Stafford Hair

Staying Cool For Festival Season

In 2003, pictures flashed all over the world of supermodel Kate Moss trudging nonchalantly around the Glastonbury festival. Although obviously aware that all eyes were on her, she appeared oblivious to the attention, but in fashion and hair terms it was a pivotal moment because Moss single -handedly invented festival glamour.

Everything was perfect, the mix of vintage and designer plus a chunk of high street, the Hunter wellies, huge sunglasses, a rock star boyfriend and the best hair ever. Kate’s outings over the years, particularly at Glastonbury, have always been nothing less than a revelation.

Of course, in the 1960s the rock chicks of the day could be spotted in their Biba dresses, hippy flower garlands and long centre parting hair but there was almost a generic 60s look that didn’t really differ from one groovy hippy chick to the other. And so by the mid 90s, festival hair wasn’t so much of a thing as most people concentrated on the music and the atmosphere.

But by the early 2000s, music festivals and Glastonbury in particular became a destination for A listers , royalty and politicians to let their hair down. And in the days before social media, let their hair down they did. The Brit queen of the supermodels, Moss reigned supreme. Kate almost defined the period of Brit Pop in the same way Twiggy was the face of the Sixties — her front covers with Liam Gallagher, Paul Weller and a famous shoot aping the film Blow Up with David Bowie set her apart from other supermodels of the day as having cool factor.

Everything about her oozed rock ‘n’ roll — the attitude, the smarts, the clothes and that undone, lived in, slightly dirty looking bad girl hair. And for almost two decades it’s been the festival hair of choice for pretty much any girl with a rock ‘n’ roll heart.

So what makes festival hair, and specifically, Kate Moss’s festival hair so appealing?

Well, let’s get straight to the point — it’s sexy. In today’s world we sometimes are a little frightened to say it loud but the plain and simple truth is that this is truly sexy hair, whether it’s dirty, sweaty or even smelling of camp-fires and cigarette smoke it just screams freedom, abandon, care-free liberty and a healthy disregard for anything that’s good for you or your hair — and we love it.

Now, I’m pretty sure Kate Moss is well equipped with stacks of Batiste (old fashioned dry shampoo) tons of volume powder (let’s say Alfaparf Style Sories Vintage Powder) and a Denman boar bristle brush for a little life-giving back combing.

She may even have celebrity stylist Sam McKnight tagging along for help but believe me, that do is not accidental, but it does look authentic and fabulously undone.

The other thing that is so identifiable about Kate’s festival hair is that it is timeless, it’s not like she changes it radically. Like beach hair, there is a grungy texture, it’s daytime hair that looks great as the night draws in — ungroomed but not altogether unstyled.

There is a meticulous sense of preparation attached to creating a look like this, potentially plaited loosely the night before to create loose, irregular waves when the plaits are undone, or maybe a three-day-old blow dry, professionally done but allowed to age with some dry shampoo assistance to create the ropey texture. Or it could just be luck, the thing that makes the hair so effective is that it seems to work with every-thing, every year.

If you check Kate, her bohemian style has changed gradually, her higher than high hot pants are less seen today, giving way to super skinny jeans. The PVC thigh boots (and Pete Doherty) have made way for hunters and Stella McCartney and the ubiquitous fag dangling from her lips has disappeared from public view completely.

But that dirty blonde textured mane that looks like the roots are going to be sorted as soon she gets back to Notting Hill is as fresh as ever, in fact so much so that it’s now an ageless look and one that works as easily for sassy 18-year-olds as does for their 50- year-old mums and everyone in between.

It is indeed the anti do hairstyle that seems to never age, all because it really doesn’t matter what age Kate or her hair is, she is just eternally cool.

Festivals, especially music festivals, are quite often the gateway to unleash a little outrage, chaos and do things that release that rebellious side to our natures. Whether it’s Dutch braids, space buns, Bjork knots, cornrows — the list goes on and on. And in years to come, those who made the festival pilgrimage will look back at the Instagram pictures and laugh out loud at the ludicrous creation that adorned their dome on that particular year, as much as the headline act and the strange events that they may have encountered.

It will be fun and harmless — an element of the carnival to add to the celebration of all that is great and wonderful when thousands of good-natured people come together to enjoy the atmosphere of spectacle and scale and in that being at one with whoever you choose to be for that weekend or few days should be the priority.

And in saying that, it’s exactly, as a hairdresser, how I feel your hair should reflect who you are — not forever but at that time in your life.

Kate’s hair, especially her festival hair, says that to me. It’s non-confrontational but non-conformist, sexy but not contrived. Maybe her hair, in its festival guise is exactly how Kate Moss is when she is there, released from the gaze of onlookers, unrestricted, away from the daily grind, immersed in the crowd, breathing in clean air and enjoying the lack of manhandling and time restraint, soaking up the sweat and the elements and the good vibes.

Maybe it’s time you took your hair to a festival…

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