As women, our hair can be our crowning glory or our worst nightmare. Too often after the effects of travel, it's the latter. But with a little forethought and a few tricks, it doesn't have to be. With a little practice and a few tools, even after a 10 hour trip you don't have to arrive looking like something that the cat dragged in.
One of the most important weapons in your arsenal for defeating nightmare travel hair is dry shampoo. I recently discovered this lifesaver, and now I couldn't live without it. It has saved me from looking bedraggled after 4-hour car trips and 13-hour flights.
Whether your hair is short or long, dry shampoo is the way to go if you don't have enough in-between time from arrival to meeting for a shower. I have tried high and low end versions of this hair hero. My favorite so far falls on the pricey end, but it is well worth it.
Whatever you do, don't opt for the DIY baby powder version. You'll just end up with a grayish ring around your head...and if you're 12 hours or more away from a long shower, you're out of luck. I learned the hard way to also avoid the foaming types of dray shampoo. I have longer hair, and they don't evenly distribute well enough.
Stick to the spray versions of dry shampoo. Make sure you've brought along at least a hand towel (Ford Prefect had it right!) or a plush washcloth, and a natural round brush. All you need to do is spray in the dry shampoo, wait 2 minutes, then pat your hair with your towel, brush it out and voilà! You're cleanly coiffed.
A fantastic trick I've learned also serves as a really cute travel look for the interim. It's especially great for long car trips if you don't want your locks blowing in your face. I stumbled across an extremely fashionable lady (her how-to video is a treat at the end of this post) who taught me the art of easy, gorgeous curls.
While the Pin-Up style may not be for everyone, if you have long or medium length hair, this trick works wonders if you are traveling to an event and want to make an impression. It's best to try it out at home a couple of times before your trip, but it's very easy to get the hang of.
All you need is a large, fun scarf, long bobby pins and a brush. You simply roll your hair wet or dry and pin the rolls in place. Then you cover it with a scarf. When you reach your destination, untie, unpin, and give your hair a quick brush. This is also a great hairstyle to work in your favorite hair accessories.
Since bobby pins are metallic, it may not be the best solution for plane travel. You don't want to set off the metal detectors and have to unwrap and rewrap your scarf. But it's certainly a great tip for train, bus and car travel, especially if you're doing the driving.
This last tip is another that works for all lengths of hair. It seems like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many of us forget about a trusty flat iron. Even if your hair has hung straight for years, you never know how it might react when visiting a more humid climate. You don't want to take the chance of showing up for a meeting looking like Bozo the Clown's cousin.
Ceramic flat irons are absolutely the best ones to invest in. They won't scorch your hair and if you invest in a higher end model, they are less likely to leave line marks. Many brands even have mini-sized models perfect for larger purses and carry-ons.
One thing to be aware of is the power source at your destination. If possible, call a 5-star hotel and ask a concierge specifically about what sort of adaptor you would need for your flat iron. Even if you aren't staying at that hotel, you will be able to find out about power outlets and your specific needs.
It may seem like a good idea to ask an employee at an electronics store, but beware. I invested in a high-quality flat iron before my first trip to China. I followed the advice of a salesperson and bought a power adaptor. What do you know...the first time I plugged it in, the power adaptor shorted it out and rendered it completely useless!
Your hair doesn't have to be your downfall. Try one or two of these methods before your next trip and find what allows you to arrive in style, looking professional and effortless. If you have any tips and tricks for fantastic travel hair, please leave them in the comments. We love to share!