Donna Kim-Brand

Travel Hair Care

Summer time is travel time, which can turn into a very hectic time.  To ease the burden in regards to travel hair care, at least, let’s do a little inventory. Of course, what you need to pack will depend on where you are headed in terms of weather, expected temperatures and customs, what activities you plan to get up to, and what fashion sense is called for day and night. And, you may simply have your hair care routines that dictate some basic supplies you always have with you.

Should you be staying in hotels lower than 3 star or alternative housing such as a Bed & Breakfast Inn, plan on taking everything you need for hair care with you. I would advise the same if staying as a house guest in a friend or family member’s home. Some people are very generous with guest amenities, and others don’t seem to give it much thought.

Also remember that airport security (TSA) regulates the size of your liquids for carry-on-items, so make sure your bottle size or the amount in your bottles is 3 ounces or less, or they will literally toss your bottles or tubes in the garbage right in front of you. In one instance I had bought a regulation size bottle in Italy, which meant that the words on the packaging were in Italian, except the word ‘shampoo’, in English. On my next trip out of the US, the TSA agent tossed my expensive Italian shampoo, because he couldn’t tell what it was, he said. Grrr! In checked bags, anything (legal) tends to go through without size restrictions.

Here are some other items for your consideration:

Hair drier-  Nowadays, most hotels 3-star and above tend to have hair driers available in the room or on demand. In North American hotels, they provide plugs in the bathroom. Driers are either fixed on the wall, in the closet, in a drawer or on a shelf in a little cloth bag. Did you know, by the way, that in England and Europe, laws prohibit electric plugs in bathrooms (except for special mini-sockets for shavers)? This is to prevent injury or death by electrocution caused by accidentally dropping an electronic item such as a hair drier in the sink or tub. So be prepared to dry and style your hair in the bedroom, not in front of the bathroom mirror.

You will need to bring any curling iron or hair straightening iron you want to use on your trip.

Remember as well that if traveling to England, Europe and numerous other countries, you must bring an adapter to fit both their socket shape and voltage. Do look it up online or ask your travel agent (if you have one) to find out what you need as it varies widely. Your safest bet is to buy a universal adapter, ahead of time online or at an electronics store or at the airport shop. They are compact and very handy for charging all electronic devices you might have toted with you.

Lotions and Potions-  Most hotels 3 star and above provide shampoo, but not all provide conditioner. Some hotels have luxurious brands, which pamper your hair. Others, however, seem to provide shampoos so harsh they could strip the paint off a car! So if you are not assured of a high quality shampoo and conditioner where you are staying, it’s wise to bring at least small bottles of your own just in case. I always carry conditioner.

Dry shampoo, is back on the market as a legitimate product these days. So this might be something to test out ahead of time, then bring along in case you need a quick fix. Gel or mousse are other ‘could be useful items’ when on the road.

If you intend to spend a good amount of time in the sun, in salty sea water or chlorinated pool water, you’d be advised to bring along extra moisturizer and conditioning product for your hair and waterproof high-SPF sunscreen or after-sun cream for your scalp and skin.

If you regularly use relaxers or hair coloring and the treatment timing hits while you are traveling, you are better off having what you need with you unless you are sure you can access what you need locally. Some resorts might have shops, but they charge two or three times the normal prices to their captive audience. Or if in a rural area, your country store might only have out of date hair coloring in leftover colors, if any, whether you are worth it or not!

 

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