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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Hair

Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Spring 2010), Frances (Spring 2016), Portuguese (May 2018)
#1
Hello all,
a question to the ladies. I have been lurking a long time and have found all the information I need, except for hair. Two questions.....short hair or long hair what is best? And since I am at that age that I need to occasionally color my hair how do I take care of that or do I just go gray?

Gracias y buen camino
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#2
Definitely a personal choice but a question to ask is how long it takes your hair to dry? Some people with very thick hair might prefer to cut it short so as not to have to worry about drying it. Also, if you are able to cut it quite short, perhaps the grey hair will just appear as a new style, not as 'new growth'. Or go 'au naturel' before you leave for Spain..
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#3
This is what hats are for! Of course it's a personal choice but I agree - whatever is the lowest maintenance is best. To me, it's part of the "letting go" - the gradual shedding of things that just get in the way of my spiritual self and throwing myself into the camino. In my experience no one pays much attention to appearances on the camino anyway, so cut your hair and let it go gray if you want!

Buen camino!

lynne
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#4
Hair length is personal choice and what you can manage to look after. No-one brings a hairdryer on the Camino, not that I've seen anyway, and no-one will take any notice of how your hair looks.

My hair is mid-length and on the Camino I just washed it and let it dry naturally. I did take a leave-in conditioner as my hair is coloured and dries out quickly. As for colouring, I have a permanent colour in my hair which I renewed just a couple of days before leaving for Spain, and just lived with the regrowth.
 

Janeh

Active Member
#5
one night I came across a german pilgrim who had a hairdryer with her - she was made fun of in a kind way by all the other women in the dorm! At home I always blow dry my hair, get it streaked, always wear product otherwise it's just flat....but on the camino I washed it with soap, let it dry all by itself, no hair straighteners, no gels, nada! It never looked any good but no-one gave one bit of notice to my hair and believe it or not, neither did I. I found it quite liberating! You can always buy some hair dye in Santiago and put that through your hair to look half decent on your trip home, but really, there is no need. I had my hair cut very short so it would dry quickly, others tied it back in a pony tail and only washed it every few days. Don't worry....you'll be fine. :)
 
#6
Love the question !

I am quite particular about the condition of my hair. I carried with me my shampoo and conditioner. I took with me sachets which I would empty into two small bottles, for every day use. I had short hair at the time of the camino. This was intentional as I tended to wash my hair every evening. Of course lacking a hair dryer, I had to let it dry naturally.

Looked a mess. I am one of those whose hair look like haystack unless blown dried ! Even if no one else noticed it, I did, but just had to live with it during the walk. (Hey, newly ex-corporate type - old habits die hard !)

I had my hair coloured before leaving for Spain, colour and highlights chosen to allow greys to blend in discreetly :lol:

However, I have not coloured my hair since and it has been 5 months. Just didnt seem so important to me now. (this old leopord is changing its spots !)

Palmah, do as you wish. As you walk, you will make the appropriate changes.

Buen camino
Rebecca
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#7
I don’t want to turn this into a “Dr. Phil” show (where you can get the most sophomoric psychological insights since you were, well, a sophomore), but are women pilgrims under the impression that the world will reject you if your hair isn’t “pretty?” Given that “pretty” is culturally defined many ways, all of which Clairol would have you abandon for its commercial criteria for pretty, how do you even pick the one for you? If you go for “Australia,” won’t “Brazil” reject you? Choose “Zambia”, and “Sweden” will reject you? Do “San Francisco,” and “Paris” will laugh?

Is one lesson from the Camino that you should find the things that make you happy rather than the things that make other people accept you? Among the startling revelations in the Shirley MacLaine book “Camino” was that she was embarrassed by the appearance of dark hair roots as the weeks progressed. Gee. I guess no one knew she was sixty years old in 1994, but they would suddenly realize it if she took off her hat (she was known as “the hat lady” on the Camino by the time she reached Santiago, by the way)! I concluded from that, and a host of other observations, that about the only thing she got from her walk was sore muscles and an increased hatred of the press, a press she and her agent had courted vigorously for forty years.

Practical advice on the speed of drying strikes me as useful. Most men probably get a haircut before they go so that they won’t need one along the way; end of planning and execution. Women that don’t do much more for their hair than men do, probably will have a more worry-free pilgrimage.

I apologize that a male is even weighing in on this subject.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#8
Short hair is best, saves water, leaves hot wather to those coming after you in the shower.
ranth
 
#9
You never run out of hot water there. THere is hot water for all or there is no hot water at all.

I had long hair for 2 caminos and short hair for 2 caminos.

I colored it as well when it was long. I had silver roots a couple of weeks into the walk as my hair grows fast and thought I looked like a skunk!! Not really glamorous but oh well, I lived with it.

Then I cut off my hair and let it go silver. That was liberating although difficult for a while to get used to. What was nice is that when I went on the camino, I had no hairbrush, no conditioner and thus had less weight to deal with. As JohnnieWalker says, "weight, weight, weight"

I was not too worried about bedbugs as I was about lice. No one has reported as far as I know any lice issues. But with short hair, if you get lice, you can cut it off once again which helps get rid of the critters much more easily.
Lillian
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#10
I saw Lilli with her short, silver hair. She was beautiful.

One other thing to consider: Everyone sheds hair naturally. People with long hair leave LOTS of long hair behind them in the albergues. I will stop there.

I think women who fuss with "product" and cosmetics should consider the great number of men on the trail who are growing beards. They´ve set themselves free from razors and shaving cream and the daily hassle and mess at the sink. You can feel as free, and not have to deal with hair growing out of your very face!

Reb.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
#11
I am loving this discussion too.

I have a horrible time with my hair at home let alone in less easy conditions. Fine and curly and if it is more than short I either look like a mad woman or spend ages on it.

My plan is to go short short on departure, it will go through a nicer phase and by the time I am terrifying the locals, I should be done. Streaks might be a nice thought to start though. :wink:

I am thinking of taking a piece of cloth suitable for tying as a bandana as that covers a multitude of sins when it gets wild...and could probably use the material for some drying or ??? otherise. Hat for sun and rain and then it is only scary when you take it off.

I am used to rustic outdoor and travelling conditions, so I know that just avoiding a mirror can be a good option, until you are in conditions that allow you to fix the mess.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Spring 2010), Frances (Spring 2016), Portuguese (May 2018)
#12
I thought it would be really easy to just wash it and put it in a ponytail. But, I've decided to get my hair cut very short and get a hat! I don't know how liberating it will be or whether it will enhance my spiritual journey, but I think it will be easiest given the physical aspects of journey. I've read up on the group "locks of love", a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. If my hair meets the criteria (10 inches long - it will be close!) I'll be donating it. Thanks for all your comments!
 

susiemcc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010)
Le Puy Route (2012)
Camino Portuguese (2015)
Finisterre/Muxia (2015)
Euro Peace Walk (2015)
#13
Thanks girls (and one guy I think)
Great conversation, good practical advice and certainly one of the practicalities that I have been thinking about.
 
#14
I could not wait to NOT wash my hair!!! no shampoo or conditioner, just my beanie and bandana/scarf for 6 weeks loved it, hardly even looked in the mirror!! some of the photos were a bit of a shock though!!! only washed it in the big towns when we treated ourselves and stayed in a hotel, so i think that was 3 times in 6 weeks!!
Mish (on the hot hot Gold Coast :!: )
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#15
:D Over two months, I too never look in the mirror. When my hair gets too long, I cut it with the tiny scissors on my multipurpose knife. Not pretty. When I got home one time, my hairdresser said "What in the world happens to you over there?!" Indeed. Something does happen to me "over there", and it transforms me. That's why I keep going back.

lynne
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#16
Hi.
We went for the shortish cuts and used everything from sachets of shower gel, bars of soap to washing up liquid (diluted) to wash our hair and it was fine. I think that all that sweating acts as a natural conditioner?
The Camino gives you an opportunity to escape the tyranny of colouring. Before you go get your hair cut short but don't have it coloured, then let the Camino serve as a transition stage so by the time you arrive into Santiago you will be over the worst of the 'Badger days'!
Nell
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#18
I cut my hair VERY short and never looked back.
Easy to care for, washed it with the same soap I showered with.
Air dried and didn't need a comb or brush.
Short hair is my vote!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#19
Who gives a s..t about hair, I cut my hair short, let the grey come through and put a sock like wicking sun repellent thing and visor on my head, very comfortable, looked like I had leukaemia, who cares, I am not there to pick up some bloke. I have always had a great time, just being me and getting on with my fellow mates on the trail. There is nothing more liberating and I ditched the bra too! Too uncomfortable. Just be and forget vanity. Gitti
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#20
I'm with Annie. I'm in my mid 60's so no spring chicken. I had mine cut very short and used Liggett bar shampoo as bath soap would have been too harsh on my very fine/thin hair. Never used a comb. Simply used my fingers to "comb" it into place. As hot and sweaty as I got sometimes and then with the rain--I was never reluctant to let my hair be exactly as it was. It is still short and I still don't use a comb or brush.
 
#22
I agree with alipilgrim... just because some women on the camino care about their hair, does not mean they are there to "pick up a bloke".... I just think it should be each to his own..anyway, I thought the camino was supposed to help people become more tolerant, more accepting of everyone, not holier than thou.. we are all different...and I think it is in the spirit of the camino to not worry about whether some people like to do their hair or not...
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (May 2009), French Camino (May 2011), Via de la Plata (April/May 2012)
#24
I´m one of the "keep it short and let the silver show" brigade, who seem to me to be in the majority. Keep life simple and practical on the Camino :)
Sandra
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#25
I have very oily hair, and if I don't wash it regularly, my scalp quickly becomes itchy and sore. As I have short, fine hair, it dries quickly and is no problem to wash. Also, I seem to need a good shampoo, as some cheaper shampoos, and also soap, tend to leave my scalp itchy. So I carry shampoo, and need it. We are all different: each to our own.
Margaret
 

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
#26
KiwiNomad06 said:
I have very oily hair, and if I don't wash it regularly, my scalp quickly becomes itchy and sore. As I have short, fine hair, it dries quickly and is no problem to wash. Also, I seem to need a good shampoo, as some cheaper shampoos, and also soap, tend to leave my scalp itchy. So I carry shampoo, and need it. We are all different: each to our own.
Margaret
Yes me too Margaret. My hair is curly but dries quickly and I need a good shampoo too; generally an organic one. I plan to take a small travel bottle filled with my usual shampoo and use it in the shower so it will double as shower gel. I'll have my hair cut shorter than normal so it dries quicker and I'll take a small comb in my pocket because it feels better combed, although I do run my fingers through it if there is no comb available.
For anyone with long hair the question is 'Do you really want a change of style, or wait to grow your hair again?' If not then maybe you should keep it long.
If colouring bothers you why not treat yourself to a session at a hairdressers part way along the Camino, or at the end of your Camino before you go home?
Like Margaret I think it all depends on what each of us feels helps most.
Buen Camino,
Tia Valeria
 

FatmaG

Active Member
#27
All depends on what time of the year you walk....
In the warmer months of the year half long or even long hair won't do any difference, as it dries quickly in the air.
When it's colder of course you should try not to get ill because of wet hair in the morning (or in the evening)
But bringing a hairdryer seems a bit foolish to me - given the weight of that thing...

I had cut my hair a bit (from rather long to half long), very fine hair which dried really fast because of hot and dry air in May. I washed it under the shower in the afternoon when arriving. Most of the time, it was hidden under a scarf, people didn't see it. But I like to feel good (and fresh) for myself, and this is not such an uncommon thing, I'd say.

It's up to everyone what to do.
Want to change? Change!
Prefer to keep your hair? Keep it!
To me, what was important, were the things happening inside me.
The outside, it's true, on the Camino, has really no importance.
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(CF 2009, 2013) (?-2018)
#28
I walked in May 2009 and many days were very hot. So I was glad I had cut my fine hair short before leaving because I frequently soaked my head at fonts along the way to keep from getting over-heated.

However, because of the heat, my fine hair did turn to straw and my head felt uncomfortable and itchy at times. I had only taken with me a small tube of concentrated shampoo and I missed not having conditioner. Before my next walk in 2011, I am going to experiment with some lightweight shampoo/conditioner alternatives. I've seen that Liggett's makes a shampoo/body wash combo bar soap that has a built-in conditioner, so that will be the first one I try.
 
#29
None of you use oliveoil soap? It's the best, for your hair, your body and washing your clothes. But I do need a comb to untangle my hair and it's not even long enough to reach my shoulders. But it has to be a real oliveoil soap, like the ones they make in Greec or the Middle East. In Sweden at least, they sell lots of "so called oliveoil soaps" in the shops and they are no good.
Pepa
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#30
Hi everyone,
I weigh in on whatever will be easiest for you. I've had mine short for each camino so far but am thinking of leaving it long enough to tie back for the next.
But to add another dimension - hair does provide some protection from the sun. If you are used to a lot of hair you might want to remember that a sudden short 'cut' could make your head much more vulnerable to sunburn. Depending on what time of year you travel you will likely need a hat of some kind for sun and or rain protection anyway. Eight hours outdoors especially in the hot sun is pretty much to expect a head to take without some protection.
It's true that few of us look what we would consider our best while we're walking, but I love the windblown, tousled, somewhat messy, browned and smiling look of those who have been walking for a few days.
Cecelia (Canada)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Spring 2010), Frances (Spring 2016), Portuguese (May 2018)
#31
Today will be our fourth day of walking on the Camino. I got my haircut 2 weeks ago and though I have been washing it everyday, I haven´t combed it once. I am loving the wash and go!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#32
To all, re my earlier post on hair, I feel a little misinterpreted. I just meant to say, don't stress about the hair thing and keep it simple. I fuss about my hair at home, but totally let the whole thing go on the walks, it just makes life easier and pack lighter. Gitti
p.s. There is nothing holy about me I can assure you!
 
#33
Well said William...

I personally wasn't feeling a sense of holier-than-thou from anyone, but... I can see how some would. However, I think alipilgrim is right on that questions came from a practical standpoint. This forum epitomizes the good will of mankind!

For me, as I navigated about and explored topics, I hadn't even gotten around to thinking about hair until Annie told me she'd cut hers off. Then it was like, wow!... one more thing to consider... hmmm...?

I already knew I'd be wearing a hat due to the sun. At home, I never use hair product. I hate the feel of it. But when sharing this adventure with my daughter, who knows how wild my hair gets if I don't blow it straight, she said, "you'd better get some good product mom!" So, I put that on my list of to do's. However, having discovered this thread, I feel like yeah, so what, my hair will be wild but what the heck... as long as my knees get through this, life is good!

As one pilgrim voiced, to each his own. It's all good~ Denise
 
#34
I've never colored my hair, so that wasn't an issue (nor do I use product or blow dry it, usually), and the only change I made before the camino is that I cut it from being nearly down to my butt to about mid back. I kept it in a braid the whole time, and I brought a shampoo/conditioner in one that I used every few days (as it would become a giant dreadlock otherwise), and also used for all other washing needs (body and clothes). It airdried and went back into its braid, otherwise.

Whatever is easier for you. A braid is easy for me because it keeps it out of my way, and I didn't have to worry about it growing out and becoming an annoying length that I would have to put any effort into.

But, as others have said, whatever you are most comfortable with. I'd just recommend that whatever you wash your hair with you don't mind washing your body and clothes with as well. No one cares about what you look like on the camino, they only care about what kind of person you are!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#35
OMG this is what pilgrim dialog has resorted to - blow drying, conditioning and best place for streakin! It's the camino for christ sake - a bit ironic from pagan's we know but honestly!!!! Shave your head (Scott) or a bun and hat (Hel) and try not to tell the composellits in Santiago that your suffering was a result of hat hair. :evil:
 
#36
Hi All,

I like this discussion too. My first hair trauma was 3 years ago when I lost my hair while undergoing chemo. That was a bit of difficult in the first days, I was wearing a surgeons' cap to cover. Then I decided to go au natural and go boldly and baldly into the world. It was much easier. People either talked to me about it, esp. other cancer survivors, or ignored it. I went to Argentina for two months after my chemo and it grew in on that trip.

That turned out to be a very liberating thing, and I learned that people accept you, not because of your hair, but, wonder of wonders, because of you!

I leave on April 27 for my first camino and have cut my hair very short. That is the least of my worries! So don't worry ladies, it will be fine!

Buen camino, Dorothy
 
#37
Hello Dorothy!

I found your story very emotional! had tears in my eyes! I wish for you that you will have a happy, wishfull, save and forfilling camino!

Buen Camino Dorothy!

Hedwig
 
#38
Dear Dorothy,

Thank you so much for sharing! And for also sharing in a spirit of love, not condemnation.

Yes, of course you are right about not worrying about hair. You, of all people, are a credited spokeswoman coming from chemo therapy and a "lets-live-life perspective." I loved your figurative speech when you said "boldly and baldly!" I believe that your perspective goes above and beyond that of "hair"... to me, your perspective epitomizes that which we are all seeking... answers to questions for which we each individually are seeking, varied as they are.

Sadly, I came across my first experience of a "negative" response on this thread of the forum as one couple seemed to think that the Camino had succumbed to "hair" vanity over all else. Very sad indeed. Call me unrealistic, or idealistic, but I can't imagine persons of such vanity even considering the Camino. I stand by allipigrim when she said that we ought consider that such a conversation was begat by practical thought and consideration rather than vanity (not verbatim so please don't quote this as so).

Anyhow, I am so excited for you because you are on your second day of your 2nd Camino!! Yahoooo!

May God bless you where you need it most at this time~ Denise
 
#39
Walking last year I wasn't worried about how the hair looked just how i would go with limited washing opportunities. I asked a sudanese friend to braid my hair - invery fine braids and i found I could go for a week or more without washing it. I took them out in Leon. I'd do it again for the whole camino. Suzie
 
#40
So, i'm male... but when I first did the camino I did it with my (then) girlfriend who, at the time, had amazingly beautiful, curly long hair. It fell to about mid-back! We walked in July/August. We started in St. Jean and the day before we walked into Pamplona she had me cut it all off -- short! All we had were medical scissors for out firstaid kit so the job was very rough! However, she felt it liberating. It was easier to wash, maintain and it was, as some have mentioned, part of shedding process that happens when we let go out these things that make us - us. I let my beard grow, she cut off her hair. I thirst for that sense of freedom -- long for that chance to grow out of my old skin and into a new!
Hope this helps! :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in May 2010.
#41
Great topic! I leave for my Camino next Wednesday and I just got "clipped!" I'm trusting you veterans out there. I stopped the hair color about 3 weeks ago, and I have a seriously gray undercoat! I think I like it though. No matter, it's done! I am excited and ready for my adventure!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C F 2007-10, Le Puy St. Jean 2011-13, C P 2015 Via F 2016-7
#43
Dare I say it but maybe men and women are different re hair ? We recently organised a Camino information night and my brother did the 'dont bring too much gear' bit but the girls present went to my wife later for reassurance that yes, they could bring a little jewellery and a 'good' item of clothing or two if they wanted to and if they were happy to carry it. Vive la Differance
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#44
Joni said:
Great topic! I leave for my Camino next Wednesday and I just got "clipped!" I'm trusting you veterans out there. I stopped the hair color about 3 weeks ago, and I have a seriously gray undercoat! I think I like it though. No matter, it's done! I am excited and ready for my adventure!
Good for you Joni,
Trust us the short cut plus the effect of the sun/weather bleaching will transition you out of the tyranny of colouring. And if you really want to finesse the effect you could get a celebratory trim in Santiago shedding what may be the last of your hardcore dyed locks!
Before and after pictures of your coiffure might be nice to have as post Camino reminders of that metamorphosis (and others less obvious)...from the synthetic to the natural beautiful you :D
Bonne route
Nell
 
#45
Hair, a great topic;) I may be the only one with wax in my rugsack.. I got alopecia, loosing hair now and then. So either you`ll see me with bandage, ore wax in my short hair, celebrating my hair!.. But then again.... I can also end up dropping both wax and bandaga when I`m finnaly on my Camino 8)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#46
It is probably going to sound vain, but I cannot live with grey regrowth! I have long hair and will wear it up, and with a hat during the day, at night it will be a different story. My plan is to buy product along the way for re-touches every 2 weeks, or stop at a salon and have it done. The feeling liberated and going au-naturel sounds great, and I wish I was there, but sadly not yet! So, although this is a spiritual journey, vanity is still within me and it is hard to let go!

Peregrina 2013
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#47
Shalom Palmah and Greetings from Jerusalem!
Your inquiry generated an amazing number of responses! Two small things I would like to pass on to you. One, it is an accepted fact that upon reaching the final daily destination most male pilgrims head for a bar most female pilgrims head for the phamarcy. In any Spanish town, good sized village, most settlements there is also a peluquería the beauty salon often several - no problem there. How is your Spanish? If not so good try here - a lexicon for just about anything one might need to know after entering the peluquería
http://www.aleida.net/gloss1-en.html
Buen Camino
Scruffy
 

na2than

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2012)(2013)
#48
as a matter of course i keep my hair short and neat. Last summer i stopped in Leon...had a cut and shave. this saved taking the usual mens grooming essentials.As regards the ladies...have your hair done just before you leave?....and a pitstop along the way, although i suspect the smile on your faces from the walking will outshine any "roots issues" you have....but it is nice to travel home looking good...not trail weeary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
#49
ManoII, I think it's a nice idea to have your hair done at a salon along the camino.
In that way you will be supporting the local economy as well as have a nice relaxing moment for yourself. I'm not dying my hair myself, and ok its getting a little grey, but it's 50 cm long and I love it and I look after it well. So he heaviest thing in my pack is always my shampoo bottle. :wink:
Btw I think it sounds like a good idea to bring a hair dryer. Might come in handy when drying wet clothes and mattresses.
And I once planned to go trekking with a man who, not being asked to, had very strong views about my shampoo bottle. It was to heavy and I should not carry any shampoo at all, he thought. We split up rather quickly. Hope he think twice next time before he puts his nose in other people's shampoo. :mrgreen:
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#50
One of the best things about a camino trip is that life becomes so simple. You don't have to think about what to wear, and the condition of your feet is way more important than what you look like.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#51
I have big thick long hair, and I usually never put it up. Before my Camino I thought about cutting it, but decided against it. I thought that if my Camino needs me to cut my hair, I will cut it somewhere along the way. I would just put my sun hat over it and go. What happened was there always seemed to be a lot of wind, so much I had to tie the hat under my chin, and in the end I ditched the hat instead of the hair and kept my neck safe from sunburn just by letting my hair cover it! I covered my head with a Buff when it was windy and cold, and tied the hair back or plaited it if it was in the way. It dried in a flash in the hot August sun, became bleached and dry, was sometimes washed and sometimes just rinsed, never got properly brushed, and when I was offered conditioner in Sarria - what a joy that was! A lesson in appreciating the things we take for granted ... it was pure luxury. I'm really glad I never cut it, and now every time I look in the mirror I see the sunbleached blonde streaks (naturally ombréed, my hairdresser friend says) and remember where I got them. I walked without mascara too, for the first time in 20 years, and thoroughly enjoyed being able to rub my eyes, stick my head under the water taps when I got too hot, never think about how I looked and just be me for the duration.
 

fortview

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
#52
The buff worked really well , to stop my hair blowing in my eyes. It was really nice to both give, and be given top ups of shampoo, when you have to buy a large bottle, you can top up people's small ones. In Burgos and Leon there is an Yves Rocher shop which sells tiny bottles of shampoo, shower gel and body lotion. Very handy :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#53
by Susannafromsweden on 04 Feb 2013, 03:45: Btw I think it sounds like a good idea to bring a hair dryer. Might come in handy when drying wet clothes and mattresses.
Hey Susanna, thanks for the reply!! A hairdryer would be excess weight for me, air drying my hair is OK. My clothes are incredibly light weight so washing and drying won 't be a problem. Ah! but my roots, that's entirely a different story!

LOL! Good thing you ditched the guy who took it upon himself to tell you not to carry shampoo! Since I started backpacking years and years ago, I have discovered shampoo bars that are awesome and leave my hair soft, and shiny!! Love it,and I have no problems taking it with me when I fly!
As unbelievable as this may sound, when I backpack in the mountains in Wyoming or Colorado, I am a minimalist and never worry about makeup, -as vain as I am :) We usually go for about 2-3 weeks and hair color, cosmetics, etc. are not a concern; however, as soon as we're out, the first thing to do is take care of my roots!!

To Scruffy1, you are a very observant man who seems to understand the nature of women! Well, maybe some will disagree, but not me :D

BTW, what is a buff? Never heard of it, and just read another post that mentions it, too! What exactly is that?
 

fortview

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
#54
Hi manoll,
A buff is like a very wide stretchy light circle of fabric that has multiple uses. Eg neck scarf, hair band, hat. Some have a fleece bit. You can probably look at it on Amazon. Since they weigh next to nothing, they are well worth taking!
Buen camino
Ps I just looked on Amazon, and there are lots of different ones
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
#55
manoll said:
Since I started backpacking years and years ago, I have discovered shampoo bars that are awesome and leave my hair soft, and shiny!! Love it,and I have no problems taking it with me when I fly!
That was a great idea. I have never tried those. I always have to check in my rucksack because of my gigantic shampoo bottle, or put it in small ones instead. :D
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#56
I took a Lush shampoo bar (Seanik) and used it for my hair, body, clothes ... saves weight and makes the shower routine quick and easy. Just leave it out on a windowsill or something to dry it out between uses. Brilliant! Lasted for six weeks and then some.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
#57
There's a Lush shop in Stockholm so I might go and see if there's something for me too. I half suspect it'll be too strong for my hair. I got this Scandinavian blond fragile hair, so got to use special shampoo. :(
Did your clothes get clean with the shampoo bar? Last time I was out trekking I took a 100% olive oil soap for my body and clothes. But my clothes never felt really clean. Got to find a better one this time.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#58
When you're walking you'll be sweating out a lot of pesky toxins and stuff, cleansing from the inside out, and most of the time your hair, body and clothes all just need to be rinsed through to get the salt and dust out. My clothes felt fine using the Lush bar, and I didn't overdo it or rub a lot in. You don't need much (Camino rule #1). If you need a specific shampoo, bring a small bottle and use less. You can always take washing powder for your clothes to save on the weight of more liquid. It's not a race, not a beauty contest nor rocket science. Just take what you need and get what you miss along the way. The state of your hair will be completely forgotten as soon as you start your journey.

Buen Camino!
Linda
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
#59
:D
Thank you Linda for taking the time to write that down. That was fun to read.
Are you on twitter btw? As you are from uk you might enjoy following @Pippatips. (Pippa Middletons Tips)
Lots of funny tweets written in that spirit. :)
Today's tweet was "the big yellow ball in the sky is the sun, enjoy seeing it for it is a rare sight on these British Isles at this time of year".

I wish you a Buen Camino too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#60
This for anyone interested in reducing the chance of having your liquid shampoo taken at the airport, or wanting to reduce your weight a bit. Lush is a very good shampoo bar! By chance I discovered a company from Australia called "Soap Creations & Body Care"; they have goats milk shampoo bar and conditioner bar. These too, are absolutely wonderful.
Their website is:
http://www.goatsmilksoapcreations.com.au/

Buen Camino to all!
Mary
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#62
manoll said:
By chance I discovered a company from Australia called "Soap Creations & Body Care"; they have goats milk shampoo bar and conditioner bar. These too, are absolutely wonderful.
Their website is:
http://www.goatsmilksoapcreations.com.au/

Buen Camino to all!
Mary
Thanks so much for this information Mary! I have just gone online and ordered a shampoo and a conditioner bar. I will put them to the test before my September Camino. Their other products look pretty good too. Thanks again - Mary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, April/May 2011; May/June 2013; upcoming 2016 Camino
#63
I also use the Lush shampoo bars. I took the "New" one (the red cinnamon one!) last time but mine actually didn't last - finished it off somewhere in Galicia, presumably because I just have a whole lot of hair to wash. But they really are perfect! Shampoo, soap and laundry soap all in one. I know a lot of people do that with just regular soap, but I'm fairly certain my hair would fall out if I washed it with a bar of soap so this is a perfect compromise! This time I'm bringing two bars, because my hair is about 6 inches longer than last time. The only warning I'd give is if you're going to buy one of the tins to keep it in, buy a square one, not the round one! The square ones are actually meant for a different product, and they're a little bigger, but it can be damn near impossible to pry out a round bar from the round tin it's stuck to the bottom of!


I love some of the old responses on here putting down anyone who says anything remotely "vain"! :p I also am going to dye my hair right before I leave, because last time I went with a two month old box dye job, and by the time I got home after walking in the Spanish sun my hair was an awful orange colour, and to be honest, when I look at some of my pictures from the camino, it really bothers me. SO, OKAY, I ADMIT IT - I'm somewhat vain! Even on the camino! But hey, I'm 21. It's part of the job description innit? Despite being someone who loves fashion and make up, going without on the camino really isn't that hard at all. Don't miss it one bit, and definitely found it odd whenever I ran across a peregrina putting on mascara or lipstick! But, I do want my hair to have a normal human hair colour in the photos that I'm going to have for the next 70 years of my life!


Also appreciated the joke from years ago above about picking up blokes on the camino with your freshly dyed and washed hair... I wasn't there to "pick up blokes" either, but still managed to meet a handsome young Spanish fellow despite my orange hair. I wonder what he'll think of my freshly dyed brown hair when I go to visit him in April before my camino. :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#64
Vain as I am I did a bit of research and also asked around what to do with hair roots between root retouches, and found out that there are several products you can use. I purchased "Roux" retouch stick and tried it out. It's like a large size crayon-like stick, and it comes in different shades. After trying it, I am sold on it! No doubt it will be in my pack as I go along the Camino. With dark hair, and a lot of gray, but not ready to let it go, this little crayon instead is my solution to my vanity concern :lol: Of course, after about 4 weeks, a hair salon might be the perfect solution! :roll: This said, the retouch boxed stuff that had been my first idea to bring along, has been ditched. Ounces add up! And like the saying goes: "You take care of the ounces, and the pounds take care of themselves", it makes perfect sense. So, I hope this helps some of you with the same problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
tentative May / June 2014
#65
I am so happy I found this thread. I'm starting the beginning stages of my research and list when I stumbled upon the thought of my hair. As you can see from my picture my concern isn't from a vain standpoint but more of a "what in the world am I supposed to do with this animal on my head?!" I never go too many days without co-washing or styling as my hair will start matting up and dreading. As much as a pain a** it can be I can't bear to part with it. Too much work and personal growth has come with it. Sounds silly, but accepting my larger than life hair was a process. I don't plan on bringing any styling products, but I have decided on a tub of my favorite conditioner and paddle brush. Ill probably pick up a little oil along the way to keep it from getting too frazzled as well. Now to watch all the youtube tutorials on french braids.

Shout out to all the curly lion haired adventurers out there!
 
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Phillypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C F Sept.(2013) Camino de Madrid & Finisterre/Muxia Sept. (2014)
Finisterre/Muia June (2017).
#66
I found the strong Spanish sun and "Lush" soap I took to be very drying. I got rid of the Lush (body, hair,face soap in one) and bought a good hair conditioner, shampoo and Dove body soap while walking. So...stick with what works for you at home, just in a smaller container.
P.S. your hair looks awesome!
 

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
#67
.......... My hair is curly but dries quickly and I need a good shampoo too; generally an organic one. I plan to take a small travel bottle filled with my usual shampoo and use it in the shower so it will double as shower gel. I'll have my hair cut shorter than normal so it dries quicker and I'll take a small comb in my pocket because it feels better combed, although I do run my fingers through it if there is no comb available...............
Buen Camino,
Tia Valeria
In 2010 I took a small bottle of my normal shampoo and have done this every time since. I will be doing the same again this year, probably in two 100ml bottles. That way I have enough to use a little as wash liquid for my shirt. I also carry a small piece of soap to wash my liner socks and pants as well as under arm and collar of shirts each night.
I like to wash my hair every day and also use the shampoo as shower gel so if I run out I will look for something similar on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#68
Hello all,
a question to the ladies. I have been lurking a long time and have found all the information I need, except for hair. Two questions.....short hair or long hair what is best? And since I am at that age that I need to occasionally color my hair how do I take care of that or do I just go gray?

Gracias y buen camino
I walked with short hair because I personally found it to be a lot easier and less trouble to keep tidy. But, others I walked with at times had very long hair and this did not seem to bother them - they usually always wore it in a pony tale. Re Gray or colour - just let the gray come on through....you can re-colour it when you get home again if that is what you want. No one will mind what colour your hair is really.
 

caminoforme86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2013 - December 2013
#69
I got my hair cut before I left from shoulder length to short with a fringe. This still really annoyed me and 2 weeks into the camino I ended up going to a hairdresser in Leon and asked them to shave most of it off. I love my new Camino haircut! I also dyed my hair on the camino! There was only me and a friend at the albergue in Casablanca and we knew there wasn't going to be much to do there so in the town before I bought hair dye and lots of munchies and we just chilled out for the evening!

My advice is cut it short! I do envy the girls that have lovely long hair however! But my hair is just not meant to be that way I am afraid.

I also used mascara and eyebrow pencil because my eyelashes and eyebrows are so light I need something to bring them out.

I saw lots of other women with huge makeup bags and lots of creams and toners. And you know what it's up to them what they want to bring. We should only focus on what we are doing and let each other be.
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
#70
to have short hair or long hair is a personal choice. my preference will be short hair as it is more manageable and tidy. nobody will really pay any attention even with gray hair showing. we have, including me, many senior citizens walking the caminos with greying or gray hairs.

buen camino.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#71
I usually run out of time before I jump on the plane, so my hair just is how it happens to be. Which gives me an excuse for the huge pleasure that comes with spending a couple of hours in a hairdressing salon somewhere along the trail. There are few greater indulgences when you've been walking for several weeks, washing and wearing the same clothes every day. And it makes for a quite exciting break in routine. There are a plethora of good hairdressers in France and Spain and they all regard it as a personal challenge to "make-over" this wretched looking pilgrim! Highly recommended.
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#72
.... As you can see from my picture my concern isn't from a vain standpoint but more of a "what in the world am I supposed to do with this animal on my head?!" I never go too many days without co-washing or styling as my hair will start matting up and dreading. As much as a pain a** it can be I can't bear to part with it. Too much work and personal growth has come with it. Sounds silly, but accepting my larger than life hair was a process. I don't plan on bringing any styling products, but I have decided on a tub of my favorite conditioner and paddle brush. Ill probably pick up a little oil along the way to keep it from getting too frazzled as well. Now to watch all the youtube tutorials on french braids.
I think you're heading in the right direction with this. As everyone has said it's a personal preference but if your hair is important to you it's important to take a bit of care with it. Depending on when you're walking the sun and breezes can be very hard on hair so tying it down, up or back will be helpful - anything to keep 6 or 8 hours of sun a day off of it. You'll need a hat anyway to protect your eyes so that will help your hair too. Washing it will be no problem as there are warm showers almost everywhere now along the way. I don't remember a cold shower in 1200 km this spring except in a hotel in Puente la Reina! It's just my pov, but I believe either short hair or long hair are fairly easy on the camino. It's medium length hair that's too short to be put up and too dorky left down when it's all windblown that gives me problems. Luckily there are only mirrors at the beginning and end of the days;)
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
#73
The easiest 'Camino hair' I had was when I cut it short and stopped using shampoo. It takes a while to get used to it, but the first step is to ditch all products with silicones in them, and use a clarifying sulfate-based shampoo to get rid of all traces of the filmy stuff off your hair. Then you scrub up every few days with diluted baking soda (bicarbonate) and rinse with diluted vinegar or lemon juice. It's tricky for the first few weeks while your hair goes cold turkey on shampoo, but then it starts cleaning itself and you can just rinse with water in the shower every evening. I brought no hair products at all, just a tiny pocket-size bristle brush to throroughly brush out all dirt and dust every night. Finding a dodgy can of lager one evening I rinsed that through my hair and it became lovely and shiny. There's lots of information online about this method of hair care, unnervingly called 'no poo'! I barely looked at my hair for the whole Camino, but in the few photos I have it looks far nicer than on previous walks when I did bring shampoo.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#74
I have very thick, curly hair, which at one point was very long and now is mid-length. I can attest for going shampoo free - it really works! While I don't announce it to the world, I haven't washed my hair with shampoo in 5 or 6 years. I wash with water, and use conditioner a few times a week. My hair is much softer and shinier than it was when I washed with both shampoo and conditioner. If you ditch the shampoo, it might take a few weeks for your hair and scalp to find a balance, since shampoo strips your hair of natural oils and you tend to produce more as a result.

My husband is going to give me a buzz-cut before I leave. Ha! The extra-short hair will eliminate the need for conditioner, and also keep me from having a wet head in the cold, since my hair takes a really long time to dry.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#75
I rarely use shampoo unless it is particularly dirty and smelly. However conditioner for my super thick frizzy hair is essential. I usually take a small tub of body butter when I travel and rub that in after a shower. Short hair just gives me a massive afro; longer hair is easier to manage due to the extra length allowing me to tie it back. Coconut oil works well too and also discourages mosquitoes.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#76
I would not have commented on this aside from having heard a long conversation on not-shampooing by a dinner guest the other week. She is a firm believer in baking soda. I would note, however, that a Venezuelan peregrina I met told me that she would visit a hairdresser about once a week along the Camino for a shampoo and trim. She raved about the quality of Spanish hairdressers, telling me that the prices were very good, and it was a great way to decompress after a difficult day and she would get great tips on places to stay and things to see from the other women there--she said that these conversations were like an intensive course on daily life in Spain. I remember also talking with a Scottish pilgrim on the del Norte, just retired from the Royal Navy, who enjoyed a straightrazor shave from a barber every 3d or 4th day. He said it was a great way to meet local people and chat with them (and his Castilian was even more appalling than mine!).
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#77
There's nothing like a peluqueria to get the down-low on just about everything. It's universal. I found it easy and relaxing to practice my spanish there...the women were charming, helpful and more than kind.
 

Phillypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C F Sept.(2013) Camino de Madrid & Finisterre/Muxia Sept. (2014)
Finisterre/Muia June (2017).
#78
My Camino friend got a great haircut in Burgos! The salon (sorry don't know the name) is on Calle de la Puebla, across from "Pension Pena", where I stayed BTW.
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
#79
What a fascinating thread. My biggest Camino concern has been what to do about my hair, without a blow dryer or hot irons. I have very thick, frizzy hair, very much like a Fijian's. If I cut it short and let it go au naturel, I'll soon look like a walking haystack with ankles. My daughter has contributed some Argania oil to the cause, which I'm hoping will weigh it down, but I'm worried it might spill through my backpack in transit. It's reassuring though to see other people have concerns about their hair too.
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
#80
One thing I forgot to say - I tried the Lush shampoo bar a couple of times as a test run, but it made my hair into harsh, dry frizz. I'd only use it for washing clothes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
October (2021)
#81
I like my hair either very long or very short (see picture, lol) in general, but for low-maintenance and simplicity, I prefer it very long. When it is long, it can dry when I am sleeping, and I don't have to comb it. I can put it up in 20 seconds. I feel much better with it up. When it is short, I don't have those advantages (besides the lack of combing).
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
#82
Hello all,
a question to the ladies. I have been lurking a long time and have found all the information I need, except for hair. Two questions.....short hair or long hair what is best? And since I am at that age that I need to occasionally color my hair how do I take care of that or do I just go gray?

Gracias y buen camino
Ask your stylist for a "Base Break". You should just be doing this anyway - it saves loads of coloring appointments. Just do base breaks and highlights while you are letting the grey grow in. And it will give you about 8 weeks without roots.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino Frances in May 2018
#83
As someone with pale skin I’ll be keeping my hair at least shoulder length to provide extra protection to the back of my neck when combined with my hat
 

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