How to wear your natural hair on a disney cruise (What to expect.) Pt. 1

     It’s that time of year again when you want to take a family vacation to some place warm and sunny. You may be newly natural or a natural hair veteran but you still don’t know what to do with your hair for the trip. Lately I’ve been obsessed with the idea of going on another family vacation on the Disney Dream or Fantasy. I’ve been on the dream twice so far with my family first, then again on my honeymoon and it’s now my new favorite thing. I probably won’t be able to get my whole family together again for another one because no one seems interested but a girl can dream ( get it)  Day dreaming is what I’ve been doing ever since the weather broke and the sun started shinning a little bit brighter.
  While I was looking through picture of my stay on the Disney Dream. I suddenly remembered my fist cruise dilemma of what should I do with my hair?  I had never been on a cruise before. When I was told about the cruise I was only given a week to prepare. My sister the journalist, had lucked up on getting the whole family booked on the fist voyage were the press was invited to capture the ships christening.
  So in the midst of taking off work and informing my teachers I would not be there for the fist week of class I needed to pic a lasting hair style. In Chicago it was January, cold and snow up to your knees. I had been practicing protective styling to be able to get my hair under a winter hat, but I wanted my hair down for the trip. When considering hair styles I knew I didn’t want to have to style my hair everyday. I knew I wanted to swim ( one of my favorite things to do. ) and I knew a twist out would not last 10 min. 

The first thing you have to consider is your environment. Disney cruise ships travel all over. If you choose a Caribbean, Bahamian or Hawaiian cruise you can expect warmer weather. which means more frizz and a chance of damaging your hair from over styling, wind and sun damage. When I was on the dream both times we went to the Bahamas and it was so hot and sunny my already dyed hair got even lighter. I was OK with this till it dried out and become brittle form the chlorine in the pool.   If you take a European, or Alaskan cruise the weather might be a lot cooler especially if you take the Alaskan one. So protective styling might be the best route for those. 

  What you will want to do is have a style that will last through water, wind, rain, heat, & could. Something you don’t have to work with everyday because constant manipulation of the hair can lead to breakage.  
  After checking out the weather in Florida and Cast Away Cay For that week I had a clearer picture of what I would be up against. What I chose for my first Bahamian cruise was tiny braids with my own hair. I figured this style can hold up for the three nights. My hair was shoulder length when I did a blow-out so I braided it up after, so I could have some hang time. I applied Shea butter to my ends to seal in moisture and allow them to curl up a little. After I spent a whole day braiding my hair. I wrapped them around some flexie rood rollers to make my braids into tiny  Shirley temple curls. I wanted to look cute/well put together but ready for some fun in the pool and on the Aqua Duck. I also wanted to be mindful of my ends which again turned light brown even though they had been dyed dark brown months ago. I knew this was the oldest most vulnerable part of my hair. I didn’t want to mess with it a lot. 
  The first night we arrived in Florida my hair was really cute and curly but our ship was not leaving till early the next morning. It was 1 am by the time we was checked into the polynesian resort. It took them forever to check us in and then we needed to eat cause we had long missed dinner. After eating my sister informs us we need to be at the bus for the port buy 6 am so by 2am I new I was not going to be getting much sleep. I thought that since I would not be sleep long that if I wrapped my hair a certain way and put on a bonnet just so my curls would still be poppin. Wrong! When I woke my tiny individual braids were flat and life less. So I had to improvise because this was a press event and I didn’t want any bad hair day photo bombs in the news. So before I got into the shower I quickly Bantu knotted all the braids. I did not remove the knots till we was just about to disembark the bus at port. And almost like magic my curls was popping again.  Now throughout the 2 hour outdoor Christening celebration my curls fell again but they was still intact enough for our family Disney pic boarding the ship.

I did the Bantu knot method the whole cruise cause I did not want to bring my rollers. It worked pretty well and when I got in the pool, Aqua Duck, or ocean I put it in a pony tail. All in all some type of braids style be it up-do or extensions will work. If you don’t have the money or time like I did to get extensions, and your comfortable wearing your own hair in a braided style I would go for the one I tried. The only draw back is 1) you have to be careful blowing your hair out so you don’t get heat damage. Use a protective product that prevents heat damage, use a low heat setting, and try not to hold the dryer to close to your hair or hold it in one spot to long.   2) you have to be ok with your hair shrinking up a little after it gets wet and from heat. 3) avoid sand in your hair at all cost. I made the mistake of laying my head down some place sandy on the beach in Cast Away Cay and it took a week to get it all out. This ends part one stay tuned for part to where I discuss my experience with extensions.