I have recently returned from a large road trip where I covered 5000 km of outback Australia. During that time I had to look after my beard in a completely different way to what I am used to. Not only was there a significantly different climate to what I’m used to maintaining my beard in but there was also the limitations of access to the creature comforts of home which I am sure to make my beard much better. In this article, I’m going to share with you everything that I learnt whilst travelling and trying to maintain my beard as best as possible. Here are my best beard travel tips!
The top issue I found while travelling with a beard is trying to keep it as hydrated as possible. Because you are spending more time outside, more time in air-conditioning if you are not outside and participating in other activities like swimming it is very easy for your hair to dry out. I carried with me a smaller version of each of my favourite products which I decanted into a smaller container. Being particularly careful in the mornings to rehydrate my hair was the key to keeping my beard looking great while I was travelling.
Here are the biggest issues that I faced while I was travelling and the little tips and tricks I recommend that you follow to circumvent some of the issues that I encountered.
Beard issues while traveling
There are a load of different issues that you need to overcome when you are travelling with a beard and you want your beard to look as good as it does at home. It is not as simple as keeping with the same product routine that you have at home because you are now in a variety of different environments and potentially different climates which will affect the humidity of the air. These can have massive implications for how your beard looks.
Here are the things that create a harder to maintain beard while you are travelling.
More time outside
When you are a tourist or you are travelling in a new location it is normal to spend more time out in the elements than if you are at home. Most of us, arguably, have a much more sedentary life at home because we are inside an office and like the comfort of our own homes.
Spending more time outside means that you potentially expose your beard to:
- UV radiation
- dry or more humid air
- sea salt
- et cetera
Each of these different types of exposure components hurt your beard in a different way. The hardest thing to do is to keep your hair protected from the UV radiation and stopping it from drying out.
I recommend that because you are spending more time outside you create a hydration routine in the morning before heading out. You could even protect your beard with a UV protection product (click here to be taken to the best on Amazon), and you should also look at a beard butter or balm (or other leave in conditioner) which will hydrate and moisturise your beard hair for the majority of the morning.
More time in air conditioning
When you are not outside you are probably spending more time in environmentally controlled and air-conditioned places. On my recent road trip I spent a lot of time in the air-conditioning of my car and each establishment that we stopped to eat in as well as our accommodation was air-conditioned.
Air-conditioning is likely to completely remove the humidity from the air which will cause your beard to dry out quicker than normal. I found that after a day in air-conditioning I often had to apply more beard butter to my beard to take it back to its regular hydration and manageability.
Swimming and other activities
When you are on holiday you are more likely to participate in activities such as swimming, skiing, bushwalking, et cetera. Each of these activities has the potential to impact your beard in different ways. In the case of swimming in a pool the chlorinated water can easily dry out your beard and cause damage to the cuticle which will leave your hair exposed to the elements.
I also did a number of intense day walks in national parks with my beard and the sweat that got trapped under my beard also caused a fair bit of itchiness.
If I know I’m going to do a lot of swimming and other energetic activities I will not use any products on my beard in the morning other than a light oiling. This is because I noticed that the product was simply being washed out of my beard and ending up on my T-shirt if I was sweating a lot during an activity.
Straight after swimming I would dry my beard with a microfibre towel. Microfibre towels are one of the best ways that you can dry your beard gently. And as soon as I returned home and had a shower I would prioritise the rehydration and styling of my beard. This doesn’t take too long and I managed to easily repair any damage that had been done to my beard within 15 minutes.
Taking all the products you need
One of the biggest issues that I found while travelling is that taking all of the products that you want to take which includes the oil, balm, butter, conditioner, as well as things like a hairdryer and tremor and scissors can quickly take up a lot of space.
The first thing I do before embarking on a new trip is to look at the functionality of all of my beard products and make sure that I only take products which have a double function or a function that I cannot live without.
Take products with double up on functionality
When deciding on which products to take I recommend that you look at each product and see if it has a double function and only taking those products which do a multitude of things rather than just one thing.
For example, beard balm is fantastic as it can replace beard oil and is much easier to carry. It also has the added benefit of providing a little bit of hold so you don’t need any additional hold products such as a beard wax.
Also, make sure that you don’t take all beard tools such as trimmers which are bulky as you will probably not be doing a large trimmer of your beard unless you are travelling for many months.
I managed to get away with a small and cheap trimmer with a small charging cable instead of my larger Whal trimmer.
What you do take I recommend that you reduce the volume by decanting how much you will need into much smaller containers.
Decant into smaller containers
Before you travel you should consider taking small portions of your most valuable and useful products and putting them into smaller containers. There is no need to travel with a years supply of beard oil or beard balm but rather scoop out how much needed and place it into a smaller vessel.
There are plenty of options online for smaller metal containers and smaller dropper bottles with a small volume which make them perfect for travelling.
I travel with a very small container of beard balm which has enough for about one month’s worth of travel.
Adapters and chargers
If you decide to travel with your beard straightener, trimmer, or other electronic beard tools you will inevitably end up having to lug around adapters and charges as well. On one of my recent trips to Europe I opted for a trimmer free trip and only took a pair of scissors for a month long journey. Sure, my beard wasn’t as good as if I had been trimming up with my small electric trimmer but it meant that I was able to travel lighter and I was able to keep my beard lined up relatively well.
In other trips I have decided that travelling with my hairdryer was a good idea because I was not concerned about space and it was a road trip in a car. It did feel a little bit silly packing my hairdryer but whilst I was on the road, in motels, it was an invaluable tool for keeping my beard looking awesome.
I recommend that for each trip you are taking you need to decide on how minimal you want to travel. If you want to travel very light then you should not pack any electronic items and stick with scissors or a travel hairdryer. If, on the other hand, you are travelling in a car and you’re not so concerned about space can include a lot more of your electronic gadgets.
Just accepting that your beard will not look as good
The last thing I will say is that you will just have to accept that unless you are travelling with a full kit and that you are in a place with a similar climate to your home location you will just have to accept that your beard will not look as good as if you were at home.
There have been days while I’ve been travelling where I have not liked the look of my beard but understand that is part of the joys of travelling and I accept that it is less likely that my beard will look great while I am travelling and that is the price that I am happy to pay for exploring new places and participating in new adventures!
Now, let’s take a look at the most important things to do in order to maintain your beard while you are travelling.
How to maintain your beard while traveling
Here are the insider beard travelling tips that I have learnt whilst travelling with my beard and trying my best to keep it looking awesome.
The morning routine of your beard travelling adventures will prepare your beard for all of the fun and exciting stuff that you’ve got planned for the rest of the day. If I have something like swimming, hiking, or other strenuous activity in mind I will not particularly look after my beard in the morning but I will make sure that I look after it when I return from the activity.
However, if I have a normal day planned with not much other activities other than eating drinking and exploring a city or town I will focus on protecting my beard from being outside under UV rays or subjected to the new climate.
This is what my routine looks like:
- Wash and shampoo every other day – washing and shampooing your hair every other day is important if you’re spending a lot of time in a town or city as the pollution and hustle and bustle of sightseeing can easily create a more dirty beard than if you are sat at home or in an office.
- Dry my hair with a microfibre towel – after I have left the shower I will dry my hair with a microfibre towel by will be sure to leave my hair a little bit damp so that the application of the beard balm or oil can lock in the moisture.
- Application of a beard oil or balm – whilst my hair is still a little bit damp from the shower I will apply a beard oil or balm and make sure that I distributed evenly across my face. Making sure that it gets deep into the beard hairs with my fingertips I apply a generous amount.
- Hair drying, optional – when I am not conscious of space I will travel with a hairdryer and gently blow dry my beard hair until it is almost dry. While I and blow drying it I will brush it into place so that it sits how I wanted to sit.
- Application of balm – the final thing I do to my beard is make sure that I apply a farm with a lot of Shea butter or cocoa butter in it. That means that the Shea butter acts like a leave in conditioner and will nourish my beard for the next couple of hours while I am out and exploring the world.
I find that this simple four step process gives me enough extra nourishment that my beard doesn’t end up to dry at the end of the day. If I need to, I will backup the above or repeat the four steps when I return from my daily activity. This make sure that my beard is looking great before heading out for the evening.
If your travels involve a lot of activities out in a harsh sunny environment, you should consider protecting your beard with a UV protector (click here for all of the best UV protectors that are currently available for hair on Amazon).
The UV protector is important because even though you wear a hat it very rarely covers the entire length of your beard. The ends of your beard are extra prone to drying out and therefore a UV protector will make sure that the cuticles are not damaged and therefore are able to protect the inside of the hair against the harsh environmental conditions.
Camping? Let it go!
You know, there’s only one scenario where I have to accept that my beard will not look great and that is when I am camping. If I am camping for more than a few days I just have to accept that I am going to let my beard do what it wants. I don’t do anything other than brush it out in the morning and that is because the extra effort that it will take to maintain and control the beard hairs in a camping environment is just not worth the hassle.
Who doesn’t love a big bushy camping beard anyway?
Here, are all of the important things that you should travel with if you want to put together your very own little travel beard kit. You can also purchase a beard travel kit online which will take the guesswork out of what you should and shouldn’t take.
Beard travel kit
If you are considering taking a trip in the near future here are the best beard travel items that you should chuck in your travel kit
Travel beard trimmer
Making sure that you are able to travel with a small beard trimmer is very important if you are convinced you need to take one at all. Here is a small but reliable beard trimmer that you can take with you and I recommend that don’t include all of the different attachments just because they were can take up extra bulk that you probably don’t need while you are travelling. You can keep those safe at home for your return.
Travel beard brush and comb
Taking a beard brush and comb with you on your travels is an essential part of travelling with a beard. You cannot leave this behind as your beard will quickly become tangled and a mess. I recommend that you travel with a very light plastic can’t comb and a very simple or hairbrush. These are very important!
Here is one of the best boar hairbrushes that you can use on a daily basis to maintain your beard!
Small containers of products
If you are travelling for only a short period of time I recommend that you transfer some of the larger portions of your beard balm into a smaller container. There are plenty of screwtop small containers that you can find online such as the ones below.
If you want to take beard oil with you, you can purchase a 10 mL or 0.34-ounce dropper bottle. This will be enough to last you about 2 to 3 weeks if you use it in the mornings.
Beard travel bag
Having a sturdy beard travel kit bag means that you are confident to throw it around and have all of your travel essentials in one place. You should check out a vintage leather campus travel toiletry bag which will be sure to last you almost a lifetime!
Travel hair drier
Getting yourself a very compact hairdryer will mean that you can do all of the straightening and heat treatment that you can comfortably do at home. There is no need to sacrifice on power and function just because it is small choosing a hairdryer that has a foldable handle will quickly save space and it means that you can pack more of the things you love!
Travelling with a beard can be very tricky! But follow the rules and tips in this article and it will be better than you have ever seen whilst travelling.
Make sure that you focus on hydrating your hair as often as possible so that it doesn’t become damaged and frizzy because of lack of hydration.
Ultimately, you have to make sure that you enjoy your trip and travels and if by sacrificing a little bit of beard style is the price of that I would say that that is well worth it! Happy travels and I hope that it is super fun.