I used to travel so much, the most asked question I’d get on social media was, ‘Do you LIVE in a hotel?’ Well, I don’t (sometimes I wish I did), but I do love to travel. And, I love looking good while I’m away from home.

I’ve worn my hair strictly curly for about 5 years now and have needed to make my haircare routine simpler as my travel progressed from hotels to van life to a liveaboard sailor and back again. Keeping my curls hydrated and happy is my main goal.

My curls get a trim every 6 months and I trim it myself (thanks YouTube.) I love seeing my curls both defined and in a complete afro. Here’s my super simple haircare routine that keeps my curls happy.

1. Cool Water

Hair Care for Curly Travelers
Fifaliana-joy, Pixabay

I used to think it was lake water and ocean water that made my curls so defined. After a fun day tubing at the lake or playing in the waves, my curls would air dry and look amazing. In reality, any cool water works. Whether that’s a cool shower, or a dip in a river. Cool water keeps my curls defined.

2. Conditioner

Hair Care For Curly Travelers
Monfocus, Pixabay

My curly hair eats up so much conditioner. I like to add several dollar sized dabs to my hair to coat it really well. I rinse and repeat, just as you would shampoo.

3. Finger Detangling

Hair Care For Curly Travelers

The, Curly Girl Handbook taught me to use my fingers to detangle my hair. I generally detangle with the second round of conditioner in my hair and take my time separating curls. Sometimes, I use a detangling brush with bristles.

4. Soft T-shirt

Hair Care For Curly Travelers
unpetitvoyou. Pixabay

A soft t-shirt (instead of a towel) wrapped around my head while I dry off  keeps my curls from getting frizzy. I take my hair down and let it air dry once I’m done getting dried, lotioned and dressed.

5. Silk/Satin Pillowcase

Hair Care For Curly Travelers
qimono, Pixabay

Unfortunately, I ‘sleep bad’ meaning I toss and turn and don’t even think about my curls. I used to wake up with my hair everywhere. After getting a satin pillowcase though, my curls were so much nicer when I woke up than they were with a cotton pillowcase. And, it’s such a small item, it’s easily packed in your carry on.

6. Spray Bottle

Hair Care For the Curly Travler
Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

For the days I don’t want to get my hair completely wet, I use a spray bottle to refresh my curls. What’s in the spray bottle? I mix hot water and my favorite conditioner and shake it thoroughly. I let it cool completely before using it. You can put it in the fridge for that cool water, or for summer vacations that are extra hot. I always use my fingers (and never a brush) when I refresh my hair. Brushes and combs just don’t work on my hair when it’s dry.