The holiday season is in full swing, so what does that mean? Traveling. And lots of it. Admit it, when checking your bags you say a prayer asking the hair gods to smile on you and get your products to your destination safe and sound. But what if the hair gods are napping between their own travels and you lose all of your luggage? No more clothes or shoes, and worst of all, your products—gone.

As scary as it is, it can happen to any of us. Three NaturallyCurly personalities—all different hair types—have put together a list of three emergency travel replacements that you can find at any drug store or grocery store. It's better to be prepared than stranded and wondering what to do next!


Evelyn—Type 4

Honestly, there's only one product for me that is 100% necessary—conditioner. It serves as a light cleanser, a detangler, and adds to the overall manageability of my naturally kinky/coily hair.

My pick is an old favorite: Suave Humectant. It's cheap, creamy, smells great, and most importantly, has amazing slip. My comb will have no trouble at all gliding through my hair. I used Suave Humectant during my transition so I know it works. Suave Damage Care is almost identical to it, so that's a close second choice.

The next two products aren't necessary to having a good hair day, since I don't style my hair stretched out very often. Believe it or not, I'd actually travel to the grocery store and pick up some coconut or extra virgin olive oil before I'd buy these two. But for the sake of a list...

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner

The "ethnic" hair care section (it's maybe 3 shelves, really) doesn't have that many products for styling your hair in it's curly state. My next option is to style it stretched.

I'd choose Cantu Shea Butter for twists and twist outs. I used this early on in my natural journey. It's light, smells nice, and makes the hair soft but not oily. If you're worried about flakes or residue, just remember: a little goes a long way!

Next, I'd choose a leave-in spray. Aussie Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner is great for this! Again, it has a lovely scent, and gives my hair a boost without making it crunchy. Great for softening up that afro bed head in the mornings. I'd spray it before I hop in the shower and a little bit afterward when I'm "styling" (aka wearing a head band).



Shopping for my 3 emergency replacement products, I first have to give myself a pep talk, “silicones and sulfates will not kill my curls”, “you will not get addicted to them again”. I take a deep breath; let the shopping begin.

I know I can get by without cleansing my hair, so I skip the shampoo aisle completely, and move on to the conditioner aisle. This is an easy choice. I really like Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner. It is inexpensive and perfect for co-washing. It has a lot of slip and moisture, and I am thrilled to have it.

Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner

My last two items will have to be a mousse and some sort of curl cream. The Tresemme Curl Care Flawless Curls Mousse catches my eye. The “all day control” part of the description sounds great. I was surprised when I tried it. The mousse was lightweight, smelled good and wasn’t super sticky. I had good curl definition, and it wasn’t crunchy.

The curl cream that I chose was Garnier Curl Sculpting Cream Gel. I know this is the new version of a very popular curl cream that was discontinued. I put some in as a leave-in conditioner before I applied the mousse. I also used it on dry hair to touch up a little bit of frizz on the ends. In both situations I used a small amount. I admit I was a little afraid of using it, especially the part about it being “extra strong”, but after trying it the hold was not as strong after all. I can’t imagine using it on its own, but combining it with the mousse was a winning combo.


Alyssa—Type 2a

Thankfully this scenario has never happened to me, but if it did, I would freak out. I'm not someone who cries, but this just might make me shed lots of tears.

Because I used to straighten my hair every day and not worry about my curls, shopping for products at a grocery store is like visiting an old friend I haven't seen in a while. If you lose your luggage, you have to accept one thing: sulfates and silicones are going to be in these products. (That might be two things...)

I am unlike the other two curly girls in the sense that I need a shampoo. There is no way I could ever wash my hair with only conditioner and expect good results. Because of that, the first aisle I'm going to is the shampoo isle.

I loved Herbal Essence shampoo when I was straightening my hair, but they also have shampoo for curly hair. The Totally Twisted Curls and Waves Shampoo would be right up my alley because it smells great and it's something recommended for curls. Nothing too heavy, which is just what my waves need.

John Frieda Dream Curls

Next I would take a trip to the conditioner aisle. I tend to like a thicker conditioner so the Herbal Essence isn't quite enough for me. Pantene now makes a line of shampoos and conditioners for curly girls and I love their conditioner. It's a good thickness, without being overpowering, and it smells amazing. Smell is big for me. I would recommend the Dry to Moisturized conditioner to help you survive your trip.

Finally, I need something that is going to hold my wave throughout the day and help tame the frizz that can happen in unfamiliar weather. Without a doubt I would grab the John Frieda Dream Curls. I use this right after I get out of the shower and it takes my hair from waves to curls. It also helps keep away my frizz throughout the day. I love it. I know it doesn't have the best ingredients, but this is about survival! I am not going to walk around with my hair in a ponytail every day because I was scared to use some 'cones for a few days.

Now who has a microfiber towel I can borrow?