All the Festival Hair Care Tips & Inspo You'll Need This Summer

Thumping baselines, dancing under the stars, a sea of strangers glammed up in glitter and color – there’s nothing like the sensation of being at a festival. And dressing the part is half the fun! 

If you’re in need of some festival hair inspo, you’ve come to the right place. Team Wow has been hitting up the hottest festivals for years now, from Coachella to Stagecoach.

We know what it takes to not only prep your hair for success, but how to make your styles last (despite days spent in the desert with limited access to a shower). 

Check out our guide below for everything you need to know, including pre-festival hair prep, style inspo and post-festival recovery.

Pre-Festival Hair Prep Tips

Festivals usually mean days spent in the desert among the heat, dust and sweat. It also usually means limited shower access.

Which is why it’s super important that you show up to day one of the festival with freshly washed and cared for hair. There’s nothing worse than hair that’s too greasy to style before the end of the weekend!

Don’t worry! We’ve got your go-to guide for getting your hair festival-ready:

1. Start with a Clean Slate

    color wow shampoo

    Kick off your festival prep by thoroughly cleansing your hair. A deep clean will remove any product buildup, dirt, and oil, leaving your hair fresh and ready for styling.

    For truly clean hair that stays clean for days, we recommend choosing a 100% clean, buildup-free shampoo, like our Color Wow Color Security Shampoo or Curl Wow Hooked Shampoo

    color wow hooked shampoo

    Every ingredient in these sulfate-free formulas rinses completely off, leaving nothing behind on your hair or scalp. 

    “But isn’t that what every shampoo does?” Sadly… no. Most shampoos these days promise to do more than clean (i.e., thicken, defrizz, hydrate, etc). In order to deliver on these extra benefits, these shampoos must leave ingredients behind that do not rinse off.

    This results in buildup that causes your hair to feel unclean and get greasy faster. And, not only that, this buildup can block follicles and may cause thinning. Moral of the story: If you want your hair to last longer between washes, go for a 100% clean shampoo! You can read more about unhealthy ingredients in shampoo within our guide.

    color wow conditioners and coco-motion

    As always, follow up your shampooing with conditioner.

    We love Color Wow Color Security Conditioner or Curl Wow Coco-Motion Conditioner for achieving maximum moisture without the heavy, greasy feel. 

    Browse our full range of shampoo and conditioner.

    Find out how to properly wash your hair with our comprehensive guide, packed full of expert tips.

    2. Detox

    color wow dream filterShampoos will not remove minerals that are contained in hard water so you may want to consider using a detox.

    Before shampooing and conditioning, use Color Wow Dream Filter (our hard water mineral remover).

    In just 3 minutes, it gently removes mineral and metal buildup that not only can dull your color, but weigh your hair down and leave it feeling dirty.

    3. Hydrate and Nourish

    color wow money masque

    Festivals often mean long hours spent under the sun, which can dry out your hair.

    Beat the heat by prepping with a deep conditioning treatment, like Money Masque, beforehand.

    This super hydrator is celebrity stylist Chris Appleton’s 1-step-prep for super luxe, expensive-looking hair because it not only keeps hair deeply moisturized for days but also transforms ALL hair types from rags to riches in just 5 minutes.

    What to Pack for a Festival: Hair Essentials

    When you're packing for a festival, it’s essential to bring hair care products and accessories that not only keep your hair glam from sunrise to sunset, but are also compact and versatile. Here are the must-have travel size Color Wow products and essential accessories to take with you.


    1. Chris Appleton's Lit Kit - for Luxe Hair

      chris appleton's lit kit

      Want festival glam worthy of an A-list celeb? Then this set, curated by celebrity stylist Chris Appleton, is a must!

      It includes travel sizes of the viral Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, Cult Favorite Firm + Flexible Hairspray, Raise the Root Thicken + Lift Spray and Money Masque...aka, everything you need for sleek, shiny, luxe styles that stay in place all day – no matter the weather!

      2. Best Vacay Hair, Ever! Travel Kit - for All Shine, No Frizz
        best vacay hair ever travel kit

        This versatile kit covers all your bases, from frizz to gloss to big, sexy volume.

        It includes travel sizes of the Color Security Shampoo, Color Security Conditioner, Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, and Pop + Lock High Gloss Finish and Style On Steroids

        3. Thicker, Fuller, Higher Travel Kit - for Bombshell Big Hair
          thicker fuller higher travel kit

          Perfect for anyone wanting to create big, bouncy, voluminous styles (that won’t fall flat!).

          This kit contains travel sizes of the Color Security Shampoo, Color Security Conditioner, Raise the Root Thicken + Lift Spray, Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer and Style On Steroids

          4. Dream Coat Curly Travel Kit - for Curl Definition
            dream coat curly travel kit

            For you natural girlies who prefer to embrace your curls, this kit is for you.

            Packed with travel sizes of the Dream Coat for Curly Hair, Color Security Shampoo, and Color Security Conditioner, it keeps curls care simple yet delivers major moisture, frizz control, definition and shine, even in humid festival environments.

            Individual Travel Sizes

              Not looking for a full kit? Most of our full size products come in mini sizes. Pick and choose your faves! Although, if you don’t plan to wash your hair and need some heatless styling options, these are our faves:

              color wow one minute transformation

              1. One-Minute Transformation:

              This on-the-spot frizz fix instantly smooths, depuffs and tames frizz and flyaways.

              Simply apply a small amount to dry hair and brush through for a refreshed look that mimics the effect of a blowout. Perfect for a day two hair refresh!

              color wow style on steroids

              2. Style on Steroids Texturizing Spray:

              This texturizer is also great for refreshing day two or three hair, especially if it’s starting to fall flat.

              Its uniquely moisturizing, flake-free formula won’t dry out your hair or leave it feeling chalky. Just zhuzhed up, sexy texture!

                color wow pop and lock

                3. Pop + Lock High Gloss Finish:

                For those days when your hair is starting to look a little greasy, we love this glosser for creating a slicked back style.

                A little goes a long way! Apply throughout your crown, then brush back into a bun or snatched ponytail. 

                color wow cult favorite

                4. Cult Favorite Firm + Flexible Hairspray:

                This non-sticky, buildable spray is great if you plan to switch up your festival styles often.

                Its flexible formula provides long-lasting hold yet remains soft and brushable, so you can go from updo to down-do effortlessly.


                  In addition to your travel size hair care products, don't forget to pack some essential accessories: hair ties and scrunchies for quick styles, bobby pins and hair clips for securing updos, a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to keep your hair tangle-free, and a headband or bandana to keep hair off your face and protect your scalp from the sun.

                  Festival Hair Ideas: 5 of Our Fave Looks

                  5 of our favorite festival hair looks

                  Looking for some inspiration on what to do with your hair at a festival? In this section, we’ll share some easy festival hair ideas that are not only trendy but also practical for long days of dancing and enjoying the music. 

                  1. Ribbon Pigtails

                    Start by sectioning your hair and spritzing Style On Steroids texturizing spray. Then, create pigtails on either side of your head, adding ribbons for an effortless, cowgirl-esque festival hairstyle

           @Joseph Maine slays this stagecoach festival hair on Day 1 with Style on Stero!ds Texture Spray 🌾 @Trademark Beauty #colorwow #stagecoach #stagecoach2024 #stagecoachhair #festivalhair ♬ id rather take my whiskey neat - char

                    2. Beach Waves

                      Nothing screams festival like summery beach waves! Add in some mismatched braids and hair charms, and you’ve got yourself a look. Watch one of our talented stylists, Joseph Maine, apply a mixture of Pop & Lock Glossing Serum and Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray to create this chic, bejeweled style.

                      3. Half Up Pigtails

                      Check out Joseph’s tutorial for creating this Y2K-inspired half-up pigtails style, using a mixture of Style On Steroids for hold and volume, and the Babe Waves styling tool to create beautiful waves. 

                      4. Braided Ponytail

                      We love this braided look for day two and three hair. To get that festival-ready sleek ponytail, start by saturating your roots with Cult Favorite.

                      Thanks to its flexible formula, you can easily brush your hair up into a snatched high ponytail. Add in some waist-length extensions before braiding. Finish with gems, shells and other accessories for that poolside, beachy vibe.  

             We’re obsessed with this look @laurenaamara created on @parker moss at Stagecoach 🐚🌾🤩 She uses Cult-Favorite Hairspray for a sleek look! ✨ #colorwow #stagecoach #festivalhair #festivalhairstyles #festivalhairideas ♬ Jungle back on 74 Sped up - Deep music🎧

                       5. Pigtail Braid Combo

                        Another great style for day two or three hair! Our final look is this festival pigtail-braid combo. Maria demonstrates how to elevate half-up pigtails with micro braids using Pop & Lock. This glossing serum creates smooth sections for effortless braiding and a flyaway-free finish.

                        For more styling inspo, take a look at our round-up of summer braids.

                        Post-Festival Hair Care Tips

                        After the last encore and the final dance, your hair likely needs some serious TLC. Festivals can leave your hair dry, tangled, and dirty from all the exposure to sun, dust, and styling products. 

                        Follow these post-festival hair care tips to restore your locks to their full glory. 

                        1. Detangle with Snag-Free

                        curl wow snag-free

                        After days of not washing, backcombing and layering on the stylers, we’d be shocked if you didn’t have tangles. It’s important to dedicate time to detangling your hair.

                        Not just to reduce the possibility of breakage but to also ensure you get a deeper clean once you shampoo. That’s why we always use Snag-Free Pre-Shampoo Detangler before shampooing.

                        Formulated with Pracaxi and Coconut Oils, it instantly lubricates the surface of each strand to help maximize slip and minimize breakage. While this is part of our Curl Wow range, it works brilliantly as a detangler for all hair types.

                        2. Follow up with a Deep Clean

                        Once you’re thoroughly detangled, it’s time for a deep clean. Again, we recommend using our residue-free formulas, Color Wow Color Security Shampoo or Hooked 100% Clean Shampoo, to gently but effectively remove all the dirt, sweat, and product buildup. 

                        Like with your pre-fest prep, follow up with Color Security Conditioner or Coco-Motion Conditioner for added hydration. Learn more about the importance of using conditioner here.

                        3. Rehydrate and Repair

                        After cleansing, your hair needs moisture (and some TLC!) to bounce back. Our go-to is Money Masque, packed with nourishing ingredients that restore moisture, smoothness, and elasticity to your hair.

                        Apply generously to damp hair, leave it on for 3-5 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. Your hair will feel rejuvenated and silky smooth.

                        Quick-Fire Festival Hair FAQs

                        What to do if You Can’t Wash Your Hair at a Festival

                        color wow raise the root

                        If you can't wash your hair at a festival, Color Wow Raise the Root Thicken + Lift Spray is a great alternative.

                        It adds volume and lift to your roots, helping to refresh and revitalize your hair.

                        Simply spray it onto dry hair, focusing on the roots, and style as desired. This will give your hair a clean, lifted look without the need for washing.

                        How to Avoid Greasy Hair at a Festival

                        In addition to giving your hair a volume refresh, Raise the Root Thicken + Lift Spray is also great for soaking up grease in between wash days. You might also want to wear your hair in updos or braids to keep it off your scalp, reducing grease buildup.

                        Avoid touching your hair frequently, as this can transfer oils from your hands. Find out more about the causes of greasy hair in our guide.

                        How to Deal with Frizzy Hair at a Festival

                        color wow one minute transformationFor frizzy hair, apply One Minute Transformation to dry hair.

                        This styling cream smooths and revitalizes frizzy or unruly sections (without the need for heat!), giving your hair a polished finish.

                        Simply apply a small amount to problem areas and brush through for an instant refresh. Opt for protective styles like braids or buns to minimize frizz too.

                        With these tips and products in your festival hair care arsenal, you're all set for a season of outdoor fun and fabulous hair.

                        From essential pre-festival prep to post-festival recovery, and must-have travel kits to quick styling fixes, you have everything you need to keep your hair looking stunning and well-maintained!

                        Learn more styling tips & tricks on the Color Wow Blog:

                      1. How to Do Heatless Curls in 3 Simple Ways
                      2. How to Protect Your Hair from Sun Damage
                      3. How to Style Curly Hair without Frizz
                      4. Shop This Blog Post