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jayne and friend in snail costumes in a decorated festival tent

How to have perfect camping and festival hair (without having to do any braids)

We all absolutely love camping and festivals at Hairy Jayne. And generally living outdoors on the weekends all throughout the summer. Being amongst nature is high on our list of priorities for our down time. And as music lovers, festivals are always a highlight of the summer as a much needed form of escapism and fun. 

Even more so now that international travel is so limited. Holidays for us this year are all about getting in our little camper van in Bristol and travelling to stay overnight in the many beauty spots that the West Country and Wales have to offer. We’re very grateful that a few festivals seem to be able to go ahead this year. We’re keeping our fingers double crossed to be able to trade at We Out Here festival in August with our zero waste hair care products.

jayne and friend in snail costumes in a decorated festival tent

(trading at Shambala festival with Crafty Fox market in 2019)

Google has many, many suggestions for festival hair styles, but you might not have the right hair length or type of hair for any intricate styling. Or maybe you just don’t want the “latest festival hair trends”, like glitter roots, rainbow braids or space buns.

If (like me) you literally just want your hair to be reasonably clean and healthy and not resemble Robert Smith in a forest, keep reading.

You may find my top tips for keeping my (medium-thick, short and colour treated) hair fresh in the great outdoors quite helpful. If you're wondering what to pack for your next festival, check out our ultimate festival checklist.

1. Take a solid shampoo bar and conditioner in a tin 

Always pack a solid shampoo bar in a tin, even if it’s for “just in case”. They are compact, lightweight and great for all types of hair. And add a sample size of conditioner or hair conditioner bar if you have dry or damaged hair. Sometimes the showers on site are actually quite inviting and the weather is actually pretty good and washing your hair IS actually an option… you never know!

shampoo and conditioner bar with on cork resting mats with travel tin.flat lay image on pastel coloured background

2. Hair fresheners for when there’s no water

This is where dry shampoo and hair perfume come in, and both work well on all types of hair. If there isn’t the option (or inclination) to wash your hair, these hair products offer waterless ways of freshening it up again. 

Dry shampoo will absorb unwanted oil from your roots and restore its volume. Sprinkle some into your fringe, parting and straight onto the scalp in sections throughout your hair. Leave it for a few minutes to allow the dry shampoo to absorb the oil, then tousle and shake or brush the powder out. Try not to leave a lot of dry shampoo in your hair as it’ll just cause your scalp to feel dry and itchy if it builds up.

Hair perfume, sprayed into the ends, will disguise any odours that you hair has absorbed (apart from camp fire smell, only a wash will help with that!). Hairy Jayne hair perfume also acts as a very light, buildable serum that will give you some shine and calm any frizzy bits. The best bit is that the fragrance is an essential oil blend, so very it’s very natural and is mood boosting.

For all of our favourite festival and camping essentials in one, check out our full waterless hair care travel kit. 

image of 3 different fragranced hair perfumes and dry shampoo in a can

3. Head gear to tame the bed head 

If, like me, you have the sort of hair that tends to get bigger when slept on, or if it doesn’t have quite enough length to tie or clip it up, pack a head scarf or hat. Either will cover your hair or squash it back down, and both will provide some sun protection, too. 

For camping, take a peaked cap or bucket hat as they can easily fit into a rucksack. For festivals, pack colourful head scarves or head pieces, and even statement earrings made by Bristol makers Dakota Rae Dust and Rosa Pietsch. Somehow bold accessories manage to instantly make messy hair appear more intentional, and annoying bits of loose hair can be tucked into a headband.

jayne in a field of wheat wearing a ruck sack and cap

4. Go easy on the styling products, but use a teeny bit of hair oil before you go

Before setting off, double shampoo your hair (if your regular routine is shampooing rather than co-washing). Double shampooing makes your hair extra clean and extends the amount of time needed until the next wash. Don’t use any styling products if you can help it, as sticky hair products like hair spray and waxes are more likely to attract dirt. 

Instead, put a couple of drops of hair oil into the palm of your hands and rub your palms together so that they’re both lightly coated (use a couple more for very long or very thick hair). Run your hands over and through your hair, run your fingers right down the length to the ends, avoiding the scalp if you can. This should de-fluff and add some definition to your clean hair without having to use any sticky styling products.

Hairy Jayne Natural Beauty Oil mimics the natural oil that the body produces to protect the hair and skin, so it will add a protective coating, too. (Also good for swimming hair protection if you’ll be taking a dip!)

natural beauty oil in 3 different bottles, one with pipette, one with aluminium cap, one sample size

5. Embrace the scruffiness and don’t worry too much about how your hair looks

As long as you’re having fun, it doesn’t really matter if your fringe is wonky or if your crown is sticking up like a cockatoo. Festival hair should be fun and camping hair can be as wild as your surroundings are. You’re living outdoors! Just run your hair under the tap if you need to, shake it out and leave it to air dry. 

6. Pack a comb or mini brush if you want to maintain at least some control

If you really can’t get on board with having mad hair, a Bamboo Detangling Comb or Mini Hair Brush won’t take up too much space when you pack. Our combs are best for long hair and will get knots out without pulling, adding static or making long hair look too “groomed”. The mini wooden hair brush is great for taming fringes and for shorter hair that needs more coaxing to be less wild.

bamboo comb on mint and lilac background

Share this post with your whichever pals you like to camping or festivalling with! 

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