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That time I cut my hair so that I could travel freely


Let's take a moment to talk about hair.

Because I travel light, hair products are one of the things I have a hard time packing. My daily hair regimen is simple (conditioner then leave-in or shea butter to style) and my hair is short. Yet, I find it difficult to bring enough products and respect the allotted limit for liquids. Between struggling with packing and dealing with the hurdles of having a checked bag, I choose to be frugal with my hair products.

I've been a naturalista for almost 9 years now, and this is my second BC (big chop, for the uninitiated). I started over in 2014, in preparation for my first trip to South America.

It used to take me about 45-60 minutes to twist on the first night, and 25-30 minutes on subsequent nights. Undoing the twists and coming up with a hairdo (depending on hair’s mood) would take about 20 minutes. A trip to PauP 4 years prior had taught me a valuable lesson: my hair didn't behave in the same fashion under a different climate.

At the time, I didn't know how my hair and products would perform that far south of the equator. I had never braided my hair before, and I wasn't about jump into the unknown. Basically, I didn't want my hair to cause me any grief while I was supposed to be chilling. Most importantly, I didn't want to budget time for hair care.

I opted for what seemed to be the best solution: BC #2. Plus, I managed to raise money for charity by doing that. Talking about killing two birds with one stone.

Fast forward 3 years. I've kept my hair short, but I’m in the process of letting it grow. I'm heading back to South America in a couple months. And I won't be that drastic this time around.

I'm at the “what do I do with my hair” phase. For the ones who are not in the know, this means that my hair is too short for a pony puff and too long for a quick fro. It now takes a bit more time to look presentable.

I'm going away for a week, so I'll be able to bring just the right amount of products. I'll be using the (rather tiny) containers from my travel kit. I'll pack raw shea butter, some leave-in and gel. I'll use the gel as a last resort; it never fails me when my coils and curls misbehave. I'm also planning on using generous amounts of conditioner (courtesy of my Air—one less item to travel with.


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