Taking care of your hair on a business trip

For a lot of women, fixing their hair is the most time-consuming grooming task of their day. Between washing, blow drying, and styling, it’s easy to spend a good 30 minutes each morning just on hair.

My curly hair dries out if washed every day, so at least that saves me a little time. Even so it’s not uncommon to spend 10-15 minutes styling before the workday. On business trips I spend even more time, since I want to make a good impression on my clients. But without all of my normal hair tools it’s not always easy to get it looking the way I want. And don’t even get me started on travel days!

Luckily, combining budget-friendly tools with some styling tricks makes the whole hair process go more smoothly.  Here are my tips for taking care of your hair on a business trip.

Travel Size Tools

If you use a hair dryer, curling iron, or flat iron on a daily basis try to find miniature versions to travel with. Otherwise half of your suitcase would be taken up by hair gear! Here are some that I like or that have been recommended by readers that don’t cost an arm and a leg:

  • Infinitpro by Conair Smoothing Hot Brush. When I want my hair sleek and straight this is my favorite tool. It will take frizzy curls and smooth them out in ten minutes. Feels kind of like a miracle, actually. $33 on Amazon.
  • MiniPRO by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer. This hair dryer is great for travel because of its relatively small footprint, and is great for styling because it comes with two attachments—concentrator and diffuser—has multiple heat settings plus a cool shot, and uses ion technology to make hair shiny. Win!  Under $20 on Amazon.
  • Conair MiniPro Ceramic Curling Iron. All of the function of a full size curling iron, but in half the normal size. It heats quickly, will hold a lot of hair, and has a ceramic barrel so it won’t damage your hair. It also comes with a travel case, so you can throw it in your suitcase as soon as you finish with it.  $20 on Amazon.
  • Remington Ceramic Compact Rollers. These rollers come with two sizes for different types of curls, and according to the reviews heat quickly and evenly. You can heat them up right in the soft-sided case. There are other travel roller sets out there with hard cases, but the reviews complained about the lid breaking. Sounds like a pain to me, so I would try this set instead.  $15 on Amazon.
  • Remington S9500pp Pearl Pro Ceramic Flat Iron. This straightener has over a two hundred reviews and has over a 4 star rating. Impressive, especially for its price point. According to the reviews, it heats up quickly and straightens hair in minutes. $25 on Amazon.
  • Conair Pro Hair Brush (purse size). This is the exact same brush that I use at home but half the size. I love how it doesn’t break my hair but still gets tangles out while taking up a fraction of the packing real estate.  $5.99 on Amazon.

The Right Products

  • Multi-taskers. There are plenty of products that will do more than one thing—a hair spray that adds shine, for example. Multitasking products save time and space, so use them wherever you can.
  • Bring your own. I highly, highly recommend bringing your own shampoo and conditioner (and other toiletries). My hair can be sensitive and I’ve had terrible reactions from random products before. For the last several years I’ve decanted my usual products into 3 oz. refillable bottles.
  • Contact lens cases. For products that only require a small quantity, even a 3 oz. bottle is too much. Instead I use a clean, spare contact lens case. Best space saver ever.

Hair strategies

  • Get a blowout. If you’re one of the people who can get away with washing your hair every few days, get a blowout before your trip (or give yourself one). That way it will last your whole trip with minimum effort.
  • Wear it up. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is wear your hair up. On travel days I choose a hairstyle that’s not in the middle of the back of my head, like a low ponytail or top knot. Otherwise I’m not able to rest my head comfortably against the headrest on the plane. (Here are some of my favorite no-hassle looks for travel days.)

Readers, any tips for taking care of your hair on a business trip? 

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

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