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Children fearlessly ask the questions that pop into their tiny little heads, which is a pretty smart way to learn about the things that confuse them. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, we lose that fearlessness, even if the inquisitiveness remains. As an adult, those seemingly-dumb questions tend to go unanswered, unless one of your friends has the moxie to ask. Here, at Racked, we want to be that friend. After all, if simple questions about fashion and beauty are plaguing us, they must be weighing on a few of you, too.
Case in point: Does anyone actually understand blowouts? Why are they so much more amazing than using a blow dryer at home? We posed these (and other) basic questions to Drybar founder and blowout expert Alli Webb, who graciously indulged our curiosity during the opening festivities for San Francisco's latest Drybar outpost at 123 Kearny.
How does a blowout differ from someone blow-drying her hair at home?
"It's really hard to do your own hair. Most women—I would say 95 percent of women—just can't handle their own hair. And not because they're not a professional stylist and they don't know how to do hair. It's more about the angle. When you watch blowouts being done, we're standing above your head, working with very small sections and perfecting each section before we move onto the next. You physically can't do that when you're doing your own hair. When women do their own hair at home, their hands are over their head, they're getting tired, their arms are starting to hurt. They're not perfecting every section, making sure that every section is perfectly dry and perfectly styled before they move onto the next. Frankly, nobody has the time either. I get asked all the time by magazines for tips, and I say, allot 35 to 40 minutes to do your hair. People look at me like I'm crazy, and say, 'I'm going to do my hair in 15 minutes, and then I'm out the door.' Well, if we did your hair in 15 minutes, it wouldn't look great either. It's about taking the time and perfecting each section."
How long does an average blowout take?
"About 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your hair."
How long will a blowout last?
"The beauty of a blowout at Drybar is you get your hair done and every single section is perfect. You don't have to do your hair for 3, 4, 5, or 6 days, depending on who you are. We have women who say, 'I don't even wash my own hair at home anymore.' If you get a really great blowout, it lasts, and then you don't have to deal with your hair except for touchups here and there to maintain it. All of sudden, you're free from having to worry about your hair everyday."
We associate blowouts with long, glorious locks. Can women with short hair get blowouts?
"Absolutely. We have a lot of women with short hair who come in. We actually have a category for it, called Hot Toddy. There are a lot of women with shorter length hair who come in because—let's face it—if you can't do your hair, you can't do your hair. I could make the argument that short hair is even harder to maintain and deal with it. Long hair can be messy and tousled and kind of look okay. Short hair can be more challenging, so we see a lot of women with short hair and shoulder length hair."
We have a lot of fog in SF, and that creates frizz problems. Will a blowout combat the frizz?
"If you blow out your own hair, you're probably not making every section perfect. We are. We're sealing the cuticle. We're making it nice and smooth and sealing it in, so you have a much better chance of your blowout lasting and being better than if you were doing it at home and each section was 98 percent dry. When you go outside, hair balloons. I think getting a professional blowout and getting it styled definitely helps. And we're using our own products. We have products that are designed to help you avoid that frizz and help your hair look great and stay great."
Are there any Drybar products you would recommend to women who don't have time to visit the salon, but are pretty hair-savvy?
"Our 100 Proof, which is a dry oil, is such a great product that you can keep in your purse. Throughout the day, if you're starting to get frizzy, just put it on the ends. Also, Hot Toddy, which is a heat protectant. You can put in your hair and it helps prevent frizz. If you're using heat and blow-drying yourself, you want to make sure that you're protecting your hair while you're blowing it out and ironing it."
Final question: Why is a blowout magic?
"The biggest thing about it is how it makes women feel. I love being in the shop and watching women come in with their hair in a bun, very serious, and they walk out with a pep in their step. It's the transformation. A great blowout, great hair, can really change your day and make your feel good about yourself. That's the magic of what we're doing, and why we've had so much success. When your hair looks good, you feel really good. We kind of joke around that we're not selling blowouts, we're selling the happiness and confidence that comes with a great blowout, but it's so true. You look good and you feel good. That's what I'm so proud of. We make women's days a little bit brighter with great hair."
· Drybar [Official Site]
· Could There Ever Be Too Many Drybars? [Racked]