my visit to drybar

After a weekend of supreme laziness, I ended up missing my usual Sunday appointment at my local Dominican hair salon. This left me somewhat frazzled (if my hair doesn’t look good, I feel like a slob) and seeking something quick yet effective.

My hair is at that awkward stage where I’m not only growing out a pixie but I have new growth meaning my roots are in their naturally curly state while the ends are relaxed/ bone straight. Not many stylists can handle this situation and I’ve been to many salons where the stylist twists their face, mutters underneath their breath, and calls upon a colleague or two to assist them. Nothing is worse than sitting in a chair with THREE people trying to “handle” your hair. It’s embarrassing so I’ve avoided fancy salons but your girl was desperate.

the dry bar
I quickly made an appointment to Drybar on the Upper East Side as I know a few ladies who love Drybar (granted they’re not African American so my fears were alive and well). Drybar is a “blow dry bar” meaning there aren’t any cuts or colors – just blowouts. At $40 for any hair type, I decided to take a leap of faith and give this a go. Plus, they use Moroccanoil products and as we all know, I work for the brand so I obviously believe in the products.

I arrived early for my appointment because I know my hair always takes long and I wanted to give the stylist enough time to take a look at my hair and be serious/ upfront if they’d be able to properly blow dry my hair. The Upper East Side location is quiet and cheery with the brand’s signature yellow shade bursting from everywhere. I was offered a drink while I waited and not too long after was greeted by Melissa Oquendo, a petite stylist with impeccable makeup. I was somewhat calmed as I looked around as the salon staff was quite diverse itself. Let’s be honest here, shall we? If a salon doesn’t have at least one person who looks like me and has to deal with my type of hair, I get nervous. There were two natural hair ladies so if Melissa didn’t know what she was doing, I figure she could get backup 😛

the drybar
Luckily my fears quickly melted away. Melissa has naturally curly hair and understood why I was hesitant. After using Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner (most likely Moisture Repair collection but I didn’t properly get a glimpse) to wash my hair, I was taken back to my seat where I had the chance to decompress and watched Charlie’s Angels while sipping a glass of water. She first applied Hot Toddy to protect my hair from the heat and quickly followed with Cream Soda styling cream and got to work blow drying my hair, section by section. She took her time while drying and was careful not to place the nozzle to close to my scalp but still paid attention to my roots.

After fully drying the hair, she asked if I wanted to flat iron to make it smoother (I did). This is where I was supremely happy because I’ve been to some salons where they automatically whip out the flat iron and insist it was necessary; Melissa offered and seemed to understand the importance of not applying too much heat. Before she applied anything, she told me what she was doing and why she was using a certain product. She was careful not to tug too hard or pull my hair while detangling, making sure to be gentle all throughout the process.

After flat ironing my hair, she applied a bit of styling pomade by the brand, called The Chaser and finished the look with Money Maker hairspray. The products smell wonderfully and were light enough on my hair so that it wasn’t weighed down. She made the style a bit piecey and not too sweet. I was out of Drybar after about an hour and fifteen minutes (max!) and left unbelievably satisfied. $40 is more than I normally pay at my local salon but given the service, I think it’s worth every penny (plus it’s still more affordable than most salons in NYC). I’d be curious to see how women with fully natural hair that’s longer than mine would be taken cared of but I doubt it’s a problem. I’ll definitely be going back based off of this experience!

Shop the products I mentioned above:

1 Comment

  1. Mary Torres-Sherry
    Friday, April 7, 2017 / 6:24 am

    The young woman you wrote about so long ago is my niece, Melissa Oquendo. Melissa is no longer styling hair at the Dry Bar, she left to pursue her real love…make up. Melissa ‘s Instagram page is titled “hairandmakeupbyemm.” Look her up. Excuse my pushiness, I am just a proud “Titi “.