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If you travel frequently, you might have noticed a strange phenomenon: all days become bad hair days and your once-luscious locks become a frizzy mess that is hard to manage. You might have wondered why this happens and even been at your wits’ end trying to get your hair to look good in your travel photos.

Curious to find out why this phenomenon is so common, and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you again? Read on to find out more!

Why does my hair become frizzy and damaged when I travel?

Frizzy Hair Travel

Change in humidity

Hair’s chemical structure makes it unusually susceptible to changes in the amount of hydrogen present in the air, which is directly linked to humidity. When you are in a more humid place, the cuticle of the hair is open, moisture from the hot, humid air penetrates the shaft, and you get those frizzy flyaways you rather do without.

Taking travel medications

If you start taking oral contraceptives before travelling, take note: this may have an effect on your hair, depending on the type of pill. Some pills can trigger or worsen genetic hair thinning, resulting in hair thinning in the front or top of the scalp, as well as increasing the oiliness of your scalp.

Excessive sun exposure

You may have never thought about it, but exposure to the sun damages both your skin and your hair! When you don’t protect your hair from UV exposure, some of the stronger disulphide bonds in your hair may actually be broken, leading to permanently damaged, dry, and brittle hair that breaks off rather than fall out.

Sunlight also bleaches your hair, so if you have hair that is previously coloured, you’ll find that it will be even more prone to breakage as the damage is cumulative.

Tips for the best in-flight hair routine

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If you’ve ever felt that the air on the plane is much drier than you are used to, you’re absolutely right: the typical cabin is exceptionally dry and dehydrating at around 12 per cent humidity, which is drier than you will find in most deserts. This is chiefly a by-product of cruising at high-altitudes, where moisture content is somewhere between low and nonexistent.

Although you may be restricted in terms of what you can do for your hair inflight, it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to make sure your hair stays in tip-top condition after your 17-hour flight. Here are some ways you can combat the drying conditions:

Drink more water

It turns out that drinking water is not only good for your skin but also does wonders for your hair!

When you do not consume the recommended amount of water to meet your body’s daily water requirements, the cells which are responsible for hair growth will not be able to grow and reproduce normally. This can cause your hair to become extremely dry and withered, and eventually stop the natural growth cycle of your hair.

This is also a reason why you may realise that you suffer from unprecedented hair loss after travelling, especially if you are often flying long-haul or taking frequent domestic flights.

Bring along an empty bottle that you can fill up with water before you board the plane, and be sure to ask the flight attendants for a glass of water whenever you start feeling thirsty.

Bring a travel-sized amount of haircare products onboard

You may not be able to keep a 1L bottle of hair oil in your carry-on, but you are allowed to bring travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item!

Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum Light

The Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Serum is, quite literally, the perfect product to have when your hair starts to feel frizzy. We recommend using the light version that doesn’t leave any stickiness on your hair while keeping it fresh and manageable for the rest of your flight.

Tie your hair in a silk scarf

Another simple and fashionable way to prevent fly-aways is by tying your hair in a silk scarf to create a barrier between your hair and the static-inducing headrest. Not only will you look polished and stylish on your journey, but the silk scarf will also protect your hair from the friction between your locks and the headrest – sweet!

Shine Silk Scarf Shawl

DV Tip: Get a beautiful scarf that can be customised into various accessories just by tying multiple knots! This lightweight and airy silk scarf from SHINE comes in various jewel-toned colours for a practical hair product and fashionable accessory no matter where you are travelling to.

How to care for your hair while travelling

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Spritz dry shampoo and texturising spray

Once you’ve touched down, you may notice that your hair looks flattened and lifeless, but you’ve got places to be and no time to do an elaborate hair care routine. dry shampoo and texturizing spray are going to be your best friends! Bring back that needed bounce and soak up any unwanted oils before heading out on your adventure.

Don’t use hair products provided by your hotel

If you’ve ever noticed that your hair feels dry or brittle after using hotel shampoo and conditioner, you’re not imaging things. Just like skin, everyone’s hair is different and requires certain ingredients in order to cleanse and protect your hair.

Using a shampoo and conditioner that is not formulated for your hair type can cause your scalp and strands to feel dry, coarse, and uncomfortable. If you have a scalp that tends to be a bit more oily, a hotel shampoo and conditioner could also contribute create more grease on your scalp – yikes!

Hence, you are highly recommended to take your hair products with you when you travel, as you already know that they work well for your hair and scalp type. If you can’t find travel-sized versions of the products you use at home, you can always get pour them into smaller plastic containers and tubes to pack into your luggage.

Slather your hair with oil or moisturiser before going into salt or chlorinated water

Swimming in the hotel pool or frolicking at the beach sounds like fun, but hair damage? Nope.

Before you dive straight into the salt or chlorinated water, remember to slather your mane with hair oil or moisturiser. The idea is to let your hair absorb good nutrients first so that it won’t absorb chlorine or salt – they will just stay on your hair strands, and you can just wash them off afterwards without damaging your hair at all.

Cover your scalp when you are outdoors for long hours

This hair care tip doubles up as a skincare tip for your face as well. Chances are, you’ll be out in the sun for long hours while you are travelling, leaving both your scalp and hair strands exposed to a lot of UV damage. Remember to wear a hat, cap, or headscarf every day, especially if you know that most of your activities are done outdoors.

What you can do for your hair after returning from your travels

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Do a deep conditioning treatment

If you have tried your best to keep your hair healthy but still find that it looks frizzy and drier than it used to be, you may consider a deep conditioning treatment for your hair.

Deep conditioning treatments are commonly done to restore the hair’s natural shine and lustre. Many deep conditioning treatments are also designed for colour- or chemically-treated hair, which has a higher tendency to become dry and dull.

You can either buy a deep conditioning product and do it yourself at home, or head to a trusted salon to get some professional help.

Avoid colouring, perming, and rebonding treatments immediately after your trip

It’s no secret that chemically-treated hair tends to be weaker, so it only makes sense that your hair will become even more damaged if you treat it with chemicals when it is still dry, limp, and possibly damaged from your travels.

For example, dyeing of hair requires the use of peroxide to break down your natural hair pigment. Peroxide is extremely drying to the hair and will leave it looking a lot like straw. If your hair already has a straw-like texture and lots of frizz from the damage incurred while travelling, you will find your hair strands breaking off a lot more easily and may even result in hair thinning or even hair loss issues!

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