For many of us the holiday season means spending time with family. As much fun as that can be, it can also be a little nerve racking when traveling is involved. For me there’s nothing I love more than packing up and heading south, especially for the holidays. Although, now that I’m a naturalista I have to prepare for more than just a chance of rain.
Last Thanksgiving was the first time I actually had to make “hair plans” before traveling. After booking my flight to Atlanta, I checked the weather to choose outfits. That’s when I realized I also needed to pack for my hair. Sure I had been on vacation since going natural but it was always to a warm, sunny, sandy location so I always wore twists or braids – styles I’ve been wearing on beach vacations since I was relaxed. But, for the Holidays I wanted something a little more me. I also wanted the inevitable facebook pictures to be as fab as possible.
Here’s what I came up with:
If you are going to braid or twist your hair choose a style you love that reflects your personal style. For that trip I chose a two strand twist style that was braided in the front (shown above). After a few days I took down my twists, had a new style and didn’t have to worry because I knew I was going home soon and could resume my normal hair regimen.
Travel light: pack minimal products.
If you’re traveling for a week or less you can wait to wash and condition when you return home and only carry a moisturizer with you. However, if your trip will be longer or you have multiple destinations you might have to wash on the road.
Pack trial sizes of only the bare essentials. If you don’t have trial sizes of your products buy tiny jars and containers from the dollar store.
Plan your “looks” in advance.
If you are packing an outfit that you know looks better with your ‘fro flowing in the wind but you just box braided your hair, maybe you should leave that outfit home. When I traveled I made sure that everything I packed was comfortable and that I didn’t pack any wool or high neck lines. I was wore my twists down and didn’t want my ends constantly rubbing on anything harsh.
Don’t risk breaking or losing expensive products or hair tools.
Unless you’re traveling in a private vehicle or private jet personally I wouldn’t suggest taking expensive or cumbersome hair styling tools or products. They can get lost, stolen or broken. Even if you pack them in your carry-on bag remember that depending on the size of the aircraft, all carry-on bags are not guaranteed to make into the cabin area with you. They may not fit in the overhead bins or beneath your seat. And, sometimes Holiday flights are so crowded that you have to check your carry-on at the gate regardless of the size.
Don’t forget the satin pillow case.
It is unlikely that family and friends will have satin pillowcases or bonnets. Be sure to pack at least one to protect your tresses at night. I usually pack both even though I never use the pillowcase.
Don’t get offended.
Finally, keep your cool. Remember that your natural hair may come as a shock to family members who haven’t seen you since the big chop or you started transitioning. Everyone doesn’t agree with, accept or understand our reasons for going natural and that’s okay. Remember why you went natural and simply respond as politely as possible if someone makes a rude comment. You’re too beautiful to respond ugly or let anytime turn your frown upside down.
What are your natural travel tips? Have you switched things up since going natural? Do you have any go to natural hair holiday styles?