Service with a Style: Reviewing Four of Boston’s Blowout Bars

We rate Blo Blow Dry Bar in the South End, Drybar in Back Bay, Hairo on Newbury Street, and Be Styled in Lynnfield.

Already popular in New York and L.A., blowout bars—singularly focused on washing, drying, and styling hair—are popping up all over town. The notion of letting someone properly style my very long, very thick mane wasn’t a hard one to, well, get my head around. The process can take me close to an hour—most days I leave for work with my locks still damp. Could pro tress management be just what the doctor ordered? I combed the city’s dry bars to find out. —Nicole Cammorata

blowout bars boston

Photograph by David Butler. Hairstyling by Maryelle O’Rourke/Team.

THE RESULTS

Blo Blow Dry Bar

The stylist at this South End spot starts by passing the dryer over my hair and clipping it into sections. She builds drama at the roots by extending brushfuls high into the air and blasting my scalp. When she gets to the front of my hair, it has air-dried, and resists shaping. The final look is voluminous—think Bumpits meets debutante. “Foofy,” says my boyfriend. Score: C+

Drybar

I mention that my hair idol is Gisele. The stylist at this Back Bay shop then loads up my locks with “Southern Belle” mousse and, as she finishes each section, rolls it into a loose coil and secures it. When she turns me toward the mirror an hour later, I’m impressed by the shiny waves with a hint of curl. It looks like model hair but lasts only a few hours before fizzling. Score: B+

Hairo

The year-old Newbury Street salon seems a bit worn around the edges. My appointment is the last of the day, and I can tell the staff wants to leave. After drying my tresses, the stylist uses a curling iron to produce springy, full coils, and finishes the look with flexible-hold hairspray. At a party that night I’m peppered with compliments. The style lasts for two full days. Score: A-

Be Styled

I have the Lynnfield shop to myself on a Tuesday night and bond with the stylist, a fellow redhead. She shows me available ’dos on an iPad and I pick a basic one: straight and tousled with a slight flip at the ends. As she’s drying, I sip tea and watch a Selena Gomez movie. She keeps my back to the mirror until the final reveal. It’s perfect—shiny and soft, with movement. I could get used to this. Score: A

ADVERTISMENT

  • Michael London, CEO of Examity

    My wife agrees that Be Styled is the best by far!

  • Amanda Weiss

    IMHO drybar beats the rest

  • Renee Moet

    I dont think it gets any better than champagne and movie while getting blown out at the Drybar. Plus they have great products for hair care at home.

  • Hayden Forrest

    havent tried them all, but so far im addicted to the drybar

  • hair guy

    Amanda, Renee and Hayden – please be aware that when 3 people comment on an old story within a few hours of each other the world knows you are not legit. Drybar is fine, not the best in MA. This is not NY.

  • Craig Frye

    I bought some gift certificates for my girlfriend. The service was amazing and they were so accommodating. My girlfriend loved it! She said the quality was on par with any top salon in Boston.

  • Craig Frye

    I meant “Be-Styled” – that’s where I bought Gift Cert!