Blow dry bars in their current incarnation might seem like a recent trend, but women have been going to the salon to get their hair “did” for decades now. However, entire spaces dedicated to the blowout — no cut, no color, , just style? That’s a newer concept, for sure.
Yes, blowouts are definitely a luxury, but for an incredibly thick-haired girl like myself, they’re also a godsend. I don’t even own a blowdryer because it takes me so long to do it (plus my arms get tired), and even “easy” beach waves take me half an hour on a quick day. So if I have a special occasion and room in my budget to pay someone to do my hair for me, um, yes, I will do so. Here are five of the best Chicago blow dry bars if you feel like treating yo self, too:
Goldplaited is a bit more than just a great Chicago blow dry bar… it’s a full on “finishing salon” that will do your hair and makeup for you, plus a ton of other services. I actually first discovered Goldplaited when they came to our office to do appointments for our holiday party, which was wonderful. They often team up with local businesses for promotions and events, like SoulCycle Southport, where you can currently get a free braid after Wednesday evening classes. Goldplaited does a great dry style, and they’ll also occasionally promos like Free Braid Friday, where you can get a free braid with any $20 purchase. Not sure how to contour or do a specific hairstyle? The salon also offers classes so you can actually learn how to do a cat eye or fishtail braid… or whatever the case may be!
If celebrity stylist and fashion maven Rachel Zoe approves of something, I’m in…and I certainly think she approves of the blow dry bar she co-founded with Robin Moraetes. There are two Chicago locations to choose from: Lincoln Park and inside the luxe Waldorf Astoria hotel in the Gold Coast. It’s all very Rachel Zoe, with a black and white color palette, marble chevron floors and Jonathan Adler accents.
But you’re there for your hair, and DreamDry delivers, with a menu of styles all named after famous female style icons (the Stevie, the Audrey) and high-end products from Oribe and Kerastase. You can also bring in a photo from their Instagram (or other source of inspiration) and their stylists will re-create it for you. So maj.
Glowout, A Golden Girl Salon
Former esthetician Jennifer Dieas is known best for her spray tans, but her salon Glowout offers a full menu of services, including blowouts. The West Loop space includes two treatment rooms, six beauty stations, a beverage bar, and a perfume bar for a spritz on your way out. It’s in a chic loft that can be used for events, too, like girls nights out or bachelorette parties.
Founded in 2010, Drybar is the “OG” blow dry bar in a lot of ways. In fact, the brand is so successful, their products (including their signature blow dryer) are available both in-salon and at Sephora. True to the “bar” moniker, styles are all named after drinks, from the Cosmopolitan to the Manhattan. Stop by either the Lincoln Park or River North locations in Chicago.
Blowtique opened in Chicago in 2012 — one whole year before Drybar set up shop in the Windy City! It’s been featured in Vogue, Refinery29, Self and more since then, and offers signature styles like “The Magnificent.” Blowtique’s Gold Coast location is one of the original Chicago blow dry bars, and has expanded to the Shops at North Bridge (you know, the one with Nordstrom) recently too.
Images: Gilt City, Racked