6 posts tagged "Alli Webb"
To call Alli Webb a trendsetter is an understatement—”game changer” is more like it. Since opening her first Drybar in Brentwood, California five years ago, the trained stylist has steadily expanded her blowdry-bar empire across the country, making stops in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, D.C., and finally, New York, in 2011, becoming the first and last word in quick, easy, and affordable strand-smoothing—and inspiring many imitations in the process. Aside from other similar chains that have sprung up in response to Drybar’s astronomical success, even Rachel Zoe and Gwyneth Paltrow have announced plans to finance their own blowout bars this year. None of this has slowed Webb’s steady growth cycle or her knack for innovation, however. “It definitely seems like a no-brainer, natural progression,” Webb says of her new, 17-piece product and tool collection, which just started rolling out to her network of salons—and Sephora—last month. “But [it] really came to be because we were finding early on with the first two or three shops that I was not really satisfied with what we needed.” What Webb needed, she decided, was a cohesive lineup of stylers that “will do the job but won’t leave your hair feeling heavy and weighed down so you don’t feel like you have to wash out your blowout the next day.” A self-proclaimed product junkie, Webb teamed up with Laura Mercier alum, Janet Gurwitch, on what really was a “labor of love,” she says, yielding personal favorites like the 100 Proof Treatment Oil, which boosts shine and tames “crazy flyaways,” and the Hot Toddy, a cuticle sealant that protects hair from heat damage. And there’s more: Not content to rest on her laurels, Webb fully intends on fleshing out the offering. “I’m working as we speak to expand upon them,” she says. We’re ready.
Beauty Etiquetter is a new column on Beauty Counter in which we address your beauty protocol predicaments with candid advice from industry experts and those in-the-know. To submit a question, email celia firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Quandary: I like the fast experience of a blow-dry bar but feel like the results are never quite as good as a truly professional job. Am I at liberty to complain and ask for better service, or is this a lesson in you-get-what-you-pay-for?
The Expert in Residence: Alli Webb, founder of Drybar.
The Advice: “Yes, this kind of blowout is meant to be fast—but it should be fast and good. I absolutely think you should speak up if you weren’t happy with the results. Talk to the manager either in person or on the phone, and mention specifics. Let him or her know that your hair wasn’t washed thoroughly, for example, or if your style didn’t stay in place. The manager can then mention this to the stylist and make a note of what to focus on the next time you come in. Feedback, even the negative kind, helps us do our jobs better. That said, there are a few things you can do to get the most from your 45-minute appointment. Tell your stylist you want her to go really deep with the shampoo—say something like ‘Don’t be shy, I’m not going to wash my hair for another three days and I love a good scalp scrubbing.’ Going section by section over every hair is what takes the most time during a blowout. So if you notice your pro is starting to rush, you can throw out a comment like, ‘This blowout really has to last me a week, so I appreciate you making it look perfect,’ or inject some humor by saying, ‘Don’t you rush me, I know it’s getting busy in here but don’t do it!’ in a joking tone. The busiest times in Drybar are typically the early mornings at 7 a.m., the lunch rush, and the going-out crunch time from 5 to 7 p.m. We have clients who love being in here with that energy but others prefer to come during less crowded times. But, bottom line, if you’re not satisfied with your blowout, a good salon will make it up to you and should offer a complimentary blowout. Mistakes happen but my point of view is, give us a second chance to get it right.”
After officially going bicoastal in September with its first location in Manhattan, Drybar has now set its sights on empire-building. Alli Webb’s blow-dry-only concept salon opened its second store in New York this week, setting up shop at Le Parker Meridien’s brand-new Underground beauty and wellness destination. In collaboration with interior designer Colum McCartan, the luxe hotel in midtown is about to unveil a new 20,000-square-foot mecca for primping, priming, and snacking on organic vegan smoothies. Located in the property’s ample subterranean space that used to house a series of racquetball courts and a Gravity Fitness, the Underground will include a redesigned fitness studio, a Petite Blue Dog Café where you can procure preservative-free locally grown ingredients post-workout, an uptown location of Tenoverten, Tribeca’s go-to for manicures and brow grooming, and Moonshine, Le Parker Meridien’s first-ever spa, which will simply specialize in facials and massages when the concourse opens its doors on March 5. For now, just Drybar is operational, although it’s worth the trip as a stand-alone venue. Just like its sister store in the Flatiron District, the studio offers its regular menu of five different blow-out styles that range from straight and sleek to wavy and high-volume with nine chairs and a selection of styling products from Morrocanoil, L’Orél Paris, and Tigi to boot. And here’s the hook: The uptown outpost will be open until 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, which should be music to the ears of editors (and beauty enthusiasts) who keep late hours at offices above 42nd Street.
Drybar at The Underground at Le Parker Meridien, 119 W. 56th St., NYC, (212) 245-5000, www.parkermeridien.com.
Still stuck on what to buy for everyone on your list? Our favorite insiders share their picks for the best beauty gifts of the season. Ready, set, online shop.
Who: Nonie Creme, the nail art phenom who plays creative director for hip
lacquer brand Butter London.
What: “For my best girlfriends: Sephora makeup. Each girl gets a Champagne flute filled with a selection of beauty goodies and a baby bottle of Champagne that I then wrap in colorful cellophane with a bow. This year I bought gift sets of lip gloss and eye pencils at Sephora, then divided them up. My numero uno hubby is getting a Clarisonic—a manly, graphite one, with a corresponding face wash from Jack Black because frankly, I’m sick of watching him grind my pretty pink Mia into his beard stubble (ew).”
Sephora Ultra Shine Mini Lip Gloss Set, $22, and Sephora Nano Eyeliner Set,
$20, www.sephora.com; Clarisonic Skin Care Brush, $195, and Jack Black Daily
Facial Cleanser, $18, www.nordstrom.com.
Who: Kilian Hennessy, the always impeccably groomed and outfitted perfumer behind the eponymous By Kilian luxury fragrance line.
What: “By Kilian solid perfumes come in every scent of the L’Oeuvre Noire collection, so they are a great gift for anyone. I will give it to my two sisters for when they are out and about in Paris. The compact doesn’t scratch and is small enough to fit in their purses; plus it has a gorgeous mirror for touch-ups. For my business partner, Elisabeth Jones, I’m getting Fresh Brown Sugar—she is crazy about it! It offers her a luxurious way to wake up in the morning and I love the sweet smell all day. Who knows, maybe Santa will bring her the Brown Sugar Affair gift set.”
With plenty of Manhattan area codes already in her appointment book, Alli Webb knew that New York would be an ideal location for Drybar, her popular L.A.-based salon specializing in $40 blow-outs. “A lot of my clients are bicoastal and they’ve been begging me to open a Drybar here,” she told us at a preview of her Flatiron hot spot, which officially opens tomorrow. Its arrival is a welcomed one, not simply for the fantastic blow-outs, styling services, and mini-treatments at affordable prices—but for the experience of it all. As with all Drybar locations (there are nine out west and more coming), the interior feels like a fancy friend’s apartment, with tufted canvas on the walls, white leather seating, baroque mirrors, Italian marble counters, and sunny pops of yellow—the salon’s signature color. While stylists perform blow-outs, working off a menu of five styles that range from straight and sleek to wavy and high-volume, clients can text and check their e-mail (stations conveniently have outlets for iPhone charging), sip on strawberry lemon water, or snack on $4 bags of Swedish fish or Oriental Rice Crackers. Movies play on flat-screen TVs and the speakers pump out indie pop from the Bravery and the Ting Tings. Webb’s vision is to make blow-outs a whole lot more fun and to provide them in an atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a run-of-the-mill salon; no screaming kids or hair on the floor here, Webb says. Instead, everything has been well edited, including the mix of products—L’Oréal, MoroccanOil, Living Proof—and tools like Bio Ionic Power Light blow-dryers, Wet Brushes, and Hot Tool irons. As for how the blow-outs rate, we stopped by for a 40-minute visit and left with a bouncy style that we’d call “Betty Draper by the beach” (brushed-out waves with a subtle fifties flip), which not only gave our fine hair the perfect amount of body but also made our highlights seem brighter, too. With memberships available and another Drybar slated to open in midtown, Webb’s concept shop is about to, well, blow up.
The Drybar, 4 W. 16th St., NYC, (212) 561-5392, www.thedrybar.com.