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 style 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 is your hair length, texture, and if you use additional styling products or tools. An updo will traditionally run you $99.
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.
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 grey 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.
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 a relief from spending tons of time styling their hair daily. Just like facials and other self-care treatments, it's up to you to to figure out whether it's right for you.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Carolyn Hanson.