What do you do with your hair when you go on vacation? Oneika the Traveller talks hair and travel

Black women, what do you do with your hair when you go on vacation?  I usually struggle. For those of you who don’t read my blog, I chopped my hair off at the end of January. The cut was cute, extremely short, and made me ressemble a younger, boyish version of myself. The kinky-curly pixie highlighted my cheekbones and revealed the delicate curve of an almost too long neck. Best of all, though, the hairstyle was damned EASY.  Washing was a breeze; a lack of length meant detangling was non-existent.  There was no indecision as to how to wear my hair; barely an inch long, there was no option but to just let it be. It was the perfect travel hairstyle- no fuss, no muss, no weighing down my bags with annoying hair products/instruments… And then it started to grow back.

A bit of a hair update:

This is what my hair looked like before the chop (I had 2-year old dreadlocks)….

big chop


This is what happened when I got a little scissor-happy and snipped my locks off…(Oh, yes I did…)

big chop

And this is what my hair looked like after I went to a barber and got him to even out my hack job.

big chop

big chop

Having hair this short was a dream. I went to Paris a few days after I got it cut and delighted in the fact that I didn’t even have to bring shampoo (the dinky hotel shampoo would be just fine). It dried super fast and it still looked good even if I didn’t put any product in it.  I missed having hair, though, and lamented the versatility I used to have with my longer locks.  Because when your hair’s this short, you only really have one style.

I decided to grow it out.  I was thrilled when I was able to sport a mini afro in April.  Here’s a comparison shot of my hair on Day 1 of my cut vs Day 90-ish:


Cute, right? But, as I discovered (at least in my case!), with more  hair, comes more responsibility.

With my dreadlocks, I could just wash and go.  No drama necessary.  With my loose hair, however, I started to worry about tangles and my follicles lacking moisture. My hair is super super tightly curled and therefore shrinks up, which is a pain. When I let my hair “just be” it started to look “just crazy”.  Dislike.

How did this cramp my travel style?  Well, on a trip to Peru last March, I had to bring a comb, brush, special conditioner, and a bottle of hair moisturizer.  No bueno for me… Because, epiphany: I hate doing my hair. Especially when I travel. Because, when I travel, the last thing I want to worry about is my hairdo. Simplicity is key for me and I hate to overpack (it stresses me out a fair bit), so  having to bring along a bunch of tools to tame my hair was not. good. at. all.

For the record, after the first day or two, I ended up wearing hats the rest of my Peru trip.

The best travel hairstyles for me are ones that require little-to-no maintenance or products.  For brown girls like me with really really kinky coils, this equates to cornrows, dreadlocks, and braided hair extensions, all of which I’ve worn at some point in my travels.

At the beginning of May I put in some braids, just in time for my trip to Nice and Monaco. I loved them.

But inevitably, I started getting bored of my ‘do.Two months after that I took them out was surprised at how much my hair had grown.  I blow-dried my hair a bit so as to stretch out my afro and was able to rock a little puff:

I’ve been rocking the puff for the last two months and as much as I love it, I‘ve made an appointment to start dreads again at the beginning of November. I’m all about simplicity and locs were the lowest-maintenance style I’ve ever had.

 How do you wear your hair? Do you have different hairstyles for when you travel? Are you a low-maintenance girl or do you bring your special conditioners, hair straighteners, and curlers when you’re on the road?

Questions about travel? Want to read more of my travel adventures? Hit me up on my blog: Oneika the Traveller !

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