Drybar to Make DC Debut in October
We chat with Alli Webb, genius behind the blowout-only salon.
July 27, 2012
Alli Webb, expert stylist and mother of two, seamlessly blended practicality and creativity when she founded Drybar in Los Angeles in 2010. Seeing a gap in the market for affordable yet professional blowouts, Webb created Drybar, a strictly blowout salon that places an emphasis on customer service. Drybars now have a cult-like following in California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and New York, where satisfied customers appreciate the $40 blow-drys and an assortment of styles for any day or occasion—from sleek, straight “Manhattans” to the “Cosmo’s” bouncy, loose curls, or an “Up-tini” up-do. Next up: Washington, where two DC-area locations are set to debut in October. Once opened, appointments can be booked by phone, website or iPhone app. 4840 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda; 240-483-4277; 1825 Wisconsin Avenue, NW; 202-609-8644
You have worked with a long list of famous musicians and celebrity stylists in both public relations and salon settings; what inspired you to create Drybar?
ALLI WEBB: Drybar was created out of personal necessity. Being a curly hair girl, I loved getting blowouts, but there were only two choices out there for woman—a discount chain salon where the experience is off, or a full service where you have to pay upwards of $80 for a blowout. I saw a huge hole in the market and wanted to create a fun, cool affordable bar where woman could get a great blowout at a great price, and have fun doing it!
Tell us a bit about Drybar’s business model.
AW: It's a very simple concept. All we do are blowouts. No cuts, no color. We also don't up charge for anything! Long, thick, curly, or straight hair, it's always one flat price of $40.
What products do you use at Drybar, and how do you pick your stylists?
AW: We use Moroccan Oil and L'Oreal Professional. Our stylists go through an extensive audition process before they are hired. Once hired, they are trained with our elite group of Master Stylists.
Do preferred styles differ by region?
AW: We definitely see a lot of Mai Tais (messy, beachy hair) on the West Coast and quite a few Southern Comforts (big hair, lots of volume) in Dallas. So yes, I'd say we have different favorite styles from city to city.
Will a DC-inspired 'do be added to the menu?
AW: Our menu has something for everyone. But if we see any DC-specific trends emerging, we'll definitely consider a menu addition!
How would you describe Washington’s hair trends?
AW: Washington is known as being a conservative city, but I've seen a lot of fabulous women with great hair in this town.
What can guests expect from each visit?
AW: Amazing customer service, beautiful hair and having a blast while sitting at our bar watching a chick flick (while they charge their iPhone!). We are obsessed with making every Drybar guest leave looking and feeling like a million bucks.
What type of atmosphere do you aim to create at Drybar?
AW: It's all about the atmosphere. Aesthetically, we wanted to create a warm and friendly space that was also clean, feminine, and sophisticated. Our goal was also to create an atmosphere that looked, felt, and smelled nothing like a traditional salon. Beyond the design, we are really obsessed with every little detail that goes into making the Drybar experience special and unique. It starts with over-the-top customer service, a carefully curated music playlist and movie line-up, complimentary champagne, as well as spa water infused with fresh fruit. The list goes on and on, but let's leave some surprises!
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.