Friday, March 21, 2014

Blow Dry Bars: Take 'Em or Leave 'Em?

Leave 'em. Just kidding. Sort of. Well, I hate when the title of an article is a question and it takes four paragraphs to get to the answer. So there it is, the short answer. You don't have to read any more! ;) Unless you want the long answer...

You may have noticed this trend in your hometown. In mine, a plethora of "dry bars" have popped up in the last year or so. In case you're not familiar with the phenomenon: dry bars are upscale salons devoted entirely to blow drying hair. Well, they also wash it. And they do flat iron, curl, and do special occasion updos as well. But no cutting and no color services. Drybar is an example of this trend, although that particular chain has not made it to my area.

I was curious about these dry bars, but since the going rate around here is not cheaper than my regular salon, I couldn't really justify spending the money. After all, I have really and truly embraced my natural hair texture. (However, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good blow out once it a while!) Then one of the local dry bars selected my place of employment as the "business of the month" and offered all of us free blow outs! Well, how could I resist? Even though I had no special occasion on the dates the freebies were offered (weekdays of course), I figured it would be fun.

The salon (a local company, not the chain linked above) was quite nice. The stylist washed, blow dried, and flat ironed my hair - which took well over an HOUR. That was just way too long to have my hair pulled and messed with. Maybe some people enjoy spending that long in a salon, but I do not. I had a mild headache for the rest of the day.
Straight from the dry bar
Did it look good? Not bad - a little big and poufy for my taste, with lots of hairs sticking up on the top of my head, but the friends I met for lunch right afterwards really liked it as is and wouldn't "let" me pat it down like I wanted. However, as soon as I got home, I calmed it down a bit with a brush and some gel, and it looked much smoother and better.
After I calmed it down with a brush and some gel
So would I go back? I doubt it. My impression is that the idea behind these dry bars is that the blowouts are supposed to be cheaper and better than a regular salon. That may be the case for many, but it was not my experience at all. My regular stylist charges about the same rate and does a better (and MUCH faster) job. The only reason I might try the dry bar thing again is if I were unable to get an appointment when I needed one at my regular salon. If you are someone who does normally get their hair blown out every week, it probably is worthwhile, because there are usually memberships you can buy to get a cheaper rate. I'd still recommend that anyone who is interested, try it out. I'm just glad I was able to do so for practically free (though I did tip the stylist and buy some products).

Do you use dry bars? If not, are you planning to try one?

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