Today I’m departing from day tripping to give you a travel tip: How to wear your hair on vacation. I think I’m in a good position to dole out this advice because I have what can only be described as seriously frizzy hair. I’m not quite sure how this happened to me, so I’d like issue a blanket “thank you” to my long-ago ancestors who came together to gift me this frizzy mess. It’s just so nice when the French, English and Irish can all work together and agree on something. Thanks, ancient ancestors!
At home, I use a trio of heavy-duty blow-drying, Moroccan Oil, and prayer to tame my locks, with an occasional assist from a curling iron. On the road, I have to resort to more extreme measures. Here are a few of my own tips, coupled with some advice form stylist Kaitlin Thibodeau at Sculptures Salon in Newington, CT.
1. Get a good blow out before you travel. I always advise scheduling a hair appointment as soon as you book a vacation. (You can read more of my travel tips here: Organizing Tips for Travelers.)If you have an appointment set right before your departure, you’re less likely to skip out on getting your hair done because you’re “just too busy.” Why is this so important? You’re probably more often photographed on one day of vacation than you are for the entire rest of the year.
2. Invest in a curling iron and dry shampoo. I really don’t like hair straighteners because pin-straight is such a severe look on most women. I came to this realization when Tim Rogers, who styled my hair when I lived in New York, told me, “That’s a terrible look for you, don’t do it.” Subtle.
Straighteners are great for creating a polished, frizz-free look, but curling irons use the same technology and are so much more versatile. The look I go for is the “Kate Middleton,” a term I coined because everyone in the world knows what her hair looks like.
Dry shampoo not only cleans your hair, it also adds volume so you can stretch a good blow out over a few days rather than just one.
3. Find a wash-and-go style you can live with. I’ve taken to braiding my hair into two fairly lose braids, leaving it like that overnight, and then just embracing my curls the next morning. This is something that was fashionable when I was in the fourth grade at Duffy Elementary school in West Hartford, and it still works. The great thing about braiding it is that the braids weigh down the top, making it less pouffy—no one wants pouffy. This is not a “Dallas” re-run.
4. When all else fails, use a bobby pin. It’s true that no matter how crazy your hair looks, fastening a clip or bobby pin on one side by your ear can make it look like you meant to wear your hair like this. Trust me, it really works–sometimes I have even fooled myself.
Here are some of my favorite products.
1. Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron: I like this one because the barrel is 1 1/2 inches so you can still straighten/smooth your hair without tightly curling it.
2. T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers Set: Yep. These are expensive, by they are cheaper than three professional blow outs, and they’re the only set of curlers I’ve found that truly travel well.
3. Spasilk 100% Pure Silk Pillowcase: The great advantage to these is that they stay cooler than regular pillowcases, if you’re one of those people who likes to flip your pillow over to use the cooler side.
4. Conair Anti Static Thermal Round Brush, Large: While I don’t think the shampoo or conditioner use use matters much (at least it doesn’t for my hair), the brush you use while blow drying is very important. I’ve never been able to give in and fork over the cash for a Mason Pearson, but Conair works just fine.
5. Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment: I’m not as in love with this styling product as everyone else seems to be, but I will buy any beauty treatment that smells good and comes in a brown bottle.
6. Marianna Jumbo Section Clips 3-pack: One of those purchases that seems so silly (“Can’t I just use elastic bands to hold my hair up?”) but they are so much easier to use to hold large chunks of hair into place while blow drying than anything else. Worth it!
7.Ceramic Ionic Hair Dryer: I don’t know what the ions do for your hair, but apparently it’s potent enough for every hair dryer manufacturer to include it in the name of their products.
8. L’Oreal Paris Studio Line Clean Gel, Strong Hold, 6.8 Fluid Ounce: I like to use a combination of a bit of gel with Moroccan Oil. To counter-act the higher price of the oil, I tend to buy whatever gel I can find on sale. Just use a tiny bit.
If you think this is too much attention being paid to hair, I’ll let you know I once read an article in Vogue about a woman who flew to China to adopt a baby after years of trying. Right before she was to pick up her child, she hunted all over the city to find a beauty salon in order to get a blow out. She did not want to experience one of the most important moments of her life with frizzy hair. I totally get this woman.
PS: I swore I wouldn’t do it, but I have indeed created a Connecticut Day Trips Facebook page. Like the page to get these posts via Facebook.