Bethesda’s newest blow dry bar will be “hair” to stay

By Carolyn Freeman

Focus on one thing, and be the best at it.

The Drybar on Bethesda Ave. offers a hair wash and styling for $40, regardless of hair length or thickness. Photo by Julia Medine.

This is the slogan of Bethesda’s new blow dry bar, which gives blowouts and washes but no haircuts. Although unusual in concept, this salon has an upscale yet relaxing ambiance that combines two things women love: the princess treatment and fancy cups. And yes, they host birthday parties.

Upon walking into Bethesda’s Drybar, I immediately noticed its homey atmosphere. Filled with cushy chairs, beige wooden floors and flowers, the room is equally comfortable and stylish. The employees at the front desk offered me free soft drinks and snacks while I waited for my appointment. I wasn’t sure which delighted me more: the flat screen televisions or Sour Patch Watermelon candy (although its four dollar price tag was disappointing). The iPod charger outlet at each station didn’t hurt, either.

The “Menu” on the wall contains several different hairstyles including the Manhattan, a sleek and smooth ‘do, the Mai Tai messy beach hair and the Southern Comfort with thick curls. Each style is $40, regardless of hair length or thickness. Extra prices only apply if a customer requests an up-do.

Once I chose a style, my stylist escorted me to the shampoo room. This room was just as elegant as the main one, but held sinks and conditioners instead of blow dryers and brushes. This was no standard wash and dry treatment. I felt like I was in a dream-like state as the stylists gently massaged my scalp with salon-brand products that gave the room a sweet and sensual smell.

But the real service was the next part: the blowout. With an array of clips, bobby pins and brushes, the stylists worked their magic in under an hour.

When my hairdo was complete, the stylist turned me around 180 degrees to face a large mirror so that I might view the miracle state to which my follicles had, dare I say, transcended. Much like on reality television show What Not to Wear, I had my ‘wow’ moment. With curls in place, tresses tamed and locks looking fabulous, my oooh’s and ahh’s were, embarrassingly, quite audible.

The pièce de résistance was Moroccan oil, which the stylist added at the end to create a smooth and shiny look.

The employees at Drybar do one thing, and do it best. The product is worth it, although the price might seem outrageous at first. Considering a normal haircut and blow dry of this quality can cost upwards of 60 dollars at an upscale salon, scrapping the scissors might just be worth it.

One thing’s for sure, if you desire a chic new ‘do for Homecoming, Prom or any special occasion, don’t ‘do any other place.