What to Do with Your Hair While Travelling

Profile picture of

View Profile All Posts
Written by: Jess Elvidge

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!

Check out these top travel experiences


Big One – 26 Days Across Central and East Coast of Canada

from £800

26 days


Experience it all. Great outdoors, national parks, epic citiesm quant towns. Gaspesie, Laurentians, Algonquin, Bay of Fundy, and Cabot Trail....

Europe Tour with Gapforce

from £1,500

14 - 28 days

Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, N...

Don’t travel alone, join our fun group every June and July to explore Europe with our UK leader.

Toki 14-day tour of Japan

from £1990

14 days


From Tokyo's futuristic neon lights and the rice fields of Izumo, to Kyoto's ancient temples and pristine beaches of the...

Nippon 1-Month Tour of Japan

from £4520

30 days


From Tokyo's futuristic neon lights and Kyoto's ancient temples, to trekking through the forests of the mountain mystics and enjoying...

Yamabushi 16-day tour of Japan

from £2500

16 days


Not your average tourist experience, this tour is specifically designed for the nature lovers out there. See a completely different...

Southern Trans Oceanic Quito to Rio via Buenos Aires

from £2475

69 days

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru

Explore the Amazon Jungle, Hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, view the stunning Iguazu Falls and spend time...

Colombian Adventure Cartagena to Lima

from £1895

39 days

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

Experience the flavours, curiosities and contradictions of these three fascinating South American countries.

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1750

37 days

Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru

Experience the Amazon rainforest at first-hand in a jungle lodge, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stay overnight with...

Peaks and Plains Lima to Buenos Aires

from £1675

35 days

Argentina, Bolivia, Peru

From trekking in the mountains to dancing the tango, this trip has it all.

Tropics of South America Rio to Manaus via The Guianas

from £3175

57 days

Brazil, Guyana

Explore some of Latin America’s most vibrant and colourful cities, pristine coastline, rich and verdant landscapes and search for diverse...

Find more articles like this

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]