Field Guide: The Best Philadelphia Blow Dry Bars to Upgrade Your Hair Fast
The rise of the blow dry bar has turned the lot of us into a bunch of old ladies: We get our hair “set” once or twice a week, toting hardcore shower caps and satin pillow cases with us everywhere we go, and before we know it, it’s been months since we even bought our own shampoo. Can you blame us? Getting our hair professionally coiffed not only lets us walk out of there as if Beyoncé’s fans have been trained upon us, appointments offer a respite from the outside world—one with scalp massages and champagne to boot. Here are the local places you’re most likely to find us.
265 South 19th Street, Rittenhouse
A visit to Dana Flocco and Jenne Doyle’s boutique salon on a delightful corner in Rittenhouse (Metropolitan Bakery is right across the way) is a treat: The tiny space is pretty, the all-girl atmosphere is cool, and there’s the slight scent of Oribe’s (delicious) texturizing spray in the air. Go here for your weekly blow out—$35 whether you get curls or not—for a quick chignon before attending your eighth wedding this year (they offer makeup and lash services, too), or for your regular wax (they use a hard blue French depilatory wax and offer package deals).
1701 Market Street, Center City
Center City welcomed this national franchise’s first (highly anticipated) Philly location in June, and it was well worth the hype. The vibe is positively sunny inside, with tufted leather walls, tons of white marble, bright yellow accents (think: a lighting fixture made of yellow hair dryers), and tons of natural light. Plus, there’s always a cult-classic chick flick playing on TV while you get your locks washed and dried to perfection. Blowout styles range from beachy waves to big ‘ole Southern-belle volume, and it’s always $40 flat and done in 45 minutes or less. Oh, and the Drybar product line is pure blowout-lasting perfection (Silk pillowcases! Dry conditioner! Gigantic rollers!) so that you can maximize time between visits. Psst: The dry shampoo here is what you’ve been searching for all these years — trust.
602 Old Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr
This sleek new spot on the Main Line makes an impact right off the bat with its white marble interior before you even sit in a (white, cushy) chair. Choose from a menu of services handily broken down into a la carte options (add a refreshing mint oil treatment for $10 bucks or show up with dry hair and get it styled for $25) that includes blow outs, styling, updos, braids, keratin treatments, extensions, makeup and more, making this place quite the convenient one-stop grooming spot. Owner Maria Papadopoulos even has her own line of makeup, hair and skincare inspired by—who else?—the most beautiful Greek goddesses. It’s no wonder Koukla earned a Best of Philly award this year.
1804 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse; 29 South 7th Street, Washington Square
Dare we call this place the OG of blowout bars in this town? Both locations in the city offer a flat rate for your blowout ($40) no matter your hair texture or length, and you can choose from six different styles, from polished to tousled bedhead. You can also add on goodies to your service like a Moroccan oil treatment or scalp massage, or take care of your whole beautification process with a makeup application, lash extensions, and even cut and color — though, to be clear, this place’s forte is, and may very well always be, the blowout.
1588 Kings Highway, Cherry Hill; 33 Leopard Road, Paoli
To say this mane-taming franchise is blowing up would be an understatement — it already boasts two Philly-area locations and will soon welcome five more to the South Jersey region (we hear Marlton and Voorhees are next). With an open floor plan, cherry-red chairs popping against white marble countertops, and pop music videos on a constant TV loop, this place is a fun oasis for a busy lady. Oh yeah, and the blowouts are pretty rad, too. (One source says her loose, voluminous curls lasted for a week!) Be sure to check out their graduated memberships, from two blowouts a month ($59.99) to four per month ($99.99) for the truly high-maintenance — hey, no judgments here on that weekly blowout.