The summer getaways you’ve been anticipating all year are almost here! Now that reservations and itineraries are out of the way, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack for your hair’s travel needs. Leonor Greyl Brand Ambassador, hair stylist, and accessories designer Trace Henningsen spends plenty of time on planes and away from home, and whether she’s styling hair for a client or focusing on her own, she has perfected the art of summer travel hair.
Her philosophy focuses on simplicity. “It’s all about being natural and minimal. When I go on vacation and people are too ‘done,’ it looks weird to me. It’s hot out, your makeup will probably sweat off, your hair will probably fall, so trying to do too much will waste your time. Enhance your best assets, and keep it to a minimum.”
From weekend getaways to longer trips that start and end with a plane ride, here are Trace’s tips for packing just the right things and keeping your hair looking its best.
Summer must-haves for hair
Trace always travels with the Leonor Greyl travel-size kits. You can mix and match to create your own, or choose one for your particular hair needs. She particularly recommends the travel sizes of L’Huile de Leonor Greyl for a pre-shampoo treatment as well as sun protection for your hair, and the Huile de Magnolia for pampering your skin.
Blow dryers are almost always available in hotels and rentals, so that’s one bulky thing to remove from your packing list. And if you prefer not to blow dry your hair and focus on relaxation instead, bring a styling product like Algues et Fleurs, a leave-in spray infused with seaweed and flower extracts to condition and bring out texture. Trace also recommends Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice, which uses extracts of lotus, chamomile, and jojoba to create soft texture without crunchiness.
Huile Apaisante soothes itchy and sensitive scalps (too much sun, anyone?), but is also great for calming bug bites if your destination is host to insects.
Packing your carryon for a weekend getaway
If your escape is just a few days long, Trace recommends doing a good shampoo and blowout the day you leave, getting a day or two’s wear out of that, and then if needed, you can pull it back into a ponytail or under a hat.
Living on your blowout for a couple of days means you can simply pack a couple of hair accessories and some Huile de Magnolia for your skin.
What to bring for longer trips
Trace’s simple travel mini-kit includes a curling iron, some bobby pins, a hair tie, a comb, a round brush, and a flat brush. She lets her hair air-dry while traveling, bringing out the natural texture. To help, she uses Algues et Fleurs, Éclat Naturel—a hydrating styling cream with shea butter and jojoba oil—and Serum de Soie Sublimateur, a smoothing hair serum.
“The serum is lightweight and I put it on dry or wet. You can layer it on wet and then dry, and it keeps taming the frizz. Eclat Naturel is thicker, but I use a little bit to tame frizz or flyaways at my part and a little at the ends. Also, it’s good for a sleek ponytail or a braid—your hair is out of your way. Even for short hair, you can sleek it through and push your hair back. It has a shine to it but doesn’t look oily.”
Absolutely pack a travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, and a mini of the Masque à l’Orchidée or Masque Fleurs de Jasmin for when you need a more intensive treatment. If your hair has texture, Trace recommends using a wide-tooth detangling comb rather than a brush, to minimize frizz and maximize your natural texture.
Protecting your hair on a long plane ride
Plane air is notoriously dry, and if you’re traveling for several hours your hair will feel it by the end of the trip. Trace puts Masque Fleurs de Jasmin in her lengths and ends while dry, and then braids her hair or puts it up in a bun to let it hydrate during the trip.
“I love this mask because it’s not oily at all. When you put it in dry, it just absorbs and leaves no residue.” Before landing, she takes out the braids or bun and refreshes her hair with some Serum de Soie Sublimateur.
Summer travel hair styles
Even on longer trips, Trace washes her hair less frequently than at home, relying on the ponytail cuff and Petite Bardot Bow to extend the life of her shampoo. “The gold cuff creates a more ‘done’ look on your ponytail. You could also use the bow on top of the ponytail if you prefer. The bow gives you lots of options: you can clip it at the end of a braid, or in a half up-half down style. You can also do a deep side part and clip one side with the bow. These are easy styles to get you through your days without washing your hair again.”
Last tip: don’t forget to pack a hat. “A hat is always necessary to bring, because it protects your hair from the sun. People don’t always realize that sun is also heat and can really dry your hair.”
Et voilà! Jet set beauty for your summer adventures. Bon voyage!