Wearing Your Natural Hair on Vacation: Tips for Rocking Your Kinks and Coils

Over the last few years, Black women have proudly joined the “a Black girl and her braids” movement for vacation, as evidenced on social media. Dozens of videos showed friend groups all proudly sporting the latest variation of knotless braids or cornrows as they headed to their favorite tropical destination for a getaway. But, in recent months, more women are proudly rocking their natural hair on vacation—saying that it’s more freeing.

For some, having to deal with your natural kinks and coils while trying to get a little R&R defeats the purpose. We’ll be honest, the convenience of waking up with braids is unmatched, but through our own research, wearing your natural hair isn’t as bad as it seems.

Below, we offer a few tips on how to navigate your future getaways while wearing your natural hair.

Plan ahead

Before you jet off to your destination, make sure you know what activities you’ll be doing—especially if swimming or excursions where your hair could get wet, are involved. By knowing this, you can plan ahead as far as packing and picking up travel size versions of products if you don’t want to have to check your bag.

Also, by planning ahead, it will help you map out a style or styles to rock. For instance, if your hotel or accommodation doesn’t have blow dyers—and you don’t plan to travel with one—then you know that styles that require heat to your hair are out of the question.

Always take extra products and hair accessories

You can never be sure on the exact amount of product your hair will require on a wash day, and when on vacation, you won’t have the luxury of having your arsenal of products and accessories in front of you. Therefore, be sure to take more than normal of everything, to be safe. From your shampoo and conditioner, deep and or leave-in conditioner, as well as gels and creams.

By packing hair accessories, you give yourself added flexibility with switching up your look. One day you may want to rock a baseball cap with your hair pulled back in a low ponytail or, one day, you can utilize a chic scarf or turban if you’re short on time or honestly don’t feel like bothering with your natural hair at all. There are still ways to make this process very convenient and effortless.

Choose styles that you know will last

Depending on your hair type and texture, certain styles will last longer than others. If you have a more coarse texture, then trying to wear your hair slicked back, may require daily touch-ups. Instead, try a twist-out or braid-out a day before your trip, this way, once there all you have to worry about is your nightly maintenance.

If you have looser curls, the slicked back option may be your go to. Beyond your shampoo and conditioners, you’ll likely only need a brush, hair ties, and gel for the duration of your vacation. If your curl pattern is somewhere in between, we suggest starting out with a twist-out or braid-out and switching over to a slicked back bun or puff once your hair gets wet, or humidity frizzes your original style.

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Updated: September 1, 2023 — 9:02 am