The natural hair movement has been around since the sixties, but in the last decade or more, a Black travel movement has also been birthed, and Black women are traveling!  As a flight attendant in the late eighties, I was forced to use chemicals to control my natural hair under the airline grooming standards.  It wasn’t until the nineties that a lawsuit affected my ability to wear my Black hair naturally.  So, I know the challenges of wearing conformist hairstyles, using chemicals, and wearing my hair naturally when traveling.  I firmly believe in natural styles for Black women, but traveling with natural hair can be challenging.  As a Black woman who has worn locs for over twenty years, I know this personally.  Still, there are plenty of options for Black women when traveling with their natural hair.  Here are some challenges and a few choices I consider the best hairstyles for black female travelers.

There is a definite challenge for Black women travelers who choose to wear their hair naturally.  The natural hair movement came about partly because of the challenge of maintaining hairstyles that weren’t natural to Black women, such as wigs, extensions, and harmful chemicals.  Traveling to different destinations exposes natural hair to environmental factors, such as humidity, dry air, or extreme temperatures.  These changes can affect the natural Black hair’s moisture levels, causing it to become dry, frizzy, and more susceptible to breakage.  When traveling, finding specific hair products, tools, or services tailored for natural Black hair care can also be challenging.  It’s often harder to locate products that cater to natural hairstyles or find a local hairstylist experienced with natural Black hair.  Then there is the additional fact that traveling often involves packing light, which means black travelers have to be practical in carrying all their preferred hair care products, tools, or accessories.

Ultimately, Black female travelers must choose a hairstyle that suits their personal style and comfort level.  To make caring for natural hair easier while traveling, the best hairstyles are those that consider low-maintenance natural styles that protect their hair and require minimal upkeep.  Its highly recommended to carry travel-sized versions of essential hair care products, such as shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in moisturizer.  A satin or silk pillowcase or hair bonnet will reduce friction and protect natural hair at night.  Don’t forget to schedule time for hair care, even when traveling, to maintain a healthy natural hair care routine.

This is not an exhaustive or extensive list of the best hairstyles for Black female travelers or all the challenges Black female travelers may face.  Check out other great travelers with natural hair like myself who can share even more ideas on natural hairstyles.  I hope this post has been helpful and you are even more encouraged to travel with your natural Black hair.