Flickr Photo Credit: Qmnonic
How do you keep your hair in decent condition on a long term trip? How do you ensure the product quality when you have no idea what the local pharmacy will carry? Here are some tips I picked up on the road and used during our recent around the world trip:
Usually, the quality of this product is less important to me than the conditioner. If you feel the third world equivalent is too harsh, dilute it. It’ll go further anyway. We did start off with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint as it is supposed to be more Earth friendly when showering at camp grounds or bathing in rivers and lakes. However, I only had room for the smallest size of bottle. So I had to keep refilling that one with whatever we found on the road, since I knew exactly where to store it in my gear to gain the most efficiency in packing.
This is where I got a little more technical. I used a technique I’d been using at home to save pennies on my favorite hair product. Here’s how it works. You buy a small, backpack sized spray bottle at your local discount department store. I went pretty small on this, three or four inches tall at the most with a small diameter. (When using this idea at home, you can use a much larger spray bottle so you don’t have to remix as often.) Squeeze a small (and I do mean small) amount of your conditioner into the bottle. Fill the rest with water, screw the pump cover back on, and shake well to blend and mix the product. After getting out of the shower, towel / sarong dry your hair as much as possible and spray this on your hair. It works like a leave in conditioning treatment and / or detangler. You can go pretty heavy on your ends to make sure they are protected. Comb your hair out and air dry. You’ll need to experiment a bit on the right ratio of conditioner to water for your hair. I used what I thought was a small enough amount in the beginning and ended up with extremely greasy hair. It really doesn’t take much at all. The good thing about this idea is that since it’s a leave in product, you can go pretty bargain basement on the conditioning product you buy and it will still work well. However, if you have a special conditioner that you feel you can’t live without, this is a way to make it last MUCH longer both on the road and at home. Take a small travel sized container full of conditioner to remix a new spray batch on the road. You’ll go quite a while on this very little bit of product.
Have any other girlfriend tips for road warrior grooming? Let us know!