No stylist – now what!?!? – Traveling With Natural Hair

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As a guy who stays on the road and lives between timezones, airports, and experiences, I’ve understood the necessity of hair care on-the-go. Being raised in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, one of the main items I keep in mind is that with travel you get the opportunity to have your hair grow from the potential injection of moisture in the air. As my travel itinerary grew, my hair transitioned to be more grown out, natural, and it gained length. This journey to lengthy natural hair was varied and required a lot of trial & error on products, processes, and dueling ideologies on hair care. So here I share my best found gems for maintenance while ‘traveling with natural hair’.

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Process for Healthy Hair

 Before leaving for a trip, make sure to wash, condition (deep or hot oil treat), style (and lineup) hair. If you do this, then you will only need to maintain hair while abroad with a moisturizing regime, leave-in conditioners, and the bi-weekly dry/wet shampoo sessions.

If you need to do your hair abroad:

Washing & Conditioning

  • Find a place with a shower or faucet, multiple mirrors and good lighting
  • Apply shampoo directly to your scalp – lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Apply deep conditioner diluted with equal parts coconut oil & water in a applicator bottle
  • Leave in for 5-10 minutes, then rinse and dry
  • ‘Grease’ scalp, apply Tea Tree & Peppermint Oil spray to scalp, work to end of hair,
  • Add leave in conditioner and wrap hair


Daily – keep hair wrapped, if possible. Wrap nightly.
Every 3rd day – Apply oils
Every 6th day – Apply leave in conditioner
Every 9th day – Shampoo (rotate dry shampoo, 9 days later shampoo in shower, repeat)

**This is a process for everyday activities without addressing extreme sweating of the scalp, swimming, etc.

Product Recommendations 

Shampoo – Perfect Results Therapeutic Revitalizing Shampoo ($9) –

Conditioner – Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner ($16) –

Daily Moisturizer –  Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil spray ($9.50) – , Black Castor Oil ($14) –
*tip: Peppermint/Tea Tree Oil doubles as stringent to help clean dirt on scalp and exfoliate the scalp between styling & shampoos.

Hair ‘Grease’ – African Formula SuperGrow Hair Gel ($10) –  [It is a gel pomade that melts in hand and on any scalp. If you get the extra strength, it can be used to retwist locs in place of waxes, gels, or shea butter.]

The Major Key – Organic Coconut Oil ($8) –
Not only does this miracle oil stand as a great hair growth gem, it can replace lotion & chapstick, construct an skin exfoliate by being combined with honey, oats and sugar, remove under eye bags, be used in place of pre-shave ointments, be digested to keep health up, used in raw, vegan & everyday diets to cook, bake, and make dressings, and, little known, its a natural lubricant replacing WD-40 for metals, shining/treating leather and woods, and a massage oil.



Additional Goodies/Supplies –
• t-outliner (clippers) ($50) –
• international converter for outlets ($25) –
• combs (varying sizes in a pack) ($3) –
• hand brush (wood, no handle) ($4) –
• travel size empty containers (a pack of varying sizes) ($3) –
• hair clips, bobby pins ($2.60) –
• hair bands (tip: never use rubber bands on hair because it causes breakage) ($1) –
• scarf/bandana, satin bonnet, durag ($6) –

By Reginald B. McKinley, II

Bio: Manager of Diversity, Inclusion, & Social Impact, Chief Contributor and Erykah Badu lover. Will trade networking & relationship development tips for fresh photography location ideas. Aim: “To enter into an unconditional relationship, right now, with myself at my current height, weight, intelligence, and burden of pain.”


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10 thoughts on “No stylist – now what!?!? – Traveling With Natural Hair

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