How I survived traveling with Natural Hair
Earlier this year, in April, I prepared to pack up my son for a surprise trip. We were headed to California for a week for spring break. I was super excited and took the weeks before my trip to start packing our clothes.
Then came the bigger issue
“What was I going to do with my hair?” I contemplated many things, marley braids, individual braids, faux locs…. some form of a protective style. But when I sat back and thought about it, I wanted to enjoy my fro on the West Coast. Plus, my birthday was the week after I returned from Cali. I didn’t want to wear my hair in braids for my birthday. What was I going to do? I went “hair supply” shopping. I purchased travel sizes of products (that I packed and took with me, but never used) and I thought I was set. But truth be told, once I got over my “fear” it was smooth sailing.
How I prepped my hair
I started out on clean hair, that was protein treated and deep conditioned. I used a modified version of the loc method, I used a water based leave in conditioner, a hair butter (in place of an oil) and curl definer cream. I then proceeded to flat twist my hair and let it dry overnight.
I Traveled in a turban, with flat twist ready for Vegas underneath. Nor did I have to worry about getting my turban checked this go around by TSA, (I have had my hair and turbans checked in the past.) I was able to travel comfortably.
Once we reached our destination, I was able to take out my flat twist, and have bomb night time hair, I was nervous about the desert heat and what it could possibly do to my hair. My first day hair, as shown to the right, was well defined, and lasted well into the middle of the night. We got back to the hotel, and I realized that I forgot my bonnet and only had my scarf. So, I made it work.
The following morning, included brunch and more walking around Vegas. My hair the following morning was a lot fuller, but I loved how it turned out. It was still soft, had a lot of texture and wasn’t frizzy. I made the right decision.
We walked the streets of Vegas, Took in the sites, and the people. Enjoyed some girl time. And just enjoyed the scenery. The Bellagio had a beautiful exhibit made out of real flowers, and it was breath taking.
My best friend and I took pictures, We laughed, we had fun. Then came the time to leave Vegas. We headed back on route 66 to drive back to Cali and the kids. We decided to make a stop at the Seven Magic Mountains, an interactive art exhibit. It was beautiful and very colorful. And as you can imagine, in the middle of the windy and very dusty desert. We spent about 40 minutes, just walking around and taking photos. Enjoying the scene randomly placed in the middle of the desert. Art taller than me, in neon colors. Something I’ve never experienced before, in my life.
Finally, we make it back and it’s night two with my scarf. Every night, I regret leaving my bonnet at home.
The following morning, I prep my hair by fluffing it out and heading out. My hair is still soft and moisturized. Another day of not adding any additional product to my hair.
The following day, my best friend and I relax. We take the kids to the pool. I enjoy the sun, but I did not get my hair wet, (which was not intentional). We enjoy more sun, more fun, and of course mass amounts of desert heat. At this point, there is frizz, but not any shrinkage or dryness.
We take funny pictures, watch the kids play and eventually we head back to the house.
The day is finally here. I retwisted my hair using a curl cream only. I did not wash my hair, I just went ahead and twisted my hair. I parted my hair in chunky sections, added the product, detangled each section, and two strand twisted it.
I leave my twist in overnight, and we head to Palm Springs for dinner. It was fun, the kids enjoyed themselves. And it was beautiful to experience life on the west coast.
We are now hiking through the Joshua Tree National Park. We take the kids and my brother in law And we head to the park. We are hiking through the desert. Sand, bugs, rocks, taking in the new sights. I let my fro do its thing. And we lived in moments, I’ll never be ever to recreate again. These trees only exist in two places in the world, in Jerusalem and the Mojave Desert.
We hiked, wore the kids out and are preparing for the next day. It’ll be my son’s 6th birthday.
We surprise my mini with a trip to Lego Land. He had the greatest time and enjoyed his birthday. We stayed out in the sun and heat until closing time. We rode a few rides, took bunch of pictures, my son and my niece had the time of their lives. Together. This moment was worth it all.
I wore a headband with a fluffed out fro. No additional product. My hair is still soft and fluffy.
we end up back at Lego Land, for an even hotter day. We go to the Sea life aquarium. We enjoy some more sun and family time. From there we go to the beach, we enjoy the beach vibes, let the kids play, and have more girl talk.
The kids are worn out. We head back to hotel. Now it’s time for packing and minimal sleep. We are headed back to Maryland in a few hours.
For today’s venture, I opted for a flat twist and a puff. My hair was so full and defined, it just looked so great and voluminous.
How I survived traveling with natural hair
I expected for my hair to add stress to my vacation. But my hair was way easier to maintain with a lot more versatility than it would have had if I chose a protective style. I was able to live free, and adjust my hair to fit my mood for the day. I underestimated my natural hair and its ability to adapt and flourish in the unknown. Taking care of my hair, is second nature to me. I never used the travel pack of hair products I purchased. I packed my curl cream that I used the night before I left, last minute. It was used only once.
Don’t let your hair be the reason that you don’t enjoy yourself when it counts. Don’t regret the chance to create new and lasting memories. Your hair will be fine.