Unless you're a celebrity who lives for waltzing around airports in style, holiday travel hair hacks are about as important as turkey this time of year. Like so many others, my family isn't from the city I live in, so the holidays are as much about getting over to see Grandmother as they are about actually seeing Grandmother. To add insult to (eight hours stuck in a car with my entire family) injury, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner are in reality a gauntlet of cameras, with well-meaning family members desperate to document my elusive presence. I appreciate the sentiment, but as a wearer and wrangler of bangs, it is of critical importance that I have ample time to prepare my hair before somebody even thinks of pointing a camera in my direction, lest my bangs pull less Zooey Deschanel and more, well, this.
The problem with driving 300 miles with five adults and their extended family's Christmas presents in one sedan is that there is not a lot of room to store essentials like hairspray and flat irons. If you're flying I'm informed the situation is equally dire, though I will never know because I would rather cartwheel across Texas than get on an airplane again. The point is, it's important to feel camera-ready, or at least human, during the holidays. In light of baggage and time limits, I've compiled a list of tips to get us to that entire bottle of New Years' champagne that will be calling my name — and yours — come Dec. 31.
1. If Your Family Visit Is A Multi-Day Affair
If you're preparing yourself to endure days away from your usual comforts (case in point: I will be sharing a bedroom with my grown sister while my grown brother sleeps on the couch at my grandmother's home in rural Mississippi for a week this December, and did I mention that all of us plus my parents will be sharing one bathroom?), why not style your hair for the holiday and make that 'do last? Kayley Melissa shows us how it's done.
2. If You're Going Natural
Spending money is awful. Blow dryers and products are not, but they take up lots of valuable space in carry-on baggage. Avoid the extra cost of checked luggage and try this wash and go style.
3. If You Couldn't Get In For A Root Touchup
When I was in the salon, I dreaded two months of the year: November and December. Everybody wants to look good for holiday photos, which means that salons are incredibly busy during this period. Like, five shot americano busy. If you're going to be rocking the beanie since you couldn't get in to see your stylist, no need to worry: beanies are super cute, and they're seasonal. Count yourself lucky: when you do get in to see your stylist, they'll be a much less likely to stab you with the foiling comb than they were before December 25.
4. If You Can't Be Bothered To Pack Any Tools At All
If you're chill with your natural texture, all these styles require is a pack of bobby pins. Score.
5. If You Want Curls and Have Socks
After several disastrous attempts, I firmly believe that attractive sock curls are achievable only through blood sacrifice. Makeba here owns the technique so completely I'm inspired to try it again. Maybe.
6. If You've Got Curls... and Frizz
Bantu knots are a great travel style — just slap them in before your flight/drive/whatever and leave them to dry while you're sandwiched between Hortence from Nebraska and Jeffrey from Alabama.
7. If You Want To Style Your Hair Stealthily
This technique works great for super long hair, and it can totally double as a wearable style (though I've got to admit that my favorite part of heatless styling is shuffling up to Wal Mart with my hair twisted up in five little buns).
Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Emily Liu/Youtube