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Blown Away

From Very Boring to Va-Va-Voom, all within an hour

By Shayna Wiwierski

Images courtesy of Blo Blow Dry Bar

The words “blow job” just took on a whole new meaning.

Updos have unfurled themselves and the blow out is back.  Take a look at the red carpet and most notably, the recent wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, where the former Kate Middleton famously shied away from the bridal-favourite updo to rock her hair with ringlets.

So why is it so popular?  Its affordability, length of time, and convenience are definitely factors.

“It’s fairly inexpensive and it’s a nice treatment, we do it with a full head massage too,” says Mallory Hildebrandt, manager at Berns and Black Salon and Spa in Winnipeg.  “And, you get your hair played with, and I mean, who doesn’t like getting their hair played with?”

The blow out, although for everyone, is most popular with the nine-to-five crowd as well as the party-goers.  Because of Berns and Black’s downtown location, the convenience of getting a quick blow out before an important meeting or a night out on the town becomes easier than ever.

“If people are going out to a function or anything of that sort, it’s a nice treatment to start or end their day.  I think what makes it so popular, is it’s an inexpensive way to make people look and feel good.”

The service has become so popular that specialty blow out shops have been popping up around the world.  Blo Blow Dry Bar is one of them.  The pink and white themed Blo, which has 16 locations across Canada and the United States (with two Miami locations scheduled to open in September), was the first to market the no cuts, no colour concept in North America and is the world’s largest blow dry bar chain.

“At Blo, North America’s Original Blow Dry Bar, you are not cheating on your hairdresser,” says Hilary Chan-Kent, Blo Blow Dry Bar spokesperson.  “Scissors are verboten. Dye, ditto.  Just wash, blow, go.”

Blo has positioned itself as a hair styling expert. Blo has not only transformed the hair care industry, it has also been noticed by other beauty services. For example, in Yaletown (where Blo’s flagship bar opened in 2007), other specialty ‘bars’ have opened, including a brow bar, lash bar, and wax bar.

Blo’s signature hair menu features seven styles (all for $35), from the classic blow out (Red Carpet) to the perfect pony tail (the Hunt Club) to a full-bodied blow out with a funky side braid a la Lauren Conrad (the Boho Braid), to name a few.  They even offer a “Blo Bro” service for men, which includes a 20 minute head message, wash, blow dry and style, a Blo Bridal service, and a mobile service.

“All of our Bloers (aka session stylists) go through an intensive training program, Blo U(niversity). This enables Hair Cadets (aka clients) a consistent blow out no matter which location or Bloer they go to,” says Chan-Kent, who adds that Blo U(niversity) is a certificate program, meaning that you don’t have to work at Blo once you are certified.

Currently, Blo doesn’t have a location in Winnipeg… yet.  However, according to Chan-Kent, the company has had over 1,000 franchise requests from all around the globe.

“What has made Blo so successful is the whole experience – the cheeky brand, culture, Blo vibe and, of course, the perfect blow outs. Professional women love Blo – we’re open as early as seven a.m. – uber-popular with party girls – we are open as late as nine p.m. – and a fan with busy moms – walk-ins are accepted. Ultimately, we believe that every woman deserves the affordable, convenient luxury of catwalk-quality hair, seven days a week.”