Over the weekend, Blowtique salon opened in the Gold Coast neighborhood, giving Chicagoans their chance to partake in the blow-dry bar trend. Blowtique is among a burgeoning group of no-cut, no-color hair salons where customers can get a shampoo, blow-dry and professional hair style in 35 minutes for $35. Reminiscent of the old-fashioned beauty parlor, where women would get their hair styled and set for the week, the blowdry-only salon concept has been in L.A. and New York for years and is now popping up all over the country. So how do we explain the trend's popularity and success? Blowtique Founder Fiona McEntee compares the blowout to a "mani/pedi", and says that the blowout is not a luxury, but a necessary part of every well-groomed woman's beauty routine. The blowout bar makes it possible to maintain a well-coiffed mane by offering a fast, expert service for a justifiable price, filling a niche segment in the struggling beauty industry.
I am doubtful that Chicago women will suddenly feel the need to get their hair "done" on a weekly basis. In a time of financial instability, with salon customers stretching out the time between haircuts and cutting back on higher-priced services such as coloring and chemical straightening, a blowout is an accessible and affordable luxury. Simply put, it makes you look good. It makes you feel good. With that being said, will the blowout bar trend last in Chicago? If it's anything like a good blowout, I'm sure it will...at least for a little while.