The best hair products for worldwide travel

Summer is (supposedly) here, and we’ve all got travel fever on a major scale. Whether the summer holidays to you means driving down to the nearest beach, hitting up a capital city, or splashing out on a more exotic or lavish getaway, travel is something almost all of us will be partaking in over the next few months.

Taking hair care into consideration on your travels is likely not at the top of your priorities. You might think- and rightly so, in some cases- that hair care is inconvenient for trips away: a waste of suitcase space, a part of your at-home routine that you don’t feel guilty about leaving behind for a week or so (the same goes for general exercise and healthy eating, unless that’s just us).

While it’s true that there are far more exciting things to be doing on your escape getaway than making sure your hair looks and feels fabulous all the time, exposing your locks to an unfamiliar environment with different temperatures, humidity levels, and even pollutants, can cause irreparable damage. With that in mind, we’ve devised a list of the key hair products that are easy to slip into your suitcase, based on where it is in the world you’re visiting.

1.       A major city

Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting, a major city’s climate can vary drastically, but there’s one thing that will never change: pollution. Dust, gasses, and dirt from vehicles and the like can leave hair dry and weak, leading to split ends and scalp irritation. The solution here is not to wash your hair like a maniac every night- this will only strip your hair of its natural oils, which are essential to keeping it healthy.

Instead, consider bringing with you one or two products that will help keep your hair shielded from the worst of the pollution. Many brands now make targeted products for just that, which work by coating the hair with a barrier of sorts, to protect the dust and dirt from penetrating. It’s also worth bringing a good conditioner with you, so that you can rehydrate your hair once or twice as a part of your hair washing routine. Products aside, keeping hydrated and wearing a hat can help in general to keep hair healthy and moisture-rich during your stay.

2.       A beach location

If you’re visiting the beach on your holidays, chances are (and hopefully so), you’re going to be exposed to a bit of sun. While we all love the feeling of the warm rays on our skin, these can damage the protective outside layer of hair strands, leading to discolouration, weakening, and a bad case of split ends.

The solution to this problem is clearly not to hide away inside all day and avoid the sun for all it’s worth- you came on holiday to get a tan, after all- but there are ways aside from wearing a hat that can help keep your hair protected. Special products focusing on shielding hair from UV rays are widely available in most drug stores, and can be sprayed onto hair at any point in the day to offer long-lasting protection. The natural UV filter should help to keep your strands safe from sun damage, meaning you won’t have to fork out for an essential split end chop once you get home.

3.       A desert

Desert climates are known for being dry, harsh and moisture-sucking, so it’s important that you’re equipped with the tools to restore moisture and keep your hair happy and healthy in the heat. Leave-in hair masks are a great solution in general, but if you can’t be bothered with the fuss of applying one, there are simpler things to take with you in your suitcase.

There are a number of sprays and balms to target hair hydration that are the perfect size for travel, and can simply be applied to the roots as and when you feel your hair needs it. Aside from these more specialist products, there’s nothing wrong with using a good old moisture-restore shampoo and conditioner, too. If you don’t want to take a giant bottle in your suitcase, look for brands that offer travel-sized versions of their products.

Laura Shallcross