Managing Your Barnet on the Road

Inspired by the very frequent posts on the female travel messageboard regarding hair care, I have decided to demonstrate that travel and hair can actually mix without hairdryers, straighteners or stupendous amounts of product being involved.

Jess Elvidge

I have the most difficult-to-manage hair ever. Here I am post hair washing and drying naturally with no extra products used... shampoo and conditioner only:

Curly eh? Lots of it and thick too. Manageability is not helped by my love of dying it wonderful colours either. I am a GHD devotee at home.

Straight goodnessHere I am post GHD, in my normal state at home (I would say at least 95% of the time, my hair is straightened like this):

Ooooh, straight goodness. It is much easier this way and I like the way it looks, having had excessively curly hair for 18 years.

However, when I go travelling, I leave my straighteners at home. Straightening is a pain in the arse and takes ages. It also burns my hair and makes it get greasy more quickly. Straighteners are also very delicate (I discovered this when my first pair snapped in half), take up more room than you would imagine and take forever to cool down (no packing away in a hurry unless you intend to burn or melt everything).

I went to Thailand earlier this year, where I'm sure you all know it is very hot, humid and the showering conditions are not necessarily luxurious. Also, there are beaches and jungles. Mmmm, salt water and excessive rainfall.

Here I am in Thailand! Marvel at my curly hair and my lack of makeup:

Other hairstyles I can recommend include pigtails and ponytails. Hats are excellent as they also stop the sun damaging your hair and face. Bandanas also do a good job. I have utilised all these methods while travelling.

Ponytailing it upObserve the headband here, which covers a multitude of sinsFuther decorated with a flower


For the record, I have been through Thailand, Laos, Australia, Fiji and the Cook Islands and other places for a total of six months without the hair stuff I use at home. The last thing you want to do while in new, exciting countries is be in your bedroom faffing around with your hair. There's a whole world out there!

Each time I get back from being away somewhere - be it a week-long field trip to Wales or a three-month long trip round the world - my hair is in much better condition than during its straightened-every-day state at home.

Travel is not the time to look fancy and preened (and if you do, you will just look wrong). If I can travel without straighteners or a hairdryer then absolutely anybody can. And should do!