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Welcome to Esther Tested, where surfer and Racked SF associate editor Esther Hahn shares her best tips for fitness and beauty in the Bay.
The first sign of a good blowout: Parking isn't a total pain. You probably won't score a metered slot on the main drag of West Portal, but there's good pickings in the neighborhood just a block away from Bloom, the neighborhood's new blow dry salon. This was the pleasant surprise I stumbled upon when I scheduled a blowout immediately prior to an event, with just enough time to drive between the two locations. With my car swiftly tucked away, I breezed in and out of this SF newcomer with beautifully bouncy curls. I was on time for my next appointment, and —coming from south of SF— I didn't even have to cross Market Street.
Before (left) and after
Parking aside, I was also impressed with Bloom's app. Booking or rescheduling an appointment is seamless from a smartphone. The only wrinkle is that the salon can actually accommodate other times —say, 7:30am on a Monday— that still require a call to schedule.
My stylist was Aaron Gluck, who started his blow dry salon career with Drybar. His years of experience really showed in how deftly he managed my mane. When I asked him how he can keep blowouts fresh after all these years, he told me that every new client presents a new experience. But he also specializes in developing particular blowout styles for his devoted regulars. The curls he styled into my hair were weightless, and yet even after sleeping on them, they continued to spring and held their shape well.
This could easily become my regular hair addiction. It's the blend of convenience and ease that makes me believe that I could be one of those perfectly coiffed ladies with voluminous, sexy hair. Alas, I cannot be in West Portal every other day, but I can sure swing it a couple times a month. And at $152 for a package of four, sign me up for a few days per month of glamorous, effortless hair.
· Bloom Blow Dry Bar [Official Site]
· All Esther Tested posts [Racked SF]