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Friday, January 27, 2023

the low upkeep information to wonderful curls overseas


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I at all times thought I had horrible hair. And I’m not simply fishing for compliments right here (ahem: the remark field is beneath. I’ll wait.) For my whole grownup life, my hair has simply been … not good: it’s half-heartedly curly and wavy on the identical time, tremendous frizzy and fly-away, susceptible to separate ends and breakage, and very skinny. It tangles and breaks off if I a lot as take a look at it the flawed manner. And it has a endless thirst for blood moisture.

For sure, it was NOT enjoyable to journey with. Throughout my year-long honeymoon, I backpacked world wide with my hair shoved right into a messy bun, which I dreaded undoing as a result of I simply knew there can be terrible tangles and breakage to cope with. I didn’t have house in my journey backpack for conditioner, and I didn’t have a lot luck discovering any on my travels. I returned residence with among the worst hair of my life, and I used to be prepared to cut all of it off.

However then I heard about one thing referred to as the “Curly Woman Methodology.” And whereas the total technique was extra concerned than I used to be actually ready to do, even attempting a half-a**ed lazy model of it really modified my life. I imply, principally it modified my hair, nevertheless it modified it a lot that it spilled over into different elements of my life, too. The arrogance enhance was actual, y’all!

Abruptly, I didn’t have wishy-washy frizzy hair anymore. It turned out that every one that frizz was really simply thirsty curls ready to stay life to their fullest potential! And though my hair continues to be tremendous skinny – my ponytail is the width of a pencil when it’s completely straight – you’d by no means comprehend it to take a look at my hair when it’s curly. All you see is full, wonderful, bountiful curls! I felt like a brand new, assured, sassy, curly-haired particular person able to tackle the world.

Let me present y’all what I imply. Right here’s my earlier than hair, a wishy-washy tremendous mess with no actual texture that couldn’t determine if it was wavy or curly – and this was on a good hair day:

Drinking watermelon juice in a swing in Nusa Lembongan, Bali.
My halfheartedly wavy hair not residing as much as its potential whereas the remainder of me was having a tremendous time in Bali.

And right here’s my after hair, stuffed with luscious outlined curls that I actually by no means even knew I may have:

Lia in a face mask at the airport
The Curly Woman Methodology turned me into the form of one that takes selfies on the airport – AFTER the flight. (Tip: pineapple your hair in the course of the flight for a quantity enhance!)

The factor is, residing your curly life to its fullest potential shouldn’t be the best factor to tug off, particularly whereas touring. It’s a bit labor-intensive, requires just a few area of interest gadgets, and usually requires some planning forward. For me, what works greatest whereas touring is a really low-maintenance model of my at-home curly hair routine.

What do I imply by low upkeep? Nicely, when you’ve acquired your curls locked in, you’re in luck: your hair will look wonderful for 5 entire days. Yeah, that’s proper: 5 straight days of excellent hair days in a row. (You may nonetheless bathe if you’d like, although. I imply, I generally don’t. However you possibly can. I’ll clarify later!) That truly makes it value the additional effort on wash day. (As a result of I’m lazy.)

If it sounds slightly intimidating, don’t fear: I’ve figured all of it out. Over the previous few years, I’ve managed to take my curls internationally and found out methods to match my whole hair care routine right into a tiny bag that matches neatly into my carry-on bag! So whether or not you’re a curl professional already otherwise you’re simply beginning to coax your hair to satisfy its curly potential like me, right here’s the whole lot you’ll must take your curls on the highway … or practice, aircraft, bus, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, colectivo, moto-taxi, boat… actually anyplace, actually.

The Curly Woman Methodology (whereas Touring)

Everybody has barely completely different variations of the unique “curly lady technique” – which was coined and first debuted on this ebook – and through the years I’ve found out what works greatest for me.

I’ve additionally discovered that the routine issues greater than the precise merchandise. My hair is okay and skinny, so so long as I’m not weighing it down with tremendous heavy product, something that may give it plenty of moisture with out product buildup or silicones will work for me! I’m principally simply utilizing cheap merchandise – however they’re utilized very fastidiously.

So, right here’s my routine in a nutshell:

Step 1: The “Reset” Wash

The whole lot begins with a “reset” bathe. If all goes properly throughout this a part of the method, I gained’t must reset my hair once more for an additional 4-5 days.

The caveat is that that is the excessive upkeep bit. Consider it as an funding: the payoff for spending just a few hours fiddling together with your curls is that your hair will look wonderful for the remainder of your journey with virtually no effort.

First, right here’s the step-by-step course of I take for laundry my hair.

  1. I begin by shampooing my roots with a delicate, sulfate-free shampoo. Not everybody really wants shampoo – many curly women clear with conditioner solely – however I discover that an excessive amount of conditioner weighs my skinny, light-weight hair down! My present favorites are Shea Moisture and Maui Moisture.
  2. I situation all the best way from my roots downwards with a light-weight, moisturizing conditioner. For me, it’s tremendous vital that my conditioner is light-weight as a result of my hair is tremendous light-weight.
  3. I situation my ends with a thick, heavy, moisturizing hair masks. That is the place my hair wants most of its moisture, so I glob on a LOT of thick, heavy conditioner – however ONLY on the ends of my hair, so it doesn’t crush my quantity. The deep conditioner I’m at the moment utilizing is that this Shea Moisture curl smoothie.
  4. I finger-comb my hair and clip it up for the remainder of my bathe. There are normally just a few tangles to work out at this level, and as soon as I’ve roughly gotten these out of the best way, I pile my hair on prime of my head and clip it as much as preserve it out of the best way and let my conditioner soak in.
  5. I comb by my hair upside-town and wash out the conditioner. Once I’m prepared to complete up, I run a wide-tooth comb by my hair whereas upside-down – this is essential! At this level, you need to be beginning to see “curl clumps” forming. Wash your hair out whereas nonetheless the wrong way up, taking particular care to preserve these curl clumps collectively!

Now that you just’re executed showering, it’s on to the second half: product utility and drying!

  1. Whereas nonetheless the wrong way up, “scrunch” your hair to assist these curl clumps type. You’re mainly simply squeezing out some water, in order that whenever you begin making use of product, it gained’t all combine with the surplus water and fall proper off! Take particular care to to it the wrong way up and gently, in order that your curl clumps get even curlier.
  2. Apply curl cream by “scrunching” the wrong way up. I don’t want to do that each time, however generally my hair wants slightly further enhance, and I discover {that a} curl-forming cream actually helps! There are a great deal of completely different curl lotions on the market. I actually like this one for my tremendous hair as a result of it’s good and lightweight.
  3. Apply hair gel. That is by far, arms down, the MOST crucial a part of my routine. Your gel is what’s going to preserve your curls going robust for the remainder of the week – it’s ESSENTIAL! There are two methods I like to use gel. First is identical scrunching movement I take advantage of to use cream. The second technique known as “prayer arms” – you’re mainly operating your palms down the size of your hair, after which gently crunching once more to maintain these curl clumps curly! I take advantage of this extraordinarily low-cost, tremendous nostalgic 90’s period gel as a result of it’s low-cost, has an amazing maintain and improbable shine, and washes out totally in water so I by no means get product buildup. (Additionally, nostalgia.)
  4. Plop utilizing a micro-fiber hair towel. You wish to plop all your curls onto the highest of your hair and keep away from stretching them out. It’s tremendous simple to do utilizing my favourite microfiber hair towel! After which, it’s lastly time to flip right-side up.
  5. Air-dry or diffuse your hair. After letting your hair sit plopped in a towel for some time, you possibly can both take it down and let it air dry the remainder of the best way, or when you’re tight on time, use a blow-drier and diffuser to softly dry your hair whereas upside-down. In the event you’re diffusing, begin on the roots util they’re dry, after which gently cup your hair up into the diffuser and push all of it upwards in opposition to your head, so that you’re nonetheless conserving these curl clumps clumped!
  6. When your hair is totally dry, “scrunch out the crunch.” That gel you utilized to your hair may have became a rock-hard little forged. Suppose Justin Timberlake’s “Ramen Noodles” look within the 90’s. Whereas splendidly nostalgic, this isn’t the specified impact! You’ll want to interrupt up that gel forged to launch your bouncy, shiny curls. All it’s important to do is scrunch your hair like loopy together with your arms. I like numerous quantity, so I’ll even fluff up my roots slightly bit to actually get that gel damaged up! As soon as your crunch is totally scrunched out, congratulations: you might have stunning, shiny (that’s the gel), bouncy curls.
Curly haired girl wearing glasses and bright red lipstick drinking beer in Salt Lake City.
Nothing pairs with curly hair like vibrant purple lipstick (and beer).

Step 2: The Upkeep

My reset bathe takes numerous work. However fortunately, I solely must do it each 4-5 days. The remainder of the week, I simply perform a little upkeep to maintain my curls wanting good! Right here’s what I do:

  • Sleep together with your hair piled on prime of your head.

Sleeping together with your hair in a “pineapple” retains your curls above your pillow and shielded from getting stretched, frizzed-out, and in any other case ruined whilst you sleep! I usually simply pile it on the very prime of my head with a smooth scrunchy. Some of us swear by utilizing a buff or silk scarf, however I’ve by no means managed to determine that out.

  • Refresh your curls each few days.

Round day 3, my curls begin wanting slightly flat and fewer outlined, so it’s time for a refresh! There are 2 principal methods I prefer to refresh.

The primary is by having a shower with my hair piled up on prime of my head in a scrunchy. I don’t get my hair moist, however the steam from the bathe provides sufficient moisture to my hair to get all of it good and hyped up once more, so by the point I come out of the bathe, I’ve acquired plenty of quantity once more.

The second is a bit more concerned. You’ll want to combine slightly little bit of conditioner and gel into a sprig bottle and fill it up with water.

Flip your hair upside-down and spritz it throughout together with your refresh spray. Then, scrunch your hair (the identical manner you do within the bathe) to assist your damp hair re-form curls. The conditioner provides moisture, and the gel helps set the curls once more. You would possibly must scrunch out the crunch slightly bit in a couple of minutes when you’ve dried!

In a pinch, even simply getting your arms moist, flipping your head over and scrunching your curls just a few instances will assist add some quantity and definition. The hot button is that curls CRAVE moisture, so any manner you will get moisture into them will assist your curls type!

And that’s it – that’ll preserve you wanting wonderful for an additional 4-5 days!

Watching the sun rise in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Early morning curls whereas watching the solar rise in Chitwan Nationwide Park, Nepal.

Curly Hair Journey Necessities

There are just a few hair instruments that come together with me once I plan to rock curly hair. That is my full curly hair journey packing record, and whereas it might seem to be quite a bit, I’m capable of shove all of this into a type of drawstring shoe-bags or a medium packing dice for tidy storage in my suitcase.

  • Journey blowdryer and journey diffuser: I really usually air-dry my hair at residence, however time is a treasured commodity when touring and a blowdryer cuts dry time by roughly a zillion %! It’s additionally a crucial software in a chilly vacation spot – no person needs frozen hair (even when it seems to be actually cool). I take advantage of a really small, foldable blow dryer with a collapsible curl diffuser that take up a small quantity of house in my bag. Simply don’t overlook to convey alongside a plug adapter/converter when you’ll be touring overseas!
  • Microfiber hair towel: Together with a full sized journey towel (since lodge towels by no means, ever match me), I additionally convey alongside a small microfiber hair towel to assist my hair dry sooner. I “plop” it whereas I’m getting dressed and prepared for the day after which blow-dry/diffuse it till it’s totally dry.
  • Scrunchies: I take advantage of scrunchies to pile my curls on prime of my head in a excessive ponytail in a single day. That manner I don’t knock out the curls in a single day and get a quantity enhance within the morning! Any previous scrunchie will work, however silk scrunchies are greatest for taming frizz and sliding out of tangle-prone hair, like mine.
  • Hair product: In fact, you want tiny travel-sized bottles of all your important hair merchandise! I convey alongside my gel, curl defining cream, shampoo and conditioner decanted into little 1oz bottles. And I throw in a wide-tooth comb and a clip for the bathe, too. All of it matches in my zip-up hanging journey toiletry case.
On the beach in Maui, Hawaii.
Right here’s a tip: you want much less product in scorching, humid environments, like a tropical seashore. On seashore holidays, I can normally get away with simply moisturizing my sea salt-coated hair and embracing the waves!

Journey Suggestions for Curly Hair

Put all of your haircare merchandise into tiny, travel-friendly bottles.

We’re carry-on-only varieties, so all of our favourite merchandise (sure, Jeremy and I each use the very same hair merchandise) get decanted into little tiny bottles that neatly slot in our hanging toiletry bag.

Deliver further conditioner!

Don’t rely on the lodge’s free bottles, or discovering appropriate hair merchandise wherever you’re touring. You gained’t, and when you do use some random lodge conditioner, you would possibly find yourself making your hair worse – they’re normally loaded with silicones!

When you discover a shampoo and conditioner combo that works in your hair, convey as a lot of it with you as you possibly can – particularly conditioner, which you’ll be utilizing a LOT greater than shampoo. I’ve a number of mini containers of my conditioner packed into my journey toiletries case, so I by no means run out!

Use a t-shirt to plop when you don’t have a micro-fiber towel.

I at all times convey alongside a microfiber hair towel to “plop” my hair in, however when you overlook yours or don’t have one, you possibly can simply sub out a t-shirt, or any easy merchandise of clothes. It’s slightly more durable to wrap round your head, however I discover that long-sleeved shirts work greatest.

What you completely ought to NOT do EVER, is resort to an everyday previous terrycloth towel, even for plopping. These little loops of thread on the floor of the towel really feel nice in your pores and skin, however they’re terrible in your hair! They trigger frizz, disrupt your curl sample, suck up extra moisture than you need, and usually smash curl day.

By no means use an everyday towel in your hair! Any smooth, easy shirt or merchandise of clothes is an enchancment. (Simply ensure that to pack a journey clothesline so you possibly can dangle your shirt as much as dry after your bathe.)

Curvy girl in a bikini printed with monstera leaves, turned away with one arm raised in a peace sign facing a beach with palm trees and water in the background.
Rocking curls and one in all my favourite curvy-girl swimsuits in Maui, Hawaii.

Plan out your “wash days” strategically to suit into your itinerary.

Wash days are a complete factor. It takes my hair like, 5 hours to air-dry sufficient to the purpose the place I can “scrunch out the crunch.” And I don’t normally have 5 hours once I’m touring! Which is why I at all times pack a journey blowdrier and diffuser, however even that may take up 45 treasured minutes that I may spend out having adventures.

So, I plan my wash days strategically. I bathe and reset my hair on journey days, reminiscent of once I’ll be on an extended flight or practice trip. I don’t care if I look cute throughout these days, and it provides my hair loads of time to totally set into the curls it’ll keep in till my subsequent reset day.

Then, for the following 4-5 days, I take advantage of varied tips to maintain my curls wanting good, together with sleeping with my hair in a “pineapple,” carrying my hair in a super-high ponytail whereas I bathe to absorb moisture & quantity with out really getting moist, and spritzing my hair with a refresh concoction of water, gel, and conditioner.

Water can have a really completely different impact in your hair whereas touring than you’re used to.

Laborious water” because it’s referred to as, shouldn’t be really ice (complicated, I do know) however water that incorporates hint components of chemical compounds and minerals. That isn’t essentially a nasty factor, however it will probably have a adverse impact in your hair referred to as buildup – simply the identical as what causes staining in your tub or tiled rest room ground. And plenty of accommodations, hostels and trip leases have exhausting water!

To clean away that icky buildup and preserve it from damaging your hair, both convey a small quantity of clarifying rinse or shampoo, or – my choice – convey a small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar with you! Distill the Apple Cider Vinegar with water and rinse your hair with it. As a plus, watered down ACV can also be my favourite treatment for a nasty sunburn!

Deliver a pair of tiny, foldable scissors.

That is only a common journey tip – scissors are tremendous useful to have available. However in terms of hair, scissors might be actually useful. We’ve used ours to trim cut up ends, minimize bangs, trim beards, tidy up down there, and – when you’re up for it – give haircuts! That is the pair we introduced with us on our year-long honeymoon, which has include us in our suitcase ever since.

  • Haircare Journey Tip: ONLY use these scissors on hair –  by no means on paper or the rest! You might probably injury the blade which may in flip injury your hair.
Jeremy exploring the Palace Market in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bonus photograph of my good-looking husband and his lil entrance curls! He swears by the Curly Woman Methodology, too. Besides his is 50x simpler as a result of his hair air dries in about 5 seconds.

Take particular care with the ends of your hair.

(Rhyme intentional.) The ends of your hair are essentially the most liable to breakage and splitting, which results in tangles and frizz – two issues I’m regretfully properly versed in. I take a tiny tub of cut up finish balm.  I put it on my ends after showers, every time they’re feeling dry, or simply once I must tame issues down and easy issues out. I brush by with my boar bristle brush to unfold the oils by my hair evenly.

In a pinch, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are improbable for hair. 

A little bit tub of coconut oil or argan oil goes a good distance. Whereas it’s not nice for facial pores and skin, coconut oil is ideal for hair, arms and toes, and dry lips.  

And each argan oil and olive oil are all-around magnificence powerhouses! I convey Argan Oil on journeys to make use of for each my face and hair … however I’ve additionally been identified to reap the benefits of shared olive oil bottles in hostel kitchens, too.

A little bit little bit of oil goes a good distance: put a dime-sized drop in your arms and easy by your hair beginning together with your ends.

When all else fails, simply get your hair moist and begin over.

The magic of curly hair is that each time you get your hair moist or add moisture, you might have a chance to reset your curls – even when you’re not doing a complete “reset” wash day.

You may spray water into your hair, put it up right into a ponytail whilst you bathe your physique, or simply get your arms moist within the sink and scrunch your hair to reset your curl sample.

I’ll typically do that with a very annoying curl up entrance that will get simply frizzed out – you possibly can actually re-curl a chunk of hair together with your finger and let it dry into a complete excellent lil’ corkscrew.

And now, my fellow curlies, go forth and look fabulous!


What questions do you might have about touring with curly hair? Drop me a remark beneath!

Psst: Searching for extra ideas for feeling and looking improbable whereas touring? Check out a few of these different posts:

xo Lia & Jeremy signature graphic

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  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique accommodations or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Reserving.com to ebook accommodations (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to ebook hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we want to ebook utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor report. You can too ebook trip leases on Expedia and Motels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our residence and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY counsel it – go to our Journey Insurance coverage Information to search out out why. We advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, and so they have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which can be excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We ebook all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely can we earn money again that we will spend on extra journey, however the card gives improbable journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automotive protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Study extra right here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC web site to analysis really helpful drugs and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times advocate getting each vaccine really helpful by the CDC! You may get them at your major care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get a neighborhood’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We ebook our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine methods to get from place to position, and ebook native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we ebook a rental automotive, we use Kayak to match rental firms and discover one of the best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re trying out early or profiting from an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital info (like web site login particulars, financial institution information, and so on) secure, even whenever you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it permits you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you enroll!
  • What to Pack: Listed here are the journey necessities that we convey on each journey. We even have packing lists for scorching climate, chilly climate, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!

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