You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Shhh! This Philadelphia Hair Salon Is Putting a Stop to Awkward Small Talk Stylists at BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar are trimming more than just hair. They're cutting out the chit chat, too. Here's why.

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar

It's time for your cut and color. You sit down in the salon chair. Your hair stylist drapes a cape over your shoulders. She gets to snipping and you get to blabbing, probably too much.

At first, you talk about safe stuff, like the weather and what you're doing on the weekend. Then, in not too long, the verbal vomit sets in. Now everything's fair game -- your work dramas, the highs and lows of your love life or that time you did that thing you probably shouldn't tell your hairdresser. But -- whoops, TMI! Next thing you know, you're embarrassed, and she is, too.

Yep, you made it awkward. It's that same weird-ish feeling Avi Shenkar wants his clients -- and hair stylists -- never to have to squirm through at both of his Philadelphia BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar hair salons. That's why the 35-year-old entrepreneur is cutting out the small talk, at least for clients who opt for what he calls the "Zen Experience."

Related: How to Network When You're Socially Awkward

"We've had clients in the past that blatantly asked the stylist not to talk," says Shenkar, a self-described "natural introvert." "That's uncomfortable. This way, you're not being rude or mean. You've simply opted for 'Zen.'"

The quirky service, which Shenkar's stylists began offering only a week ago, is simple. It enables clients to have their hair styled in silence -- well, apart from ambient music and the thrum of blow dryers. No uncomfortable small talk required.

Other than the typical quick questions about how you want your hair colored or coiffed, or how hot or cold you'd like the water during your shampoo, it's all quiet on the styling front. There's even a "Shhh!" sign the hairdresser places at his or her station letting others know not to mess with you while you're in your "Zen" zone.

Related: The Greasy, Glamorous Rise of Mascara

It's your quiet time, guys and gals. Do with it what you wish.

"You can read a book, talk on the phone, close your eyes for 45 minutes or just enjoy the awkward-free quiet time," Shenkar says.

Uh, wait. Exactly how is talking on the phone quiet (or considerate)? We're going to pretend he didn't just say that. Better to silently peruse Instagram, Facebook or whatever on your phone, we say. But, hey, it's totally up to you, and that's the whole point.

The best part, if you ask us, is that this pre-ordered peace and quiet doesn't cost a dime.

Related: Want Loyal Customers? Talk to Your Hair Stylist.

"Yes, the 'Zen Experience' is a free service," Shenkar says, "although, as a father of a toddler, I'm sure some mothers would pay extra for an hour of silence." Ditto that.

As for whether the hush-hush service has sparked an uptick in business, Shenkar says it's too early to to tell. But the unique offering has ironically gotten people talking about BLO/OUT Blow Dry Bar, and that alone makes it worth it.

"I've heard a lot of clients bringing it up and telling us what a great idea it is," he says. "Whether it was the motivating factor for their visit, we don't know. But, for now, it's definitely a differentiator in the hair styling space."

Shenkar's boutique isn't the only salon to offer quiet cuts as of late. Across the pond, Bauhaus Salon in Cardiff, South Wales, also offers a similar "Quiet Chair" service for its less chatty clientele. For those of you who dread beauty parlor prattle, we hope the tranquil trend catches on.

Related: How the Beauty Industry Continues to Crack the Bro Code

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper,, and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

I Designed My Dream Home For Free With an AI Architect — Here's How It Works

The AI architect, Vitruvius, created three designs in minutes, complete with floor plans and pictures of the inside and outside of the house.

Business News

This Fan-Favorite Masters 2024 Item Is Still $1.50 as Tournament Menu Appears Unscathed by Inflation

The pimento cheese sandwich is a tradition almost as big as the tournament itself.

Business Ideas

7 Link-Building Tactics You Need to Know to Skyrocket Your Website's Rankings

An essential component of SEO, link building is not just a 'Set them and forget them' proposition, but a dance of skills and strategies.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Here's One Thing Americans Would Take a Pay Cut For — Besides Remote Work

An Empower survey found a high percentage of respondents would take a pay cut for better retirement benefits and remote work options.