How should I do my hair may sound like an odd question prior to booking a trip, but for many of us it can literally trigger a full scale panic attack. Let’s be honest, as black women, if our hair isn’t right, we don’t wanna go.
When’s the last time you heard a man say “Nope, I’m not going cause my hair isn’t done”? Exactly! This is an issue unique to black women, but not one that you should let deter you from living your best travel life.
The following styles and tips should help alleviate most of your anxiety associated with that dreaded question. Continue reading for our list of the 5 best protective hairstyles while traveling.
1. Box braids
Now you knew this would be at the top of the list. Box braids are an OG classic for a reason. The versatility provides an abundance of styling options with minimal effort while traveling. Large or small, traditional or faux locs. The 4+ (and even 8+) hour install time is a small price to pay for that kind of ease.
Crochet hairstyles are also super easy and versatile but typically do not come with the extended salon time associated with box braids. Whether you want long straight hair, big curly hair, or even faux braids/locs, this styling option can withstand just about any vacation setting. Best part? Crochet hair tends to look better the older it gets.
In recent years, for a number of reasons we won’t get into, cornrows have made a resurgence. Call em what you want, but the straight backs can be edgy or elegant. Bonus! Depending on how they are styled, they may also serve as the perfect foundation for your wig(s) for added hair styling options.
4. Braided Up-dos
While an updo is the least flexible option on the list, it is also the least maintenance and has the shortest styling time. The textbook definition of wake up and go. You can really get as creative as you want with your styling as well. The only limitations are what you or your stylist place on your own abilities.
5. Twist/Twist out
For the natural hair babes who prefer little to low manipulation, why not rock your flat twist? There are a multitude of options on how to wear them. Get creative with your parting spaces and twist sizes and create something new every few days. Unravel them and let your voluminous curls flow.
Don’t get swept away with your desire to pack your entire hair care cabinet “just in case”. Stick with your tried and tested products that you know work best. Added benefit if you have a few that serve double duty.
Your style of choice may vary based on your itinerary and/or location but one thing shouldn’t; Your desire to go! No one has ever said I wish I hadn’t taken that trip with my hair “undone”.
Done is subjective. When in doubt just wear your natural hair out! Your hair is not a burden but a crown that proudly adorns the top of your head. Once that change in perspective happens, you’ll have unrestricted freedom.
What are your favorite protective styles? Share your best tips and tricks below.
About the Author:
Ayishia is a self-proclaimed Charleston native and pseudo digital nomad. After quitting her job in 2020 on the belief that there’s more than one way to make a living, she now lives life on her own terms. Connect with her on her website ayishiaparsley.com