Drinking and Drying Drybar will style your mane (and pour your champagne) for $35. No wonder business is booming.
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Beware the woman with a blow-dry. She walks taller, negotiates tougher and can blind opponents with a toss of her freshly coifed locks. Such is the thinking behind Drybar, a new chain of high-concept salons in Los Angeles that caters solely to women who skip the cut and color for a simple shampoo and mane styling.
"You see this amazing metamorphosis that goes beyond their appearance," says Drybar co-founder Alli Webb, who conceived the idea after operating a mobile hair service for two years. But when Webb went to her older brother, Michael Landau, for business advice, she quickly inherited an ambitious partner. Landau, a former marketing exec at Yahoo!, foresaw a Drybar empire. "Women either had to go to a high-end salon for a very expensive blow-out or to one of those discount chains," he says. "There was a big hole in between."
Knowing that women are fiercely loyal to their hairdressers, the duo focused on branding its concept. Step inside the first Drybar--which opened in February in Brentwood--and you'll find a long, white marble bar rather than individual stations, and built-in iPod chargers by each chic white leather swivel chair. Servers--er, stylists--give you a menu of blow-outs to choose from (the Mai Tai is an order for beachy waves, the Manhattan will get you sleek, shower-curtain-straight locks). Each costs $35, plus gratis champagne. Even cheekier, the mirrors hang behind the customers so they have to stand and turn around for the big reveal. "Come on. No one really looks great with wet hair," Webb says. The overall effect is more Sex and the City-style saloon than salon.