18 May 2013
An Afternoon at Drybar, Pasadena
Folks, I’m always here to search out the latest and the greatest that Pasadena has to offer. From food, wine, entertainment, to fun in the sun, I will let you know about all the great places in Pasadena. Now I have heard a great deal about Drybar, but I felt that I needed to send in some friends that …well..How do I say it? — Friends that could do a better review of this establishment. So with the help of Rachel & Melissa here is the review of Drybar, Pasadena –}
“No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.” This is the philosophy of Drybar, a salon with a respectful number of locations dotted throughout the USA (with origins in Los Angeles, but a sizable following in New York City). I’d been curious since Drybar opened in December, but unable to grasp the concept until I, along with my friend Melissa from The Valentine RD, were graciously invited to enjoy the Drybar experience. As Mr. Pasadena is always curious about the new kids in town, he kindly offered the space for me to report my findings and share them with his readers.
Now might be a great time to mention that the vast majority of blowouts are $35. This includes the wash. You have really long hair, like my friend Melissa? Yeah, I feel your pain; I was there once. Your blowout is still only $35 at Drybar. I know! Yes, my precious long-haired lady-folk, dry your eyes. I’m also reeling from this news still. Have a sip of champagne to steady your excitement.
What I dig most about the layout of Drybar is their open, communal layout. Instead of individual, free standing stations, chairs are situated along a counter bar. The big screen TV played Sex and the City and Bridesmaids as we chit-chatted about ourselves and I asked an inordinate amount of questions, you’d think I was giving a pop quiz to test my stylist, Noel, and her Drybar 101 knowledge. The long and short of it being that founder Alli Webb outgrew her one-woman blowout business so quickly that she decided to take her talent and ideas to the bank, and from the bank to the public – all with the philosophy that there had to be a happy price medium between high-end hair styling and mediocre discount chains.
As soon as I was sat down, my stylist, Noel, presented the Drybar menu of blowout styles offered. As I had nowhere special to be that day, but had a function the following evening, I decided to go with a mix of Southern Comfort (“big hair, lots of curl”) and The Cosmo (“lots of loose curls”). I didn’t have to even ask to know Melissa would be going in the opposite direction of sleek, chic Manhattan straight hair.
All blowouts include a wash with shampoo. I’ll confess something to you…my favorite part of the salon experience? It’s not the satisfaction of a smart new hair do, nor the pleasure of someone’s attention to my hair. Nope. It’s the head massage that accompanies the wash (which I believe is a $10 add-on, and one well worth it in my humble opinion!). I live for scalp massages.
We were given the choice of beverage, including water, wine, mimosa and champagne. Though a mimosa was tempting, I can never pass up champagne straight up. I do not know which brand of champagne they buy, but it is dry, crisp and magnificent.
Noel, my stylist, was sure to ask permission before applying product; a simple but greatly appreciated kindness, as many of us are becoming more conscientious of what we put in our hair. I granted permission for products, and was partial to the Moroccan Oil spray. It smelled heavenly and gave my hair both the hold and luminosity I was aiming for. Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar, also has her own line of hair styling tool & products – both at Drybar and Sephora.
I was given an informal tour by my stylist, and shown the back room, which they open on particularly busy days or hold private, large functions in. There are also a couple of private rooms for private parties – be it a bridal shower, girls salon day, sweet sixteen party, or what have you.
Ta Da! The final result was a splendorous cacophony of curls and volume, precisely what I’d hoped for! Noel was a total pro; she twisted and twirled every strand of my hair. I marveled at the way she was also able to keep up with my blatant fidgeting, which she encouraged as I was snapping pictures and trying and take everything in.
Out of all of the white and buttercup yellow elements of Drybar, it is the genuine happiness all of the employees appeared which stood out the most to me. From the stylists to the ‘bartenders’ (receptionists!) Paige and Laurie, there is a common bond of authentic adoration for not just the employment in and of itself, but for the company of which they are employed to. Stylists are permitted to share their outside services to clients, as well as pick up shifts at other Drybar locations to cover for a friend in need. Happiness is infectious; a pleasant work environment gives way to customers leaving with more than a kick-butt hair do and a smile on their face. It leaves them with a bubbling afterglow, and an overwhelming urge to share their experience with others, as I have done just now with you!
My hair may be piled heavenward, but my mind has been placed at ease, as I can now say with confidence I not only get what Drybar is all about, but I can get behind it as well. Thank you to Paige, Laurie, Evelyn, Noel and manager Ashley for brightening up my Wednesday afternoon and giving extra bounce in my step and my hair!