Hair is an issue for both men and women. Here are a few tips concerning hair, and longer hair in particular.

Long vs. Short

I have had fairly long hair for quite some time and wanted to keep it that way. However, unless you are comfortable with dreads or carrying a brush/comb and regularly using it, having shorter hair is just way easier.  Everyone has different hair that is more or less manageable without care, but I simply found it much easier to cut my hair to shoulder length (long enough that I could keep it in a ponytail or braid, but short enough not to get completely dreaded). Also, bangs are no good.

Best Hair Ties Ever

No-crease, elastic ribbon hair ties last forever, don’t slide off, and aren't easy to lose. I recommend ties that don’t use slick, shiny material so they don’t slide off and ties without printed patterns on them because the material used for the patterns can sometimes stick to itself when hot.

My favorite brand is the Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics. For some reason the pink and green ones are made of a stronger fabric. I only used 2 of these hair ties over the course of 8 months of hiking.

Body Hair

I prefer to stay as shaved and trimmed as possible on the trail, which doesn't mean completely clean shaven. However, people have different opinions about this. Whenever I am in town, I shave as usual using a razor and trim up using a pair of lightweight nail scissors.

I recommend the Gillette Simply Venus razor, available at most large grocery stores. It's cheap, the cartridges last much longer than disposable razors, and it is almost as light as a disposable razor. I hate using disposable razors because they don’t work as well and are environmentally less friendly.

Antifungal Shampoo

Once in a while when you get to town, wash your hair with a travel size Head & Shoulders, which is usually available in larger grocery store. This is very helpful in hot, humid sections of thru-hikes, specifically for preventing or treating scalp fungus. It can also be used on irritated skin.

Things I Bring

  • smallest possible plastic comb
  • pink and green Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics
  • nail scissors
  • Gillette Simply Venus razor with 1 extra cartridge

Things I Don’t Bring

  • hair brush
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • soap