Blowout bars are becoming more and more popular as self care becomes more of a priority for people in an increasingly stressful world. You’ll find them in major metropolitan areas, but 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, although if you want add-ons you'll be paying for them. The things that don't factor into the cost are how short or long your hair is, hair texture, and if you use additional styling products or tools. An updo will run you $99.
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—they might.
From there, you'll be taken back to the styling station. Your stylist will start on your 'do, occasionally along the way 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, etc. Your stylist will begin to work their magic. There are iPhone charging stations by every chair in the salon, so if your phone is running low, you can juice it up while getting your hair done.
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 already put in.
The stylists are quite nice and conversational without i feeling forced, although the front desk people can sometimes seem tired and flustered. There's spa water and complimentary wine always on offer, and the now-iconic white, yellow and grey décor can put you in a great mood. Be warned that you probably won't have the same stylist twice—they're all lovely, but they seem to switch locations a lot.
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 timesaver. For some people it might not make sense, or feel like a luxury. For others it's 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.
(Updated by Carolyn Hanson)