Blowout addicts—you know who you are—will be pleased at this news: Drybar, the California-based chain known for its blowout-only salon model, will be opening two more DC locations late this summer. The new salons, on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle and in Penn Quarter, will join Drybar’s existing stores in Georgetown and Bethesda, which opened nearly three years ago and have since perfected the locks of countless stylish locals (including first daughter Malia Obama, who was spotted at the Bethesda Row salon in 2014).
Founder Alli Webb attributes the salon’s local success to a culture that demands a polished appearance. “There are so many women who are going to events and galas here,” she told us during a recent stop at the Georgetown salon. “And it’s a professional workforce. You have to look the part—and that includes your hair.”
The two area openings are part of a push to add nearly a dozen new stores this year in cities nationwide, which puts the company on track to count more than 50 salons on its roster by year’s end. Yet the company’s rapid growth has come as a surprise to Webb. “It was not a plan for world hair domination. I was going to have one shop in Brentwood and be able to pick up my kids from school and make a living and that was it,” she says. “It just really hit a nerve with women.”
But, of course, Drybar’s not the only blowout salon in town anymore. The chain’s arrival was followed by a handful of similar concept salons—including Blo, Blowout Bar, Flow, and Cherry Blow Dry Bar, which have all opened in recent years. Webb bristles at calling it a trend, though.
“We didn’t invent blowouts,” she says. “We just invented a much better price and experience. That behavior—of our grandmothers getting their hair coiffed once or twice a week—we modernized it and brought it back and made it a luxury that anyone can have. I think it is here to stay.”