View Full Version : Hiking around Nepal—hair care advice

February 27th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Hi all

In a few days I am leaving for Nepal. I'll be spending a month overseas, hiking to the first base of Mt. Everest :)

I've given my hair care routine a lot of thought but haven't decided what to do yet. We're only allowed to bring a single bag weighting 15kg with us and that includes all the clothes and toiletries we'll need for the month.

I was wondering if there is anyone here who has spent a long time away from home with limited resources and what you did. My hair is tailbone length and the ends dry out rather fast. What I'm most afraid of is loosing the bottom few inches to damage and dryness. Advice would be most welcome.

Thanks :love:

February 27th, 2013, 04:42 PM
Just keep it up..wrapped in a bandana or something and keep it well oiled. A 2-4 ounce jar of coconut oil should be enough. Oil it braid it and keep it up. Bring a comb and you should be fine. Maybe instead of carrying shampoo etc a shampoo bar? that can double as a body bar?

February 27th, 2013, 04:56 PM
I second Hippiechick. Just keep it braided and well oiled- but be sure to vary where you tie off the ends or better yet make a simple parandi. That should be gentle on your hair and (in my experience) holds a lot better than a hair tie.

DH and I go on camping/hiking trips fairly often and I never bother with washing my hair- I do a water-only style wash and add some peppermint or other fresh smelling semi-astringent escential oil to my coconut oil. I like coconut oil especially for this because when it's cool it stays solid so there's less of a chance of it spilling all over my bag. But if you really want to wash your hair a shampoo bar can be just the thing- but MAKE SURE you use it before you go- they take a bit of getting used to and you don't want to have to fuss with waxy hair on the trail if you use too much.

Don't forget your sunscreen and I hope you have a really great time- I'd love to come with ya'll! :)

February 27th, 2013, 04:58 PM
I second hippiechick's advice about keeping it up and oiled. But personally, I wouldn't need 2-4oz for a month. I would only need an ounce, tops, though I use liquid oils so maybe this makes a difference. And of course it depends on how much oil you need to keep your hair moisturized.

It would probably be easiest just not to wash your hair. But if your head won't agree with this, a biodegradable shampoo/body bar is probably a compact way to go. Dr. Bronners or something similar is also a great camping soap, and some people wash their hair with it so if your hair likes it, that is another good option for washing. One of the little bottles should be enough for a month, since a little goes a long way.

For conditioning and pH balancing, you could bring a small amount of dried herbs to make tea rinses with, such as catnip or hibiscus. Very lightweight and a couple of teaspoons makes a rinse.

Good luck on your adventure!!! Have fun!

February 27th, 2013, 05:27 PM
I don't personally like Dr. Bronners (I find it drying but a lot of people love it so that could be my hangup) but I'd recommend it for something like this- an all in one product, one bottle that's soap AND shampoo will definitely save space.

February 27th, 2013, 05:51 PM
I'm not an expert but, when it's winter, my coconut oil tends to get a lot hard, and I imagine it is cold in Nepal, so wouldn't the coconut oil possibly freeze on the hair? Idk, just thinking.

February 27th, 2013, 06:13 PM
I did hike in Nepal for a month with BSL hair. I kept it in a braid. I was in Asia for 4 full months and had run out of my own stuff by the time I got to Nepal. I used what local shampoo I could find. Today (hair much longer and more fragile) I would take a gentle soap in a bar and baby oil, well wrapped in plastic and a fork and spin pins and wear it up all the time. I am getting ready for 2 weeks in NY city and intend to do that. Just try out your plan before you go to make sure it works ok for your hair.

Nepal is beautiful and Kathmandu is a special place. Do take some sudafed with you as you can't get it there and you probably will come down with a cold and will need it to get up the trail. Take lots of cotton handkerchiefs, too. They will come in handy (no pun intended).

Have fun!!!!

February 27th, 2013, 06:21 PM
Remember, you may be washing your hair only 4 times during that month. Everyone who treks gets a little grungy. (no showers, on my trek. Washed my hair in a bucket. Bathed either out of a bucket or sponged with a cloth and a cup of warm water from the kettle. This was the western part of the Annapurna circuit, up and down. In Calcutta, bathed out of and washed hair out of a bucket of COLD water, in December. It's amazing how you adapt when you have to.)

February 27th, 2013, 10:17 PM
I think wearing it up keep it braided and oiled is good. Shampoo bar don't know anything about.

February 28th, 2013, 12:21 AM
I know my scalp would not agree with not being washed. I second the Dr. Bronner idea; I'd bring the tea tree version in the 8-ounce size for bathing and hair washing. But it really needs to be followed by acid rinse. Powdered citric acid would be lightweight, and you could use "sour water" as a leave-in rinse and as a facial toner. I'd think coconut oil would work for hair and as a face/body moisturizer. Even if it does harden, it can be scraped by a fingernail. Don't carry it in a glass har. It's heavier. Get a plastic disk jar, like the ones body butters come in.

February 28th, 2013, 12:54 AM
I think I wouldn't wash at all, but I would take a scritching comb with me. Oil (not coconut but something that penetrates the hair, probably castor) & braid.

February 28th, 2013, 03:13 PM
Thanks for all your advice. I just remembered that I have a shampoo bar already so I can take that with me, and I'm also going to take coconut oil as well. I think if I wash my hair, I'll just wash the scalp and leave the length dry (coated in oil). That way I won't have to take conditioner (my length hates being washing without conditioner even if it already has moisturizing oil on it).

I'll think of you all when I'm in Nepal :)

Zebra Fish
April 24th, 2014, 07:54 AM
I'm bumping this thread coz I'm really interested in how it went? If it already is a thread about it, please someone link it :)