St. Paul has finally welcomed its first blow-dry bar, on bustling Grand Avenue. It’s the second branch of the WOW Bar, which launched at 50th & France in Edina in 2012. Composed of six glossed-white styling stations, a crystal-beaded curtain, and WOW’s signature black-and-white-striped walls, the petite space is a chic slice of modern style amidst the avenue’s historic Victorian brownstones.
Blow-dry bars are a little like a nail salon for your hair—a way to have a salon-perfect coif in between regular cut and color
appointments. Since the blow-dry bar trend made its way to Minnesota a couple years ago, the metro area now boasts seven of them, including WOW, Blowdry!, and Blast, plus Blush Beauty Room, a similar concept that specializes exclusively in makeup and skincare services. Though the service is considered a timesaver for women on the go—styles are meant to hold from three days to a week without washing—I don’t expect blow-dry bars to be quite as ubiquitous as they are in trendier, more fast-paced locales such as New York and Los Angeles.
Alyssa Caplan, who owns the WOW Bar with her mother and sister, explains why the concept has been successful enough to merit an expansion. “When we opened WOW, it truly was addressing a problem that hadn’t been addressed before,” she says. “It makes lives easier, it makes people feel awesome, and it’s available at an accessible price point.”
At the WOW Bar, a 45-minute service includes shampoo, blow-dry, and styling at $35 a pop. And there’s something about the shiny, silky-smooth texture of a blowout—thanks in large part to the salon’s exclusive use of luxury product line Kérastase, known for its smoothing and heat-protecting properties—that’s difficult to replicate at home.
1104 Grand Ave., St. Paul