Apr 7, 2010

Blo Me Away

Photo by Bruno Crescia Photography

Every woman wants all days to be "good hair days". Wavy or straight, short or long - we hate spending hours in front of the mirror armed with a round brush, a hairdryer, and bottles and tabs of styling products. Every morning we wish for a miracle of a perfect up-do. Ditto for nails, make-up, and eyebrows.

I've discovered Blo Blow Dry Bar in the Bloor West Village hidden away between a restaurant and a grocery store. Well, "hidden away" may be a bit of an overstatement, since the storefront is bright eye-popping pink. After some e-mail exchanges with Blo's corporate PR and Bloor West bar owner, I got tons of background info and an invitation to come and try out the service myself.

I won't go in too many details on Blo's concept and philosophy. Let me just say that the mother-and-daughter team behind Blo created the bars to satisfy a need they felt was common for many North American women. The idea was to provide quick and affordable service, flexible hours, and a selection of styles suitable for any occasion. The styles (there are 7 in total) range from "sexy razor-straight “Executive Sweet” to the rocker-chic inspired “Sex, Hugs and Rock & Roll”. I was told that an average visit is 30 minutes long, and costs $33 taxes included. Blo also offers a la cart up-dos ($55), as well as hair extensions ($250), and a variety of hair and body products. The majority of the products are Blo-branded, but Moroccan Oil and few other brands are also available.

I went to get my hair done on Tuesday before the Lundstrom show (here is the review). By then, it was my third visit to the bar (but the first time I was going to actually do my hair), and I was again blinded by the hot pink décor. The space was amazingly clean, uncluttered, and sharp, but the pink… I felt like I was visiting Barbie or a very girlie 13-year old. Never the less, I found the environment pleasant, especially after I met the sweet girl who was going to do wonders to my hair.

My "hair fairy" offered me a bottle of Vitamin Water (passion fruit flavor, probably chosen for its color), and let me look through the style folder. I had my heart settled on Sex, Hugs and Rock & Roll that promised to be "more rocker-chic than rocker-chick. This is about as hot as you can get without looking like you spent all day working on your lid. Tousled, agitated, deliciously disheveled. Cue smoke machines". I always wanted to have curly hair (Capa, do you hear me? You have the best hair!), and I could already see myself rocking a glamorous mane at the fashion show.

In the next 15 minutes I had my hair washed and semi-dried in a dirty blond mess. It was then sectioned and pinned upwards, and the stylist began round brush-drying and curling my locks. Note to all who has long(ish) hair - prepare for some pain for the sake of beauty. In the next 45 minutes my hair was pulled and fine-tooth combed to create great bouncy locks that looked like they were going to last (they did last, but I will tell you about it a little later). I tipped the stylist $10 (the service was complimentary for me this time, but usually it would have been $33+10=$43. Affordable? Hmmmm… ) and left Blo feeling like a girl from Pantene ads.

Blo Blow Dry Bars are essential for women on the go. That is, if they make enough money and can tolerate massive amounts of pink. Blo's promise for a perfect hairstyle is 100% true and the results are consistent throughout the company (the stylists receive special training even before they are given a job offer). I also loved the fact that you can walk in or make an appointment for as early as 7a.m. or as late as 8p.m. I wish, however, for a wider array of services… Imagine a place where you could get your nails, make-up, and hair done simultaneously and within an hour or so! Imagine going from office to party looking like you've spend the entire day getting ready for it! Imagine people could fly…. Sorry, I got carried away.

I really wish every one of you went and tried out the service for yourself. Just be prepared to sacrifice time and LOTS of hair when you try to comb you curls out -mine took an hour and a half.

Have a good hair day!


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