#BizTravelGals Let’s talk travel hair!

Welcome to the first #BizTravelGals conversation! Road Warriorette and Carol Margolis of Pearls of Travel Wisdom are teaming up to chat about the important, the mundane, and the fun parts of life on the road. Share in this episode as RW and Carol, both biz traveling gals, discuss that ever critical topic: hair.phyto travel kit

What are your favorite travel hair products? Do you have a strategy for which products to bring on trips?

Carol Margolis: I always travel with my own shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. Sometimes I’ll bring mousse for humid cities if I have travel sizes of this at home. I refill my small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and hair spray in between each trip.

Road Warriorette: Yes! I also always have my own shampoo and conditioner, plus shine serum. I needed hairspray on a recent trip and didn’t have one–I’ll have to add that to my list.

What products do you use at home?

CM: I always like nice shampoos (Redken and now Chi), my husband uses hotel shampoos that he brings home from his trips. So we have his-and-her hair products. I also have my full-size bottles of hair spray and mousse. Living in Florida, the humidity can make my hair flat in no time without these!

RW: I definitely can relate to the impact humidity has on hair. I have to use multiple products at home to avoid the frizz! A shine serum and either a straightening creme or a curling creme, in addition to my beloved Phyto shampoo and conditioner.

How do you feel about hotel hair products? What have your favorites been?

CM: I was recently at a resort in Cancun and they had Chi hair products. Aaaah-mazing! I got online and had big bottles of it waiting for me when I returned home. They even had a Chi hair dryer — BEST I’ve ever experienced in a hotel!

RW: Nice!! I typically stay far away from hotel hair stuff but admit that I hoard the Aveda toiletries from Renaissance hotels. I’ve never (ever) seen a hotel with a good hair dryer though…

CM: Oh, I love Aveda, too! In fact, I actually brought the Aveda bottles home from my trip last week. They were from a Hotel Indigo (IHG property).

Do you style your hair every day, or do you prefer to put it up?

CM: I so wish I didn’t have to style it every day. My long, thick hair takes about 20 minutes to dry and I’d much rather be sleeping. Though in my sleeping hours, I must toss and turn a lot because my hair is all over the place when I wake up. I think in all my years of travel, I’ve only ever been able to get away with ‘yesterday’s hair’ a small number of times. And it’s too layered to put up without it sticking out all over the place.

RW: My hair is so dry that I can only wash it a few times a week. That is lucky, on the one hand, because it means I can sleep later (hah). On the other hand, the dry air in airplanes can wreck even the best blowout. I often choose to just wear it up to get it out of my way for flights and then deal with re-styling it once I arrive.

Do you decant your toiletries or buy trial sizes?

CM: I’m frugal and I’m picky. So I have bottles that are refillable and that’s what I do for my shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. For mousse, however, that’s a travel size. I buy them by the bundle when I find them, either online or locally if I do go into a store. Ulta is my favorite store (online and actual store) for the travel sizes.

RW: I love Ulta! My other favorite is Sephora. They have tons of travel sized products, right by the checkout. It’s hard for me to leave the store without getting one new thing to try. My everyday stuff, though, I decant into refillable bottles (for shampoo and conditioner) and spare contact lens containers (for shine serum).

What other hair tools do you bring? Hair dryers, straighteners, etc?

CM: I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but I used to travel with a full set of hair rollers and a big hair dryer. This was in the days before all hotels having hair dryers in the room. You should see the size of the suitcase I used to travel with!

Now I leave all that big stuff at home though I do like my roller brush as a pseudo-hair dryer + curling iron. It leaves my hair very soft and gives it really nice body. Though when my bag is a bit more full than normal, this gets left at home. And it’s always left at home on international trips because I don’t want to blow up the power in the room, as I’ve been known to do before.

RW: It depends on how I’m styling my hair. Most trips I will bring just a comb and a curling iron, but if I’m wearing my hair straight I will skip the curling iron and bring my round brush.

Readers, let’s continue the conversation! What hair products are your favorites for travel? What tools do you bring on every trip?

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!  

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  1. Only in the most dire situations will I use hotel shampoo and conditioner. Soap and lotion from the hotel are fine, but my hair is crazy and needs a lot of TLC. Love the tip about contact lens containers!

  2. I have allergies (and have had reactions) so I’ll only bring my own products that I’ve tested at home.
    Shampoo/Conditioner: I always use a shampoo bar since shampoo is mostly water. I can bring a months worth of shampoo in a solid Vs 1-1/2 weeks worth in a bottle. The same for conditioner – I use a solid product. Using a solid means I can bring more product and it still weighs less than the liquid!
    Hairspray: I do bring my own hairspray in a 2oz bottle. Sometimes I’ll bring hair gel and sometimes I’ll bring styling powder.
    Tools: I have a Conair 2-in-1 MiniPro You styler that is a combination flat iron and curling tool.
    One of my biggest tips is to get a hair style that works with your hair. That means minimal product/equipment to get it into a nice state, and extra sleep time.

  3. I actually use hotel shampoo + conditioner often. I’ve found that it’s fairly decent at most Starwood + Marriotts (where I tend to stay on business travel).

    I will bring a miniature leave in conditioner, and Moroccan oil when I travel. Also a travel size hairspray if it’s humid out.

    I never bring a hair dryer. Curling iron or flat iron that’s small is a must have though.

  4. I have really fine (read: flat without LOTS of manipulation) hair. I cannot live without my travel can of Kenra 25 hair spray. It is the only spray that will keep my hair where I put it without making it look like it’s been shellacked. My curling iron is always with me to pump it up too.

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