Pity the frizzy haired in today’s smooth-hair-obsessed era. As a recent New York Times piece lamented, naturally curly hair can be taken as “kind of a statement — a mark of blustery confidence and bold individuality — or, worse, as careless and sloppy, a sign that you’re lazy or stubborn.”
And while much of that perception may be mistaken, the article went on to assert that “natural curls are slowly making their way back into fashion,” pointing to the teenage models who populated recent runway shows for proof. Nice try. For most New York women, a look is not finished without the ministrations of a hair stylist wielding an appliance to tame locks into sleek submission.
In the words of Michael Landau, a co-founder of Drybar, a salon chain that offers blowouts exclusively, “Straight hair is classic, beautiful and professional. I believe it makes woman feel very buttoned up and polished.”
Call it an everyday luxury, but women consider money spent on having their hair straightened (or professionally curled) as money very well spent. And that reality has fueled the growth of blowout-only salons like Drybar (others include DreamDry, Bdry Blow Bar, Blo Blow Dry Bar and Fix Beauty Bar). Drybar recently opened its 13th location in New York City (its 60th overall), at the corner of 10th Avenue and 42nd Street at the MIMA building. It is also negotiating at a space in the soon-to-come renovated South Street Seaport development. And now, tapping into the competition for amenities at high-end residential buildings, Drybar is planning to open a salon at the under-construction luxury condo development 111 Murray Street that will serve residents only, a first for the beauty brand.
For most New York women, a look is not finished
unless a hair stylist tames your locks.
When it was first announced, the plan was residents would make a call to the Abigail Michaels-managed concierge, or press a button on the Drybar app, to have a stylist dispatched to 111 Murray Street. But it is more likely that the salon will be staffed during busy morning and evening hours, said Lauren Witkoff, executive vice president at the Witkoff Group, which, along with Fisher Brothers and New Valley, is developing the building.
“Our idea at 111 Murray was to take it to the next level of amenities,” Witkoff told LLNYC. “I’ve worked on buildings where we had spas that offer facials and massages, but these are not things that are used on an everyday basis.”
Witkoff is herself a fan of the brand. “I’ve used them since they opened in New York City,” she said. “They’re upscale and right for the building.”
The Drybar salon at 111 Murray will feature the brand’s custom Italian chairs, tufted fabric walls and marble bars with built-in iPhone charging stations. Prices will be the same as at other locations, which start at $40. Options like an updo cost $80.
The salon will be located on what is called the Club Floor, designed by David Rockwell, which includes a fitness center, 75-foot lap pool, spa with treatment rooms, teen arcade, children’s playroom and Turkish hammam, a spa-like bath. But wait, there’s more — a private jet concierge is available to make travel arrangements that include food, beverage and in-flight entertainment.
That’s not the only sky-high aim. Drybar founders like to talk about the importance of how a woman feels after an expert blowout as being more important than how she looks. Landau described it as “that extra little bounce in their step.” No doubt.