Constant travel can take a real toll on colored hair. Non-stop exposure to sunlight, strange foreign tap water and a hectic schedule can leave you looking more like a vagrant than a voyageuse. However, there are a few things you can do to protect your hair and hair color while you’re abroad.
First, wash with a sulphate-free shampoo. I am beyond impressed with L’Oreal Evercreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo and the corresponding conditioner. The sulphate-free formula doesn’t contain harsh detergents that strip the surface of your hair or heavy waxes that drag your hair down and make it look stringy. This particular formula has a great scent too. You don’t need to pack a whole bottle of shampoo or conditioner- I pour some into a travel-size bottle and label the bottle contents with a permanent marker.
After you’ve shampooed and conditioned, protect your hair with a cream, lotion or spray that has SPF (just like your sunscreen). I am still clinging to the last few drops in a bottle of Dove leave-in protector that I bought (way too long ago) in Italy- when I apply this I absolutely cannot stop smelling my hair. I find that companies tend to cycle these products on and off the market, so you’re unlikely to find the same SPF hair product one summer as the next, but it looks like this summer one is available from Angelo David (it’s called the Vital Complex Leave-In Conditioner). I typically dye my hair a little bit darker in summer anyways, as I know the sun tends to lighten it, but by adding SPF to my haircare routine I can ensure my color doesn’t go too light.
You can also protect your hair by washing only every other day, or even every third day, and letting your hair air-dry whenever possible. If you’re near the beach there is no excuse for heat styling as just combing some leave-in treatment through your hair and letting it air-dry should get you perfect, beachy waves. Away from the shore you can get easy waves with a sock bun (Youtube it!) or Goody Spin Pins (you only need two and they’ll hold your bun up all day, or until you take it down and set your waves free… I am literally wearing them right now!). If you’re somewhere where the water is terrible, and looking good is really important, you can also try washing and rinsing with bottled water (look for a reputable international brand name like Evian so you’re not just using grossly-overpriced local tap water!).