Have you noticed the trend of hotels—even upscale chains—not offering free conditioner anymore? After a recent mishap—asking reception for conditioner only to have an air-conditioning repair person sent up instead—I decided to never rely on free supplies again.
Travel Hair Products You Need to Pack
From sulfate-free shampoos to pint-sized straighteners, here are some perfectly compact travel hair products and tools that will ensure that every vacation day is a good hair day.
2-in-1 Mini Hair Straightener/Curling Iron
Hey, it’s good to have options while you’re on vacation. Whether you want curly or straight hair, you just need one travel hair tool: this combo straightener/curling iron by AK Pro. It’s dual voltage and travel-sized, so you can take it anywhere. Simply flip a switch to convert it from curler to flat iron; it even comes with an insulated carrying bag so you can pack it safely while it’s still hot.
Conair Travel Smart Folding Hair Dryer
There’s room in even the smallest carry-on for this TravelSmart by Conair hair dryer, which has a folding handle to make it super compact. It’s dual-voltage, so you can use it pretty much anywhere, and the 1200-watt power will dry your hair quickly.
DevaCurl Kit for All Curl kind
Curly haired flyers, this kit is for you. The cult-favorite DevaCurl haircare line has a new travel-friendly kit with three-ounce versions of its products that work on every kind of hair. The Kit for All Curl Kind contains travel-sized bottles of its shampoo, conditioner, gel, and styling cream.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Long flights, camping—there are plenty of travel scenarios in which you can’t get to a shower. Refresh your hair with this tiny can of dry shampoo by Batiste. No water required, just spray and instantly feel (and smell) cleaner. The dry shampoo soaks up and eliminates oil so you’ll at least look pulled together.
Tangle Teezer Compact
Instead of packing both a comb and a brush, get the Tangle Teezer Compact, a smaller version of the popular hair tool. This works on both wet and dry hair, and won’t damage your locks. The tiny case keeps the bristles clean when you pack it away, and it detangles painlessly, so it’s great for kids.
Fekkai Soleil Hair Radiance and Protection Mist
You’d never go to the beach without slathering sunscreen all over your body first, but what about your hair? Your hair and scalp definitely feel the harmful effects of the sun as well, so protect yourself with a UV filtering treatment, like Fekkai’s Radiance and Protection Mist. This travel-sized spray contains an invisible UV filter and soothing sunflower seed oil to protect your hair and scalp, and prevent hair color fading and dehydration.
GlamWaves Roller Head Band
Get sleek waves without wasting your precious vacation time in front of the mirror. The nifty GlamWaves headband works either overnight or with a hair dryer to create curls with minimal effort. Just wrap your damp hair in it before going to bed and wake up in the morning with beautiful style. And, the soft headband is a lot easier to pack than curlers!
UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo
Been hitting the hotel pool? Your hair probably shows it. Don’t worry, just wash your hair post-dip with Ultra Swim Shampoo, which removes chlorine from your tresses. The conditioning shampoo will help neutralize the harmful effects of chlorine, thanks to ingredients including Vitamin E and aloe.
Nature Skin Shop
Don’t let the TSA tell you how much shampoo and conditioner you can bring—when you use solid versions, you can fly with as much as you like. Nature Skin Shop offers shampoo and conditioner options packed into a small solid bar making them easy to travel with, and easy to get past airport security with.
Xtava Collapsible Diffuser
We can all agree that hotel hair dryers are pretty much the worst, right? Get the same results as you would from your home hair dryer (without having to pack a whole appliance) with the Curly Co. collapsible diffuser, a silicone diffuser that attaches to any hair dryer to help decrease frizz and protect your hair from heat. It folds down to be nearly flat, so you can bring it anywhere.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Ridiculously Comfortable Travel Clothes That Don’t Sacrifice Style
- 26 Travel-Themed Socks That’ll Add a ‘Kick’ To Your Wardrobe
- 9 Travel Kits That Will Make a Long Flight Bearable
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.