Staying fly and on top of your skincare and haircare game can feel like a major challenge when you’re traveling. There’s the change in temperature (hello, humidity!), a jam-packed itinerary, and the inconvenience of not having your everyday products at your disposal. And whether your hair is natural, relaxed, or you’re rocking braids, keeping your hair in tip-top shape while you’re traveling can feel like a challenge.

In addition to the weather elements, you have to take into account any activities you might be getting into. From the adventure-loving girly who loves adrenaline-filled excursions to the more laid-back traveler who prefers to lounge poolside with a strong drink, your hair is sure to have some specific needs, and everyone can benefit from products that keep your scalp healthy.

Luckily, all you really need are a few haircare essentials to keep your locs looking their best. These are the items you’ll want to pack in your carry-on bag for your next travel journey, whether you’ll be snapping IG pics poolside, taking a dip in the Caribbean Sea, or sweating it out while hiking and zip lining.

SOUL CAP – Swimming Cap for Long Hair

There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a dip in the sea or a late-night swim at your resort’s pool, but there’s no denying the havoc chlorine or salt water can wreak on anyone’s hair, especially color-treated tresses. And all too often swim caps don’t take into account the long, thick manes of many Black women. But Soul Cap is specifically designed for locs, braids, curls, kinks, and all the glorious hair that we rock. Depending on your needs, choose the size swim cap that works best for you, which ranges from medium to 2XL. The caps, which are created by a Black-owned brand, are made of 100% silicone and fit snugly, all while providing the necessary coverage and protection.

Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush

While you might not want to commit to your full haircare routine while on vacation, packing a solid detangling brush is a great way to remove any tangles from your hair after you’ve been out all day exploring or all night partying. The bristles of this Crave Naturals brush are strong enough to detangle and work their way through wet or dry hair, but gentle enough for all hair types, from straight to tightly coiled. The curved shape of the brush isn’t just for aesthetics, but the ergonomically designed handle makes it easy to hold, which is especially great if it takes you a minute to detangle or you’re using the brush in the shower. The brush is a perfect travel size and can be purchased in black or even fun colors like coral, turquoise, or purple. 

MIELLE Rosemary Mint Organics Hair and Styling Bundle

Mielle is a haircare winner for pretty much everything, from shampoos and conditioners to styling aides to edge control. And if you can’t pick just one product, try this five-piece styling set that includes a shampoo, moisturizing hair mask, invigorating scalp oil, styling cream, and gel for your edges. All of the products have that refreshing mint fragrance that doesn’t just smell good but also has a slight tingling sensation on the scalp. Pack one or all of the bottles for your next vacation, and for the carry-on queens who pack light, transfer some of the products into TSA-approved toiletry bottles.

Morfone 16 Pack Travel Bottles Set for Toiletries

Speaking of toiletry bottles, this 16-piece set can hold pretty much any type of haircare product you can think of. Try one of the spray bottles for your favorite liquid leave-in, and the sturdy silicone squeeze bottle would be perfect for your thick shampoo. Some of the smaller jars are just the right size for edge control or essentials that you just need a dab of. The leakproof bottles meet TSA’s requirements for carry-on liquids and the set even comes in a convenient clear bag. Also, the set has a funnel for easy pouring and even a brush to clean all of the bottles out in between use.

Kitsch Satin Pillowcase for Hair & Skin

Even the most luxe hotels can have cotton pillowcases that dry your hair out. One solution is to pack your own! This satin pillowcase from Kitsch is easily packable, and the soft material won’t dry your hair out or be as harsh against your hair and face like the standard cotton variety. Also, if you’re in a warm climate, the satin is sure to have a cooling effect. Purchase a one or two pack of the pillowcase, which comes in standard/queen or king. Your hair will thank you. 

Wbfwbb Black and Leopard Soft Elastic Band Silk

Did you get your hair braided or some beautiful goddess locs for your upcoming vacation? Then you know you’ll probably need a larger scarf. Easily maintain your style with this bonnet that measures an impressive 27 inches long. If you’re used to waking up to your bonnet having mysteriously made its way off of your head, you’ll appreciate the thick elastic band. It helps the cap stay in place and reduces any movement or friction against your hairline. The product actually comes in a two-pack, black and leopard print.

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