If you have curly hair, you know the difference hair straighteners can make to your life, especially if, like me, your curly hair is more frizz than waves and swells up to a huge birds-nest at even the slightest hint of moisture. Deciding whether to travel with hair straighteners can be a tough decision to make, because you only have a limited amount of space and don't want to waste it with things you'll never used.
The Advantages of Traveling With Hair Straighteners
They control your hair: If you always straighten your hair at home and never let it be natural, you'll struggle to travel without them. Remember that you're not used to styling your curly hair, so learning how to do it while you're on the road can be a pain. You should pack your straighteners if you have no idea how to control your hair without them.
They boost your self-esteem: If you hate your wavy hair and love it straight, it's worth packing them to give you a self-esteem boost on the road. Nobody likes to look like a mess when they travel, so pack your straighteners if you don't want to beat yourself up over your appearance on a daily basis.
They help you fit in: If you're going to be traveling in spring or fall and won't be faced with humid or rainy conditions, you should pack a pair of hair straighteners. They'll help you look sleeker and fit in with the fashionable locals, too.
The Disadvantages of Traveling with Hair Straighteners
They might not actually do that much: If you're going to be heading to somewhere near the equator, your hair straighteners might not help much if you're going to be in humid conditions all of the time. If you're traveling on a budget as well, you'll likely be in a stuffy dorm room without air conditioning, where the last thing you'll care about is what your hair looks like.
Additionally, if you're going to be traveling in winter to a very rainy place, your hair straighteners might not be much use either. There's not much point spending an hour straightening your hair just to step out into a storm and have it look a mess a few minutes later.
They take up a lot of space: Hair straighteners aren't the lightest of items, and they will take up a lot of space in your backpack. I'd recommend packing everything else you want to travel with and then seeing if you can fit them in as well. If you can, then there's no reason why you shouldn't take them, but if you can't, it might be best to leave them at home.
They're a bit tricky to carry in hand luggage: When I travel with my straighteners in my hand luggage, I'm always asked about them at the security checkpoints. If you're traveling carry-on only, expect to get very frustrated as you're frequently pulled aside.
What I Did
I decided that hair straighteners weren't a necessity for me, so I didn't pack them. I wasn't used to styling my hair when it's curly, so for the first few months of my trip, I ended up having photos of me with crazy-looking hair that was all over the place. Eventually, I grew to love my curls and as my hair grew longer, I even managed to embrace them.
After a year of travel, I returned home and straightened my hair. I loved how it looked and realised I'd really missed my straighteners. I've now been traveling with them for three years and I've never looked back.