Not to brag, but I’m typing this blog on a patio in the south of France with a tiny cup of olives and a Negroni beside me. Before you get too mad at me, it’s important to note that it’s been literally years since I went on vacation. I deserve it.
Though I used to be an avid traveler, I realized that that was P.C.G.L (pre-curly girl life). Back then I would normally wake up and blow torch… sorry I mean blow dry… my curls every morning before snatching up my head of hair into a tight ponytail and venturing on my merry way. This time, I was determined to protect my curls while on vacation.
Bringing My Own Products
The first order of business was to buy one of those adorable travel size bottle sets that I always used to purchase with good intention and never use. I knew that there was no way that my curls would survive eight days of hotel shampoo and conditioner. Not only do many of these products use cheap ingredients that are mass produced and in no way meant to target curls specifically, but they also often create a foamy lather that would strip my curls of their natural oils. Instead, I brought portions of my favorite cleansing set from Royal Locks, along with the Trial Size Styling Set. A combination of the Pro Curl Cream Gel, and some spurts of the Party Curl Activating Spray is my go-to combination for daily life.
If you’re traveling light and don’t have the space for even the smallest of bottles, consider buying a cleansing set when you arrive at your destination. If you’re having trouble translating while roaming the aisles of the beauty section, use the Google translate app (not sponsored, I promise) to understand what you’re buying at the local pharmacy.
Travel Tip: if you only have the space in your suitcase for one product to bring from home, make it your leave-in conditioner. Your curls will need the extra moisture when you go to a new climate, especially if you’re going somewhere beachy! Though many places offer a variety of cleansing shampoo and conditioners, finding the perfect leave-in conditioner is rare.
Post shower, post many slices of cheese.
Protecting My Vacation Curls With A Passion
Another way I’ve learned to protect my curls while on vacation is to maintain the routine that I’ve developed at home. That meant bringing my own silk pillowcase, and continuing to use the same methods I used at home. For me that means wet styling, and flipping over my hair for a little extra fluff. I talked about this in my viral curly hair techniques blog if you're curious.
Almost dry hair flip anyone?
Letting My Curls Fly Free And Giving Myself A Break
My favorite part of enjoying vacation? Letting my curls fly free. Being free from life’s daily stressors meant that it was the perfect time to allow my curls to blow in the wind. There is something so liberating about having no emails to answer, no meetings to attend, and the limitless bounds of being in a different time zone that makes me want to feel wild, enriched and uniquely me.
Travel Tip: If you and your gorgeous curls are going to be anywhere near salt water, consider limiting how long. Though I’m all for diving head first into any ocean or sea, salt water can be dehydrating for curls. If you absolutely must be drenched (which I completely understand), try to make it on a wash day. Revitalizing your curls will help them recover from sun and salt damage.
Post hair flip, pre more cheese.
It’s also important that I use this vacation to embrace living as authentically as I can. Though I loved wearing my hair down most of the time, there have been a couple of days here where it’s been so windy that letting my curls free would involve constantly eating it. Now and then, a cute bun with some soft tendrils can be the perfect way to enjoy my curls from a respectful distance.
I encourage you to protect and embrace your curls when you’re on your next vacation. Whether it’s your honeymoon, a quick girl’s trip or a birthday getaway, taking care of your curls is a simple way to maintain your self care no matter where you are in the world.
Here’s me with a soft bun with curly tendrils flying out the side and the back. I felt very French.