Picture perfect hair for Van Lifers!

Spending time on the road can take a toll on your beauty regime, but only if you let it!

I’m going to share with you some of my favourite tips and techniques that I have discovered to keep your hair fresh and photo worthy whilst living the Van life.

For those of you who religiously wash your hair on a daily basis, I have some facts I would like to share with you.

  • Your hair actually benefits from the natural oils that come from the scalp and  washing your hair daily strips these
  •  Washing your hair daily fades colours faster
  •  It means you are going to use heated products more often
  •  Which in turn leads to more split ends

And, onto my final fact…

  •  It takes up valuable time!

Okay, so now I’ve successfully convinced you that it’s actually perfectly natural to leave your hair alone for a few days, I’ll share with you some tips that I’ve found useful to help keep my hair looking picture perfect day after day.

Initial Styling

For me, I try to wash, dry and style my hair the day I intend on starting travelling. This way, you’re not losing a day and night of fresh hair. For long-term travellers, this doesn’t really matter too much but for a weekend van lifer that extra day means a lot! My hair is naturally curly but quite frizzy. I tend to find that giving it a good straighten the day I travel, lasts me a long weekend, it just starts to curl but in a controlled way. Obviously, this all depends on your hair type and straight hair won’t work for everyone, you just need to find something which you can easily keep control of.

Ongoing Styling

I tend to change my style every day to accommodate which bits have frizzed, kinked or feel greasy. For example, if I have slept on the front and my fringe has gone funny, I will put a French plait across my fringe. Other styles which I have found that can help to cover hair mishaps are pigtails, plaits, French plaits, fishtail plaits, buns, and the half up – half down look. I would try to avoid hair spray as it can make hair look greasy, try to rely on more traditional methods such as back combing to add volume and keep styles in place.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a god send. Spray it at your roots and massage it into your hair. It absorbs the excess grease and oils in the hair and makes it look fresh again. However, this may only be used a couple of times as it can start to build up and make hair look a greyish colour. I find Batiste is the best dry shampoo, as they have different sprays tailored for all hair types, but there are lots of other brands available on the market.


Sea Spray

If you have naturally wavy or curly hair, once your curls start to reappear, you could always use some sea/salt spray and scrunch the ends to create a natural ‘beach wave’ look. This look is best achieved by spraying a small amount on to the ends and mid length of the hair, try to avoid spraying the roots.


There’s no 50/50 when it comes to hats. You either wear one all of the time or don’t wear one at all unless you’ve enjoyed your couple of days of flawless hair. Hats cause our hair to look lifeless and flat from the root, however there are some occasions where they are completely necessary, for example in cold conditions. When we travelled around Scotland at Christmas I resulted to wearing a hat every day as we were in minus temperatures. However, this also means keeping it on when in pubs and at attractions, I have found that most places wont mind you keeping your bobble hat on, however there is always potential you may be asked to remove it. The only other time I would recommend wearing a hat is if you’ve exhausted all of the options above, your roots look lifeless but the ends are still presentable.

Heated Appliances

No, I haven’t gone mad. Don’t leave the heated appliances at home. Just because your van doesn’t have a plug, doesn’t mean that some of the places you visit wont. If I’m having a bad hair day, I’ll carry mine with me in my rucksack, especially if we are on a city break and I know at some point we will be nipping into a bar/café or restaurant. These places are filled with empty plug sockets. I would always suggest asking first, before plugging them in but I’ll leave that up to you. I have successfully straightened my hair in a Wetherspoons before with no problems, but as I say, always best to ask. You tend to find most people are very accommodating when you explain your situation and find it quite amusing, engaging in conversation and asking lots of questions about ‘Van life’.


Shopping Centres

Again, if you are in more of a built up area and in reach of a shopping centre or mall, I tend to find that a lot of them now have small stalls dotted around. More often than not, there is a stall advertising a certain brand of new hair styler, for example curlers/straighteners and they are constantly looking for women to sit down and be models for them. Without a doubt you will sit through 10-15 mins of sales talk whilst they are doing it, telling you how bouncy the curls are and how it makes your hair shine. You just need to sit and smile whilst they fix your 2 day old bedhead. Do not feel you need to buy these products, remember they asked you to trial for them.

I hope I have provided you with some useful tips to stay flawless on your travels!

Do you have any hair tips which work well for you? Please let me know!

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