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.