Some of us are blessed with thick hair, others with thin hair, some curly and some straight, but mine happens to be oily. While this means that it grows strong and healthy very quickly, it also becomes more high maintenance, especially when I travel. I find myself showering twice a day just so my hair won’t look dirty, which gets especially annoying while on the road. Thankfully, I’ve developed a system for my hair maintenance over the years. Here are a few packing essentials if you, like me, have oily hair.
Don’t hesitate to bring your beloved travel hair products from home in travel size, as you know what works best for your hair. As I’ve discovered, random hotel shampoos can seriously mess up my hair and I can never guarantee that I’ll find a suitable brand overseas for my fussy hair. I recommend Garnier Nutrisse for adding moisture without extra oil.
If you don’t bring your own shampoo and conditioner from home in travel sized containers, but prefer to buy or borrow at your destination, throw in a small plastic bag of baking soda. Mix it in with your shampoo into a paste, which will keep your hair from getting greasy. Another hack for de-greasing your hair is apple cider vinegar, which you should be able to find at home, but might not locate overseas.
I’m a big fan of dry shampoo as a traveler who has oily hair and who is too lazy to shower every day on the road. I’ve used them all, but can recommend name brand dry shampoo or your run-of-the-mill baby powder to de-grease your roots. Hair spray also works well to soak up excess, as does your compact powder or cornstarch in a pinch.
Pack a comb instead of a brush, which will spread around the oils from your scalp. Plus, you can find small combs to take up only a little bit of space in your bag. You can also find them at many hotels, so you might not need to bring one at all.
Alternatively, you can go for the fancy (and expensive) boar bristle brushes, like those from Mason Pearson, that are designed to help spread the natural oils from your scalp throughout your hair. Check out Mason Pearson’s travel brushes on Amazon.
For when your hair just won’t cooperate, bring along headbands, bandanas, hats or a Buff to cover it up. This is the option I tend to choose in places where I don’t need to get dressed up, namely when I was volunteering in rural Thailand and bumming around Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I also bring hair ties, but since it’s short I leave it down as much as possible. Keeping your hair up too much can damage your hair, adding to the oil buildup.
How do you deal with oily hair?
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