Blow Dry Bars – Not Just a Load of Hot Air!

Blow Dry Bars – Not Just a Load of Hot Air!

Having a good blow dry can revamp tired, lank hair into a Hollywood starlet mane in 30 minutes! For this reason I wanted to dive headfirst into a relatively new approach to one of our regular services that has really taken off in the past couple of years. They are in airports and popping up as a global phenomenon – of course I am talking about…

Blow dry bars

I wanted to discuss how opening up your menu and if possible space, can dramatically increase your revenue. Sounds good right?

Conceptually it is nothing new, as blow drys have been around for decades! But teamed with today’s fast moving pace and need for convenience, the two marry up quite nicely.

Let’s look at some of the benefits to having a blowdry bar stationed in your salon shall we?

  • It is an asset to have as part of your salon. As you are able to market yourself in a different light to others, branching out offering something eminently different to that of a neighbouring salon. Your USP if you like!
  • Your income will increase as clients want convenience and will pay extra for it. Think booking your seat on an aeroplane, booking your allotted slot for your food delivery and so on. How many times do we have clients scheduled in for a blow out and are clearly in a hurry? So think of the returns if you offered an express version of this popular service, that is notably quicker.
  • You have a set price for blow dries but they all only take 30 minutes! This will minimise significantly on wait times as it will be the only service you offer in this part of the salon. Waiting times eat into your bottom line as you are unable to fit another client in the allotted space and potentially miss out on earnings. Expensive business!  

Having examined different models in this field, here are some points to take into consideration.

One thing I noted is taken from the highly esteemed Hershesons based in London UK. Here they offer 12 different styles for clients to choose from. All costing 30 GBP and taking merely 30 minutes of their time. If a client has thick hair, add a surcharge of 15 GBP if the appointment runs over the 30 minute allotted time, simple!

This is unquestionably a modern, innovative twist on the regular blow dry. Moving it into the 21st century away from shampoo, sets and hood dryers. Not that I’m old enough to remember these things I hasten to add!

It is a simple, clean clear cut slant on something we traditionally do everyday of the week, reinventing the wheel one might say!

They have images on their website of all 12 styles with fabulous names such as ‘Dirty Ballerina’ and ‘Wavy gravy’. All alongside a description of the look and an option to ‘Shop the look’ so you can recreate the effect at home. Another smart marketing strategy.

They even offer a 15 minute blow dry for 15 GBP – This is hair wash free and consists of dry shampoo and heat treatment to achieve a speedy version of the classics. This would be excellent for fitting in gaps in stylists columns and a great pick me up for the client.

This is another well thought out method to encourage sales and keeps clients wanting more. If you replicate this in your own salon, your sales record could ‘blow away’ (Pun totally intended 🙂 ) your previous one as a result.

Another acclaimed factor noted from ‘aer blowdry bar’ also based in London UK, was their tag line: “We open before your morning meeting and stay open for your dinner date.”

As a salon owner, if you can capture this essence and make it your objective you could be talking big bucks. I’m not talking open 24/7 365, but as cited earlier, people want convenience. Doing the regular 9-5 just doesn’t cut it in our industry. If sanctioned within your salon, it can really add some considerable weight to your profits.

Evening and weekends are our calling, and taking this concept on board in your salon could assist in a loaded column for these times.

Just as a foot note on this point; it is worth observing that this is plausibly a location based privilege, and perhaps won’t work as well in more rural areas. Large town and city based salons may see the benefits with more commuters and a higher foot fall at these times.

Now back to business – It is a business model that works for one sure fire reason; people can’t blow dry their own hair as well as us! I have clients say to me virtually daily, ‘I won’t ever get my hair to look like this when I do it’. And for that reason alone this approach works.

You will do well to advise clients to ‘book their look’ ahead of time, as availability is not guaranteed as with all our services. However having some availability on the day if feasible, bodes well for those last minute.coms (We all have them!)

It opens up a whole new territory previously untapped, using only TWO tools.

Hair Dryer and Brush.

(And a good set of biceps to power through those big brush blow dries in my experience)

A territory full of events, parties, pamper evenings, weddings, proms – the list is endless. You could even hire out this specific set of skills to home visits or offices. Blow drys are arguably one of the only home hairdressing services that we can carry out as adequately as in the salon environment itself.

You could offer gift vouchers explicitly for your blow dries. Hershesons offer gift cards for ‘omg one free blow dry’ priced at 30 GBP, ‘3 free blow drys’ priced at 90 GBP and so on so forth. These make great gifts, instead of the specified value gift cards. These unique vouchers could be best sellers in your retail area, especially around the Hallmark holidays; Valentines day, Mothers day etc, something for every occasion!

As ‘Blow dry express’ states, they keep their costs low by focusing on what matters; giving clients the awesome hair they deserve! They have no receptionist and keep to their core niche.

You can add extras onto the blow dry menu such as scalp massages for a small supplement or conditioning treatments to further expand your services. For those clients who are wanting a little more than the 30 minutes, and a stress busting solution to their busy lives. 

What are you waiting for?! If you have an existing salon and are considering diversifying and opening an additional salon, a blow dry bar could be your next venture!

Blow Drying is our bread and butter as hairdressers. If calibrating an old setup to make our clients day a little less stressful and boost their confidence is what we need to do it’s in our duty of care. After all, isn’t that why we became hairdressers in the first place?

Thanks for reading and please fire away with any questions or comments!

What are your thoughts on blow dry bars? Has this article enthused you to consider one? Have you already tapped into this marketplace?










I am a hairstylist based in the UK. There is nothing I love more than to be cutting, colouring and ultimately making my clients feel amazing after their visit to the salon.

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