21 Hair-Care Hacks for Any Summer Adventure

Whether you're skipping town solo for a weekend to recharge or embarking on a road trip with family and friends, nothing beats a summer escape! But trying to pack lightly for these trips usually means leaving our full beauty and hair-care routine behind.

That’s why we compiled 21 travel hair-care hacks to keep your locks looking gorgeous even when you're away from home! Read to learn more about traveling with natural hair, prep tips for protecting your aging tresses from the elements and the best travel hair-care products to bring along to keep your hair looking sleek and healthy while you're on the road!


1. Hold the Heat, Not the Volume

Heat-free hairstyling is the name of the game on a hot summer day. But just because you’re holding the heat, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice volume and lift! Enter a heat-free hair hack you’ll love: Lift Me Up Hair Thickener revives flat, lifeless locks in a flash. Simply spray roots with the precision nozzle, flip your hair upside down and gently fluff hair with your hands for instant lift and allover volume.


2. Keep Chlorine Out, No Swim Cap Required

While nothing beats a refreshing dip in the pool, chlorine water couldn’t be worse for our delicate, aging strands! When a swim cap isn’t part of the plan, treat your delicate tresses to a hydrating conditioner like our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque (though all of our conditioners will do the trick!) before pool time to help prevent chlorine from absorbing into your hair. The plant-based butters and oils melt into your hair and act as a protective layer against damaging chlorine by sealing the hair cuticles while helping strands stay hydrated.


3. Detox Your Beach-Day Scalp in 1 Step

A day in the sun is fun, but the elements can aggravate sensitive scalps and contribute to clogged pores. This is why our New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser is our go-to for post-beach self-care. Designed to deeply clean with its unique built-in massaging applicator, it also cools and soothes the scalp with menthyl lactate, leaving it refreshed and stimulated.


4. Shield and Hydrate with No Remorse

Your hair needs SPF, too. But slathering gooey sunscreen onto our tresses isn’t very realistic—or recommended! Fight back with one of our favorite travel hair hacks: Our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray is a hydrating, heat-protecting and frizz-fighting essential like no other! It’s packed with argan oil, avocado oil and vitamin E and protects against damaging UV rays while smoothing away frizz and boosting moisture in mature tresses. You can also find this beach-bag essential in our limited-edition Summer Hair SOS Minis Kit, which includes our volumizing shampoo and conditioner plus butter masque.


5. Grab Your Hair and Scalp Summer Lifesaver

Damage to our hair doesn’t always appear overnight but the effects of summer’s harsh elements can creep up on us before we know it! Our Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum is just the product to nourish your scalp and hair follicles for visible improvement to your aging hair. Apply this lightweight, non-greasy serum daily for the extra TLC your hair and scalp need when the mercury rises.


6. Get a Pre-Trip Trim

Start your trip with healthy ends by getting a trim before you go! This travel hair hack will help keep your hair looking healthy and prevent further splitting while you're away. If you've been thinking about going shorter for summer but haven't taken the plunge, getting a fresh cut right before your trip will ensure you've got healthy, stylish hair for all of your vacation pics!


7. Pack Travel-Size Hairstyling Products

When you’re short on space, travel-size hair-care products are a godsend! Minis of your favorite products help you maintain your hair-care routine while you’re away and keep your hair looking its best! Our Volume + Strength Minis Discovery Kit is an excellent choice for travel-size hair-care products. It features 2 oz versions of our best-selling essentials—volumizing shampoo and conditioner plus butter masque—in a cute neoprene travel bag! We also have a minis kit for curly hair as well as a fragrance-free option—check out all our travel-size hairstyling products here!


8. Bring an Extra Toothbrush to Fix Flyaways Fast

A spare unused toothbrush is a crucial hairstyling tool if you're prone to flyaways! The small brush head allows you to precisely apply your favorite hairspray or smoothing product like our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray exactly where you need it. Plus, because No Remorse doubles as a heat protectant, you know your tresses will be protected from the sun's harmful UV rays while you soak up some vitamin D!


9. Sport a Vintage Silk Scarf for Protective Style

Our mothers and grandmothers were onto something! Wearing a pretty silk scarf on a road trip protects our hair from sun and wind while keeping us cool by keeping our hair off of our necks. Remember the famous selfie from the movie Thelma & Louise? That kind of vintage style keeps your hairstyle intact while protecting your locks.

To create this look, simply fold a square scarf or bandana in half to make a triangle. With the top point of the triangle pointing behind you, place the widest part at your hairline and tie the scarf under the back of your hair. (Be sure to use a silk scarf to minimize friction on your hair!)


10. Smooth Sunscreen onto Your Hair Part

We know that we need to slather on sunscreen to protect our skin from sun damage. But we often overlook our ears, spots under thinner hair by our temples, and our hair part when we're applying the proper 1 oz of sunscreen. These areas are highly susceptible to sunburn, so don't forget to apply sunscreen there!

Pro tip: Try using a sunscreen stick for easy application on smaller areas like your scalp and ears. (And if you're flying, sunscreen sticks can go right in your carry-on, unlike large liquid bottles of sunblock!)


11. Don’t Forget to Rinse Off, Pre-Pool

While many public pools have a shower-before-you-swim policy, this actually benefits your hair’s health as well. Our hair strands naturally absorb water each time we shower or go swimming, so by rinsing our hair with fresh water before hopping in the pool, our delicate strands will soak up less of the water that’s been treated with chlorine, which as we know isn’t great for our hair!


12. Follow with a Post-Swim Hair Rinse

We just said to pre-rinse your locks before jumping in the pool, but a post-swim rinse is also a necessary step for keeping your hair healthy. Rinsing your hair with fresh, lukewarm water removes as much chlorine as possible from the surface of your hair, minimizing the impact of pool chemicals on your aging tresses!

Pro tip: Pack an extra bottle of water just for your hair as a backup so you can still give it a rinse if there’s no fresh water around.


13. Let Your Sarong Do Double Duty as a Hair Tie

Left your scrunchies and hair ties at home? Not a problem—your cute cover-up can go from fashion statement to hair-saving essential in a pinch, pulling hair up and away when you step into the pool or ocean. From a chic turban (think, just-out-of-the-shower hair wrap) to a ponytail holder, your options are endless.


14. Dry Your Hair with a T-Shirt

The same hair-drying rules apply when you’re on the beach—bath towels are rough on our aging strands and your beach towel is no different. A soft T-shirt will safely soak up any excess water without roughing up your cuticles. (Remember: Raised cuticles let moisture in your hair escape more easily). Gentle hair-drying is particularly important for curly hair that’s already prone to frizz—especially on hot summer days!


15. Give Beach Hat Hair a Lift Me Up

If you were sun-smart and wore a protective hat to the beach, you might be dealing with hat hair afterward. Try this travel hair hack to fix flat, lifeless hat hair: Spray your roots with a volumizing hair thickener like our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener, then flip your hair upside down and quickly give your roots a blast of warm—not hot!—air from your blow-dryer. Your roots will have volume, and any hint of hat hair will be long gone!


16. Don't Forget a Comb and Hair Butter for Tangles

Tangles are inevitable when you’re enjoying ocean breezes and coastal drives. Using a hairbrush to detangle or style wet hair is damaging, so be sure to pack a wide-toothed comb for your trip! This is especially important if your hair has been exposed to saltwater, which can wreak havoc on our hair, especially for those of us with curly hair. For super-tight tangles, a little hair butter will make detangling your tresses much, much easier.

Pro tip: Pack a metal wide-toothed comb for even gentler detangling and less friction than plastic combs!


17. Condition Before Shampooing Post-Beach

Got curls? This travel hair hack is especially for you! To prep your post-beach hair for sulfate-free shampooing, try using a conditioner before you wash your hair. This makes lathering up and working the suds through your curls (and potential tangles!) a little less challenging while helping to prevent breakage and damage to fragile, curly locks. After wetting hair in the shower, simply apply conditioner, comb hair gently and rinse before your regular wash-day routine!


18. Style Your Hair with Day and Night in Mind

When we're on vacation, we want to relax while still looking great! One of the best travel hair hacks for cutting down prep time for a night out is to choose a chic hairstyle that goes effortlessly from day to night, like a loose twist or fishtail braid. And with styles like these, you’ve got options: You can stick with your daytime look for evening or undo your hairstyle to enjoy bouncy beach waves that don’t require any heat styling. For style inspiration, check out our compilation of 17 easy no-heat hairstyling hacks that are gentle on your hair and perfect for summer!


19. Style Next-Day Hair with TikTok’s ‘90s Claw Clip Trend

Are you more of a "set it and forget it" kind of gal? Try styling your hair with a claw clip, à la the 1990s! This is the latest hair trend, thanks to young people on TikTok, and trying this style couldn't be easier. Best of all, it works wonderfully on next-day hair!

Try this low-maintenance style: Spritz all over with a volumizing spray that adds texture, like our Lift Me Up. Next, gather your hair into a low ponytail and twist hair into a loose French twist. (The messier, the better!) Secure in place by adding a claw clip to the twist.


20. Kick Summer Brassiness to the Curb

We love the summer sun, but not so much what it can do to our hair color. Whether you have blonde, gray or even darker hair with highlights, brassiness can become a problem. Enter our Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo and Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque formulated with D&C Violet 2, an optical colorant that reduces the intensity of yellow tones and brassiness to help brighten and boost the vibrancy of your hair color. This duo is also great for hydrating, strengthening and adding volume to aging hair.


21. Pack Your Probiotics—Your Gut Will Thank You!

When we're on vacation, we tend to let loose with our diets to enjoy delicious meals out. This can upset our gut and skin health. To help our digestion and balance out our well-deserved indulgences while on vacation, we love our You Glow Girl Probiotic Skin Supplement! You Glow Girl is formulated with billions of good bacteria, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to help you look and feel your best from the inside out!


Tell Us: What are your favorite travel-size hairstyling products and travel hair hacks for aging and natural hair? Share in the comments below!

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Better Not Younger knows that road trips and weekend adventures are some of the best parts of summer, but being away from home presents unique challenges for keeping your tresses looking their best! Whether you're planning a weekend getaway to the beach or a long trip full of outdoor fun, Better Not Younger has all of the hair-care products you need to keep your mature tresses looking their best while you're on the road.