like quite a 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 absolutely scrunched out, congratulations: you will have 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 vivid purple lipstick (and beer).

Step 2: The Upkeep

My reset bathe takes quite a 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 wanting good! Right here’s what I do:

  • Sleep together with your hair piled on prime of your head.

Sleeping together with your hair in a “pineapple” retains your curls above your pillow and shielded from getting stretched, frizzed-out, and in any other case ruined whilst you sleep! I usually simply pile it on the very prime of my head with a comfortable scrunchy. Some people swear by utilizing 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 wanting a little bit flat and fewer outlined, so it’s time for a refresh! There are 2 major methods I prefer to refresh.

The primary is by having a shower with my hair piled up on prime 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 hyped up once more, so by the point I come out of the bathe, I’ve received a lot 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 twig bottle and fill it up with water.

Flip your hair upside-down and spritz it throughout together with your refresh spray. Then, scrunch your hair (the identical method 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 may have to scrunch out the crunch a little bit bit in a couple of minutes when you’ve dried!

In a pinch, even simply getting your palms moist, flipping your head over and scrunching your curls just a few occasions will assist add some quantity and definition. The hot button is that curls CRAVE moisture, so any method you will get moisture into them will assist your curls kind!

And that’s it – that’ll hold you wanting wonderful for one more 4-5 days!

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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 just a few hair instruments that come together with me once I plan to rock curly hair. That is my full curly hair journey packing record, and whereas it could look like loads, I’m in a position to shove all of this into a type of drawstring shoe-bags or a medium packing dice for tidy storage in my suitcase.

  • Journey blowdryer and journey diffuser: I really usually air-dry my hair at dwelling, however time is a valuable commodity when touring and a blowdryer cuts dry time by roughly a zillion p.c! It’s additionally a vital software in a chilly vacation spot – no one needs frozen hair (even when it appears actually cool). I exploit 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 carry alongside a plug adapter/converter in case you’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 carry alongside a small microfiber hair towel to assist my hair dry quicker. I “plop” it whereas I’m getting dressed and prepared for the day after which blow-dry/diffuse it till it’s absolutely dry.
  • Scrunchies: I exploit scrunchies to pile my curls on prime of my head in a excessive ponytail in a single day. That method I don’t knock out the curls in a single day and get a quantity enhance within the morning! Any previous scrunchie will work, however silk scrunchies are greatest for taming frizz and sliding out of tangle-prone hair, like mine.
  • Hair product: In fact, you want tiny travel-sized bottles of your entire important hair merchandise! I carry 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 seashore. On seashore holidays, I can normally get away with simply moisturizing my sea salt-coated hair and embracing the waves!

Journey Ideas for Curly Hair

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

We’re carry-on-only varieties, 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.

Deliver further conditioner!

Don’t rely on the resort’s free bottles, or discovering appropriate hair merchandise wherever you’re touring. You received’t, and in case you do use some random resort conditioner, you may find yourself making your hair worse – they’re normally loaded with silicones!

When you discover a shampoo and conditioner combo that works on your hair, carry as a lot of it with you as you’ll be able to – 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 in case you don’t have a micro-fiber towel.

I at all times carry alongside a microfiber hair towel to “plop” my hair in, however in case you neglect yours or don’t have one, you’ll be able to 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 greatest.

What you completely ought to NOT do EVER, is resort to an everyday 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 on your hair! They trigger frizz, disrupt your curl sample, suck up extra moisture than you need, and customarily spoil a superb curl day.

By no means use an everyday towel in your hair! Any comfortable, clean shirt or merchandise of clothes is an enchancment. (Simply be sure that to pack a journey clothesline so you’ll be able to dangle 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 a complete 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 once I’m touring! Which is why I at all times pack a journey blowdrier and diffuser, however even that may take up 45 valuable minutes that I may spend out having adventures.

So, I plan my wash days strategically. I bathe and reset my hair on journey days, comparable to once I’ll be on an extended flight or prepare trip. I don’t care if I look cute throughout these days, and it offers my hair loads of time to completely set into the curls it’ll keep in till my subsequent reset day.

Then, for the following 4-5 days, I exploit varied methods to maintain my curls wanting 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 really 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.

Exhausting water” because it’s known as, just isn’t really ice (complicated, I do know) however water that comprises hint parts of chemical compounds and minerals. That isn’t essentially a nasty factor, however it could actually have a unfavorable impact in your hair known as buildup – simply the identical as what causes staining in your tub or tiled rest room flooring. And plenty of accommodations, hostels and trip leases have arduous water!

To scrub away that icky buildup and hold it from damaging your hair, both carry a small quantity of clarifying rinse or shampoo, or – my choice – carry 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!

Deliver a pair of tiny, foldable scissors.

That is only a basic journey tip – scissors are tremendous useful to have readily available. However on the subject of hair, scissors may be actually useful. We’ve used ours to trim cut up ends, lower bangs, trim beards, tidy up down there, and – in case you’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 would doubtlessly harm the blade which may in flip harm 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 Lady 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.

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(Rhyme intentional.) The ends of your hair are essentially the most liable 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 once I have to tame issues down and clean issues out. I brush by with my boar bristle brush to unfold the oils by my hair evenly.

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

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

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

A bit little bit of oil goes a great distance: put a dime-sized drop in your palms and clean by your hair beginning together 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 will have a chance to reset your curls – even in case you’re not doing a complete “reset” wash day.

You may spray water into your hair, put it up right into a ponytail whilst you bathe your physique, or simply get your palms 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’ll be able to actually re-curl a bit of hair together with your finger and let it dry into a complete excellent lil’ corkscrew.

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

What questions do you will have about touring with curly hair? Drop me a remark under!

Psst: On the lookout for 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 Ideas & 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 funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique accommodations or personal rooms in hostels. We use to e book accommodations (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e book hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and glorious evaluations). For trip leases, we choose to e book utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor document. You may as well e book trip leases on Expedia and We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our dwelling 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 suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is among the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, and so they have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which might be excellent 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 are able to spend on extra journey, however the card gives 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 suggest 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 are able to. Once we e book a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental firms and discover one of the best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: At any time when we’re trying out early or profiting from an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to securely retailer our baggage whereas we’re working 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 many others) secure, even once you’re related to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it allows you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO once you join!
  • What to Pack: Listed below are the journey necessities that we carry on each journey. We even have packing lists for scorching climate, chilly climate, and lots of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!


The Final Packing Checklist: 43 Should-Have Journey Objects (by a Full-Time Journey Blogger)



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