4. It took me a lot longer to do my hair every morning than it usually does.
A major reason women wear extensions is so they don’t have to touch their hair. It’s just that plain and simple. This is also a major reason why I have never been on a trip without my hair in a protective style. Whether that is because I am visiting a fun amusement park, touring a city, going to a festival, or on the road for work, I don’t want the hassle of getting up early every morning to do my hair. That’s why I’ll choose a style like box braids, which requires tops around three minutes for laying down my edges, moisturizing, and maybe putting the braids into a bun or pony. If I were still wearing my wig, I would spend a five minutes in the morning shaking my hair, maybe adding a little texturizer spray, and putting it up or down with pins.
Now, with my natural hair, I had to allot myself an extra 30 minutes each morning just to figure out what I was going to do. I generally kept my hair in a bun for most of the trip, wetting it in the shower and then adding a little oil and cream to put it up, but even that took time. Combing the curls is a very tedious procedure. Moisturizing all my strands using the LOC—liquid, oil, cream—method can get messy. And the amount of hair ties and tries I attempted, taking it down and redoing the pony, was more than I expected. Perfection takes time—and I didn’t want to spend all that time in the bathroom.
5. I found a few new products that really helped the situation.
I went down to Palm Beach with some great Creme of Nature products including the Snot Gel, which I like to use as a defining and holding product when I do buns and braids outs. The Creme of Nature Coconut Milk line, including the Repair Leave-In, and Curl Milk,are substantial creams I use to coat all my strands. I also brought down the Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner,and my favorite deep conditioning Kerastase Discipline Curl Idéal Hair Mask, that leaves my curls super soft and defined. Initially, I planned on honoring my fro in a braid-out once I got to West Palm Beach. But with the packed itinerary, water fun, and yoga rooms, that’s just not how it went down.
Although I had carried them all the way from New Jersey, I had to put my regular stylers on hold for the week.
At nSpa at Delray Beach Marriott, I was introduced to the Rene Furterer Karinga Ultra Hydrating line, including the shampoo, Hydrating Mask, and the Ultimate Nourishing Oil. They became my go-to products for the rest of the trip. The shea butter in this line kept my hair super hydrated. The mask itself was so thick, which is perfect for my 4B/4C type curls; it heavily coated my curls so that the argan oil and shea butter could truly sink in.
I also had a chance to check out the Under The Sun Leave-In Styling Conditioner,which was so convenient to travel with because it’s packaged in a bag instead of a bottle. Under the Sun products are also sulfate free, which work best on my hair, leaving it less weighed down, bouncy, and free.
6. I actually loved the way my hair looked.
I was apprehensive about the whole trip experience, but it turned out fairly well. I was washing my hair almost every day because of the chlorine, salt water, and hot yoga sweat, which is totally new for me. With my hair type, I typically wash closer to once a week. But the new products definitely helped with the new routine, and my hair benefitted. To be completely honest, after I got the hang of prepping my hair in the shower and using all the great new products I was introduced to, I actually loved the way my hair looked and felt.
7. Next time I go to the beach, I will get my hair done.
Although I enjoyed the experience, next time I go to the beach or an island, I have to get my hair done in a protective style. The time-consuming aspect of combing and styling my curls every morning just isn’t efficient. I also don’t have the type of hair that should be touched every day. It is prone to breakage, so low maintenance styles are just my reality and I’m fine with that.
I’m glad I gave it a try, and happy that I figured it out and actually got my hair to look good. But my verdict is: Yeah, this is not happening again.