This blog was written by Wigs.com Mentor Kim Stamaris.
I used to travel frequently when I first lost my hair, whether holidaying in the Greek islands or traveling interstate for work meetings. But, like most people, I have been stationary and grounded in Australia for the last 2-years since the pandemic's beginning.
But it’s finally time to dust off my suitcases since the world is gradually opening up, and interstate and overseas travel are back on my schedule again.
Be Prepared and Make a List
I am a planner, and I like my lists. I make lists for everything. For example, I have a travel checklist that I have used in the past, and it has never steered me wrong.
Destination and Length of Stay Determine Quantity
The way I pack for a vacation differs significantly from how I would pack for work or an overnight trip. Nevertheless, I’ll use these scenarios because they might resonate with a trip you might be planning soon.
I typically only pack for a few days if I go on a work trip and only pack what will fit in my carry-on luggage. I tend to wear wigs only during meetings or a dinner event with my team for work. I would probably only pack one or two wigs to interchange between in similar styles or colors. I find doubling up with the same style makes life easier, and you have more time to enjoy your trip with more ready-to-wear looks.
Gwyneth by Jon Renau
Simmer by Raquel Welch
On the other hand, I think variety is the way to go when packing wigs for a 1+ week summer vacation, and I want to fill enough styles to cover all possible events and functions. I usually opt for a couple of easy-wear styles for daily wear and a longer style for nights out, and I might also bring along a fun, colorful wig style as a backup option.
If I am packing for a summer vacation, my personal preference is synthetic over human hair wigs. Re-styling hair is not one of my favorite things during summer vacation, and synthetic styles are my go-to as they are pre-styled and retain their style after a wash. There is no need to pack styling tools that usually take up space in a suitcase.
Drive by Ellen Wille
Rachel by Jon Renau
No One Likes a Knotty or Dirty Wig
I am the first to admit I am a bit of a clean freak, especially when it comes to my wigs. So, bringing along wig care products with me on my trip to keep my wigs in tip-top shape.
Most wet products come in bigger bottles and jars, which are great for home use, but I think they are a bit too bulky to travel with.
I find travel-sized bottles and jars are a godsend for any trip. They can easily be packed into a carry-on and won’t take much room in more oversized check-in luggage.
If I am traveling for short-stay trips, I avoid wig washing, so I will only travel with products for styling, detangling, and quick lace cleaning so my wigs always look their best.
For longer-stay vacations, and especially in summer when I am more prone to overheating, I will pack shampoos and conditioners and the styling & detangling products.
Early in my hair loss journey, I decided to swim without a wig. Still, if you plan to swim in yours, I can’t stress enough how important it is to wash off the chlorine or salt from your wig immediately, and having the right care products with you on vacation can help your wigs keep looking feeling their best.
Accessories Are Important
I always travel with a collapsible standing or hanging wig stand that won't take up room in my luggage and can be set up to store my wigs when I am away. If I am traveling with more than one wig, I tend to use a hotel lamp or even bedposts for additional wig storage (housekeeping usually gets a kick out of that!)
But in addition to wig stands, there are certain types of accessories I never leave home without.
Travel Essentials plus the Secure Softie Wig Liner by Jon Renau
Once I have pulled out all the items, I plan to bring with me and tick them off my checklist. The next step is packing them so they will travel safely with me to my destination.
For me, packing is all about the economy of space, which applies to my wigs.
From my experience and speaking to other wig wearers, there are two packing practices: right way up or inside out. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way, so go with what feels most natural to you.
I pack them the right way up for my shorter wig styles, and my longer styles go inside out.
- If you wish, you can add some tissue paper stuffing to help the wig cap retain its shape.
- It’s now time to use those hair nets that your new wigs arrive in. First, wrap your wig in a hair net to keep the fibers from moving and tangling.
- Next, I place the wig inside a zip lock bag and use a straw to suck all the air out to keep it airtight.
All the care products go in separate pouches, and hair accessories in a makeup bag. Keeping everything organized in their storage bags helps with packing and unpacking.
If you have room in your suitcase or a bigger luggage allowance, you can also store your wigs in hat boxes or special travel wig bags/cases. These will keep your wigs from being packed too tightly.
To Wear Or Not To Wear a Wig To the Airport
This has to be one of the most highly discussed topics for traveling with wigs. I remember reading so many blogs on this and asking other wig wearers about it because I am one of those unlucky ones that will, nine times out of 10, get stopped at airport security. I will be scanned separately or taken aside by a female airport staff member to be patted down.
Like most of you, I was scared that alarms would sound during the security checks if my wig had metallic clips or hook adjustors. I vividly recall having that nightmare!
But in all my travels, not once has that happened because of my wig – it has happened because I forgot to remove my belt or jewelry a time or two, but never because of my wig.
The few times I have been pulled aside into a private room, the female airport staff member wouldn’t bat an eyelid when she felt I was wearing a wig.
For me, traveling is all about feeling comfortable. Wear a wig if you wish, or opt to wear a scarf or headwear. I swap out my wig with a beanie to reduce friction against the airplane seats when I want to snooze. Then, I’ll pop it back on again before the plane lands.
I hope some of these tips help take the stress out of the packing when it’s time to plan your next trip, and you can focus more on the excitement before your trip!