Travel Accessories

Fighting Frizzy Hair During Tropical Travel

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I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly vain person, but I do make an effort not to have bad hair on my trips. Even if the people around me will never see me again, pictures are forever. And especially now that some of them wind up on HeelsFirst, I’d really prefer people didn’t see my cocker spaniel side.

But this is a problem when traveling in warm humid climates  no matter how much I might blow dry and/or style my hair, 5 minutes outside and I have unruly, inconsistent waves. Particularly with my bangs. Fun. Especially since I hate having to spend alot of time on makeup or hair.

I also have this problem when visiting family in Florida, and over Christmas my mom put Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Blow-Dry Perfector in my stocking. I tried it out and for slightly over a week my hair had volume and stayed straight throughout the entire day.

It was on clearance in DC for $6.50 at Walgreens (although now only $7.35 on Amazon), so this time I thought ahead and planned to apply it to my hair prior to the trip. I found it left my hair a little limp for the first 2 washings, but after that, the effect was ideal for the next 5. So two days before I left I put it on and by the time I was boarding my first Singapore flight I was looking good, even in Houston humidity.

Keri Good Hair

I avoided washing my hair during the Moscow layover because I also wanted to try out the dry shamppo — Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder — I received in a recent Birchbox. So after dinner on the second leg of my flight, I opened it up and applied it. It worked at the time, my hair was less separated looking, but ultimately interacted badly with the Garnier product.

Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder when travelling

Because of spa treatments and time by the pool, I wound up not washing my hair until the afternoon of the first day in Singapore. I blow dried it as usual, but it an hour later the front felt like straw and was starting to curl (it was pouring rain outside) and the back felt like a greasy mess. (This was clearly the fault of the hair powder, not the Garnier)

Which meant I wound up washing my hair two more times that night to get rid of the dry shampoo effects, and I speculate it negated the remaining power of the Garnier, because the next two days I was once again battling random waves and curls.

I’m still skeptical if the over-the-counter product would be enough to stand up to really strong humidity like the climate of Thailand, but I’m hopeful. I’ll be trying it again on my next warm weather trip (this time without dry shampoo) and applying it either the day I leave or when I arrive and will post an update.

If anyone has found affordable, time-saving options for good hair in humidity, please share!


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.


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