When I started going to Drybar, I decided to work my way through the styles in their Lookbook so I could try them all. That was in February.
Several months and many dollars (and rom-coms, and glasses of champagne) later, I have completed that task. (Exception: I haven’t gotten an updo yet because I haven’t had an excuse for one. Clearly I need more glamorous occasions in my life.) Here’s a quick look at the styles, how they looked in my hair, and my thoughts on each (and you know I have a favorite).
Note: Everybody’s hair is different, and my results aren’t necessarily going to be the same as yours. That’s probably obvious, but it’s always worth mentioning. If you’re going to get a blowout for the first time, talk with your stylist about what s/he thinks will work best for your hair type and style.
Old Hollywood waves
I actually modeled the Old Fashioned for a local news segment about Drybar before the Third Ward Milwaukee location opened! I’ll be honest — I wasn’t sure I was loving this one on my head (although it looks amazing on some people), but when I came home my husband said it looked incredible. The Old Fashioned is a classic Hollywood glamour hairstyle (think Veronica Lake) with big, structured S-curl waves. It’s not an everyday hairstyle for me, but I could see trying it again for a special occasion, paired with a cocktail dress and a red lip.
Straight, with a little bit of body
The Straight Up gives you the kind of beautiful, bouncy straight hair that makes people who don’t know anything about hair think you just have naturally beautiful hair. This is the perfect blowout I can’t quite nail for myself at home! It’s the little bit of volume and that tidy curled edge at the ends that make it magic. This is a great, easy-to-maintain, easy-to-wear hairstyle.
Tip: If you want Meghan Markle hair (excuse me, Duchess of Sussex hair), ask for a Straight Up with a little extra curl at the bottom, according to Drybar founder Alli Webb.
Sleek and smooth
Manhattan was the style I left until last to try, and I almost didn’t try it at all except that I wanted to do everything once. The thing I like about Drybar is that I can get a perfect style that is time-consuming and tough for me to pull together at home, and since I finally coughed up for my first decent straightening iron close to a decade ago, I’ve never had trouble making straight hair happen. That said, when I got the Manhattan at Drybar, I didn’t have to wash and dry my own hair (two of my least favorite things), and they executed it really nicely (no forgotten flat-iron crimps in the back of my head, for example). I could see myself getting this one again if I were doing photos or something and I wanted really perfectly completely straightened, glassy-smooth hair, but for everyday straight hair, I’ll stick to my home flatiron. If you have hair that’s tough to get straight, though — this one is your jam.
Lots of loose curls
The Cosmo is Drybar’s most popular style, and I definitely see why. It’s easy to wear, easy to maintain, and it looks good on lots of different hair types and lengths. This was the first blowout I got from Drybar, back before they opened, when I went in to be a training model, and it remains one of my favorites. It lasted almost a week with really little to no upkeep (check out my tips for preserving the life of your blowout), and the curls relaxed really nicely into a style that was wearable every single day with basically no maintenance. If you don’t really know what you want from a blowout, this style is a good place to start.
Effortless, messy, beachy hair
The Mai Tai is one of those styles that I look at and think “Oh, I could totally do that myself at home”… and I could, but it would take forever and not come out nearly as perfectly as it does if a professional styles it for me. This is the messy-cute hair of my dreams.
A little Cosmo, a little Mai Tai
The Cosmo-Tai, as the name implies, sits somewhere between the Cosmo and the Mai Tai. The curls are a little more polished than the Mai Tai, but a little looser and more relaxed than the Cosmo. This style is probably the one that I come closest to when I curl my hair at home, and in my hair it relaxes down to a nice soft wave in a couple of days.
Big hair and lots of volume
I have a lot of thick, heavy hair, and getting volume into it is tricky for me. (And by “tricky” I mean “very difficult because even though I’ve been living with this hair my whole life I’m still not great at assessing how much of it there is and teasing accordingly.) So I fell in love with the Southern Comfort, which is all about higher hair (and the resulting closeness to a higher power). One of the first things a Drybar stylist always asks is “How do you feel about volume?” followed by “Are you OK with product in your hair?” and my answer to both is always YES PLEASE MAKE MY HAIR AS LARGE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE AND USE EVERY TOOL AT YOUR DISPOSAL TO MAKE IT STAY THERE. Southern Comfort gets the job done. As I type this, I’m actually on Day Three of a Southern Comfort blowout, and despite the fact that it’s suddenly summer and I sweated all over my head yesterday, my roots are still lifted (thanks in part to a little boost from Drybar’s dry shampoo mousse).
Tousled and textured
The Dirty Martini is what I think my hair looks like when I slap some messy curls into it and call it “done.” Turns out it looks a lot better when a professional messy-curls it for me with some purpose and intention. I loved the Dirty Martini on Day One and Day Two, although I found it a little harder to maintain than some of the more structured styles. (Watch the video in my blowout preservation post to see my Dirty Martini age in real time.)
Favorites and Recommendations
My hands-down favorite Drybar style is Southern Comfort. It’s a style that I can’t easily replicate at home, which for me is half of the whole point of getting a blowout. (The other half is that while I could wash, dry and style my own hair, it’s faster, more pleasant, and far more relaxing to pay someone else to do it. It’s the same way I feel about pedicures.) Second place would probably be a tie between the Cosmo and a bouncy Straight Up, although I have to say that the Mai Tai also looked really great in my hair.
If you live in the Milwaukee area and you want to try Drybar, be sure to follow Joy Vertz on Instagram and follow the #drybarmke hashtag. They are always training new stylists, and Joy frequently posts opportunities for discounted model gigs. It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone, since they pick the style for you, and you get a big fat discount on your service.
Getting a blowout is a luxury, for sure, but it’s one I’ve decided I like having in my life. I try to make it more affordable and get my money’s worth in a few ways:
- I have a Barfly membership at Drybar. For $80 a month, I get two blowouts (they roll over if unused), a free birthday blowout, $5 off additional blowouts, and 10% off products and tools in-store. This saves me at least $10 a month.
- I don’t wash my hair frequently, so it doesn’t build up oil as quickly as it might if I were a more frequent washer. Try these suggestions to start washing your hair less.
- I follow these steps to make my blowouts last as long as possible.
Are you a blowout fan? What’s your favorite style?