It is opening weekend and the chairs are full at Drybar salons in Georgetown and Bethesda. The heat is on teen girls prepping for a homecoming dance and women getting an upper-hand on Saturday night primping. In the back party room (no extra charge to use it, just book in advance!) a gaggle of 13 year-old girls celebrate a birthday.
The Vow plays on flat-screens as a hostess refills glasses of lemonade (you’ll be offered champagne in Georgetown, but liquor laws in Montgomery County keep Drybar Bethesda, well, dry). Curious ladies stroll in to see what all the fuss is about, and schedule appointments to have their hair styled on another day. There’s no time for walk-ins during what salon owner Alli Webb says is the largest opening weekend in Drybar history.
When the women of Washington launched a Facebook and Twitter campaign begging for Drybar to come to D.C., they weren’t full of hot air.
Webb admits that if it weren’t for all the noise on social media that with its reputation for being a wonky, conservative town that Washington might have been overlooked as the celebrity-favorite salon (regulars include Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts and Maria Shriver) continues to open stores across the country.
“We had no idea we’d receive such a warm welcome,” says the obviously well-coiffed Webb. “It’s been amazing, and we’re thrilled to be here.”
Drybar began just two years ago in Los Angeles with a very simple concept: no cuts, no color, just blowouts. Even Webb’s family thought her business model was pretty hairbrained, but she knew “that if we created a fun experience in a beautiful atmosphere where ladies could get an incredible blowout at a fair price, they would come running. And they have.”
Ready to pay $40 for someone else to wash and dry their hair, women pick from Drybar’s simple look-book menu. The Manhattan is a chic, stick-straight style. If you want tousled beach hair order the Mai Tai. Customers under age 10 are offered the discounted Shirley Temple. Webb predicts the most popular style in Washington will be either the signature Straight-up or the soft curled Cosmo.
By the end of this year, there will be 25 Drybar salons across the country. If customers continue to blow in and out of the Bethesda and Georgetown stores, look for more Drybars to open around Washington.