Blowout bars are becoming more and more popular, as self-care is becoming more of a priority for people in an increasingly stressful world. Whether you're looking for a moment to treat yourself, or looking for expertise (and maybe a bit of star treatment) while preparing for an important event, getting your hair cleaned and styled can be the perfect way to (literally) wash away your worries for 45 minutes or so. You’ll certainly find these blowout bars in major metropolitan areas, but we're pleased to see that they've cropped up nearly everywhere. Leading the charge, of course, is Drybar.
The basic idea behind Drybar is no cuts, no color, just blowouts. Prices vary because you can go to a Drybar in 25 states (and Vancouver.) The blowouts generally cost $45 outside of major cities and $49 in New York and California, while add-ons, like intricate braids, come with an extra charge. The things that don't factor into the cost are your hair length, texture, and if you use additional styling products or tools. An updo will traditionally run you $99.
Meet the Expert
- Jeremy Morgan is the CEO of WellBiz Brands (parent company of Drybar).
Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Drybar experience.
What to Expect Before the Appointment
When you go into the salon and meet your stylist (book in advance, because Drybar can be wildly busy), they'll take you to a styling station and present you with a flip book of photos of the various styles:
- The Manhattan is sleek and smooth
- The Old Fashioned is Old Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe-style waves
- The Straight Up is just simple and straight, with a bit of volume
- The Mai Tai is beachy waves
- The Cosmo is loose curls
- The Cosmo-Tai is a combination of the two, waves and curls
- The Southern Comfort is big hair with curled ends
- The Dirty Martini is a textured, piecey style
Once you’ve decided on a style, your stylist will wash your hair for you. They'll ask what type of shampoo you want your hair washed with (color-safe, volumizing, etc.), and whether you want one shampoo or two. Feel free to give direction about how you like your hair washed and conditioned, and ask them if they have your favorite products in stock because they just might.
"Straight Up, Cosmo Tai, and Mai Tai are some of our most popular styles," says Morgan. "From a Drybar shop perspective, here’s what we see as best-selling products: Detox Dry Shampoo ($39), Liquid Glass Miracle Smoothing Sealant ($34)—which is also one of our top requested add-on treatments)—Prep Rally ($26) and Triple Sec ($29)," Morgan says, adding that clients love the Detox Dry Shampoo as it’s great for extending their blowout.
What to Expect During the Appointment
From there, you'll be taken back to the styling station. Your stylist will start on your 'do, occasionally asking if using styling products is okay with you, and how much they can/should use. They have all of the in-house Drybar-branded products you can think of: mousse, volumizing spray, straightening cream, gel, and more. Your stylist will begin to work their magic, and you can relax, knowing your hair is in good hands. While the front desk associates can occasionally seem tired and flustered, we've found that the stylists are generally nice and conversational without it feeling forced. Be warned that you probably won't have the same stylist twice—they're all lovely, but they seem to switch locations a lot.
Your stylist will check in with you along the way to see if you are happy with the way your hair is turning out (Are your curls too tight or too loose? Do you want more volume?) If you're unhappy at any point during the treatment, you're free to speak up and point it out. The blowout will usually take about 40-45 minutes from start to finish, depending on how long and thick your hair is. At the end, your stylist will ask if you want a spritz of hairspray or more than they've already applied.
There are small bonus luxuries that often elevate the overall Drybar experience. iPhone charging stations are next to every chair in the salon, so if your phone is running low, you can juice it up while getting your hair done. Spa water and complimentary wine are always offered, and the now-iconic white, yellow, and gray décor can put you in a cheerful mood. During a hectic week, taking an hour to sip wine and enjoy a hair tune-up can be exactly what's needed to relax and recharge.
"Despite focusing on blowouts, we know it’s not just blowouts we are selling, but the happiness and confidence that comes from the experience of visiting one of Drybar’s distinctive, yellow-branded salons where clients can always count on the best music playlist, their favorite movies playing on the TV and being greeted with a glass of champagne," says Morgan. "We truly think about our service as an act of self-care, an opportunity to unwind, take some time for yourself, and have fun."
How Long Your Style Will Last
Depending on the time of year and your activity level, you can make a blowout last for up to a week, which for some people ends up being a major time-saver. While that isn't always the case, most manes should reap the Drybar effects for at least a day or two.
While some people may find a blowout service to be a luxury, others consider it relief from spending tons of time styling their hair daily. Just like facials and other self-care treatments, it's up to you to figure out whether it's right for you.
"Most Drybar clients initially come in before an event—a wedding, job interview, or gala—and enjoy it so much, they end up building it into their weekly routines," says Morgan.
How much do you tip at Drybar?
As with any hairdresser, you should aim to tip your Drybar stylist at least 20 percent.
Can you go to Drybar with dirty hair?
At Drybar, stylists will wash your hair first thing at no extra charge. However, some styles work better on slightly less clean hair. So if you're looking for an updo, for instance, try to ensure your hair was washed within the last day or so, but isn't freshly cleaned.
Does Drybar curl your hair?
Yes—The Cosmo style, specifically, is designed for those who want loose, bouncy curls. The Cosmo-Tai offers even looser curls, for a cross between curls and beach waves.
How long does a blowout from Drybar last?
A blowout can hold its shape for anywhere from three to five days (but note that if you got curls or waves, those could fall more flat within two days or so).