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What is a Dry Bar? What to Expect & 3 Styles to Inspire You

BY: Sarah Gorr | Nov 19, 2018

About a million years ago (give or take) when I got my very first updo, like so many other girls, it was for prom. And, like so many other girls I'm sure, it was a complete disaster. I wanted something a little messy and romantic and what I got was an intense style that required about a thousand bobby pins and was more or less shellacked to my head. If only the dry bar had existed then! What is a dry bar, you ask? We've got answers. Just check out our little primer below.


What is a dry bar?

A dry bar or blow dry bar is a salon or menu of services within a salon that doesn't worry about cuts or color. Instead, stylists give hair a good wash and blow-dry leaving hair looking picture perfect. Basically, you know how your hair never seems to look as fantastic as it does the day you get it cut? Well at a dry bar, you can skip the cut and go straight to sleek and straight, beachy waves, or bouncy curls.


Why would I go to a dry bar instead of a salon?

There are tons of reasons a dry bar makes perfect sense for freshening up your look but here are our top four reasons:

1. It's usually cheaper than a haircut.

At a high-end salon, cuts can run from $50–70, but a blowout can be as little as $20–40, or even less if you have a deal.

2. You'll be in and out in no time.

The most time-consuming part of a trip to the salon is the cut and color. Subtract those and cut your visit in half.

3. There's no big commitment.

Maybe you want to change your look for a party, event, or even just a regular date night but you don't want to go overboard with a dramatic new do. It's the perfect compromise.

4. Braids are HARD.

I know every Youtuber and Instagrammer is out there trying to convince you you can do a fishtail braid or a crown braid, but does it ever really come out right? Speaking of braids...


Do blow out bars do updos or other styles?

Yes! Most blow out bars do offer simple updos and braids, though you should be prepared for this to cost a little bit more than a standard blowout at some places. Also, unlike getting a custom updo, you'll most likely be choosing from a set menu of styles (think fishtail braid, waterfall braid, or crown braid and that's it).

Now that you know what it's all about, are you ready to try it for yourself? If so, here's a little inspiration!


Dry Bar Hairstyles

The Classic Blowout

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A post shared by Brush & Blow (@_brushandblow) on

These pretty, gentle waves were done at Brush and Blow in Pleasanton, CA, but they're emblematic of the traditional blowout. Basically, just you but on your absolute best hair day.


The Fishtail Braid

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At Drybar in Milwaukee, beachy waves get a hip twist with the addition of a mini fishtail braid in the back.


The Braid-to-Bun

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When you're ready to get a little fancy, get a wide, elegant side braid leading straight into a bun (like the one stylists at Blo La Mesa put together) for an updo that's elegant enough for a wedding.


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