No, This isn’t my Real Hair Colour: Tips for Traveling with Dyed Hair

My hair is bright red. As in the kind of red that you spot in the street from up in a tower (true story!). But people always ask me if it is my natural hair colour or if I’m Irish. The answers to those questions are no, and I wish. I started dying my hair when I was 13 and have been doing so every since. With the exception of blue and green, I’ve been just about every colour possible. But red is the colour I have been the most. I feel it fits my personality the best, so I keep it.

There are special care considerations that you need to make when you have dyed hair–and this is individual to the type of hair you have and the colour you wear. A blond may need more conditioner, and a red may need to make sure they don’t destroy hotel lines by accident. These are a few of the things I always bring with me to help keep my colour it’s best while I’m on the road.

Hair Towel

Microfiber Hair Turban, available on Amazon

Hair Towel

Yep, I bring my own towel when I travel. Red is one of the hardest colours to keep vibrant–it fades really quickly, and I have found that even weeks later it still runs. This means that If I use a hotel’s bleach white towels on my hair, it will come away with red streaks. Same goes for sleeping with my hair wet, the pillow will be mostly red by morning. Since I don’t want to pay for damages for ruined linens, I do a couple simple things. Firstly, I only wash my hair in the morning. That way it is guaranteed to be 100% dry when I crash at the end of the day. Also I carry a small towel specifically for my hair, so that my towel gets all the red streaks and not the hotel’s. Any time I know I’m going to be showering any where but my own home, I bring it with me.

Muji Bottles

The refillable bottles from Muji that I love (photo from

My Own Shampoo/Conditioner

Nothing kills my hair colour faster than using the shampoo they give you in hotels. Usually it is formulated for normal hair, and all it does for me is strip the colour right out of my locks. So, I have to bring my own shampoo. You can try to find sample sizes of your favorite brands, but I found that the simplest option was to buy reusable bottles that fit into the carry on liquids restrictions. There are many options, in many different price points–I love the ones that I  got at Muji! For longer term travel I’d recommend taking a look at Lush Solid Shampoo bars. They make one with coconut oil (named Trichomania) that is great on dry and coloured hair. It lasts longer than a small shampoo bottle and since it already has a lot of good oils, you’ll use less conditioner too!

hair accessories

All Hair accessories from H&M–fun, inexpensive, and practical!

Cute Hair Accessories

Really your best option to keep your hair colour vibrant is to just not wash it every day. Shampoo will strip the colour out–no matter which colour you wear. This has always been a bit of a problem for me due to the fact that my hair is very fine and skipping even one day of washing it will make it look like I haven’t washed my hair in a month. I have also yet to find a dry shampoo that works for me yet, though other people swear by the stuff. So to avoid both looking homeless and not destroying my hair, the next best thing is tying it up. Bun forms and hair bands are my best friends on these days. They don’t take up that much space in my suitcase, so I’ll bring a variety to go with different outfits or moods. Since I also have bangs, I have found that a good trick is to just wash my bangs while tying back the rest of my hair. Pretty, functional, and saves my colour!

These are just a couple simple ways to save your hair colour and a bit of money while on the road. I have only gone back to my natural hair colour once, and that was when I moved to China for my gap year. At the time I didn’t want to deal with having to re-dye it while abroad. But I missed my red the whole time I was away–I just didn’t feel like me. After that, I found ways of keeping and re-dying my hair while traveling.

What is your go to hair product on the road?