Hair Products to Bring on Vacation

Side view of woman with curly hair

Here in Colorado we are finally getting a taste of some warmer weather.  Sure we’ve had a few sunny days here and there but this week is supposed to be gorgeous!  Now I can actually start making plans for summer which, for me, means a lot of gardening and outdoor activities.  Some of you may be thinking about vacationing soon which prompted this post.  I thought to myself, “what hair products would I bring on vacation?”  You can also think of this as my, “if  I were stranded on a desert island what hair products would I take?” list.

Choose a Hair Style for Your Trip

How you wear your hair can make or break how you feel on vacation.  I can’t speak for all naturals but I’m pretty sure that what to do with your hair is high on anyone’s list (right after what outfits to wear).  When deciding what products to bring, I first make the biggest decision which is, “what hair style am I going to rock?”  If I’ll be outdoors in the heat or even swimming, then straight hair is definitely out.  That means I’ll be left with curly styles like the wash and go, a puff, braid outs or twist outs.  Another option is to go for protective styles in this scenario because then your hair is hidden underneath braids or extensions.

I’m most comfortable while wearing my own hair out so I would go for a curly style with the easiest being a wash and go.  Now that I’ve decided on how I would wear my hair on vacation, I can round up all of the necessary hair products.  For my wash and go I like to use a creamy leave -in conditioner, moisturizer and hair gel for my styler.  You can read more about how I get more hang time with my wash and go in this post.

Bring Products that Have Multiple Uses

The first thing I would have to take is my beloved Aussie Moist conditioner.  That’s because I can use it multiple ways and that would save on how many things I need to pack.  Now this is actually meant to be a rinse out conditioner but my hair loves it as a leave-in.   It would  also work as my conditioner after using shampoo.   Afterwards, I can use it to detangle my hair because it has great slip.

The conditioner is very moisturizing but I also like to use a heavier product on top to lock in that moisture.  For that I would think to bring along some shea butter.  A little goes a very long way so a small container with a lid would work just fine.  Shea butter can be used to moisturize your skin, lips and cuticles.  It can even act as a natural sunscreen with protection of 6-10 SPF.

woman with naturally curly hair
Hiking while on vacation in the mountains here in Colorado with my hair in a wash and go style


I definitely would not leave town without my hair gel.  For that I always reach for my holy grail, Eco Styler Gel with Argan Oil.  This product never fails to lay down my edges, slick my hair into a pony puff or define my curls.  It gives me curl definition that can last several days because I can reactivate the product by spritzing my hair with water.  This gives me curls that won’t quit on day two and three.

If I want to change it up, I  just section my hair, wet it and smooth it with a denman brush before braiding it up for a braid out.  Since the gel is still in my hair, I have defined waves when I take the braids down.

Of course I would have to bring along a little container of coconut oil.  I probably don’t even have to explain how crazy useful this product is.  I like to use it as frizz control for most hair styles.  It helps to soften up my wash and go style after using the hair gel.  Coconut oil can also be used on the skin and it makes a great makeup remover.

The most important thing to remember is that your hair doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re on vacation.  With a little bit of planning and a few key products you can take care of your hair and still relax while you’re away.  Bon Voyage!

What are some of the hair products that you’re planning to bring on vacation?


Tips for Starting Your Natural Hair Journey

This month I’ll be celebrating 10 years on my natural hair journey.  I have learned so much over the years about my hair in it’s natural state.  I’ve also been lucky enough to share my findings through my videos on my YouTube  channel and here on my blog.  In today’s post I want to share some tips for anyone who is just starting their natural hair journey.

Transitioning to Natural Hair

Starting out I was a little nervous about leaving my relaxer behind because it was all I knew.  I remember wondering what my hair would actually be like once I finally went natural.  Honestly, I  wasn’t even certain if it was something that I would be able to keep up with because I felt like there was so much to learn.  Thankfully I gave myself time to gather information on natural haircare during my transition to natural hair.

Some people just go for the big chop early on but I really think the transition period is important for finding out what going natural will look like for you.  You can also use the time to try out products and methods.  My favorites were roller setting and deep conditioning.  My hair really flourished once I started deep conditioning which I later added to my natural hair regimen.  Using small rollers also helped because they  gave me tight curls which gave me a sneak peek at what my hair would be like after the big chop.

Build a Hair Regimen

You don’t have to have natural hair to employ a healthy hair regimen.  Having a routine just helps so that you have something to follow in those early months when you are going natural.  Some basic things to include in a hair regimen would be things like cleansing, conditioning and moisturizing.  You want to decide how often you’ll be doing those things and with what products.

The products that you choose will depend on your hair type and your hair’s porosity.  Early on I found information on using products with all natural ingredients and made some of my own like my aloe vera leave in spray.  I also experimented with the few products I found at the store based on suggestions from online reviews.  After a lot of trial and error I finally figured out what worked best for my hair.  My current regimen includes cleansing my hair once per week with shampoo and doing a cowash mid-week.  My hair also thrives when I deep condition once a week.  I’m always changing things up as far as products are concerned but have a few faves in my arsenal.

Embrace Your Natural Hair

I went back and forth with the actual, “should I go natural,” question.  The idea that I didn’t know what my hair would be like kept me on the fence.  I was even to the point  where I was calling and asking my parents to describe my hair when I was a child.  I mean really?  That’s how I knew that it was time to go natural.  Right then I decided to see it through no matter what.  I figured I was relaxed for all those years so why not be natural for a few years?

I tried a lot of DIY products during my TWA phase and concentrated on a building a healthy hair routine


After that I started my hair journey and I’ve been here ever since.  Now some people may not like having natural hair and that’s okay.  I just think that you have to truly embrace it without looking back or you’ll never give your natural hair the chance it deserves.  Then when you find yourself attempting to do a twistout for the third time, you’ll stick with it and try to find what works instead of giving up.

Those are some of the things that got me through my first year with natural hair.  The journey has been interesting and I still can’t believe that it has been ten years already.   You can find some of what I’ve shared over the years by searching my blog or youtube channel.

Be sure to stop by every Wednesday for new Blog Posts!



Tips for a Successful Braid Out on Straight Natural Hair

side view of woman with braid out hair style

About 80% of the time  I rock curly styles because of how time consuming it is to straighten my hair.  When I finally do go straight, I like to go as a long as possible until I wash it again because I don’t want to waste all of that effort.  Right after I straighten my hair it is very lightweight and flowy which I love.  In my last post I discussed how to achieve those results.  After about a week or so, my hair starts to feel heavy.  That’s when I like to change things up a bit with a braid out for something different.  Unfortunately, it took a long time for me to find what worked for a successful braid out on straight natural hair.

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5 Tips for Flawless Straight Natural Hair

One of the main reasons I decided to go natural was the versatility.  I just loved the fact that you could do so many different styles with natural hair.  If you’ve been following my YouTube channel then you know that I’ve been straightening my hair since the beginning.  One of my first video uploads was a slideshow of how I used a flat iron to straighten my TWA.  So many people asked how I did it.  Since then I have learned a few more things about how to get flawless straight natural hair and I’d like to share them today.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I will make a commission on any product you buy through those links at NO EXTRA cost to you.

Clarify Your Hair

Sometimes we end up using heavy products on our hair which will leave the hair really weighed down when straight.  If you’re looking to have hair that is lightweight and blows in the wind then you must clarify your hair before straightening.  I’ve heard of people using dish soap for this step but it’s really not that serious.  All you need is a good clarifying shampoo and be sure to lather twice.  My current favorite is a silicone free shampoo by Herbal Essence.  Neutrogena also offers an excellent anti-residue shampoo that deeply cleanses the hair and scalp and gives great results.

Use a Heat Protectant Serum

I’ve seen YouTube videos where people use next to nothing on their hair prior to straightening it.  Since I have a 4a/4b hair texture my straight always turns out best when I use a silicone based heat protectant serum.  I also use a heat protectant spray and creamy leave-in underneath but it’s definitely the serum that helps the most for the appearance of my hair.  Without it, I’m left with fly aways and end up having to go over each section 2 or 3 times to get the results that I want.  I’ve gone back and forth with products but always come back to IC Fantasia’s Heat Protectant serum.  You don’t want to go too heavy with this one so a nickle size amount on each half of the hair goes a long way.

Use the Comb Chase Method

I can’t stress this one enough!  This is one of the most important steps in my straightening routine.  My hair is a tight spiral curl and if I don’t use a fine tooth comb in front of the flat iron then my ends will not straighten.  Think of it like when you iron over a wrinkle in clothing.  This only sets the wrinkle in place.  When you use a comb while flat ironing you are separating the curls and flattening them out while you straighten.  You can watch how I do it in my video on YouTube.

Trim Those Ends!

I like being able to straighten whenever I want but I know my hair looks best when my ends look good.  That’s why I like to tidy up my ends by dusting here and there while my hair is straight.  When I don’t do this I sometimes think that going over the section with the flat iron again will make it look neater.  Nah, it’s just those ends girl!  This is why I sometimes wait to straighten my hair when I’m close to needing a trim which, for me, is around every 3 months.

Don’t Use Heavy Moisturizers

The products that I use on my hair while it’s straight are drastically different than those I would use while my hair is curly.  The number one way to add moisture to the hair is deep conditioning prior to straightening the hair.  After that I like to use a creamy leave-in like the one by Paul Mitchell because it’s lightweight enough for that soft bouncy hair I’m going for but still moisturizing.

I also use the heat protectant serum which is a heavy dimethicone based product so I don’t want to use anything heavy after that.  I usually wear my hair straight for about a week or so depending on how my scalp is holding up.  During that time I use a small (actual dime size) amount of the leave-in conditioner or a little coconut oil.  Anything heavier than that and my hair becomes really clingy and the strands start to clump together.

It’s fun to wear different styles and adding straight hair to your natural hair arsenal will give you even more options.  Follow these tips and you’ll have flawless results!

Learn more about how I maintain my straight natural hair.


The Benefits of Aloe Vera for Your Natural Hair

When I started learning about natural hair ten years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much information on it as there is now.  The first web pages that I landed on always focused on switching to products with all natural ingredients.  Slowly that information started showing up in YouTube videos where people were making their own hair products.  I have to admit that I was one of those people who swore by using (and making) all natural products.  

Over the years, I picked through the hits and misses but one ingredient is still present in my products today.  You may have guessed by the title that I’m talking about aloe vera.  I still swear by this ingredient because aloe vera has been a life saver for my hair.

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