BLOW, at 14th and 9th Avenues, was a pioneer in offering just blowouts when it opened in 2005. Soon after, other salons offering the same service sprung up, and more followed — all making the blowout business as popular in NYC as the manicure.
In 2011, LA-based DryBar landed in Manhattan’s Flatiron district and quickly opened other locations on the island. “Expanding to NYC after LA was a total no-brainer for a few reasons,” DryBar’s founder Alli Webb recently told me. “First, and most importantly, our bi-coastal clients were begging us! Beyond that, having come from NY and having lived in the city for so many years, I knew firsthand that this service would be very well received by other fashion and beauty savvy New Yorkers. Also, given how well the ladies of NYC responded to our first location in the Flatiron, we moved as quickly as possible to open four additional locations in the city.”
Alexis Wolfer, founder of The Beauty Bean, an online destination for beauty, health and wellness fans, is one of DryBar’s happiest customers. “DryBar is the best thing to happen to me since Starbucks popped up on every corner and caffeinated me enough to DIY it, she said. “But given the option, why try. DryBar makes it easy and painless to book my blowout online, and I know I’m going to walk out looking like a million bucks (or close to it!). I love being able to book my appointment online during closed hours and selecting from a menu of services that allow me and my stylist to always be on the same page. I charge my phone while in her chair, and 40 minutes and just $40 later I’m ready to go. No surprises!”
On Valentine’s Day, fashion stylist Rachel Zoe opened her salon Dream Dry, which is also in the Flatiron district and provides online booking. Offering blowouts only, I suspect this is just the first of many Dream Dry locations in Manhattan’s future.
And speaking of online booking, I recently learned of a NYC-based technology startup that has created a digital platform that any salon can use for appointment setting, merchandising and marketing. Perfect for busy New Yorkers and travelers, SalonPulse.com has made it easy for salon customers to book recurring appointments online at their favorite salons, as well as find new salons in their neighborhoods. Currently, the platform is in beta and being tested at many salons in the trendy NoMad area of NYC.
“Salon Pulse is tackling a $46B problem of bringing the digital revolution to the hair and beauty industry,” says Greg Ratner, CEO of Salon Pulse. “Manhattan alone has over 3,000 salons and barbershops, and, according to the latest data, New York state accounts for 9.8% of the country’s total hair care establishments. Despite its size and revenues, this industry is stuck in the 90′s”.
At least the hairstyles aren’t.