New Kid on the Block: Drybar

drybar chairdrybar facade“We’ve had a lot of requests to come to Tribeca,” said Drybar founder Alli Webb on the occasion of the 25th location (and fifth in Manhattan) opening today. “It’s a natural fit for us. We love TenOverTen and SoulCycle!” The new one is more or less just like its predecessors. “We kind of pride our shops on having the same look and feel. They’re all laid out differently, but when you walk into a Drybar you know you’re in a Drybar.”

Drybar, if you don’t already know, specializes in blowouts—no cutting, no coloring, just shampooing and styling and, if you want to pay $10 more, 10-minute scalp massages. Webb started doing blowout house calls in 2008, and it took off, to say the least. The company is aiming to open 16 more locations by end of 2013.

drybar mirrordrybar menuSince I’ve never had a blowout (“We do occasionally get men—mostly in our West Hollywood location”), I asked Webb to walk me though the experience. “Drybar is set up like a bar,” she said. “You’re greeted by our bartenders, or receptionists. You’re offered something to drink, you check in, you sit and wait for the stylist to come and get you.” You don’t reserve a specific stylist (although you can request one), and they all use the same equipment and products. “It’s literally set up like a bar: There’s chatting and flat-screen TVs showing chick flicks like Sex and the City, Bridesmaids, stuff like that. You consult with the stylist, going through our lookbook. The six styles are named after drinks—cosmo, mai tai, Shirley Temple for kids under 10, and so on. We take you back to the shampoo lounge, and then you come back to your chair and you get your blowout. Not only do you look great, you feel great. My brother is my business partner and he’s bald so I’ve had to explain it to him. It feels great to have someone blowing and touching your hair! When we spin you around for the big reveal, it’s an exciting little moment. There’s usually a little scream. And the stylist walks you up to the front.” Blowouts are $40 (packages are available), and yes, tipping is de rigueur. Drybar still does housecalls, and parties are available. “It’s amazing how you see this pep in these women’s step. You almost don’t recognize them from when they came in.”

drybar tippingWe ended our chat with my asking about the FiDi location that Crain’s reported was coming to 180 Broadway. Webb had no clue what I was talking about. “It’s not happening unless someone’s not telling me something,” she said. “We’re looking at a lot of locations in New York City, and the Financial District is certainly one where we might end up.” We decided that Crain’s must have confused Broadway and W. Broadway—a common enough occurrence, as any Tribecan who lives on either street can tell you.

Drybar is at 180 W. Broadway (between Leonard and Worth), 877-379-2279; thedrybar.com.

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