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Keash Festival Hair
Hair Taiba AkhuetiePhotography Michèle Côté

How to avoid the cliches of festival hair with Keash London


TextOlivia Edwardes

Ditch the top-knot, it’s time to take your festival hair seriously

Festivals aren’t famously places where strong fashion choices are made. As we head, one tentative sandaled-foot first, over the muddy hills of spring and into the hot parks of summer, we thought it best to consult braid guru Taiba Akhuetie on how to pull off festival hair this summer. As co-founder of London’s busiest braid and party-hair bar, Keash London, no one is better placed to advise on how to keep your hair looking fresh over the course of a booze-fuelled, water-free weekend.

The London-based salon specialises in intricate braids, coloured extensions and hair tattoos, creating looks that more often than not force Instagram into melt-down mode.

We chatted to Taiba about her imminent trip to Primavera, her future hair trend predictions and her emergency festival products to stash in your sleeping bag.

What’s your go-to product you recommend for beginners doing their own braids styles at home?
Taiba Akhuetie: A pintail comb, sectioning clips, poly bands and a styling oil or cream- I use palmers moisture gro. These are the basic tools I used when I first started doing hair.

What tools and products do you recommend for laying your edges?
Taiba Akhuetie: I am quite anti laying edges. I don’t think it’s good for your hairline when it’s apart of your daily routine. But if I had to suggest a product it would be Well Gel by Bleach.

How do we make braids last through bed head?
Taiba Akhuetie: Apply hair gel on fly-aways- allow to dry. Once dry, wrapping your hair in a silk scarf works wonders. It helps to keep braids looking fresher for longer.

What’s your go-to treatment to repair styling damage?
Taiba Akhuetie: I am currently using Dizziak. I do a 30-minute conditioning treatment then I was was my hair, blowdry and massage black castor oil into my scalp.

What dry shampoo/smoothing products can you recommend when avoiding washing your hair?
Taiba Akhuetie: I think the best thing to do is avoid putting loads of styling products in your hair generally, that way you won’t have to wash your hair as often. Sometimes when my weave gets greasy I put the tiniest bit of talc powder on the appropriate area but only a small bit to avoid getting any white patches on the head.

What are your other favourite festival styles when bathroom time is limited and everyone is a bit sweaty?
Taiba Akhuetie: You can never go wrong with 2 Dutch braids. They keep you cool and they are quick and easy to do.

What beauty vibe can we be expecting from you during festival season this year?
Taiba Akhuetie: Lots and lots of hair bling. For me adding sparkle to your hair is great because you can go OTT with it and take it out for work the next day.

What's in your emergency bumbag and why?
Taiba Akhuetie: I don’t do emergency bumbags more like emergency tote bags. I love to carry things I don’t need, a spare outfit, 2x sunglasses, perfume, deodorant, and cream and moisturiser. If I have all those things I feel secure.

What's a dream Keash festival look like?
Taiba Akhuetie: Really colourful braids down to the floor with embellished kiss curls, chains rings and charms. Keash is all about pulling out all the stops. More is more!

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