21 Travel Hair Products To Use When You Leave Your Expensive Stuff At Home
With the proverbial hustle and bustle of the holiday season — endless parties, finding gifts for everyone on your list, and putting in extra hours at work before taking a few days off for the holidays — it makes sense that packing might fall to the end of your to-do list. But your hair deserves better than last-minute travel-sized products plucked from the aisles of the drugstore, or whatever “universal” shampoo and conditioner the hotel has on hand. Even if you have to leave the expensive stuff at home, this season’s luxe travel hair care products prove that smaller bottles don’t have to mean lower standards.
According to experts, you should keep two things in mind when picking the pocket-sized products that belong in your carry-on: your hair type (of course) and your destination. “Stop and think of where you’re traveling,” Garren, the co-founder of R+Co and a celebrity stylist known for cutting actress Haley Bennett's hair, tells The Zoe Report. “If you’re going from New York to Miami, that’s dry to humid — so use products that you would normally use in the summertime.” The theory holds up no matter where you’re heading. For those jetting to the dry West Coast or skiing in a European mountain town, Garren suggests stocking up on shampoos, conditioners, and stylers that add moisture and hydration.
It’s a good idea to plan out some travel-friendly hairstyles for your trip, as well, in order to best plan your product line-up. “For any hair type, put your hair in braids or a topknot when travelling,” Leo Izquierdo, the co-founder of IGK Haircare and a stylist who works with Victoria’s Secret Angel Gizele Oliveira, tells The Zoe Report. “When you arrive, take out your braids or take down your topknot and refresh with a little dry shampoo — you’ll get easy, frizz-free waves and your hair will stay hydrated while you travel.”
“If you want a more dramatic, slicked back look for vacation, pull your hair back into a chignon or knot at the nape of the neck,” Garren says. “This always looks good at the beach, or in the evening paired with big hoops and a red lip.” He also suggests a low braid as an all-textures style to try while traveling, which is easy to accessorize with a beret or straw hat, depending on where you are.
“For natural hair, a silk bonnet or scarf is a must,” Kim Kimble, a hairstylist who works with Beyoncé and Tyra Banks, tells TZR. “It keeps hair nice while you sleep.” And don’t forget the extras; like hair ties, bobby pins, combs, brushes, and styling tools.
Ahead, 21 hairstylist (and TSA) approved travel hair products — for all textures and types — perfectly sized for your suitcase.
No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser Mini
Coily girls should travel with DevaCurl's non-lathering scalp cleanser, which removes product build up without drying out your hair.
Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Volume And Bounty Shampoo
Love Beauty & Planet
This lightweight shampoo is made with sustainable ingredients and packaged in recycled plastic — all for under $2.
Travel Size Full Shampoo
Living Proof's travel shampoo adds volume and life to straight or flat hair.
Soften Up Conditioner
Keep hair soft but strong by stashing Eva NYC's argan oil and keratin-packed conditioner in your travel bag.
Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Volume And Bounty Conditioner
Love Beauty & Planet
A super affordable travel conditioner that leaves strands hydrated but still full of bounce? Yes, please.
Travel Size Full Conditioner
Pro tip: Keep your travel hair care, like this volumizing conditioner, stored in your suitcase to make packing for future trips even easier.
Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo Mini
IGK Hair Care
"Always bring a travel-size dry shampoo with you," Izquierdo says. His Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo looks chic in a hotel #shelfie, too.
Perk Up Dry Shampoo Mini
Made with rice starch, Amika's travel-friendy dry shampoo naturally soaks up grease and oil and is suitable for all hair types.
Wave Spray Mini
OUAI's Wave Spray works double duty: It adds curves to wavy or curly hair while keeping strands shiny.
Down & Out
This "dirty spray" helps you fake second-day hair, even if you're fresh out of the shower.
ULTRA DEFINING GEL Strong Hold No-Crunch Styler Mini
DevaCurl's strong hold gel keeps curls and coils from separating — aka, no frizz in sight.
Beach Club Texture Spray Mini
"This is the easiest way to give yourself an instant style," Izquierdo tells us. "Just spray and scrunch or twist for more defined waves."
Travel Size Potion 10 Miracle Styling Potion
IT'S A 10
No frizz, more shine, and perfectly sized for traveling. Reach for this before blow-drying for the sleekest blowout ever.
Travel Size 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
If you'll be heat styling your hair on vacation, don't forget to protect your strands from heat damage with a thermal spray, like this one from CHI.
The Perfect Blonde Toning Masque
Fight brassiness while jet-setting with Pravana's violet-tinged, travel-sized toning mask.
Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask Mini
Dry curls and coils are no match for Briogeo's avocado-infused hydrating mask, now available in a convenient, TSA-approved package.
Time Travel Holiday Kit
Complete with the brand's TELEVISION Perfect Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo, and HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Crème, R+Co's travel kit has all you need for low-key, luxe-looking hair.
Beautifully Blended Box Sampler
Dr. Ena Hennegan created the hair care line Many Ethnicities to "cater to her three daughters, each of whom has a different multi-ethnic hair type: One thick and straight, one dry and curly, one coiled and wavy," the brand says. Its shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in cream set works for all hair types.
Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Defining Hair Kit
Care for coils while traveling with SheaMoisture's trial-sized set of curl products — including the cult favorite Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
Repair Travel Set
Including a TSA-friendly shampoo, conditioner, and mask, this three-piece set repairs dryness and split ends on the go.
Defining + Detailing Mini Flat Iron
Grab this now and keep it in your carry on forever. Kristin Ess' travel-sized straightener is perfect for on-the-go touch ups.
Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer
Drybar's foldable hair dryer only weighs 13 ounces but packs a powerful punch.