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Drying hair in winter

brawblether

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/Jul 2012; Feb 2014
#1
For those of you who walked in the colder months, what were your hair washing and drying routines? (Particularly speaking to the gals here but happy to hear guys' suggestions too.)

Last time I walked it was summer, I washed my hair every day upon arrival at the albergue and it dried quickly in the heat of the afternoon. Obviously this won't happen in winter and I doubt wandering around with wet hair will do me any good. Did you wash it at night before going to bed? Upon arrival? Did you carry a travel hair dryer? Did you book into a hotel the nights you wanted to wash your hair? I'm sure there are lots of options, I'm curious to know your approach. I'm not looking to fire up any debates on frequency of washing though, that's individual to each of us for our own reasons :)

Thanks!
 

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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#2
Speaking personally I don't like washing my hair at night, eevn at home, as it makes my pillow damp. On the Camino I wash it when I shower, either on arrival or as soon after as possible.My hair is short and cut shorter than normal for the camino so it does dry fairly quickly. The earliest I have been on the Camino is late April, but that had some days colder than earlier in the year. I take a small (approx 60x40cms) technical towel to dry my hair as well as my shower/bath size towel, it is lighter and more versatile than a hair dryer and it doesn't need electric. :)
 
#3
Again, I have not YET walked the Camino, but I do go hiking and backpacking (differentiated in my mind by whether or not I am carrying enough for a day or several days). When I am at home, I prefer to shower in the morning and I leave for work every day, even in the winter, with wet hair (gasp!). When I am backpacking, I do not prefer to shower in the morning. I usually get cleaned up after camp is set up. Translated into the Camino world, this will most likely mean that for me I will probably be wanting a shower at some point shortly after I arrive at the albergue, before exploring the town, attending Mass, or eating dinner.
 

viajero

Active Member
#4
I walked starting in early March...so winterish. When I arrived in the afternoon I would shower, wash my hair, and put on clean clothes. I think it usually dried by the time I went to bed (my hair is thick and usually takes awhile to dry). I don't remember it being a problem. I don't know of anyone who brought a hairdryer but I suppose you could.
 

brawblether

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/Jul 2012; Feb 2014
#5
Thanks for your replies. It's one of those things that I worry about and am sure it will work itself out when I'm there. The only reason I second guessed my decision not to take a hair dryer (I really hadn't even entertained the thought) was when someone said she took one at 250g and used it to dry her clothes if they needed a finish off. I don't really have any experience of the kinds of temperatures that I'm likely to experience (this Feb they got down to -5deg and sometimes only as high as 2deg) and so I have no idea what walking around with damp hair in them will be like. As I'd wash my hair every other day, that's quite a few days of frozen head! :?
 

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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#6
You could pop a beanie on to keep your head warm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances fall 2014 or 2015
#7
There are some decent dry shampoos now, not like the stuff that came out in the 70's and never really worked.In a pinch if your hair is long like mine, you can hang your head over the sink, brush your hair over from underneath and shake talcum powder into your hair. Leave it for a few minutes, then brush it out thoroughly-and, while not as good as a wet shampoo, it can buy you a day off from frozen head. You could wash one time, dry shampoo the next, and you would only have wet hair at the most twice a week.
 

brawblether

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/Jul 2012; Feb 2014
#8
Ohhhh dry shampoo, didn't think of that. I'll give it a go in the new few months and see if it's a goer. Thanks!
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#9
Kiwi-family said:
You could pop a beanie on to keep your head warm.
But then you'd have the dreaded 'Camino head' .....the beanie shaped pilgrim equivalent of 'Bed head' :lol: As others I found that by trying to get into the shower as soon as you can after arrival (remember you may have to wait a bit depending on numbers and facilities available) your hair will be dry enough by the time you're going to bed. I started walking in a snowy early April and got a 'Camino crop' beforehand which helped the drying.
The only hair dryers I came across where those brought by some spanish teenagers who were walking the last 100km as a school trip.... but I think they had their heavy bags carried on for them. They were lovely youngsters and, as they had at least two different outfits for every day :shock: , they certainly brightened the final week! By that stage everything I had was sort of grubby grey and smelt strongly of the cheap apple/peach shampoo I used to wash everything myself included. I hadn't expected to smell like an alcopop when paying my respects to Santiago but I'm sure he's had to deal with more challenging aromas over the centuries!
 

brawblether

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/Jul 2012; Feb 2014
#10
Yeah I don't think a beanie over wet hair's going to do much to combat the cold. Trouble is, Nell, that it should dry before bed if washed as soon as possible after arrival...but what about wandering around the town before that? Hmmm I'm worrying about it too much, aren't I?!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#11
brawblether said:
Yeah I don't think a beanie over wet hair's going to do much to combat the cold. Trouble is, Nell, that it should dry before bed if washed as soon as possible after arrival...but what about wandering around the town before that? Hmmm I'm worrying about it too much, aren't I?!
I beg to differ (respectfully of course). If you wash your hair as soon as you arrive, it may well be dry be evening. But if you want to go out in the afternoon/evening, you just might have to put up with camino-head! A merino beanie WILL keep the warmth in even if your hair is wet.
If appearance is paramount, how about a scarf over the head? But I can promise that will not be as warm!
 

brawblether

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/Jul 2012; Feb 2014
#12
OK, I'll give it some thought :) thanks Kiwi-family. Trust me, if appearances were important, I'd have opted for the hair dryer so that I could shape my hair while I dried it! All my photos from my last walk have me with flicked out hair...it's all part of it, huh :) No, definitely only concerned about walking around outside with wet hair in winter.
 
#13
I have long thick hair and haven't had any problem getting it to dry before bed, even in some of the winter-like weather we've been having. I'd worry more about getting your socks dry by morning... :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances fall 2014 or 2015
#14
If you're worried about flicked out hair in your pictures, you could always photoshop the worst ones. Or you could try saying that's how everyone is wearing their hair this year. Like your previous poster, I'd be more upset with wet socks. But then, you should see some of the bizarre looking photos of me in my album!
 

caminoforme86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2013 - December 2013
#15
Good question actually, I took both my hair dryer and straightners when I travelled Eastern Europe but I was going out some nights seeing what the night life was like. If I hadn't checked out the nightlife I wouldn't have met my boyfriend!!
I am not planning taking either on my November camino, I will get my hair cut a little shorter than it is now and try get a shower as soon as I get into the hostels.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#16
Good question actually, I took both my hair dryer and straightners when I travelled Eastern Europe but I was going out some nights seeing what the night life was like. If I hadn't checked out the nightlife I wouldn't have met my boyfriend!!
I am not planning taking either on my November camino, I will get my hair cut a little shorter than it is now and try get a shower as soon as I get into the hostels.
Short hair is definitely THE way to go! Dry it quickly with your towel. If the albergue is cold and/or unheated you might need to wear your woolly hat inside and even to sleep. Many a time I have done this and, thus, resembled Goldilocks' grandmama! Last November/December the municipal albergues in Hontanas and Sahagun seemed especially cold. BE PREPARED!!

Margaret Meredith
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
#17
The only towel I carry on Camino is one of those small, super absorbent towels. Usually the albuergues have towels so I can just use that one on my hair. If not, it works as a towel for everything. I once stopped at a grocery store and bought a cheap European travel blow dryer. EVERYONE wanted to borrow it every night and by the end of the Camino it didn't work very well. But it was very light weight and cheap.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#18
The only towel I carry on Camino is one of those small, super absorbent towels. Usually the albuergues have towels so I can just use that one on my hair. If not, it works as a towel for everything. I once stopped at a grocery store and bought a cheap European travel blow dryer. EVERYONE wanted to borrow it every night and by the end of the Camino it didn't work very well. But it was very light weight and cheap.
What albergues are you staying at that have towels?? I've never been offered a towel in an albergue.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#19
I only recall a couple of albergues with a hand-towel in the bathroom next to the basin. And that was shared by everyone so I kept away. Never come across one that had individual bath towels.
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
#20
What albergues are you staying at that have towels?? I've never been offered a towel in an albergue.
Really? Honestly - in nearly all of them. I use my own towel nearly all of the time but they're definitely out and available. Which ones exactly I don't know. I am not really aware of the name of the albuergue I am in when I am in it. I have done the Frances twice, the Norte and two different stretches of the Chemin. And there are definitely bath towels available in many of them. And oftentimes there are blow dryers.
 

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