I tried glitter roots at Glastonbury to see if it actually worked

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I tried glitter roots at Glastonbury to see if it actually worked

I looked like a fairy

Ever since I started going to festivals, the dilemma of what do with my hair when I haven’t washed it for five days has troubled me.  

Do you just embrace it? Use dry shampoo? Braid it? Wash it under a tap? Pay a fortune for a glamping pass to a festival hair salon?

The answer appeared to me this year in the form of the glitter roots hair trend that has been popping up all over social media, fashion blogs and magazines over the past few months.

Grey hair, glitter roots & braids ?? obsessing over this look! RG: @asos_georgia

A post shared by @asos_beauty on

Hair Goals ?? RG: @nipandfab

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In theory, it seems like a great way to cover up greasy roots and add some glitter to your festival look. But is it really practical? I decided to try it out at Glastonbury and see how I got on.

The tools

Although you need quite a few things to create it, this was a surprisingly cheap look to achieve.  The total cost came in at about £5 and everything was really easy to find.  

Chunky glitter: £2 (Tiger)

Fine glitter: £1 (The Works)

Hair gel: £1.80 (Boots)

Hairspray: £1 (Boots)

The actual process

For the best effect, you need a hairstyle that gives you a neat centre parting.  I put my hair into rave knots by parting it down the centre (as neatly as I could manage with a small hand mirror) and twisting it into two buns on each side but you could probably also do french plaits or normal bunches.

Once my hair was secure, I attempted to coat my roots in wax.  At this point I realised that this was definitely going to be a two man job and I had to seek the assistance of someone else.  Fortunately, given that I was surrounded by people there was no shortage of volunteers to coat my head in wax and pour glitter over me.

Which brings me to the next step: applying the first layer of chunky glitter.

So, once my assistant hairdresser had covered my entire parting in wax, she attempted to neatly and artistically position the chunky glitter on it.

Unfortunately, this approach didn’t really work, especially given the gale-force winds that were blowing at the time.

In light of this, we decided to just gently tip the pot over my parting.  Obviously, this resulted in the glitter ending up over my whole head (much to the hilarity of the reasonably sizeable crowd that had gathered to watch by this stage).

Nevertheless, I valiantly persisted and chose two finer glitters in complementary shades to pour on top of the chunky glitter and give the look some texture.

Then, to set the glitter and the buns, we sprayed the whole thing liberally with hairspray.

The problems

I imagine that when stylists create this look they do it indoors, with no one taking the piss out of them and lots of mirrors.  Unfortunately, when you try and do it at a festival you will most likely be sitting in a camping chair completely exposed to the elements and surrounded by mocking friends with only a small hand mirror to assist you.  

However, although all of these things meant that my version wasn’t particularly neat and made it harder to do, it still turned out pretty well – at least in my opinion – and only took about five minutes.

One slight issue was that my back and shoulders ended up being pretty sparkly but if you could be bothered you could probably wipe this off quite easily.  

The reaction

I was mocked senselessly by every single one of my male friends from the moment I sat down to attempt this in our campsite.

Once I had finished, one of them told me it ‘looked like the tooth fairy had shit on [my] head’ and at least three others looked horrified when they saw me and asked if my hair was meant ‘to look like THAT?’.

On the other hand, my female friends – although uncertain at first – were more complimentary and conceded that ‘it actually looked quite good’.

However, most importantly, I loved it.  Admittedly I couldn’t really see it, but I felt like a fun sparkly fairy and was happy that my greasy roots had been covered up.

The staying power

Because of the sheer amount of glitter and hair product we used, it actually stayed put pretty well in spite of the wind, rain and sweat.

In my eyes this gives it a huge advantage over other festival hairstyles which inevitably fall apart within an hour.

It even looked reasonably okay the next morning after I’d slept with it in.  Although obviously I repeated the process the next day so that I could return to my glittery prime.

How it looked the next morning

The aftermath

The biggest issue with the whole look is probably how hard it is to get rid of.  My tent, sleeping bag and pillow were all completely covered in glitter.

The majority of the glitter washed out quite easily when I brushed my hair through in the shower once I got home although some of it is still refusing to budge.

But to be honest, I love glitter so this didn’t really bother me that much.

The verdict

This is quite possibly the best festival hairstyle ever.  Say goodbye to excessively dry shampooed hair and fussy plaits: just cover your head in glitter. It was cheap, easy to do and stayed put all day and night.  It didn’t really look like the photos I’d seen on Instagram, but when does anything ever look as good in real life as it does on Instagram? Just be prepared to be finding glitter everywhere for days and get some slightly strange looks.