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 never to rely on free supplies again. Instead, I went out and found the best travel hair products. If you’re interested in putting together the ideal hair travel kit, read on.
Travel Hair Products You Need to Pack
From sulfate-free shampoos to pint-sized straighteners, here are some perfectly compact travel hair products, hair care tools, and kits to ensure that every vacation day will also be a good hair day.
6th Sense’s Two-in-One Mini Flat Iron/Curling Iron
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 6th Sense. 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’s Travel Smart Folding Hair Dryer
There’s room in even the smallest carry-on for Conair’s Travel Smart hair dryer, whose folding handle makes it super compact. It’s dual-voltage, so you can use it pretty much anywhere, and the 1200-watt power dries your hair quickly.
DevaCurl’s How to Quit Shampoo Kit
Curly-haired flyers, this kit is for you. The cult-favorite DevaCurl haircare line has a travel-friendly hair care kit featuring three-ounce versions of its products, which work on every kind of hair. The brand’s How To Quit Shampoo Kit contains travel-sized bottles of its hair cleanser and conditioner, along with an anti-frizz towel.
Batiste’s 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. This travel-sized dry shampoo soaks up and eliminates oil, so you’ll look fresh and pulled together.
Tangle Teezer’s Compact Brush
Instead of packing both a comb and a brush, get the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler, 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. This brush is great at detangling painlessly, so it’s ideal for kids.
Fekkai’s Pre-Soleil Hair 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 Pre-Soleil Hair Radiation 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’s 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 loose 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 this soft headband is a lot easier to pack than curlers.
UltraSwim’s Chlorine Removal Shampoo
Been hitting the hotel pool? Your hair probably shows it. Don’t worry, just wash your hair post-dip with UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo, which, true to its name, takes the chlorine out of your tresses. This conditioning shampoo will help neutralize the chemical’s harmful effects, thanks in part to ingredients like vitamin E and aloe.
Nature Skin Shop’s Shampoo Bar
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 that’s super easy to travel with—and easy to get past airport security with, too.
The Curly Co.’s Collapsible Hair Diffuser
We can all agree that hotel hair dryers are pretty much the worst, right? Get the same results that you’d get from your home hair dryer (without having to pack a whole appliance) with Curly Co.’s collapsible hair diffuser, a silicone device that attaches to any hair dryer (yes, even that dud in your hotel room) to decrease frizz and protect your hair from heat. It folds down nearly flat, so you can bring it pretty much 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.