Sitting in the recirculated air of an airplane cabin for several hours can be tough on our skin and, it turns out, on our hair too. “The air is so dry. You feel it on your skin, you feel it on your hair, you just feel it in your body, ”Los Angeles-based hairstylist Courtney Housner told Shop TODAY.
Besides dryness, static electricity, and breakage are other issues to consider when preparing your hair for a long flight. Additionally, with many people coloring or using heat products on their hair, hairstylist Mary Kendall notes that additional breakage can occur by rubbing the head against the seat fabric or finding different (and sometimes uncomfortable) positions for to sleep.
To deliver the best hair care routine for long flights, we turned to experts like Housner, Kendall and stylist David Dang for their best advice and recommendations.
Tips for taking care of hair on long flights
Prepare your hair before the flight
Before you even enter the airport, Housner recommends prepping your hair the night before or the morning of – whenever you prefer to shower – before you fly. The key to a good pre-flight routine is to use a moisturizer while your hair is still damp, she noted. She personally enjoys using two moisturizers on her own hair.
Using a hair mask in flight
Dang loves to use a hair mask when he’s in the sky and recommends it to his clients. He says put it on mid-length to the tips of dry hair, then up into the bun. (Make sure you put it in a bun, not a ponytail, as a ponytail will pull on the hair, he added.) Putting your hair up will give your hair “time to absorb. all these nutrients and [get the] benefits of conditioning treatment, ”he explained.
Put it in a loose ponytail or a flying braid
Kendall, Dang, and Housner all recommend wearing your hair in a loose ponytail or braid during your flight.
“If you’ve got it in a tight ponytail and for some weird reason decide to keep that ponytail tight on a five hour flight and go back and forth … it might cause some friction. on the hair, that’s for sure. You could damage the cuticle, “Dang told us. Another benefit of a low ponytail is to avoid the irritating dividing line that inevitably occurs with a too tight hairstyle. .
Which leads to another reason to put your hair in braids before the flight: comfort! “It’s also comfortable to sleep in braids, so I would say loose braids are great for long flights,” Kendall said with a laugh.
Use a silk or satin pillowcase
Long flights are, for most people, a place to catch up on some much needed zzz. While we couldn’t exactly bring all of our most comfortable bedding with us on the plane, both Dang and Kendall recommend using a silk pillowcase for the trip.
Dang recommends covering the head of your seat so that you can just rest your head back and relax without worrying about pulling your hair while avoiding friction and frizz. If you are traveling with televisions in the seat, he advises you to place the pillow cover halfway over the head of the seat so that it does not cover the passenger’s screen behind you, and to fold up the excess pillowcase on the side.
Kendall also suggested covering your neck pillow with your pillowcase so that you can have a more mobile option handy. “It will help [with] let your hair slide over any fabric instead of having cotton, ”she said.
The best hair products for long flights, according to hairdressers
IGK Beach Club Texture Spray
Dang calls this texture spray one of his favorites right now. Made with a salt-free formula, this spray is designed to instantly add volume and hold to your hair.
Schwarzkopf OSiS + Dust It Mattifying Powder
If you don’t have room in your bag for a texture spray, Dang offered powdered ointments as an alternative! He recommends applying it in three or four sections, shaking it like you would with a salt and pepper shaker, then taking your hands to pull your hair out. He says it is something that can be used by both men and women.
100% Satin Kitsch Pillowcase
Dang and Kendall both like to use their own silk or satin pillowcases on airplanes. Dang came up with this Kitsch option to be your designated travel companion for the hair.
Mizani Press Agent Thermal Smoothing Waterproof Styling Serum
Housner recommends using this styling cream when your hair is wet and says it’s great to use if you’re styling before your flight. She added that it is not heavy, provides a lot of moisture, and is suitable for all hair types.
Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Got a place to be as soon as you land? You won’t need to carry a million items in your carry-on just to get presentable hair. Housner recommends using a dry shampoo like this to quickly refresh your hair, so you’re good to go as soon as you hit the ground.
Olaplex No. 6 Bond Straightener
After the shower but before the flight, Kendall enjoys using this Olaplex binding straightener. “There is no time constraint in needing to rinse it off, so you can wear it for as long as you want to get to its destination, but it will just keep it from breaking,” she said. . She also noted that it is particularly useful for treating heat and color damage.
R + Co High Dive moisturizer and shine
Housner recommends this R + Co moisturizer for all hair types and says it’s not “super heavy in any way.” She also likes to put it in her hair when it’s wet.
IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner
Kendall loves this leave-in conditioner, calling it versatile for all hair textures. She said it was ideal for the person who is always on the move or in a hurry. “You don’t have to worry about washing it. [It’s] more for moisturizing hair than for damage issues, ”she told us.
Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray
It’s another Dang favorite. He called this spray and IGK Beach Club sprays “flake free” and won’t make your hair get any lumpy. “If you spray them very quickly against the root, it will give you [a look] like you’ve just dried your hair, ”he said.
Overnight anti-social dry hair mask for strengthening IGK bonds
If you want your hair products to work while you relax on a long flight, Kendall recommends this hair mask which can be used on damp or dry hair. It’s his benchmark for bonding and breaking issues.
Seven Diamond Gazar Serum
Before braiding your hair, Housner recommends using this serum to help keep your hair hydrated and reduce damage that can result from friction between your hair and the seat. Since it’s a heavier oil, she recommends applying it from mid-length to the tips of your hair.
IGK Offline 3-Minute Moisturizing Mask
Dang loves this hydrating mask from IGK which is formulated to give you hydrated hair in just three minutes! You can use it on a long flight and research the benefits of prolonged use or put it in your hair for the three minutes and wash it before heading to the airport for quick pre-flight treatment.
Seven Cubica Brushed Texture Spray
Want more volume and body? Housner called this texture spray one of his favorites.
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