Travel Life: Hair Hacks

Sometimes I write about intense things. Sometimes I copy down passages from obscure books that speak to me. Sometimes I content mine for freelance. And sometimes I show you pictures of how to keep your hair put together while travelling.

Frivolity has its place, too!

When travelling, I still feel like I should look well-groomed. I am an international professional, and I am often teaching. I take my grooming seriously, because I do genuinely believe that it presents me in the best light. Even on a Scout Camp, I maintained a (at times thin) veneer of makeup and cute hairstyling. I unwittingly became part of the no-poo movement while living in Shanghai, where the humidity and sheer futility of the fight against entropy in the face of smog and rain. I now shampoo only on Mondays, and I never use heat on my hair.

Enough talk. Let’s get to the styles! I’ll give you my hard-earned tips and tricks from a life on the road.


When in doubt, cover it up! When my hair is dirty or has dried funny, I wear this cotton hat from Patagonia. That’s the region of South America, not the brand.


Braids and pins are my friends. This photo was taken in gale-force winds on a ferry between the ‘main land’ of Iceland and the Westman Islands. You want the braids to hold the many layers of your hair down, and the pins to secure them. I learned to French Braid at 25. You can, too! Just look it up on Youtube. I promise you’ll thank me later if you travel a lot.


My hair for the day.

Use smaller elastics to build braids into sturdy styles. This look has five clear elastics, but you can only see three. Add them to the middle of a braid if your hair has layers like mine.


Hair chalk is temporary, but striking! Use it for special occasions, like when the Scout jamboree begins on the camp you’re doing Workaway at. It washes out with two shampoos.


No hairbrush and you’ve just been to the beach in Reykjavik? Poofy mohawk braid bun thinger to the rescue! It only pulled a little.


Add local flowers to your braids for a fancy look. This one is from Iceland’s independence day in June 2016. It felt like a day for flower party hair.

How do you maintain your looks when travelling? Have you tried the no-poo option?

Makeup: Old School

I fell in love with the vintage look while living in London, and it just keeps getting more refined as I go on.


Winged eyeliner is my every day look now, along with bright blush and defined eyebrows. I finally was able to purchase some more makeup after a year of living in China and not buying much because it’s too expensive.

I’m managing to put the makeup on blind, too! I had an eye problem and cannot wear my contact lenses at the moment, and with -7.50 myopia in both eyes it’s hard to get close enough to the mirror to see clearly.

Do you like the vintage look? What makeup tricks do you recommend to me? 

Hairstyles in Shanghai: Taming the Beast

My hair is ridiculously big here in Shanghai. I have to wear it up in a high bun most of the time to tame it.


Tamed, ish

When it is let down, it poofs up huge. Luckily I am skilled at bringing it under control. Here’s the way I braided, tied, and generally subdued my hair this morning. hair styles



Braided and Tied

What kinds of complex hairstyles do you like in 2015?