BPGP: Drybar Blows into Georgetown

Oct 23, 2012

When I asked Drybar founder Ali Webb why she started a salon that only offers blowouts, she told me that as a hair stylist, she’d seen first hand how amazing women feel when they walk out of the salon after their haircuts all coiffed and styled.  She thought that it was a shame that they couldn’t have that feeling more often, because most women wouldn’t have the skills to style their hair with salon precision every day.  So she asked her friends in Los Angeles whether they would pay to have their styled on a regular basis, the follicular equivalent of a mani/pedi.  

Now, four years later, the business that started in her home has grown into a beauty juggernaut with locations in five states, and now, the District of Columbia.  

I never understood what the big deal about blowouts was until Ali explained it to me.  I have stick straight hair, most women do not.  And curly haired women often lack the time and skill to get that professional blowout look at home.  As Ali put it, “If I had hair like yours, there would be no Drybar.  I created the solution for my hair issues.”

Until last week, I had had exactly two blowouts in my life.  The first one was an unmitigated disaster that resulted in a hairstyle that looked more like a big brown football helmet than a beautiful ‘do.  The second was at Toka Salon where I got a very competent 20 minute blowdry, but the experience didn’t turn me into a blowout addict.  So I wasn’t sure quite sure what to expect when I made the long journey up Wisconsin to the Drybar location in Georgetown.

Shampoo. I don’t know what kind of training program these stylists go through, but my stylist, Jen, knew how to shampoo like a pro.  No haphazard wash and rinse, here.  My hair was cleansed with a love and care usually reserved for cashmere sweaters.  

Listening.  More often than not, stylists don’t listen to their clients.  But Jen asked me what my regular routine was, how I liked to wear my hair and whether I had any requests.  So I decided to challenge her.  

I told her that I wanted volume.  Giant Texas Pageant Hair Volume.  And people, that girl delivered.  She made sure to condition only my ends, so she didn’t weigh the hair down.  She applied mousse and root lifter to give my locks a boost.  And then she dried, rolled, curled and teased that hair until it was a height never before seen in the District of Columbia.  

In fact, it was almost more volume than I could handle.  Almost.

Skill.  I have never, in my life, seen someone blowdry hair with such talent as Jen (and as closely as I watching the other stylists, she ain’t alone in the skill dept.).  She worked that round brush in ways I did not believe possible.  I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for haircuts and never had anyone take the time and care Jen did to make sure my hair looked awesome.  And.it.did.look.awesome.

I have a small hair obsession to start with-okay, a big hair obsession–but I could not stop looking at and touching my hair all night.  It broke my heart that I had nowhere to go, my hair looked that good.  Next time I go to Drybar, I’ll have to plan a party afterwards just so I can share my good hair day with the world. (Or maybe I’ll just host a party at Drybar and invite a few friends to join me?)

Sustainability.  I opted for the Cosmo style, a curly hairdo.  I chose this style because my hair will not hold a curl when I’m D.C.  No matter how much product I apply, not matter how many pageant-girl tricks I employ, my curls usually fade in a matter of hours.

Not this time.  Not even after I had to walk seven blocks in a drizzly rain shower to find a cab.  That’s staying power.  Even the next morning, I still had a light wave.  But instead of trying to salvage it, I opted to restyle it my usually straight way.  And after restyling, I was still rocking lots of volume from the night before.

Perks.  Did I mention that while Jen was styling my hair, I was sipping champagne and watching the first half of The Devil Wears Prada?  At one point I looked around and thought to myself, “Is this heaven?”  

Also, I love that I can book appointments online.  I hate calling salons and waiting on hold and repeating information to the receptionist, esp. since I usually want to book my hair appointments at 1:00AM when I’m making my to-do list for the following day.

I couldn’t have been happier with my Drybar experience.  From the perks, to the customer service, to the final look of my hair, it was all awesome.  So much awesome, I can’t believe they only charge $40 for this service.  I loved it so much, I’m not even upset that I have to go to Georgetown to have it done.  And I loathe going to Georgetown more than anyone else I know.  (Why is the traffic so terrible? Why?!?)

Long story short, if you want to take a little me time and indulge in a luxury experience that will leave you feeling beautiful and rejuvenated, go to Drybar and treat yourself to a blowout.  I’m going again this weekend.  Yep, I’m addicted.

I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive a complimentary blowout so that I could review the service.  Given how much I loved it, and how much money I will probably spending there, I probably should have asked for stock options instead of the free service.

BPGP

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  1. Casey says:

    I know EXACTLY how you feel! The one time I got a blow-out for an event in NYC, I walked out of the salon feeling like a supermodel (and I am far, far away from being one). I asked for the “Kate Middleton” and couldn't believe how shiny/bouncy/perfectly wavy my hair was after my appointment. That was $40 well spent, indeed!

  2. Shelley says:

    A pic of your results would be perfect with this post. : )

  3. TA says:

    They are amazing! I wanted to try a new routine so I decided to try the Mai-Tai. It looked awesome but I found out I hate curls. So they fixed it for me until I was happy. I'm very pleased with Drybar. I'm definitely going back and I already booked an appointment for an updo for an event. Also, try the Bethesda location. Easy parking=less stressful.

  4. Laura says:

    I went to Drybar in Georgetown on Saturday to get a blow out for a wedding that I was in. The whole set up was amazing and relaxing, but the actual blowout was meh. It looked fine, but not the incredible I hoped for. I have long, thick, wavy hair (and requested long loose curls. I brought in a photo and she said it would be no problem). It usually takes my hairdresser 45 min to blow it out, but the stylist I had at drybar took over 1.5 hours and I wasn't super impressed with the results – I finally had to leave because I was late to meet the bridal party. Maybe the stylist I got wasn't very good, but I was disappointed and I really really wanted to fall in love with drybar

  5. Megan says:

    Can you post a photo of the hair? You can always add a PK-like smiley face if you're feeling shy 🙂

  6. Mary says:

    I want to move back to DC so I can experience this! I might have to go there on my visit haha

  7. Jen R says:

    I'm so excited about drybar! i live and work in georgetown, and I've been missing blow in nyc. so glad drybar is getting good reviews.

  8. Kelly says:

    Right. A picture speaks volumes. Paragraphs of praise are nice, but not quite as helpful.

  9. BN says:

    Sorry if this is a dumb question: So drybar includes a wash (shampoo and conditioner)? I thought it was ONLY a blow-dry?

  10. H. says:

    I'm a little confused on pricing. The “menu” says that all blowouts are $35, but you and the booking page say $40. Is there an additional fee for booking online?

  11. Cher says:

    Um. WWP!! 😛

  12. Cara says:

    I can't wait to try the one here in Atlanta. I like my very curly hair but every once in a while, I want to try something new. This seems like fun without being a huge time commitment. Plus it's cheaper than my regular salon.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the review Belle!

    I have very thick relaxed African American hair and I absolutely must flat iron my hair after I blow dry. Even the most souped up blow dry will still leave me with a fro. Will Dry Bar also use flat irons and curling irons too? If they do flat iron and curl, is there an additional cost?

  14. m says:

    BN — how would they dry if the hair wasn't wet?

    By “only” it means that the salon only does blow drying, no trims, haircuts, or color.

  15. LWM says:

    I wonder if anyone has used Drybar remotely for a whole bridal party on the wedding day? Sounds like a good deal, especially if you find a stylist that consistently does a great job.

  16. Belle says:

    Anonymous: They curled my hair with an iron, and I'm sure they'd flatten your out. It didn't increase the price of mine.

  17. Belle says:

    H.: The price in DC, NYC and SanFran is 40 due to higher rents. $35 in LA, Atlanta, Texas.

  18. ali says:

    How much do you tip?

  19. Belle says:

    ali: They recommend $10.

  20. elz says:

    We have something similar in Houston and I LOVE it. I go to the Do Bar and OMG-The BESTBESTBEST. My hair is thick and wavy, and I am incapable of drying it pretty. Now, I don't need to!

  21. DCgrl says:

    I too went for the first time on their opening night Friday – just our luck it rained like cats and dogs that night. The rain (by the way they had umbrellas for all the ladies who had been surprised by the rain) meant my curls didn't hold as well as they should have, but know I know to as for the Cosmo next time instead of the MaiTai.

    For “H” who asked about the price question – they have had the blowouts at $35 for almost all their other locations but DC & NYC are $40. Perhaps the higher rent here in Georgetown than they had in Phoenix, Atlanta, and Dallas…

    I can't wait to go back and I know that their stylists will be my savior when we are in the worst of the summer humidity next year!

  22. I'm so excited that Dry Bar is coming closer to me! I've been waiting for this since I first discovered their brand last year. I'm crossing my fingers they trek even closer to Reston and/or Tyson's Corner.

    I'm with you, Belle. I have stick straight hair all the time, and my hair will not hold a curl ever. (I was once in a wedding where we took pictures outside before the ceremony, and my once curly hair totally collapsed into a greasy, stringy mess from all the hairspray. I ended up putting it back in a pony tail, it was so ugly.)

  23. Kate says:

    yeah, I went and was really unimpressed. Lovely set up, but I have done blow drys myself that look the same.

  24. Alycia says:

    Going tomorrow! Beyond excited. Pamper time is definitely needed.

  25. karen says:

    Going tonight at 7 pm! Hoping it will be a great experience.

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