St. Paul welcomes its first blow dry bar this weekend. Located in the former Stella Blu space on Grand Avenue, it’s the second location for local blow dry business the Wow Bar, which opened on Edina’s 50th and France shopping district in 2012. The blow dry bar concept has enjoyed popularity on the coasts before arriving in Minnesota a couple of years ago. Guests are given a shampoo, massage, and blowout with a variety of styling options, and are out the door in 45 minutes at $35 a pop. Think of it as a way to look like you just stepped out of the salon any day of the week (instead of once every six weeks during your regular haircut or color appointment).
Though the Wow Bar originally opened under the ownership of noted Minnesota hairstylist Jason Deavalon of Jason Deavalon Salon and attorney/philanthropist Parrel Caplan, Deavalon has since left the business last year to focus on his own salon. But the Wow Bar has continued under the ownership of Caplan along with her daughters Alyssa and Chloe Caplan—and expanded, thanks to the success of its original location, which oftens books out for weeks at a time. Alyssa tells me that each stylist undergoes an 80-hour training before working on the salon floor, ensuring consistent service.
Wow Bar’s styling differs from its competitors in a few ways. For one, it exclusively uses top-of-the-line hair product line Kérastase—my stylist Charlie called it the “Rolls Royce of hair products”—which is known for its smoothing and heat-protecting properties. Stylists also use only wooden round brushes, instead of metal, to help protect the hair from excess heat. And I really could notice the difference. (No wonder we gave them a nod for “Best Blowout” in 2012.)
If $35 seems pricey, it’s important to note that styles are meant to hold for three days up to a week without washing. And there’s something about the shiny, silky-smooth texture of a blowout that can’t be replicated at home.
The Wow Bar Grand Avenue celebrates grand opening weekend with $30 blowouts all weekend (normally $35) plus $100 off Wow Club Annual Membership, and complimentary lashes with the purchase of Total Wow (blowout and full face makeup package). There will also be drawings for a Platinum Blowout ($100 value), Wow private party ($420 value), and Kérastase gift set pack ($99 value).
Grand opening: Fri., Jan. 23-Sun., Jan. 26. 1104 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 612-334-3333, thewowbar.com.
More photos of the new salon:
[Photos courtesy the Wow Bar]