Curly Hair Necessities for Traveling Abroad

Curly hair, in all of its fabulosity, may look “effortless”, but ask any natural and they will tell you they didn’t just wake up like this. A multi-step, multi-product routine went into polishing that glorious crown. This complicated routine and maintenance process often made me opt out of rocking my curly hair while traveling and sticking to a straight/wavy look. But this past year, I’ve made a concerted effort to figure out and be comfortable with wearing my hair natural while traveling abroad. I’m pleased to announce that, although the journey with my curly hair and traveling was long, I finally got it down to a manageable routine! Here are my curly hair necessities for traveling abroad:

Pre-departure Moisturizing Routine

Before I travel, I try to do an intensive moisturizing hair treatment. Right now, I’m loving my DIY bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar mask. The mask includes the following:

Feel free to add in the oils that work best for your hair. In a plastic or glass bowl, add your clay first, then your oils, followed by your 6 tablespoons of ACV. Allow it to foam for 15 seconds before adding in the water. Use a plastic or wooden spoon to stir everything together, making it as lump free as possible. Ideally it should be the consistency of Greek yogurt. Apply the mixture from root to end on freshly washed, damp hair. I divide my hair into 4 parts and apply in small sections to ensure even coverage. You wanna keep your hair damp throughout this process, so if it’s starting to get dry with the mask, spritz it with water. After you are done coating, cover your hair with a plastic cap or bag for 20-30 minutes. For extra penetration, go under a dryer or steamer. Rinse out the mask in the shower, because it can get really messy. Once 80-90% of the mask is rinsed out, apply a conditioner of your choice, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse. Voila! You should now have super-defined, moisturized, vacation-ready curls.

Now if you are a last-minute, scrambling to get things ready for vacation type of person, an extensive hair routine is the last thing on your mind. In that case, I also like the Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Mask.

Hair Tools

Denman Styling Brush – My Denman Styling Brush is magical. It’s great for detangling and defining my curls.

Toothbrush – Great tool for laying edges! Some hotels provide you with toothbrushes, so you can use the one you brought for it’s original purposes, and use theirs to slay your edges.

Pony Tail Holders/Bobby Pins – There is usually a ponytail holder on my wrist or several in my purse. Pony tail holders and bobby pins are a necessity for keeping my hair away from my face or if I need to fix a bad hair day.

Satin Bonnet or a silk pillowcase – Sleeping in a satin bonnet helps to prevent hair breakage caused by cotton pillows. An alternative to a satin bonnet, and a sure way to feel Queen-like, is sleeping on a silk pillowcase.

Travel size containers – Great for packing hair products and other toiletries and making sure they comply with TSA standards.

Small spray bottle – Because hydrated curls are happy curls.

Microfiber towel – Helps to dry hair quickly and hold its shape.

Hair Products

Like most naturals, I have an assortment of hair products. I’m a carry-on bag kind of traveler, as I usually travel to multiple destinations at once via local airlines and hate baggage fees. Therefore, the products I bring when I travel usually depend on which can do the most for my hair. For instance, if I have a product that is good for defining my curls, but not really moisturizing, I bring the product that does both.

My simplified travel hair product packing list includes:

Travel Rules

For my fellow carry-on travelers, it’s important that our hair products and toilitries  are in containers that are TSA compliant, 3 ounces or less and fit into 1 quart size bag. This may not sound like a lot, but a little goes a long way with these products.

Now you are ready to live your best life on vacation and have fabulous curls!


What are some of your necessities for rocking your curly hair abroad? Let me know in the comments!

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Jewels Rhode

Frequent Flyer. Chief Enjoyment Officer. Helping you make your travel dreams a reality!