Beauty Insider

The straight truth

Trying the new blow-out salons.

Juliette Borda

It’s like the fro-yo craze, but louder. All of a sudden, blow-dry bars are everywhere. Well, everywhere glamorous, from Back Bay to the South End to Chestnut Hill. Slick and pretty and universally fitted out with white leather-like seats, these salons offer no cuts, no color — just the kind of wash and style you could never manage at home, for $35 plus a tip. So I went to find out: Can the experts turn this writer’s head of immensely thick, frizzy hair into a silken, stick-straight sheet?

At Blo, in the South End, and Be Styled, in Chestnut Hill, rather than tame and minimize my big hair, both blowouts actually added volume — the stylists turning up the ends in a way that evoked one of Don Draper’s early secretaries. A return visit to one saw slightly better results. Here’s a tip. You may be asked whether you want “some movement” in your hair. The correct answer is “Hell, no!” I did not so much wear these hairstyles as walk beneath them.

So it was with trepidation that I headed into Hairo Wash and Blowdry on Newbury Street. (Two Drybar locations are scheduled to open in the area this fall, fully saturating the market.) But there, my locks finally found their match. Ryan Dyer brushed and blew and ironed my hair into complete submission — superstraight, shiny, light, and utterly manageable. Better still, it stayed that way for days. Heaven. And worth the money: I looked like a woman in control.


Correction: Because of an editing error, an earlier version incorrectly described two Drybar salons. They will be wholly owned by Drybar.