7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy when Traveling

how to protect your hair when traveling

If you’re concerned about how your hair will behave when you’re on a trip, you’re not alone. It’s taken me plenty of miles on the road to learn what to do with my extra long hair when I’m away from home. From what to pack (or not pack!) to tips for keeping your style in check, here are 7 easy ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling.


This post was sponsored by Gray Away as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. 

My First Hair Nightmare

I must have been 6 or 7 years old, but I still remember my first hair nightmare when traveling with my folks. I’ve had long hair for most of my life, and even though there’s a lot of it, it’s very fine. Add those two hair textures together and it’s a recipe for knots and tangles. 

We were headed from Maine to Ohio to see my grandparents and we stopped at a hotel for the night. I used the little bottle of shampoo that was in the shower, got out, and tried to use one of those old-fashioned combs to get the tangles out. I remember being almost in tears every time the comb would get stuck. 

And, while it took me many years later to get my on-the-go hair routine down pat, that moment still makes me cringe. It’s a “never will I ever again” moment that I’ll never repeat. Instead, here’s what I do to make sure my hair stays in tip top shape while traveling. 

1. Bring Your Own Shampoo & Conditioner

ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling

Even if you’ve researched the hotel or resort you’ll be staying at for their toiletry line (yes, I’ve done that!), they may have a change at the last minute. So, to be prepared, I always pack my own shampoo & conditioner. 

Not only does it save a call to the front desk for extras, I know how my hair will behave with my own products. 

2. Refill Smaller Bottles to Save Money

If you can’t take full-size bottles of shampoo & conditioner with you, purchase inexpensive travel bottles and fill/refill as needed. I use a permanent marker and label them to be safe (my conditioner looks exactly like my body lotion!), too. 

Additionally, you’ll save money by refilling your travel bottles instead of buying travel-size pre-filled ones. It’s hard to weigh the cost for me at $1.49 for a teeny bottle or twice as much for a full-size one. 

3. Keep Your Stray Grays in Check

ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling gray away

Yep, I’m at that stage where the grays hairs (or silver, as my family likes to call them) have started popping up. And compliments of being a travel writer, and constantly on the road, it gets harder and harder to keep my hair appointments exactly when they need to be. Add in the fact the current situation of the world and it’s becoming nearly impossible to visit my stylist. 

So, for those times in between when I need to temporarily cover my grays, I use Gray Away. It has two styles that I take with me:

  • Temporary Root Concealer Spray
  • Root Touch-Up Quick Stick

Because each is super affordable, I honestly use both. And continuing with the honesty, I’ve been using it for a couple of years. I have one Root Touch-Up Stick that stays in my bathroom at home and one that never leaves my toiletry bag.

I find it works well in hot, humid locations and doesn’t sweat off/away and I can use it precisely where I need to. While I don’t need it for my eyebrows (yet!), it can be used on them as well.

As for the Temporary Root Concealer Spray, I only have one can. I really do need to purchase another  (I buy mine at Walmart) so I have it in both places, too. I like using mine for an all-over look instead of just a couple of grays. It keeps my fly aways in check, too. 

ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling before and after Gray Away
Before and after photos (unretouched) using Gray Away. Amazing results!

So what does that mean? I’ve been using Gray Away Temporary Root Concealer far before I was asked to write this post. 

4. Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy when Traveling: Avoid the Hair Dryer

Using heat to style your hair is a recipe for split ends. So, I really do try to avoid the hair dryer even at home. Sure, I do use curing irons and straighteners but definitely not everyday. I find a messy bun can look just as chic these days as a full blowout or style. 

So my point is, pick your heat battles when it comes to your hair. If you have straight hair, consider no-heat curling options that can be left in overnight. 

5. Use Leave-In Conditioner

If it’s a hot humid place, I like to pack and use leave-in conditioner or hair oil. I find it’s easier to style and brush, plus it gives my hair some added moisture. 

This rings especially true if you’re not sure what type of water your hotel or resort has. I swear, there have been times when it feels like my hair is almost stripped of its moisture compliments of high flow shower heads and different water. 

6. Pack a Detangling Brush

ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling bring leve-in conditioner and hair oil

I use a Tangle Tamer, but feel free to choose what works for you. At this point, detangling brushes are all I use to style my hair and my head and scalp are thanking me for it. 

Remember that comb story from above? Yeah. 

7. Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy when Traveling: Pack Your Own Pillow Case

ways to keep your hair healthy when traveling satin pillowcase

If you have a hard time with tangles when you sleep, a satin pillow case really can help. I personally used to use one as a child, but now I’ve got my hair under control (and bring my own pillow) when traveling. 

If you choose to bring your own pillow/pillowcase, make sure it’s brightly colored so you don’t forget it. Trust me, that’s happened and I’ve had to have my pillow shipped home. 

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