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I Wanted To See If DryBar Really Lives Up To The Hype

When you probably spend more at the actual bar every month, it might be worth it.

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Hi, I'm Emmy, and I have a lot of hair.

It’s long, thick, wavy to curly (somewhere between a 2B and 2C), and it takes a hell of a long time to wash, dry, and style. So I usually don’t. Seriously: I probably wash my hair about once every 10 days…and sometimes longer. I know that sounds gross, but I have really dry hair, okay? TBH, I would go even longer if I could, if it weren’t for fear of my hair getting to clearing-the-room-level smelly. To keep it fresh in between washes, I just wash and blow-dry a few-inch section at the front with a brush like the Suprent Nano Thermal Ceramic & Ionic Round Barrel, use Klorane dry shampoo around my scalp, and give it all a quick spray of Bumble & Bumble Tonic Lotion. Boom! Another few days in the cards.
Emmy Favilla

It’s long, thick, wavy to curly (somewhere between a 2B and 2C), and it takes a hell of a long time to wash, dry, and style. So I usually don’t. Seriously: I probably wash my hair about once every 10 days…and sometimes longer. I know that sounds gross, but I have really dry hair, okay? TBH, I would go even longer if I could, if it weren’t for fear of my hair getting to clearing-the-room-level smelly.

To keep it fresh in between washes, I just wash and blow-dry a few-inch section at the front with a brush like the Suprent Nano Thermal Ceramic & Ionic Round Barrel, use Klorane dry shampoo around my scalp, and give it all a quick spray of Bumble & Bumble Tonic Lotion. Boom! Another few days in the cards.

Because of how infrequently I wash my hair and because, after 34 years of living, I still have no idea how to properly blow it out (I alternate between flat-ironed to death and naturally air-dried hair — see below for a comparison of the two styles), I decided to take the plunge and purchase a membership to DryBar.

Very hot look, I know.
Emmy Favilla

Very hot look, I know.

For the uninitiated: DryBar is a blow-out-only bar. No cuts, no color. Just a wash and blow-dry. (They also offer moisturizing treatments, updos, and head massages.)

DryBar currently has locations in 16 states, as well as in Washington, DC, and Vancouver, and all blowouts in the US are either $40 or $45, depending on the location. They’re $45 in NYC, because, duh, everything is more expensive in New York.
Emmy Favilla

DryBar currently has locations in 16 states, as well as in Washington, DC, and Vancouver, and all blowouts in the US are either $40 or $45, depending on the location. They’re $45 in NYC, because, duh, everything is more expensive in New York.

BTW! If you're interested in testing out a blowout (or you already love DryBar and also love a good deal), Groupon is offering $10 off DryBar blowouts across the country. 🙌

Okay, so: Let’s walk through the entire DryBar ~experience~, shall we?

You can make an appointment by phone or IRL, but the easiest way to do so is online. You can schedule one for yourself and up to four guests, as well as specify what you’re looking to do and if you have extensions. (A “bay breeze,” for instance, is one of their moisturizing treatments.) Select the date, time, and location, and you’re all set.
thedrybar.com

You can make an appointment by phone or IRL, but the easiest way to do so is online. You can schedule one for yourself and up to four guests, as well as specify what you’re looking to do and if you have extensions. (A “bay breeze,” for instance, is one of their moisturizing treatments.) Select the date, time, and location, and you’re all set.

When you arrive, there are usually cookies at the front desk (including Oreos with yellow crème, to match DryBar’s branded color palette — cute), and after you check in you’ll be asked if you’d like anything to drink.

Emmy Favilla

You can choose from coffee, tea, water, or, wait for it…a mimosa or glass of wine!

Instagram: @thedrybar

I took a snoozy ol’ cuppa joe for my last visit, since it was 8 a.m. on a workday, and while BuzzFeed has a pretty lax vibe, I thought that walking into work tipsy on a Thursday morning might be pushing it. If it’s past noon — or, who am I kidding, past 10 a.m. — I’ll usually order a glass of wine so I leave with both a spring in my step and my hair. 💁

Once you’re ready to get started, your stylist will ask you to take a peek at their “Look Book” to choose a style.

Instagram: @thedrybar / Via DryBar

Because I’m terrified of change, I pretty much always get the same thing: a mix of the "straight up" and "cosmo," as I usually tell the blow-dry artist. (I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re officially called, but it’s definitely an art so I’m going with it.) Honestly, the results always look slightly different, depending on the stylist, but I’ve never been unhappy with how my hair has turned out — aka 100 times better than I could ever do it myself. And sometimes I just show them a picture of a blowout I especially loved and ask them to mimic it.

Then it’s off to get your hair washed! A few tips for this part:

Sony Pictures / Via giphy.com

• The stylist should ask you if you want your hair shampooed once or twice. (I always do twice, given how long I go between washes.)

• They’ll also ask you if you want conditioner just at the ends or all over. I do all over, because my hair is dry and tends to frizz easily, but obviously choose what works for your texture and type.

• Relax! This is my favorite part (well, next to the complimentary wine), because even sans “floater” — their fancy term for an add-on head massage — the scrubbing of my scalp while my feet are up and (pro tip) eyes are closed is probably the most relaxed I'll feel all day. Sometimes the stylist will even throw in a mini temple massage as a fun bonus.

Then it’s back to the chair.

The stylist will ask if it’s okay to use products on your hair, and this is your chance to discuss any preferences you might have. I always ask for an anti-frizz product, and they usually use a detangler and heat protectant as well. (While I haven’t ever bought any of DryBar's products, I haven’t come across one that doesn’t smell amazing AF.) You can check out the full line here if you're interested.
Emmy Favilla

The stylist will ask if it’s okay to use products on your hair, and this is your chance to discuss any preferences you might have. I always ask for an anti-frizz product, and they usually use a detangler and heat protectant as well. (While I haven’t ever bought any of DryBar's products, I haven’t come across one that doesn’t smell amazing AF.) You can check out the full line here if you're interested.

From wash to finished product, the whole process takes about 35 minutes — which, to me, seems like lightning-fast speed to turn my unkempt mane into a light and bouncy work of art. Here are some of my faves:

Emmy Favilla

So yeah, as I mentioned above, DryBar also offers a monthly membership (it’s $80 in NYC and, again, varies by location) in which you receive the following:

• Two blowouts per month (I’ll spare you the math: It’s a $10 savings)

• 10% off products and tools bought in-store

• A free blowout on your birthday

• $5 off any additional blowout if you want more than two a month

• The ability to cancel or suspend your membership at any time

So, is a blowout membership *actually* worth it? For me, yes. For everyone else? My thoughts are that it’s worth the splurge if:

• You, like me, rarely wash your hair AND have the texture and type to make a blowout last at least a few days.

• You hate/are very bad at styling your own hair and have no desire/patience to learn how to.

• You don’t regularly have high-intensity workouts or do any sort of activity that makes you sweat a lot.

• You don’t live in a humid climate where your blowout will likely lose its shape quickly.

• It’s cheaper than going to your local salon for two blowouts.

• You realize that treating yourself every so often is a form of self-care.

• You were gonna have that mimosa or glass of wine anyway so why not get one for free!

Emmy Favilla

And if you’re on the fence or want to be fancy AF for an event or just to treat yourself, because you deserve it (and a mimosa), there’s that Groupon deal here.

NBC / Via youtube.com

Happy hair days to you and your loved ones!