It didn’t invent the blowout but has played a singular role in making them a thing.Like America’s biggest coffee chain, it has obsessed over everything from music to its shelf displays and maintained the kind of fine-grained control over its outlets that is only possible by owning most of them — only about 20% of Drybars are run by franchisees.
About a quarter of its revenue will come from selling branded hair-care tools and products, with names like “Sake Bomb Nourishing Conditioner,” which are also sold at Sephora and Nordstrom.
Its investors include designer Diane von Fürstenberg and her husband, Barry Diller, and former Gap and Disney executive Paul Pressler.
While the company envisions 300 to 400 Drybars in the U. in the long run, an escalating number of competitors believe they can do exactly what it is doing — perhaps even better. in 2010, and briefly counted Gwyneth Paltrow as a partner, although she parted ways with the company last year.
Canada’s Blo operates 50 salons and plans to end the year with 70 using an all-franchise model. Others pepper the nation, from small chains like Rachel Zoe’s Dream Dry and Halo in the San Francisco Bay Area, to stand-alones with cutesy names like Haute Air, Pouf, and Hairports.
(Hairports, as one might guess, hopes to to be the blowout solution of choice in America’s airports.)Despite the flood of competition, Drybar is serene about its future.“There is a secret sauce to Drybar, I know that there is,” founder Alli Webb told Buzz Feed News in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California.
“There’s something special about the experience that you get with Drybar …
and I don’t think that’s as easy to copy as people think.” To Webb’s point, you know exactly when you’re in a Drybar.
The same architecture and design firm that created the first salon works on each new location, codifying touches like blow-dryer chandeliers and welcome mats that say “Nice Shoes.”The average Drybar looks like an upscale hair salon received a heaping dose of Southern sorority-house style and was finished off with a coat of HGTV — in a good way.
Nora Ephron wrote fondly of her twice-weekly blowout regimen in 2006.“It’s cheaper by far than psychoanalysis, and much more uplifting,” the late writer quipped in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.
“What’s more, it takes much less time than washing and drying your own hair every single day, especially if, like me, you live in a large city where a good and reasonably priced hairdresser is just around the corner.”In the decade since Ephron’s book was published, the blowout has gone from an add-on service at salons into a full-on national craze.
There are now hundreds of specialist parlors hinging their fortunes on to blowouts — no cuts, no color — and drawing a massive audience among well-to-do women. The very concept of a blowout isn’t familiar to all women, and it’s largely foreign to men.