Musical Manes: 7 Rad ‘Dos For Rocking Out

Hot, sweaty, dirty, sticky, frenzied — no, we’re not describing a Girls sex scene. These are the conditions you can expect if you’re attending any one of the myriad music festivals in the coming months. Suffice to say that none of those things are synonymous with a great-looking mane, but even though the odds (and Mother Nature) are against you, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great-looking coiff while you boogie down to your fave bands. 

The secret is in choosing a style that keeps you cool, works well on less-than-clean locks, and actually looks better as it gets messier. Seem like a tall order? Not for us! We scoured the spring runways to find seven festival-ready ‘dos that will look rad through the sweat, spilled beer, blazing sun, lack of showers, and general rocking out that are in store for you. Do yourself a favor and stock up on some hair elastics, bobby pins, and dry shampoo. Then, take a look at these music-festival-friendly manes to get inspired.


Music festival hair is all about getting creative with the resources you have. Since clean hair is a rarity, you need styles that help hide the fact you haven’t seen shampoo in the past three days. A great way to hide greasy roots is to spray on some dry shampoo (told you to stock up) and then create a deep side part and sweep all of your hair to the other side of your head. Gather your hair up into a messy updo and pin in place. We like the idea of using a braid as an accent, like this sweet and delicate “headband” — it pulls the look together and makes it look like something more than just an undone bun. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Never underestimate the power of some pastel hair chalk. Sure we’ve seen it before, but if there’s any time to rock a Rainbow Brite ‘do, it’s now. To keep it from being too expected, alternate colors on a single strand and place them on the underneath layer of your hair, so they only show when you’re whipping your hair back and forth. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Pretty, pulled-apart fishtail braids keep your hair out of your face, off your neck, and make sure you look fly, not frazzled. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Rage a little too much last night? Good thing you packed that floral/beaded/beribboned crown in your supply kit — slide it over top of your slept-in waves and your look instantly transforms from stringy bedhead to glam boho. 

Photo: MCV Photo


If you like a little more structure to your coiff, consider this sectioned braid. The front is kept loose and raked back, but because it is secured at both the top and end of the braid, you don’t have to worry about it falling apart midway through your show-hopping. 

Photo: MCV Photo


A messy top knot is a lazy, unshowered girl’s best friend. This one is great when you’re nearing the end of your festival tour and lack the energy (and the access to clean water) needed to concoct something more elaborate. Because it’s already off-kilter, it doesn’t matter if it slides around. Plus, the excess grease and texture in your ‘do will help you get the needed volume and hold to pull this style off. And, of course, a sequined hair tie helps keep it classy. 

Photo: MCV Photo


A patterned scarf pulls double duty by hiding your beyond-grimy roots and making sure your messy bun stays in place. Just be sure to lock it down with a few strategically positioned bobby pins — otherwise it will start slip-sliding around whenever you start jumping around. 

Photo: MCV Photo

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