Travel: How to care for your hair as you #TembeaKenya


A woman’s hair is her crown. How it is maintained and styled speaks volumes especially when making first impressions. Well, we all have some nasty hair days sometimes, which is ok, but imagine having a bad hair day when on safari! Wouldn’t that just dampen your high spirits?

Travelling for pleasure means you should be able to let your hair down literally and feel the destinations’ cool exotic breeze on your scalp. However, for some of us that is a nightmare! We end up having to braid or weave in our kinky African manes or just keep it under stylish head wraps. How boring!

travel chick
Looking stylish when travelling. Image from

Enough of that, here are some interesting suggestions worth considering. I gathered them from a collection of experiences, travel buddies and a few great hairdressers;

1. Go natural. Even if your hair is relaxed you can still have it set for a natural look (especially when you have new growth). This is an easy way to style yourself every evening or morning according to your creative moods.

2. Moisturize and protect. Remember, a dry, frizzy look can be quite unappealing, so this must be your daily ritual because most destinations are too hot or too humid. Your hair may lose moisture much faster which must always be sealed in to maintain your styling.

3. Avoid excess oil. Greasing scalp and applying oily moisturizer is not recommended as it may lead to overheating especially when under the hot sun for long. It will also leave your forehead with an ugly shine especially in humid places.

4. Carry your own care pack. This should contain your preferred brands of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in-treatment, a moisturizer, and polishing spray with SPF- Yes, like your skin, your tresses need protection from the sun too. This way you will be able to clean up and self-style comfortably whenever you need to without spending extra cash. Alternatively, as you book your accommodation, find out if there are trusted and cost friendly hair salons you can pop in for a quick fix and a relaxing head massage.

5. Avoid heat appliances. Blow dryers and curling irons are handy but you can actually survive without them, plus it’s always great to give your hair a rest from all that damaging heat styling. In hot destinations, your hair will often dry up after a wash, just ensure to apply moisturizer after the final rinse to avoid over drying and frizzy bits.

6. Swim tips. For the water lovers like me, always remember salt and chlorine dry out your hair, so you must make sure you have thoroughly moisturized using SPF spray before diving in, especially if not using a swim cap. It is also advisable to apply leave in treatment, let it dry, then go for your swim. After this, immediately rinse out your hair and moisturize.

7. Create your self-styling plan. The internet has lots of videos showing easy protective styles you can fix in minutes, for example the twist and curl is an absolute favorite because it’s a quick fix, easy to sleep on and looks absolutely fabulous the next day, oh, and did I mention it can hold for two to three days. So do some research early enough, select and even try out some and plan which days you will wear which style.

8. Gel and tuck in. Sometimes combing out hair can be a tedious process, so what better way than to quickly comb it out using a wide toothed comb, seal it in with holding gel and tuck into a neat bun. This works quite well for hiking excursions and mountain climbing.

9. Accessorize your style using bright flowery clips, shiny bobby pins, large hats and colorful ribbons or tie scarves. For cooler temperatures such as in mountain regions, use a knitted hat or balaclava with silk lining on the inside.

10. Sleep styling. Whichever style you pick out and sleep in, always ensure to use a silk scarf or wrap. This helps keep your hair moisturized, helps avoid detangling and maintain your style for longer. Alternatively, you can carry your own silk pillow case if you have one.

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Mwende Maritim is a budding freelance writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has always had a passion for well written content but began writing professionally in 2014. Her writing mainly covers lifestyle issues and anything to inspire people especially the teenagers she mentors.