how to maintain healthy hair while you travel

How To Maintain Healthy Hair While You Travel

Summa’ Summa’ Summa’ time is coming!

Well, soon, but it will be here way before we know it! I am here to help give you the tools you need to maintain your healthy hair while you travel. Most people don’t really keep their hair in mind when it comes to traveling, which is why many of us stick to protective styles, so we don’t have to be bothered. Some folks may not want to go that route, and that’s okay! Too many of us have gone on vacation and travel for days, forgetting about our hair and had to return home to some scissors. That’s right. If you’re not careful, you can seriously damage your hair in a short amount of time and be left to cut it out! I'd like to help you avoid that going forward.


While you’re out at the store picking up all your last minute travel needs, make sure you pick up a really good deep conditioner. Before you start diving deep in pools and the ocean you want to treat your hair about three days to a week before your vacation. The reason is that you’re about to get exposed to salt water chlorine, UV rays and who knows what else, so you want to strengthen your hair ahead of time. One of the best pretreatments you can do while you travel is a DIY Henna Pretreatment. Henna is your golden ticket to getting super strong hair. Yes, it’s nothing wrong with your regular deep conditioner, but if you want to really pump your hair up, get some henna. Below I’ll share a good DIY recipe for you to try out!

DIY Henna Pre-Treatment


  • 1 Cup Henna Powder
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Get yourself a bowl and mix in all your ingredients very well. You should have a very creamy consistency when done. Now, henna is known to slightly tint your natural hair color. It’s not a fact, but definitely a possibility. To be on the safe side, purchase a henna packet that states “color releases fast” or allows your henna to simply sit for 4 hours, and that will automatically fade away the component that changes the color. If you’re still too scared then you can swap out the henna powder with Cassia powder. It has the same exact benefits as henna but will not change your hair color. Apply product from the roots of your hair down to your tips, cover with a plastic cap and let that sit for a few hours. If you’re feeling fancy and want super duper results, keep it in overnight! Disclaimer: This mask can be very messy and also staining, so use gloves and apply over an old towel.

Benefits of Henna Mask

Henna has been around for many years. It was originally from India and known to have multiple uses. It helps seal the hair cuticles with its acid-alkaline balancing component. It’s exactly what you’ll need to protect your hair from chlorine and salt water. You’re going to need a really strong product to act as a barrier between your hair and anything harmful. Keep in mind; there’s nothing wrong with whatever deep condition or pretreatment you use. Just make sure its strong enough to protect your hair.

Effects of Chlorine

For starters, chlorine is a chemical element. It’s best known for fighting bacteria in pools and can be hazardous to humans if used incorrectly. Think about the community pool where you live and image how much germs are in there, and the chlorine is clearing it all out; got it? Now, that type of product is not something you want in your hair! This is some heavy-duty stuff, and although people love swimming, they must be sure their hair is protected. If you allow your hair to dry while leaving chlorine on it, it can have major effects. It can leave your hair very dry and brittle and eventually strip the hairs natural oils and cause breakage. Now, since your hair should be coated with a pretreatment, you have to know that’s not permanent. It just helps seal the hair a little better. Read below on some things you can do to protect against chlorine.

Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!

Most times, pools and beaches will have outdoor showers off to the perimeter for your use. These outdoor showers are going to be something for you to utilize for your benefit. Remember, most people tend to forget about their hair until later on. And after a day of swimming and tanning, I’m sure you will go find a place to eat instead of doing hair. Meanwhile, your hair is eating the chlorine and salt water away! That’s not a good thing so what you can do is rinse your hair good under the showers. Stand there for about a good 1-2 minutes to ensure your hair is drenched in water. Even if your vacation spot doesn’t offer one, hopefully, you have a handy water bottle nearby, and just pour that into your hair. Although sea salt can have some pretty good benefits, too much of it isn’t good. It can completely wipe out all moisture in your hair and skin even. So rinse well!

Special Shampoo’s

When you’re traveling, you want to be mind full of the type of products you bring onboard with you. You wouldn’t really want to bring your entire hair regimen products. You would need specific products since you’re entering into new waters, literally. Speaking of water, sometimes ocean water and regular water depending on location can be hard water. Hard water contains a high level of minerals. If your hair is soaked with it, tons of calcium, iron and other minerals will begin to weigh your hair down and cause major dryness. To help rid that problem, using a Chelating Shampoo would be best. Chelating shampoos do more than just cleanse your scalp. It will bind up all unhealthiness and return your hair to its original state. It will free all chemicals and harmful products. Especially, when traveling Internationally, you have no idea what you may be exposed to. Play it safe and purchase the right products that you will need.

Major Brands Of Chelating Shampoo

  • Redken
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Mizani (neutralizing and chelating)
Sometimes chelating shampoo can be on the pricey side so a great alternative would be Clarifying Shampoo. It’s slightly different from chelating but will still provide great results. The major difference is that this shampoo works as a deep cleanse. And it only helps to lift out minerals from the hair cuticles whereas chelating will completely remove it. Both Shampoos are great. However, it’s good to know that whenever you’re using a product that will strip away any build-up, it’s a good chance your hair will seem a little dry afterward. And that’s okay! Just simply follow up with a good conditioner, which you should always do anyway. Also, you can find Clarifying shampoo in the same brands and stores as chelating.

Determine Hairs Porosity

Alright, now that we have your hair super clean and conditioned, let's discuss how you can determine which hair creams you may want to bring on your trip. If you’re on vacation or just travel a lot, it’s a pretty good chance you’re going somewhere warm, and if you are, then you want to pay attention to which products can help hold moisture and also try and prevent humidity because that’s never fun! Or cute! A good way to determine how to choose your products is by figuring out if you have low or high porosity hair. Although, there’s a normal grade most times products just go by low and high.

Low Porosity

Low porosity is when your hair retains moisture very well. There's little to no issues with having dryness. For this type of hair, you can pretty much stick to any product you like.

High porosity

Of course, this means the opposite. It’s hair that has a hard time holding moisture; dryness and very dull. For this type of hair, you would want to purchase products that are nourishing & moisturizing. Also, make sure you are using a leave-in conditioner and oils. This type of hair needs all the moisture it can get! It’s also good to get oils that seal in moisture. When washing your hair, use cold water and that will close your cuticles and keep moisture locked in. Unless you’re able to tell which type you are, you can do a quick experiment. Get a glass of water and drop a piece of your hair strand in the glass. If the hair strand immediately drops to the bottom then you hair high porosity. If it floats, then it’s low.

Protection From The Sun

Who doesn’t love being a beach bum? Just about nobody! But I know we hate the effects the sun can have on our hair and body! Here are some ways to help protect your hair from being dried out.

Straw Hat

The old straw hat is perfect for sun blocking! No, it’s not just for fashion. Its wide brim and head section are just what you will need when you’re directly in the sun, so you can be cute and protected. Just tuck all your hair up inside it and layout. Plus, it folds up pretty nicely, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up space while you travel.

UV Hair Protection

Don't start your travel journey without packing UV hair protection. When you’re lying in the sun, you make sure to apply sun-tan lotion all over your body, right? Well, you also have to do the same with your hair. Applying a UV styling product will allow you to lay out all day with no worries. Now, this product runs about $30 on average. If you’re lucky, you may find one that supports hair and body.

Swim Cap

If you’re feeling frugal, just sit under an umbrella and wear a swim cap while in the water! If you run over to Etsy, you can purchase some fashionable ones. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you protect your tresses at all cost.

Hair Extensions

If all of what I mentioned above doesn’t work for you, you can always just get a protective style! Honestly, you can’t go wrong with those. I believe the box braids are the best option next to wet n’ wavy extensions. We all know box braids are fun and simple, but you can do a lot with the wet n’ wavy too. That style, in particular, will benefit you while you travel and constantly come in contact with water because it’s already super curly. Just remember, even with protective styles, you should still do a good water rinse to remove anything harmful or build-up.


By now, we understand how important it is to protect your hair while you travel but what about when you’re relocating for good? That’s what I didn’t think about when I moved from up north to down south! I’m an all-natural girl, and when I came to the south I was in for a total surprise! I had the hardest time adjusting my hair to the new climate. It was almost as if I had to start my journey over. I had to go back through the trial-error phase with hair products and styles. Everything I ever knew went out the window. I encourage you to do some research on the new area you will be living. Check your local news on what the humidity levels normally are and the air density. Both of those can have a huge impact on your hair believe it or not. I would watch the news and tell if my curls were going to pop or not before leaving the house. Well known Youtuber, Mahogany Curls, relocated to California and documented her experience with hard water. I mentioned a little bit about that earlier; can you imagine dealing with that on a daily basis? You would have to change your entire hair regimen, just like Mahogany Curls did. So just do your research, so you’re not too shocked.

Healthy Hair is The Best Hair

Well, it looks like now, you’re all ready for your travels! I have covered everything you need to know about protecting your hair while you travel. Not caring for your hair is one of the worse things you can do. We often forget about it on so many levels, but it’s time to make it our main focus. Share below in the comment section what you do to prepare your hair while traveling. I would love to hear from you!
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