Skip to Content

What to Do With Your Hair While Camping

What to Do With Your Hair While Camping

Camping isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with different camping hairstyles. As long as you’re patient, having campfire hair can be part of the adventure. But don’t think it all has to be a compromise! 

Just because you’re roughing it in the woods doesn’t mean you have to be rough on your hair. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your hair clean, healthy, and stylish while camping in the wild.

Can You Wash Your Hair While Camping?

Of course, you can, but some ways are smarter and more eco-friendly than others. If you’re camping somewhere with showers, that’s probably your best option. Your RV shower (if applicable) is another option if you have enough water. Keep in mind hair-washing uses a lot of water, so be careful with how often you wash, especially while boondocking.

Click here for more water-saving tips: 40 RV Boondocking Tips To Make Your Off-Grid Camping Better

half-up messy bun
Camping hairstyles can be stylish, functional, or both!

The next option is washing outdoors. When you want to wash your hair while camping, try biodegradable soap to avoid letting harmful chemicals damage the ecosystem. Some RVs come with outdoor showers, but you can also just wash your hair in a basin. 

However, if you want to clean your hair without dealing with water you can also use no-rinse shampoo caps and give yourself a little head massage. Other convenient options for clean hair are dry shampoo, baby powder, or cornstarch, which will absorb the grease in your hair and hide that oily shine.

What to Do With Your Hairstyle While Camping

When you’re out hiking, swimming, rock climbing, or even just enjoying a nice campfire, the last thing you want is uncontrollable hair. It can blow in your face, stick to your neck, and frizz up in humidity. 

Taking a few minutes in the morning to arrange a braid or even just throw it into a bun will save you a day full of hair stress. Hair is more likely to stay clean if it’s in a tight hairstyle, like braids, too. 

Hairstyles for the Outdoors (Beach, hiking, camping, all the things!!) - KayleyMelissa

8 Great Camping Hairstyles

Whether you prefer ponytails, braids, or buns, there’s always an answer to camping hair. Messy buns are a quick solution when you’re short on time, but it’s also fun to do a more intricate braid when you want to add more style. 

In this age of social media, learning a new hairstyle takes watching a quick video and a couple of tries. Even if your hair is too short for any hairstyle, you can still accessorize it with bandanas or headbands. Long hair can be a pain when you don’t have a shower and army of hair products, but it shouldn’t be impossible. 

1. The Messy Bun

The messy bun is a classic! This is a great go-to hairstyle, especially for curly hair. You could also make this hairdo a little nicer by leaving the hair ends out of the bun, so it hangs off the side. This works really well with curls.

messy bun hairstyle
Messy buns make messy hair look cute in a matter of seconds.

2. Short Hair? Try a Bandana

Short hair makes for excellent camping hairstyles! If you’re constantly camping and on the move, short hair can be a lifesaver. If you’re hesitant to commit to a shorter hair lifestyle, try cutting it at the beginning of the summer and growing it out for the winter, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Pro tip: Bandanas can serve multiple purposes. Check out our favorite bug-repelling bandanas: ExOfficio Unisex BugsAway Bandana

3. Half-Up Ponytail

If you just want your hair out of your face but still want to show off those luscious locks, you can compromise with a half ponytail. This keeps the length of your hair down but keeps it from blowing in your eyes. You can also add a headband if you’re worried about bangs or stray hairs getting free while cutting back on hair gel.  

half-up space buns
Show your adventurous side with half-up space buns.

4. Space Buns, Anyone?

Space buns are so fun and whimsical–who says roughing it in the wild means you have to compromise personal style? This is an excellent option if the messy bun makes you feel frumpy, or you just want to upgrade to something slightly fancier but still practical. You can also do the half-up, half-down look, using the top half of your hair for the double buns and leaving the bottom half loose. 

5. Boxer Braids

Boxer braids (a.k.a. Dutch braids or reverse french braids) are also a practical way to wear your hair while camping if you want to show some style. These African-originated braids are a fun way to hide your greasy roots!


6. Pull-Through Braid

This bubbly camping hairstyle helps give your hair volume while still keeping it out of your face. If you have thicker hair or prefer to have something looser that doesn’t pull on your scalp, the pull-through braid is a Pinterest favorite. 

7. Simple French Braid

French braids are a classic and can help keep any side bangs or stray hairs out of your eyes that regular braids would not be able to hold. You can also mix and match by French braiding into a ponytail or bun.

french braid camping hairstyle
French braids are always in style!

8. Fishtail Braid

A fishtail braid looks much like a fish skeleton and can be a creative way to mix things up when it feels like every day is either a ponytail or braid. This intricate-looking braid is quite simple and involves wrapping small sections of hair around the large majority of it to create thinner layers. 

Remember to Accessorize That Camping Hairstyle

Camping hairstyles always get better with accessories. If you’re deep into your camping trip and feeling grungy, try brightening things up with a headband. You can also hold stray hairs out of your face with colorful clips to add a little personality.

Or, if you’re putting off shampooing your hair and feeling greasy, go for a bandana to hide your roots. If you’re not a bandana girl, you can always use a thick headband or a hat to protect your scalp from getting sunburned.  

If you store your hair accessories and products in your RV medicine cabinet, don’t miss out on our organizing tips: How to Organize and Upgrade Your RV Medicine Cabinet

What Are Your Favorite Camping Hairstyles?

Camping is an adventure, even if it makes your hair tangled and smoky. Prepping before your trip with deep conditioner hair treatments and buying wide-tooth combs and hair-friendly sunscreens should help minimize stress.

No one wants to constantly worry about how their hair looks, especially on vacation. So take your time brushing and braiding, enjoy your dry shampoo, and buy some new hats. Your beautiful nature selfies will be stunning!

camping hairstyle accessories
If all else fails, throw on a cute sun hat or baseball cap, and you’ll be good to go!

Which camping hairstyle is your favorite? Drop a comment below!

Become A Mortons On The Move Insider

Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!

Read More From The Mortons:

About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

About Us

Sharing is caring!


Monday 6th of September 2021

I’m a guy with somewhat frizzy hair down to the bottom of my shoulder blades. I typically put it up in a pony tail with one, two, or three bands.

I was hoping for pictures to help me.


Friday 27th of August 2021

And guys don't worry most are bald or hardly any hair a wet face cloth will work. Use with still our locks a baseball cap works great to hide the mess.