I will admit it, I hate hair salons.
I know, you’re ready to roll your eyes and hit the [x], but if you’d been through what I’ve been through, you’d be hiding from hair dyers too! (I sincerely hope you read that in Jay Z’s voice.) Growing up in New York City meant one thing: Cheap Dominican style blowouts. Extra hot heat, super close to the hair follicle, and all-in-all too much heat exposure for anyone’s hair to handle.
After a few too many flinches under the hell-wrath heat, I vowed to learn how to dry, style and completely be in control of my own hair. It has since been a glorious battle riddled with thoughts of shaving it all off a-la Britney Spears, but I decided it was time to try something new, and challenge someone’s skill set while I was at it. The target of choice: Blow, the New York blow dry bar.
I’ve heard about dry bars that specialize in giving you gone with the wind fabulous blow drys, but I immediately passed on the idea of them having the ability to handle my natural hair.
But what’s the worst that could happen? I decided me and my puff were going to get a blow job, and shamelessly document the process with a myriad of selfies.
The salon is all things girly, with a modern white, sleek design complete with appropriate pops of hot pink. The seating area is complete with both magazines and iPads to entertain if you’re a little early for your appointment. The entrance also has an impressive stock of Blow original products that will be used on you during your visit. No mystery unmarked hair products here.
ARRIVAL TIME: 1:42 p.m.
I arrived at the salon with a 3-day-old twist out pulled back into a puff (above). Almost immediately my stylist Angie, a Brooklyn resident by way of California, greeted me and showed me to her station. She did a full evaluation of my hair to assess what she was working with and what products should be used, offered me a coffee, tea, or water, then we proceeded to the washing station.
Angie kept me informed throughout the entire wash, letting me know what she was putting in my hair at every step. Blow’s products are free of the three no-nos for healthy hair: paraben, sulfate and alcohol, something I was sure to ask about before getting washed. For the wash and condition, Angie opted for their Hydra Quench line for my semi-dry hair (below).
A luxurious head massage later, we were off to the blow station.
THE BLOW OUT:
Angie was careful to use a specific brush for my hair type to prevent snagging and hair loss. She opted for the Ibiza brush that is particularly useful with fine hair (like my own) and processed hair. Prior to the blow, she applied an all over spritz of Heat Is On protective daily primer (below) to protect my tresses from the heat of the blow dryer, as I previously explained my concerns about excessive heat damage to my curl shaft.
After sectioning off my hair with snag-free pins, she applied a tiny spritz of the brand’s You Only smoother as she prepped the section for a blow. At this point, I am experiencing sweaty flashbacks of fire hot blow dryers, but the dryer, shockingly, wasn’t uncomfortably hot at all. Small section-by-section, she blow dried my entire head applying the smoothing spray (below) and paying particular attention to the root.
TIME CHECK: 2:40 p.m.
Nearly an hour after my arrival, and no dryer flinches later, my hair was completely dry and pinned off. No tugging, no burning and no squirming in fear and discomfort due to the aforementioned. Selfie snap!
After letting down my pin curls, my hair was bouncy, full, but admittedly a little dry (which would explain the frizz to come) and I was impressed by Angie’s ability to navigate my hair with delicacy, and in pretty good time. Angie touched up curls with a ceramic heat regulated flat iron and I was good to go.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT:
Beyonce pre-pixie, without extensions fab. My hair was soft, bouncy and light (and in desperate need of ends dusting).
DEPARTURE TIME: 3:32 p.m.
I left the salon feeling beautiful, hair blowing in the wind…until my hair blew in a little too much wind and sucked up the moisture. A train ride back to the office later, my ends began to revert and frizz, but a quick fix of additional moisture and overnight pin curls provided flawless day 2 hair (first photo above in post) with just as much body…it may have even gotten better.
I have officially cured myself of my fear of hair salons, but with a $50 price tag for the services provided above, this wouldn’t be a weekly thing. Overall, the experience was a relaxing one. When they say “customized blowouts” they mean it. So if there were any of my fellow versatile natural gals hesitant about confiding in a blow dry bar for their periodical hair change, I would absolutely recommend Blow.
Find out everything you need to know about Blow, the New York blow dry bar at their website and the featured products here.
Rachel is the Style Editor for GlobalGrind.com, proud graduate of a SUNY school, and as sarcastic as they come. Follow her on Twitter for random daily ramblings @MiissHislop and on Instagram for as many puppy photos and selfies as you can handle @AmazingRach