Thursday, June 21, 2018

Connection, Positivity & Good Hair--A Drybar Review

The world feels overwhelming. Not just my world, our world. The level of bad news online and on TV is exhausting and so upsetting. It seems strange to write a blog post reviewing a new business that focuses on drying people's hair. But maybe it isn't that strange because when I visited this new business it felt more about community, connectedness and positivity than hair, and boy do we need more of that right now.

I had the opportunity to go to the new Drybar that opened in the town next to me. All I really knew about Drybar before going was what I learned on celebrity Instagram feeds and Twitter--they loved it. Getting the chance to go to the grand opening celebration and getting to feel like a celebrity sounded pretty awesome to me.

The only problem was the grand opening was on the same day as my kids' last day of school. It meant I might not make it back to see them get off the bus and hug them and do the happy dance while saying "happy summer vacation!" I mean I'm not sure the high schooler and middle schoolers would miss me all that much, but my second grader might. I scheduled my appointment early enough so that I could race home and hopefully do the dancing and hugging with Wade.

On the morning of my appointment I called Tim and said, "Maybe I shouldn't do this, I mean it feels excessive and I should stay home and make a summer vacation cake and be there for the kids." He reassured me that it was okay and told me to have fun. I said a reluctant "ok," parked my minivan in the parking garage, and followed the blinking light on my phone navigating me to Drybar and my shot at feeling like a celebrity. "Arrived," my phone told me. But there was no Drybar in sight. I walked up and down the street frantically looking for the salon and checking the time, watching my appointment time slip away. I walked and walked but couldn't find it. Not going to lie, I started crying just a little bit. In my defense I was probably crying because the last few weeks of school are insanely busy and tiring, I felt stupid and like I was letting down Drybar and the PR firm who asked me to review it, and I hadn't done my big project for my college class, I started worrying that my stylist would be mad that I had planned on going here I mean is it cheating on her?, I was low on gas, and well bad stuff is happening everywhere and ahhhhhh. Right when I was about to say "forget it" and go home, I saw yellow balloons swaying gently in the breeze. "There it is," I said. 

I walked in and was immediately greeted by friendly people everywhere. Many of them wearing the coolest yellow earrings. Music was playing, hair dryers were blowing, and people were talking and laughing. 

The salon is all white with cheerful and sophisticated yellow accents everywhere. 

I went straight to the front desk and apologized for missing my appointment and told them I would write a review about them anyway. "No worries, we'll fit you in," a woman said smiling. "Would you like water, coffee or a mimosa?," another woman asked me. "Yes, please, thank you, ahhhh," I said.

Drybar is based on the simple concept of focusing on one thing and being the best at it: Blowouts. Here's the lowdown straight from their website: "The idea was a natural one for curly haired founder Alli Webb, a longtime professional stylist, who constantly found herself overpaying for blowouts at traditional salons. In addition to 100+ locations throughout the US and Canada, our growing product line (created specifically for the perfect blowout), is sold through our own shops, as well as Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta and Bloomingdale's."

I sipped on my mimosa (which was given to me with a napkin that said "feeling crumby, I can help" like they knew exactly how I was feeling before I walked in!), sat in a comfy chair by giant windows and exhaled.

I looked at the Lookbook to pick a style I wanted. It's so fun--all the styles are named like drinks at a bar, get it? There's the "Straight Up" and "Dirty Martini" and the  "Mai Tai" to name a few. There are also braid and updo options.

My stylist, Cindy, came over to where I was sitting and asked me what I wanted. I chose the "Mai Tai" which was a blowout resulting in "messy, beachy hair" according to the lookbook. 

She washed my hair, massaged my scalp, asked me about my life. Then she did her magic. As I sat under her cheerily bright hairdryer I looked around and saw so many women talking and laughing and supporting each other and affirming each other with kindness and positivity. When I was done, I took a boomerang selfie with my stylist because duh, that's what I do.  We hugged and I said I'd be back (because I'm totally coming back and bringing friends and my daughter!).

It was actually over so fast I wanted to do it all again. But I looked at the time and realized I could make it back home to hug the kids after the bus. I said goodbye, took a last look at the smiling women and yellow accents everywhere and walked out into the world feeling pretty darn great about people, and my hair. 

It turns out it's not just a good idea to do something for yourself sometimes, but it's also a good idea to go be a part of a positive environment at a business that cares about making you feel good. Even with good hair the world is full of things that are upsetting, things we need to care about and be mad about and worry's important. Connecting with other other women, supporting women-owned businesses, laughing together, finding community with people other than's important too.

I made it home for the last day of school hug!

For those of you that live near me, the Drybar is located at 137 W. Maple in Birmingham (not 137 E. Maple like I typed into my phone navigation app! ugh). They have great hours, 2-hour valet parking for clients, and the blowouts aren't that expensive, $45.  They also offer monthly memberships and sell products at the store. 

Click here for information about Birmingham's Drybar.
Click here to find a Drybar near you. 

I participated in grand opening event at Drybar and was provided a blowout to review my experience, all opinions are my own.


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