The Best Haircut for Traveling?

What’s the best haircut for travel?

To clarify, I’m specifically referring to long term travel. If you’re only going away for a week or two you’ll surely be fine with any hairdo so long as you get it shaped up before you head out.

What if you’re traveling for 6 months, a year, or indefinitely though? How are you going to explain your haircut style to the village hairdresser? My guess is probably with some photos or a translator on your phone. If there’s no reception or internet then you’ll probably figure out how to write it down in the local language, show it to the barber, and hope it works out. One things for certain though: you’ll need to be flexible with your hairstyle. That is, unless, you choose to cut your own hair when traveling.

At home I cut my own hair, trimming the sides a bit shorter than the top and slicking the top back with some of my homemade pomade. I’ve got the full set up: trimming and thinning scissors along with an electronic razor that has adjustable combs. There’s just no way I’m taking all of that with me on the road. It’s added weight I don’t need and I strive to travel as minimally as possible. More weight equals being more miserable in my personal experience.

I decided a buzz cut may be the best haircut for traveling. I’d be able to ditch the weight of all these extra things like pomade, combs, and shampoo. Plus, if you’re traveling carry on only like me, it wouldn’t be possible to take the scissors at all.

While spending time in Vienna with family before my current trip a good friend gave me a battery powered beard trimmer for Christmas. It seemed promising in that I’d also be able to buzz my head with it. The only reason I didn’t give it a go in Vienna was because I impromptu ended up being gifted a haircut in the Czech Republic. So I pondered this thought of the best haircut for traveling, anxiously awaiting buzzing my head. Would my head look weird? Would my sideburns and/or mustache look funny with shorter hair? Would I look older or younger? Quite a bit of time had obviously passed since I switched up my hairstyle.

The time had come for a change. Honestly, I wasn’t that worried about it. More curious. Once when I was younger, maybe 13 or so, I tried to dye my hair black and cut it in some strange way. This ended so horribly that I ended up shaving my head completely bald. Thankfully it went a little better this time.

I was dreadfully bored in Budva and set up the tripod as I made coffee for the event that was giving myself a new haircut. Every time I tried to shave my face with the Wahl travel trimmer (amazon link) the batteries died so I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst. What happened was the latter. As soon as the trimmer touched my hair it died. There was one more spare battery to pop in but would it be enough? The answer would be no. I’d need to venture into the wild and get new batteries with an unfinished haircut. Fortunately for me it was winter and I could cover it up with a beanie.

So I returned with some fresh batteries and a couple of beers, ready to finish the job. Although I must say that I don’t recommend mixing alcohol with giving yourself a haircut. These were to be for celebration. I was going to succeed. I got back to it but it probably took over an hour to finish buzzing my head because, you know, this thing is really only meant to trim a beard. In the end it was a glorious success. Also, as it turns out, every battery I’d used so far was just a dud. My battery purchases were all actually just a stream of bad luck.

It’s been a few weeks now so I’ve had time to reflect on buzzing my head. Is it the “best” haircut for traveling? I think best is subjective but it’s surely the lowest maintenance. Having less hair for me has meant carrying a few less things and no bad hair days. Being that my trimmer isn’t the most efficient at trimming a full head of hair I’ll probably just get a normal haircut next time. It’s always in my bag as a fall back should I so desperately need a haircut in some desolate foreign land with no hair dressers.


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