I will never, ever forget my first Drybar blowout. It was the night before my college graduation, and I'd booked the latest available appointment to tame my exceptionally long, thick locks into glam, Kardashian-like waves for my big moment on stage. Though decidedly risky, getting through the night without totally messing it up was in fact possible, stylists agreed, and they made adjustments—tighter curls, plenty of product, and carefully clipping it all up in a $16 terrycloth-lined shower cap—to better my odds of getting to graduation with perfect hair.
I loved Drybar immediately, from the cleverly named, booze-themed "menu" of styles to the sweet-smelling products and chic interiors accented with pops of sunny yellow. The atmosphere was perfect—loud pop and rap over the speakers, muted rom-coms (specifically Notting Hill in this instance) played with subtitles on large screens placed at eye-level between each styling station. The last client in this particular Boston salon, I sat back and relaxed, sipping my flute of champagne as Julia Roberts silently fell in love with Hugh Grant. I left in the shower cap, darted into my parents' car, and made it back to my hotel, where I laid my head down with care and willed myself not to turn in the night.
I never had the chance. Shortly after drifting off, I woke up with the unmistakable urge to vomit. At first, I thought it was nerves—even though I wasn't nervous—but that theory was quashed as I threw up over and over and over again until I passed out on the bathroom floor.
I wound up in the Massachusetts General Hospital ER, still vomiting as I was wheeled to a bed, hair still pinned up in that damn terrycloth shower cap. Many hours, a few blood tests, and seven bags of IV fluids later, it was determined I'd contracted a virus at the worst possible time. Nonetheless, I dragged myself out of bed and to the arena, devastated that I couldn't take my IV with me. I was not about to miss the ceremony my family had all traveled to witness, and I didn't, but trust me when I say it was the most miserable experience. Graduation day is a putrid, putrid memory. My brother later told me that, from his seat in the crowd, my skin looked grey and my eyes looked like they might roll right back into my head at any moment.
But guess what? My hair looked great.
I'm still grateful to the MGH doctors and nurses—their care throughout the night was the only reason I could physically make it across the stage that day—and to Drybar, because who the hell can say they went from the bathroom floor to a stretcher to a stage before thousands of people (Jay Leno included) without a single hair out of place?
My love for the California-based chain from goddess Ali Webb has endured, and I'm happy to report no subsequent blowouts have ended up in ER trips. Houston is full of so many worthy, amazing places to get your hair done, but I still find myself at Drybar before galas, first dates, or birthday dinners. In fact, it's one of the few chains I've found to offer consistency and quality for as many years as I've gone, from the products to the staff to the reliably good blowouts themselves. And you know what they say—if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Now, to the point: As of this month, Drybar-diehards (Dryhards?) like myself have two more opportunities to get great hair thanks to new locations in Rice Village (2519 Amherst Street) and The Woodlands at Market Street (9595 Six Pines Drive). Both salons offer all of Drybar's signature services—we're happy to report the Rice Village grand opening included plenty of Cardi B and Justin Timberlake tracks, a very good mimosa, and a Cosmo-Tai blowout that looked fabulous for three full days—and join Drybar's other locations in Sugar Land, Uptown Park, and River Oaks.
Cheers to hair that lasts you through a hospital stay!