Live, Laugh and Festival On! | Alice Dawkins

July 27, 2023

It’s summer, which means one thing… festival season is back!

With hundreds of UK festivals offering overnight camping options for extended periods of time, attendees have grown accustomed to slumming it for a few days to see their favourite artists. And whilst it might not seem like the most glamorous setting, there are many ingenious hacks to stay looking fresh. Here, Alice Dawkins, Hair Expert at Milk + Blush, offers her day-by-day festival hair survival guide to ensure your clients’ locks look camera-ready throughout:

Before the festival

Tell your clients to make the most of the time before they set off, this could be their last chance to wash their hair.

To lock in moisture, recommend a hair mask for the night before, to leave on for as long as possible. Also advise them to ensure the water is at a medium-warm temperature, to avoid any products containing harsh chemicals like silicones, to apply conditioner to the lower half of the hair only and to steer clear of using any heavy oils or serums to stop the hair from getting greasy quickly.

At the start

Starting off with the luxury of showers and electricity, this is the best opportunity for clients to let their locks hang loose. Tell them to save updos for later and keep their hair down, curling it for extra volume or straightening it for that sleek and shiny look. Clip-in hair extensions are also great for anyone looking to add length and get creative with styles. Also, it’s best to advise clients to keep the hair off their face to stop it from coming into contact with oils or getting in the way whilst dancing.

Before they go to bed, ensure they spray dry shampoo on a flat brush and gently comb through the hair evenly to allow the product to absorb any grease and tie it up loosely to avoid tangles. If they wear extensions, advise your clients to brush them through and store in a cool, dry container to keep them in good condition.

Midway point 

How the hair looks on the second or third day is generally due to the hair type and how well-trained it is to last between washes. If your client’s hair is in pretty good condition, they should work with the volume gained overnight to create a loose hairstyle, perhaps teasing the hair to hide any grease build-up around the roots.

If they have fine hair, this might be the time to introduce a half-up style. As festivals are all about that outdoorsy ‘wow’ factor, they should try adding butterfly clips or baby braids around the front section for a cute look that keeps the hair off the face.

Ensure you pre-warn clients to take their dry shampoo with them to the stages too, in case the hair needs a bit of TLC throughout the day.

The final stretch

By the final days, the hair may look a little lacklustre, so the chances of rocking a loose look is relatively slim. This leaves them with two options – embrace the grease or hide it.

As hair that hasn’t been washed for a few days will be more malleable, this is the best time to embrace build-up through scraping the hair back into a high-ponytail, braids or high bun(s). For clients with short hair, recommend a clip-in ponytail for extra styling options.

For people who would rather hide their unwashed locks, accessories should be their best friend; either style it out with a hat or bandana, or cover the roots in glitter for a fashionable look on the last day.

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