A blow dry for 19 euro? You might not believe where you’ll find it
Dedicated blow-dry bars are booming and now Brown Thomas has entered the market
At Brown Thomas’ beauty lounge a dry-style blow-dry will cost as a little as €19 Photograph: Anthony Woods
With the rapid influx and evoloution of nail salons, manicures became a major part of many Irish women’s beauty regimes. Next up for evoloution? The blow dry.
Dedicated blow-dry bars have been sprouting up in Dublin in the last couple of years with a flurry of new speedy salons opening their doors. While the blow-dry phenomena may feel like a throwback to the weekly wash-and-set our mothers or grandmothers had, its success rests on a formula that has been replicated across the world including DryBy, Hershesons in the UK or BeStyled in America.
Now luxury clothing retailer Brown Thomas has entered the beauty business with their stand alone lounge dedicated to grooming, featuring Ireland’s first blow-dry bar from haircare brand Aveda.
Disrupting the traditional setting of a salon, Brown Thomas’ latest offering, will give women the stepped-out-of-a-salon experience without the haircut, which reflects in a reduced price.
With a haircut and blow dry often costing about €60, a simple blow dry and some pampering for less than half the price and, time, can be an attractive prospect. At Brown Thomas’ beauty lounge a dry-style blow-dry will cost as a little as €19, with a signature wash and express blow-dry setting you back €28 while promising to have you out in thirty-five minutes. Perfect for style conscious but time-poor customers, it’s only about the hair-styling - the set-up is simple: you slink in with a frizzy, flat or lacklustre locks and under a hour you march out with a shiny, new, elevated - albeit temporary - lease on life.
While traditional salons always catered for blow-drys, the focus always seemed more on the cutting and colour, not the styling, meaning quality and consistency were at risk. Leaving it wide open for blow-dry bars to create a niche specialising in one thing - speedy, functional and expertly executed blow-drys, which in turn drives demand and business.
And it’s little wonder Brown Thomas has decided to delve into the beauty lounge set-up, especially if you look at the success of Drybar a multi-million dollar blow-dry business originating in the United States.
Transforming the haircare landscape, it also has branched out with a successful line of hair-dryers and hair care products sold in over 100 Sephora stores. Strategically looking at where Dublin city-centre was lacking service-wise, Brown Thomas’ beauty lounge will open at 7am every morning meaning customers can avail of a pre-or-post work hair pick-me up, as well as offering nails, brows and make-up.
As Joan Crawford once said “I think the most important thing a woman can have, next to talent, of course, her hairdresser.” Now blow-drys aren’t just reserved for starlets with personal hair stylists or rich people with cash to spare. Democratising great hair, blow-dry bars are transforming the culture of beauty. The days when women preened and primed only for special occasions - weddings or birthdays - are no more, and sleek, salon-ready hair are now becoming an everyday luxury.
Capitalising on this air of everyday luxury, Brown Thomas’ beauty lounge offers unlimited blow-drys for a whole month, starting at €80 for short hair and, €120 for long hair. For those special occasion days, in a clever move, it will also offer braiding and dry up-styles from €19. Competitive pricing will no doubt put independent-run salons under pressure, but as blow-dries are booming, salons will have to continue to adapt, differentiate and provide top customer service, to survive in the hot-air market.
Blow dry bars in Dublin to add to your black book
1. Roller Bar, Hanover Quay,
Whether you’re looking for a updo before a big event or a swingy blowout, choose from 9 hairstyles on the menu. Prices start at €30
2. Hot Air, Ranelagh
Part of the Oslo beauty salon, Hot Air is the new kid on the block, regular blow-dries cost €29 or a Hot Air Membership is €99 gets you 4 blow-drys, 1 treatment and €5 off any additional blow-drys
3. The Salon at The Shelbourne Hotel
The five star hotel offers five-star hair styling with their Executive Blow-dry, Monday to Friday, between 7am and 11am where you can get your hair blow-dried along with a breakfast for €30.
With three locations across the city - Ballsbridge, Leeson Street and Richmond St. South in Portobello, Blow is a reliable option for a blow dry at just €20.