Relieving your head from the clasps of the motorcycle helmet, a quick glance in your tiny side mirror you see the thick dust piled across your cheeks and your hair plastered flat around your face. Damn, I just washed it this morning, where did all that volume go. You look further down the length of your hair and you see the frizz that contradicts the flatness on top. Oh well you sigh, isn’t this all part of motorcycling travelling?
It may be part of motorcycling travelling but with a few pointers, you can help reduce the causes and continue to have beautiful healthy hair.
The Usual Hair Problems
- Any thing that is poking out from under your helmet quickly absorbs the dust and rubbish floating in the air. Eventually after several months on the road, it becomes straw like and brittle at the ends causing it to split.
- With consistent wind, blowing through your hair and the rubbing of your helmet causes your hair to become knotty and matted. Your normal brush cannot even make its way through your hair.
- Being away from home for more than a few weeks means, you are going to be forced to purchase local shampoo and conditioner. At first you relax, you can see they have some brands that are familiar, but after a wash, it becomes apparent that it is just a cheap counterfeit product and your hair is worse off than when you started.
- Lack of conditioner – The local women do not use conditioner they tend to oil their hair use fat or even mud! Maybe this would make an interesting local experience if given the chance!
- Local hairdressers – I have had one too many issues with local hairdressers. They just not trained to cut westerners hair. You may end up with hair three inches shorter than you were expecting or a haircut that was fashionable in the eighties! However, if you are in dire need of a hair cut, wait until you are in a large city and look for a place that might get the odd westerner or two. If not ask an expat.
There is not one ultimate solution, I am afraid you will be stuck with many bad hair days. However, I have listed out some pointers, which will help you tame that wild travel hair of yours and try to make you look somewhat presentable for your precious photographs and of course to the locals!
- Completely cover your hair with a Buff ® Headwear. Though it will flatten your hair it will keep out the dust and fumes from the street.
- Tying your hair up in a simple loses plat or French braid can help control the frizzy knots.
- Using a leave in conditioner helps retain the softness for (slightly) longer.
- Learn how to trim your own hair.
- Cut your hair short or be extreme and shave it off.
- Brush your hair often.
“I normally don’t carry a hair brush but recently I brought a wide tooth comb. This was after I had a 30 minute session with the hairdressers trying to brush out all the knots and in the end, she gave up and ended up cutting most of them out!”
- Make sure you do not run out of good quality shampoo and conditioner before you need it.
“I was stuck in small village called Marsabit in Northern Kenya on the hunt for some sort of shampoo. Eventually the two motorcyclist guys, I was travelling with found a bottle of shampoo. Just it looked a bit like toilet cleaner with the small sticky label with the words “Shampoo” stamped on it. Nice… at least it smelt like apple”
- Think about getting braided hair or dreadlocks!