Festivals are grimy places. If you’re one of those people who thinks Coachella is what all festivals are like, everyone turns up looking fresh off a catwalk every day and you can totally remain clean, you’re wrong. Sorry. Move along now.
I’m sure there are some festivals like that, but unfortunately we have the great British summer to contend with. You might not want to brave the festival showers in the pissing rain, or be faced with hundreds of grimy ravers baring all while they try and scrub the mud out of their hair under the most pitiful flow of lukewarm water. Or, the place you’re at might not even have showers. Either way, we all know washing at festivals is a ballache.
I am one of those people who will brave the communal showers if there are any for some semblance of feeling slightly clean again as I’m not particularly shy when it comes to being naked around strangers. (Top tip if you are – take a swimsuit into the showers with you and you can wash while still remaining covered up). However, there are also festivals I go to that don’t have any showers. While I don’t mind slumming it for a few days and embracing the grime, if there’s anything that will help with my own personal hygiene then I’m going to give it a shot.
The Waterless Washing System
Pits & Bits have developed a range of products specifically designed for washing at festivals or while camping/travelling including towel-off shampoo and body wash, expandable wipes and sanitiser plus. These are products that aim to get you clean without the use of water; eliminating the need for a trip to the communal wash points. I was kindly gifted a few items to try out ahead of festival season this year.*
Pits & Bits Towel-Off Shampoo* (£4.45)
The Pits & Bits Towel-Off Shampoo was the product I was most excited to try. I’ve actually been aware of its existence for a couple of years now.
My hair is a nightmare when it comes to festivals. I wash it every other day as it gets greasy pretty quickly. It’s flat, fine and knotty, and as it is dyed and bleached it can get dry on the ends. Bottom line is, it’s difficult to deal with and I have to wash it to keep it manageable.
I was kindly sent the coconut-scented shampoo to try out. If coconut isn’t your thing, they also have a couple of different scents in the range. One thing I will say is I think it should be more clearly marked that it is scented. While this might not be an issue to a lot of people, someone in my family is allergic to coconut so it was something I picked up on straight away.
To give the towel-off shampoo the best shot at an accurate review of how it would perform at a festival/camping trip, I left my hair for three days before giving it a go so for me, it was ready for a wash. When using the product, all you have to do is apply directly to dry hair at the roots, massage into your scalp as you would a normal shampoo, and towel-dry to remove the product. For long or thick hair, it’s recommended to separate your hair into sections for ease.
The waterless shampoo is honestly game-changing. While it doesn’t leave your hair entirely feeling like it’s freshly-washed, it’s pretty damn close. If you can’t get to a shower for whatever reason, this is the next best thing. We all know from experience while camping that dry shampoo can only do so much – this is the next step.
I found it really easy to use, it left my hair feeling really quite clean and there was no residue left behind that I could feel. While towel-drying my roots left me with a bit of frizz, this is something I’ll happily let slide if it means I’m left a bit cleaner. Besides, it’s just added volume right?
Pits & Bits Towel-Off Body Wash* (£4.45)
Just like for your hair there’s only so much dry shampoo can do, when it comes to washing your body, wet wipes can only go so far. Honestly, washing at festivals is nightmare literally from head to toe.
Anyone else done a bits, pits and tits wipe down with a wet wipe or seven and ended up actually feeling more unclean than when they started? Because same. Many times. Not to mention they’re pretty bad for the planet, especially when you’re relying on them to get you clean from top to er… bottom.
The Pits & Bits Towel-Off Body Wash works in much the same vain as the shampoo. You just apply to your dry body, rub it in to work up a lather then towel it off. I have a small microfibre towel that I take to festivals with me as it dries super quickly and folds up really small – I’d recommend anyone who camps a lot to get hold of one.
This stuff again is the next best thing to a proper wash. It’s mildly scented leaving you smelling much less like you’ve been hugging sweaty strangers for a few days. It doesn’t leave you sticky, and any residue just comes right off with a towel. I know I always get a little worried that I really stink when I’m at festivals, so this is going to really help out.
Pits & Bits Sanitiser Plus+* (£2.99)
If ever you search for a list of essential items to take camping, hand sanitiser is generally one of the top items on every list.
The Pits & Bits Sanitiser Plus+ is a different kind to the ones you usually see everywhere. For starters, it’s a liquid that foams up, not a gel; and it’s alcohol-free. The fact that there’s no alcohol in it is a big selling point for me. Alcohol is really awful for your skin, and doesn’t help anyone with dry hands. This sanitiser actually works to help keep your hands somewhat moisturised, and is proven to kill 99.99% of bacteria, so it’s the best of both worlds.
Plus, it remains effective for up to 6 hours on the skin, which is ideal if you’re camping and can’t reapply it very often.
Pits & Bits Expandable Wipes* (£2.99)
The thing about washing yourself down at festivals with wet wipes is you always end up going through them like wildfire, and that’s awful for the planet. But, if you’re managing with products like the Towel-Off Body Wash, you’re not actually going to need anywhere near that many wipes – so the pack of 9 here is ideal.
Expandable wipes are such a good idea to me, mainly because of how much space they save in your bag. If you’re leaving all your stuff in your tent and heading out for the day, you can throw one of these in your bag just in case and it takes up virtually no room.
Ok, so these aren’t exactly waterless washing. You need to apply liquid to the wipe to activate it and make it expand. But, that’s only a small amount. Once it’s expanded, it works pretty much like a normal wipe. I’m going to be using these for my face at festivals to get my makeup off, as I won’t be taking any proper makeup removal stuff with me camping.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line to me is that all of the Pits & Bits items I was kindly sent to try are pretty game changing. For those who camp often, or travel a lot, these are going to help out when you’re trying to wash yourself with no access to running water. The value is pretty great in my opinion for the products themselves. I think the bigger bottles may not be the most travel-friendly, but the smaller sizes definitely are, especially if you’re only away for a few days.
The whole Pits & Bits range can be found here, and all the products mentioned above can be bought together in a handy festival washing kit.
Thank you so much to Waterless for gifting me these products to try out!
If you’d like to read more of my festival content, check it out here.
*Disclaimer: Products in this post have been provided for review but all opinions are my own.