How I do my hair for long-term travel

While I was planning my round-the-world trip, I had thought seriously about shaving my head before going on the trip. I reasoned that it would cost me less shampoo (but more sun block) and would repulse any potential harasser (along with suitors, I suppose but that is alright).

I googled a few questions to figure out how women can take care of a shaved head. Nothing much appeared as most posts were dedicated to male head shaving and praising the bravery of women who shear their hair for charity.

Alas, I did not shave my head. My mother advised that a bald head will be terribly cold in winter. I also thought that it might attract bad sort of attention, seeing a female person with no hair.

I did not shave my head but went for a really short hair cut. This was for many reasons:

  1. Less drying time
  2. Less grooming time (I don’t even use a comb that much)
  3. Less shampoo
  4. According to a hoax that is repeatedly circulated on my Facebook wall by others, rapists rarely not target women with short hair. (Pretty bullshit but what the heck.)
One of the very few photogenic photos of me.
One of the very few photogenic photos of me.

Even though I thought the hair style would keep for 4 months, by the end of the second month, my hair was growing past acceptable lengths for short hair.

I looked like I was wearing a ball of iron wool with my tough black hair.

Fringe too long.
Fringe too long.

CIY: Cut-it-yourself

Instead of heading to a hairdresser’s, I decided to do it myself.

YQ trims her bangs while mom takes photos.
YQ trims her bangs while mom takes photos.

As you can see, I was using a regular ole scissors which did its job of sniping away the ends. My bangs are still thick now but at least they do not cover my eyes.

Trim it with a razor

One day, I realized that the hair at the back of my neck had crept out and turned into a mini mullet.

Mini mullet
Mini mullet

The hair was too short to tie up so I decided to snip it off. However, when I was in the hostel bathroom, I realized that I did not bring my scissors. The only sharp thing I had was a razor so I used that instead.

It’s rather difficult using a razor on the back of my head. Many times, I had to look back into the mirror to double check my hair length. But the best way to determine if my hair was cut in a straight line was to feel it.

After felling my neck, I chopped off more hair and now I have a bob again.

After razoring off my mullet.
After razoring off my mullet.

Color it yourself

If you want to change your hair color while travelling, here’s a step-by-step post on dying your hair in a hostel.

Further reading:

Go Girl’s Guide post on doing hair for long term travel.

What hairstyle is travel friendly? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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