By Laura McAlister
Got a hot date or a big interview and don’t have time to book a hair appointment at the salon? A new business at The Summit might be able to help.
Blowout Boutique opened March 1 near Urban Outfitters at The Summit. It’s a high-end hair salon, but they’re not offering coloring or cuts here, and typically, no appointments are necessary. Also, tipping is not allowed.
This salon is what founders Stephanie Alexander and Gates Brown refer to as a blowout bar — a place where customers can come in and have their hair shampooed, blown dry and styled by a professional.
“This is kind of a hot thing that we’ve seen around the U.S. but not here,” Stephanie said. “People can walk in before their date and get a blowout. It’s kind of a foreign concept here.”
It’s a concept, though, that’s been catching on. Stephanie said Friday and Saturdays have been particularly busy at the boutique for those who want a quick style for a date night or party. The owners expect business to really pick up in coming weeks with proms right around the corner.
While the concept of the blowout bar is simple enough, the atmosphere and experience are meant to be elegant and sophisticated.
Upon entering the boutique, there’s a waiting area with white couches and then the blowout bar, which does look like, well, a bar.
Inside it, stylists have access to hair products. Large, flat-screen televisions are likely to be showing romantic comedies or recent blockbusters rather than sports.
Clients are seated on the other side of the bar on comfortable leather salon chairs. There’s even a place for them to dock their iPods or iPhones at the bar, and with each blowout comes a complimentary glass of wine or champagne.
“We really wanted to try to create an experience with this,” Stephanie said. “We serve complimentary drinks. We want to provide over-the-top customer service.”
All the stylists are licensed cosmetologists – there are 11 total – and most work with other salons in the area.
Gates said the agreement works well, and since it’s a walk-in service, clients don’t have to feel like they’re “cheating” on their regular stylists when they come for a blowout.
“People can come in and see any stylist,” she said.
As they would at any bar, customers get a menu. This one has nine different hairstyles to choose from as well as an up-do. The boutique also has a hair washing area in the back. All blowouts come with a hair wash. Clients can also get hair treatments and/or scalp massages.
The boutique isn’t limited to adults. The menu offers a “lil bit” option for kids 12 and younger.
Lynn Ortis of Crestline said her 4-year-old twins Kati and Elle love coming to the Blowout Boutique. Recently, the girls visited the boutique to have their hair styled for a dance picture.
“This is the second time they’ve been,” Lynn said. “The girls love it. I have three (older) boys, so I’m not good with hair. It’s great.”
While walk-ins are welcome, Blowout Boutique does take appointments, which might be needed on busy weekends, Stephanie said. They also host parties and offer blowout bundles and monthly memberships.
This is the first location of Blowout Boutique, but Gates and Stephanie said they and president and CEO Matt Bagley hope to open more in the future.
For more information on Blowout Boutique, visit blowoutboutique.com