Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

Idle banter forum

Dare I say hair and beauty... For the ladies

Posted by millyb on 12/10/2010 at 00:46


I'm just about to pack my bags for an 18 month tour of S.E Asia and call me vain, but I have mental hair, in humidity I can look rather like a cross between Margaret Thatcher and a Mister Whippy icecream without the occasional cut by a talented hair expert that understands me when I say cow licks.. I am guilty of researching this little problem more often than visa requirements and destinations. Which I am slightly ashamed of. But in my quest I have spoken to loads of hairdressers that have traveled with the tools of their trades and financed some of their trips by doing a little shearing along the way.
I was thinking about starting a group, for hairdressers, beauty therapists (I don't fancy giving up a whole day to have my legs waxed and trying to explain my bikini line preference to a local, hairless Thai - lucky them), and the people that need them, so that they can hook up along the way. But before I go to all the effort, get in trouble with my boyfriend for wasted time on pointless stuff, I'd really like to know if you would have any thoughts.

I hate having my photo taken on any occasion, my boyfriend is using this trip to learn photography....
Having seen the kind of battering most posters get for this kind of stuff - I'm actually a little scared of posting this..

← Back to topic list

#1 millyb has been a member since 13/7/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by exacto on 12/10/2010 at 02:59

hey milly,

i'm sure you'll look beautiful in those photos even with the extra humidity in the (h)air. i also think that you'll find plenty of quality hair-care and salon services throughout southeast Asia and particularly in Thailand. my wife has been pleased with the services she's had on our trips, including the bikini line waxing you mention. it's a global thing... cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
 Send exacto a private message   Where has exacto been? 

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by busylizzy on 12/10/2010 at 03:01

My solution: ponytail holders.

My hair was longish enough in the back to get it into a ponytail, but I always had wispy bits sticking out on sides and front, which by the end of the day made me look like Witchy Poo. Eventually I figured out I could get use some small barettes/hair clips on the side to help hold it down.

There are hair "salons" everywhere you go, and places to get your waxing and other beautification done. My travelling partner went to some pretty dodgy looking places for a cut and shave - it made great photos opps for me! At the four-month stage, I finally relented and went to a small local place in Kampot for a trim of my flyaway bits. They definitely had a strange approach. For example, AFTER they cut my hair, they poured a bucketload of shampoo on my DRY hair and massaged it in to try and foam it up, without adding water. They eventually took me to the basin to wash it out and I got a wonderful head massage while they were at it. It was all a bit strange, but I survived.

Honestly, when you're on the backpacker trail you just stop being too precious about stuff like that because it's too damn hot, and there is just so much else to focus on (in my opinion, anyhow). If things get really bad, you will always find somewhere to go for a tidy up. And then plan for massive overhaul when you return!

I'm not sure about the likelihood of your success in organising a group of hairdressers together but I imagine it would be difficult due to logistics, facilities, etc. But good luck if you decide to give it a go!

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
 Send busylizzy a private message   Where has busylizzy been? 

Posted by glomer on 12/10/2010 at 07:35

This is probably an excessive solution, but there is a newish salon process to do with keratin that can make your hair straight/frizz-free for several months.

#4 glomer has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 86
 Send glomer a private message 

Posted by jasinorbit on 12/10/2010 at 08:57

Head scarves, Long thinish ones.(worn similar to a headband) Does the trick

#5 jasinorbit has been a member since 4/12/2009. Posts: 37
 Send jasinorbit a private message 

Posted by Nokka on 13/10/2010 at 16:20

Hey, Millie - you sound just like my wife. She calls her hair 'snakes' when the humidity gets to it. At times even I had to giggle at her frizzing up hair; at home its usually so immaculate - with hairdresser bills to match.

We found big cities (unsurprisingly) to be the best bet. Bangkok, for sure - plus she had it done in another couple of places. The big shopping malls in Bangkok had some decent places (not cheap either) with cutters used to Western hair, plus a bit of research on the expat site gave results.

Bikini line she found more difficult, in that in many countries in the region they simply didn't do it. Or used very old-fashioned methods, but hey what do I know.

Overall, she was fine and I think the biggest thing to remember is that when you are travelling - things like flyaway hair really don't seem to matter that much.

#6 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259
 Send Nokka a private message 

Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 25/1/2011 at 11:56 TF writer

Threading, waxing, manicures, pedicures etc not a problem to find anywhere.

Hair cuts are quite possible, although you may not get quite what you wanted. I'd avoid hair colouring or other chemical treatments, unless you're happy to pay a lot for someone who's been trained in western hair.

Hats are a girl's best friend when it comes to dodgy locks - you can look cool and keep the sun off your head at the same time!

#7 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 178
 Send AbigailatPenhandInk a private message   Website 

Posted by vh81 on 23/5/2011 at 15:36

Hi there. Good to hear, that there are several places to get your beauty things done.
I wonder if anyone can actually recommend a waxing place in Bangkok and/or Ko Phangan? Thank you!

#8 vh81 has been a member since 18/5/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Maryanne on 19/6/2013 at 04:50

I highly recommend having either Brazilian Keratin done as it is fantastic for taming the Frizz from humidity, and also using a little travel sized bottle of Argan Oil.

I found a fantastic salon in Bangkok that does reasonably prices Brazilian Keratin treatments, it will really transform your hair and it lasts a good 3-4 months if you take care of it. The Argan oil is also very nice, smells lovely and just helps to protect the hair from UV and keeps the keratin protected from dust and other traveler related elements that make us look frazzled.

The only thing you have to watch out for is swimming in the sea, salt and chlorine wont help even with Brazilian keratin, infact it destroys keratin so you have to use a special sulfate free shampoo and conditioner instead of your normal ones, this helps it last. But I wear a hat when swimming and that's fine by me.

Now don't get me wrong it isn't the cheapest of hair treatments, but I don't need to carry my flat iron and dryers around with me anymore and styling takes just a few minutes as opposed to 30 minutes or more. It all adds up when your on the road and have better things to worry about than your hair.

The salon I had keratin at also sell an Argan Mask which looks really cool, I was going to buy that too but thought it will be too bulky to carry, so I will pick it up when I return back through Bangkok before home.

As far as waxing goes, I have never done that but there is a few in Bangkok, one I remember was called bare hare, i'm guessing they do the whole body.

#9 Maryanne has been a member since 19/6/2013. Posts: 17

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.