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Hair Pros Tell All: The 1 Item They Couldn’t Live Without
If you had to take just one item, what would be that single foundation of your styling routine?
So...let’s play a little game of “What Would You Do?”
In this scenario, you’ve just won a fabulous, all-expenses-paid vacation for you and your family...
...the kind of re-energizing, thrill-packed escapade you’ve always dreamed of.
But the folks who selected you for this sensational prize have got just one condition:
When you pack your bags...you’re only allowed to bring ONE hair care product, styling tool, or accessory.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
“Don’t we all wish all our favorite styling tools and products fit in one little bag?”
Fortunately, the odds you’d ever find yourself in a contest with such bizarre conditions are almost zero.
Still...it does get you thinking, doesn’t it?
After all, there are so many tools and products you rely on to keep your hair feeling vibrant and looking fantastic.
And among that array, you no doubt have six or seven you consider absolutely indispensable.
But if you had to take even that core half-dozen...and knock it down to just one item…
...what would be that single foundation of your styling routine you simply couldn’t do without?
BRING IN THE EXPERTS!
Even in a purely “what-if?” situation, it’s not an easy question to answer.
That’s why we decided to make the selection process easier for you!
We approached a collection of the world’s foremost salon professionals, and asked them:
“What is the single hairstyling item no traveler should EVER be without?”
So, get ready to lighten your load...as these master stylists break down the true lifesavers of hairstyling on the go!
HOW YOU BRING IT MATTERS
First off, if you’ve ever found yourself stressing out over hair products when you’re packing...you are far from alone.
Just ask Danielle Valiente, a freelance stylist currently working with Paul Mitchell Salons.
When preparing her stylist’s kit for a working trip, Valiente says, “I can never decide what I want to take and what I can leave out.
“As a result, I end up with a kit that weighs more than I do.”
“It’s important to note,” Valiente says, “that I try to use smaller or travel sizes when available, to avoid taking up too much space.”
So, it’s highly recommended to transfer your own gotta-have-’em styling products into TSA-regulation-size travel bottles.1
“Be sure to check the latest TSA regulations before packing any travel-size containers”
And that includes travel-sized portions of your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
We mention this because these products are the ones you’ll most likely consider leaving home.
After all, most hotels have complimentary “sample-size” bottles for you to use...right?
Well, these freebie shampoos often strip hair of its natural oils, leaving it dried out and difficult to manage…
...and since odds are good you won’t even go through that whole sample bottle during your trip, the unused shampoo and conditioner usually gets thrown out…
....a waste of money that also can damage the environment!2
So, as Valiente suggests, your single most essential travel hair care product…
...just might be the bottles you bring your products in!
YOUR NUMBER-ONE GO-TO
Of course, certain products themselves also pack a dramatic travel styling and cleansing punch.
In fact, when discussing go-to travel hair maintenance favorites, one product came up in the comments of stylist after stylist:
- “Dry shampoo will quickly become your second-day hair best friend.” - Jenny Cho, Suave Professionals celebrity stylist3
- “I love using dry shampoo when I travel, and also on set when I’m doing makeup and hair. It’s a staple in my kit.” - Ashley Rebecca, New York-based hair and makeup artist4
- “I have 200 reasons why dry shampoo is the love of my life...it’s a time saver, makes your hair healthier, and gives you that cool bedhead look.” - Reagan Baker, stylist with New York City’s Whitemore House Salon5
“Some stylists actually call dry shampoo ‘a miracle in a can’...and it’s hard to disagree!”
The consensus is clear:
When you’re on vacation, a time when your regular styling habits may be disrupted...
...there’s a single product that offers not just hair-refreshing, oil-and-dirt-absorbing benefits…
...but also enhances the volume and texture of your tresses...revitalizes day-old curls and waves...and does it all in mere seconds!
Now, these stylists do not recommend dry shampoo as a complete replacement for a regular full wash.
But whenever your second or third-day hair needs a fresh, rejuvenating boost...you’ll be glad you’ve got it in your carry-on!
Just remember: You always want to choose a dry shampoo that goes on clear...to avoid the chalky residue far too many brands can leave on your locks.
TO BLOW OR NOT TO BLOW?
When it comes to which styling tools make the travel-packing cut, one question dominates:
Should I bring a blow dryer?
On the one hand, a revitalizing blow-dry can be just what flat, lifeless traveling hair needs to get it going again.
However, blow dryers do take up a considerable amount of precious luggage space.
Christina Butcher, the Sydney-based beauty expert behind the celebrated Hair Romance blog, recognizes the packing conundrum that can face you when it comes to your blow dryer.
“You count on your blow dryer to always keep your hair looking energized...but do you need it along for the trip?”
She recommends considering the specific vacation needs of your hair before deciding.
If you’ll be attending lots of parties, shows, or other events that demand your glamorous best, you may want to make sure your dryer of choice is along for the trip.
But you’ll probably be able to leave the blow dryer at home in a few other scenarios.
For example, you may find your hotel is near a salon that offers blow-dry services.
Or, says Butcher, if “you’re on a relaxing beach holiday...give your hair a rest for a week!”
She does caution, however, that if you’re traveling internationally with your blow dryer, prepare for electrical differences.
In addition to carrying an outlet adapter, Butcher says to “make note of the voltage differences in the countries you’re visiting.
“My hair dryers do not work in the USA,” says the Australian Butcher, “so I didn’t pack them for my recent trip.”
And of course, if you’re bringing along your hair dryer...be sure to make room in your bag for a nourishing heat protectant spray, too!
CHOOSE THE BEST, USE THE BEST
Selecting the essential items to join you when you go on vacation is always a challenge…
...especially when it comes to the products and tools you’ll be using to style your hair.
You want to make sure you’ll have everything you need to keep your hair full of life and body, your confidence high...and your vacation photos looking awesome!
But even with a full-sized travel bag, packing space is sure to be at a premium.
So, as you’re staring down at that suitcase, we hope the advice of these stylists will stay with you.
That way, the products and tools you bring along will make sure you spend your trip feeling like a winner!
- Valiente, Danielle. “Inside a Freelance Hairstylist's Kit.” John Paul Mitchell Systems Professional Blog, www.paulmitchellpro.com/wordpress/2015/01/inside-a-freelance-hairstylists-kit/.
- jessie-quinn. “Why You Should Never Use Hotel Beauty Products.” The Cheat Sheet, The Cheat Sheet, 19 Mar. 2018, www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/hotel-beauty-products.html/?a=viewall.
- Booker, Kristin. “5 Essential Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Dry Shampoo.” StyleCaster, 28 July 2016, stylecaster.com/beauty/how-to-use-dry-shampoo/.
- “10 Dry Shampoos the Pros Swear By .Makeup.com.” Makeup.com, Makeup.com, www.makeup.com/best-dry-shampoos.
- “6 Surprising Secrets of a Hair Stylist.” A Cup of Jo, 23 Jan. 2018, www.cupofjo.com/2017/12/secrets-of-hair-stylist-reagan-baker/.
- Nikki, et al. “Do You Take Your Hairdryer on Holidays?” Hair Romance, 21 Oct. 2014, www.hairromance.com/2013/08/do-you-take-your-hairdryer-on-holidays.html.