Dallas-based Judge Shequitta Kelly stays on the winning side of the law while looking flawless every time. Three years ago, Kelly created her product the Hair Shield after she failed to find a product that would properly protect her luxury extensions and wigs. Now, the Hair Shield is revolutionizing the way women protect their wigs and has become a favorite item for Black, female travelers.
Travel Noire sat down with the judge and entrepreneur to talk about the 10 hair essentials every traveling Black woman should have in their suitcase.
Silk Scarf or Bonnet
Everyone knows silk scarves and bonnets are essential travel items for traveling black women. Judge Kelly encourages women to keep one of these two items in their luggage when traveling. She says she keeps these items on hand anytime she goes out of town.
“Those to me are a staple for Black women because our hair has to stay moisturized and the satin scarf or bonnet helps protect our hair and keep it moisturized while we’re sleeping,” Kelly said.
While a bonnet is primarily used for sleeping, Kelly says the silk scarf can also be used to tie down your hair when wearing slicked- back styles like pony- tails and can also double as an accessory with different outfits.
Black women are known for getting their hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side before heading out on a luxurious vacation. Kelly encourages women to protect their styles by investing in a shower cap to keep their hair from getting wet. She also says not to rely on the complimentary hotel shower caps because they don’t always fit our hair.
“Right now I have in 22 inch thick, curly weave,” she said. “There’s no way the little, plastic cap that some hotels give you, my hair isn’t going to fit in that.”
Find a shower cap that is right for you to keep your hair from frizzing up while bathing out of town.
Ceramic Flat Iron
Judge Kelly recommends every woman travel with a ceramic flat iron to straighten out any pieces of hair that may get out of hand while traveling. Recently, Kelly experienced a hair scare while visiting Houston. The humidity and warm weather nearly destroyed her hairstyle. Luckily, her flat iron was within reach.
“My natural hair started to reverse and it wasn’t blending with my weave but I had my flat iron,” she said.
Aside from straightening, many flat irons come with additional features that allow you to curl and style your hair in other ways that may come in handy while traveling. Kelly also encourages women to always use heat protectant when using a ceramic flat iron or when apply any heat to their hair to avoid het damage.
Like any fabulous, Black woman, Kelly never goes on vacation without her edge control. Whether you rock braids, a wig, or your natural hair, Kelly says edge control helps bring another layer of flyness to your hairstyle while you’re visiting your destination.
“When your edges are done nicely, it accentuates your hairstyle and I have a lot of baby hair so if I don’t lay them down, then it’s just fuzzy around the side of my head no matter how cute my hair is,” she said.
Try a few different edge control brands to find the one that works best for you and your hair type. You also want to make sure you find a product that plays nice when mixed with other hair products to avoid flaking or residue buildup.
Edge Control Brush
Kelly says you can’t lay your edges properly without having the right edge control brush.
“You can’t use just any old brush with your edges,” she said. “You have to have the right bristles so I use a different brush for my hair versus my edges.”
You can find a small edge control brush at your local beauty supply store. Some women also use a toothbrush or rattail comb to sculpt their edges to perfection while traveling.
Hair Ties or Scrunchie
There’s a huge debate online about what these are actually called. From hair tie, scrunchie, to pony tail holder, no matter what you call it, Kelly says keep them in your suitcase while traveling. Hair ties can be used to pull your hair back when you’re washing your face or doing your makeup. Kelly remembers traveling once on a windy day and her hair tie came in handy to combat the aggressive breeze. You can also use hair ties for hair styling like pulling your hair in a bun.
Hair Oil or Serum
Even though you’re going on vacation, that doesn’t mean you should neglect essential healthy hair care. Whether you’re wearing your natural hair or protective styles, Kelly suggests having some hair oil in your suitcase to make sure your hair stays moisturized throughout your vacation.
“If you’re going to be on vacation for a few days, you want to make sure you bring some type of hair oil to calm down the frizz, add a little moisture, and to keep it moist and healthy,” she said.
Hair oil keeps the hair from getting dry and breaking off so be sure to take time to moisturize your hair in between stylings.
Bobby pins are one of those items that are always around until you need it. Kelly says to keep a small container of these in your luggage just in case a pin-up emergency takes place while you’re on vacation.
“This is something that needs to stay in your luggage and you don’t really think about bobby pins until you need one,” she said. “And typically you need one when you’re on vacation.”
No matter what hair style you’re rocking, you never know when you may want to switch it up by pinning it up or pulling it back. So keep bobby pins on deck for all future hair travel needs.
According to Kelly, Black women need two combs with them while on vacation to ensure all of their hair maintenance needs are met; a wide- toothed and rattail comb. While the rattail comb can be used for making clean parts and styling edges, the wide-toothed comb also needs to stay in your luggage just in case you need to comb your hair out.
“If your out in the ocean and your hair gets wet, you want to be able to comb your hair out with the wide tooth comb, a rat tail comb won’t do it,” she said.
Keep both combs on deck and any other hair tool that will help better manage your hairstyles while traveling.
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Created by Kelly in 2018, the Hair Shield is the ultimate option for ladies looking to protect their luxury wigs while traveling the world. The satin-lined unit store, protects, and restores the beauty of your high-quality hair extensions and ensures they are never damaged in your suitcase.
“You can’t keep throwing them in the bag and expect them to look as good as they did when you first got the made or when you bought them,” she said. “So the Hair Shield not only allows you to travel with several different units but it allows you to protect them at the same time.”
Travelers can store multiple wigs in the Hair Shield at the same time and its silky lining provide optimal protection no matter where you go. Kelly says the product is perfect for women who love to switch their wigs while on vacation.