Taming fine, unruly 2A/2B/2C hair. Difficulty level: No blow dryer : (
August 24, 2017 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I'll most likely be away from a hair dryer for a month. I'm going on vacation, and there will be nice pictures taken all over Europe... I don't want to look like something the cat dragged in. I'm not sure what to do about my hair. Details below the fold.

I've asked my hair stylist, and she insists that I'll have hair dryers in the hotels in Europe. I'm not so sure about this because we're staying in older places, tiny towns, etc. And we're going for a month. I want to be prepared.

So.... my hair. It's thick and wavy with a lazy "S" curl pattern that starts around my ears and needs weight for the curl to come together and look decent. I'd say it's a combination 2A on top, with a 2B/2C underlayer. It's a nightmare.

I'm growing out a pixie cut, and it's getting there. I can finally pull about 80% of it back in a ponytail. I'd give anything to wash and wear it, but without the length my curl pattern is CrAzY. It flips this way and that. It flips up. It flips down. It flips sideways. It's like it can't decide which direction it's going, and by the time it's dry I look like I've been through a wind tunnel. It's fine and thick and completely, utterly annoying. The curl pattern is such that you can't even tell I have waves until it gets long enough. It looks like.... I don't know what. It just sticks out everywhere.

When it's long, it's tamed as long as I moisturize the hell out of it. I use a Turbie Towel and scrunch it with a mousse, then spray argan oil or light gel in it to get it to stay. It actually looks good that way - there's lots of waves and curl underneath. The weight of my hair keeps the craziness level down, and it's got a fairly definitive wave/curl to it. I usually do a half up half down because the top layer is wavy-straight. Like Pam Beasley.

Currently, my daily routine is to stick it up in a Turbie Towel for about ten minutes and then blow it out, which literally takes only five minutes. I spend most of my blow-drying time flipping it under with a flat brush...otherwise it flips up (which aggravates me to no end). In the past when I've grown it out, I've just used a blow dryer, but I'm going to be away from one for a month and there will be times when I'd like to look nice.

My preference would be to wash and wear it, but I'm worried that I've screwed up the curl pattern after blowing it out for 2 years. And maybe it's just not wash-and-wearable at this stage.

While tying it back is an option, it looks a little sloppy because my bangs aren't long enough yet. Not sure what to do with those without looking like I'm 12.

Help? Any 2b/2c's out there? What do you do when your hair is short? Have you conquered washing and wearing with some magical product that makes your hair behave?

I'm open to any suggestions. Hair ties, hair bands, products.... anything that looks sophisticated and cute.

Thank you : )
posted by onecircleaday to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Can you buy a hair dryer once you arrive in Europe (so it's the right kind for the power there)? I have frustrating hair too and the cost of a hair dryer would be worth it to me.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:17 AM on August 24, 2017 [11 favorites]

When I was in Europe for a longer period of time, I just popped into a pharmacy and bought a small one. Totally worth the $20 or so equivalent. Would that be an option instead?
posted by anderjen at 9:20 AM on August 24, 2017

You are me. I have a small travel hairdryer I take with me and have bought cheap ones in my destination country in the past. For a few € it's saved me so much stress.

I have also invested in hair wraps like this and they look super smart and get me out the door to concentrate on my holiday.
posted by ozgirlabroad at 9:22 AM on August 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have the same hair - maybe a bit curlier. I never ever brush it after I'm out of the shower. I brush it with a wet brush when the conditioner is in it and then rinse it carefully so the curls stay stuck together. Maybe I'll run my fingers through it a bit as I rinse but it's better if I don't. I put gel or Lush Hair Custard in it, part it and then "plop" it into a Turbie towel for a while and then mostly let it air dry. If I do blow dry it, I use a diffuser and dry it just to the point where it's not soaked and drippy. If I dry it more than that, it gets pretty frizzy. At some lengths, my hair looks best if I go to bed with it wet for some reason. I put my hair so it's straight up on the pillow - the underside of the hair is touching the pillow. At other lengths though, this makes my hair look giant and poofy and stupid. It's a toss-up.
posted by artychoke at 9:40 AM on August 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

1. Just buy a hair dryer there. So totally worth it.

2. As a side note....
I spend most of my blow-drying time flipping it under with a flat brush...otherwise it flips up (which aggravates me to no end)

Buy one of these (or something similar). This is the cure for all that ails you. I have curly hair too, and I swear by dryers like this when I wear it straight. Since the brush and dryer are one it frees up a hand to perfectly place and hold the hair in place for perfect curl under. And since the brush barrel also heads up, it is almost like a curling iron as well, to really set the curl under.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:41 AM on August 24, 2017

So I live in a small European country (relatively speaking) and have traveled to many others. You will absolutely find a hairdryer in 95% of places that you stay. We are not savages.

I like the idea of buying a small (foldable) one when you get here if you want to be certain.

Otherwise, unless you are attached to your curls, consider a Brazilian blow dry. This will make your hair wash-and-wearable - and will have the lovely added benefit of making you rain- and humidity-proof and therefore always 100% photo ready.
posted by citands at 9:42 AM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

We are not savages.

FWIW, I've stayed in lots of places in the U.S. that didn't have hairdryers. And I've been to Europe, and neither place that I stayed in had a hairdryer. It's not a sure thing.
posted by onecircleaday at 9:52 AM on August 24, 2017

Buying a hair dryer will solve the problem, really, though odds are good many places will have one... In the absence of a hair dryer though, you could get a cut to work *with* your wave (just have it texturized or whatever is suggested by a good, wave-friendly hairdresser). Then, after you wash your hair, partially towel dry, run a smidge of watered-down gel through (evenly), scrunch it, and let it air dry.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:34 AM on August 24, 2017

Hats are perfectly acceptable for women in public, look good in photos, and tend to be for sale in interesting street markets in Europe. And take no time away from your holiday.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:29 PM on August 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have spent my whole life trying to fight my curls (my hair is closer to 3A) and finally got a cut to emphasize the curls. I found that putting coconut oil in my hair tames the frizz and then i can scrunch and airdry. If you don't feel comfortable going with the wild curl/wave, then I'd look for a hairdryer in a store once you get to Europe.
posted by ruhroh at 10:38 PM on August 25, 2017

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