In Hairstylists We Trust: Q&A with Drybar Founder Alli Webb

For the past last couple of years, I’ve been facing a constant hair dilemma before every business meeting, date night or special event. Trying to choose between trekking in to the city for an expensive blowout or scheduling an appointment with an unknown stylist at a never-been-to cheap hair salon nearby, in hopes they can accomplish the style that I’m looking for. Needless to say those options left me broke with a botched dry style. Lucky for me (and the entire Metropolitan area), my hairstyle fears and wallet problems have subsided thanks to the newly opened Drybar in Bethesda. Before I embarked on my first (and definitely not last) blowdry, I had a chance to chat with Alli Webb, the genius behind the cool new hair salon concept.

Tell us about how you came up with the concept behind Drybar.
Alli Webb: “Well first and foremost, I’ve always been a blowout junkie. I’ve been a stylist for 15 years and not long after, I got married and had kids and thought I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. As much as I love my kids, I missed being out there. So I started a mobile blow dry business. My husband helped me with the website and created a page and that’s where I started posting on this little “Mommy blog,” which led me to getting all this business. What I was learning from my clients was they struggled with the same situation, when I couldn’t come to their house—like go to their salon and pay $70 or $80 for a blowout or go to a discount chain salon and you don’t know what you’re getting and experience is off. There wasn’t a place to go for a great blowout for a great price. I just had a vision in my head with an atmosphere that was fun and social.”

Why was DC next on your list?
AW: “Well we started in L.A. and we’re all throughout northern California, then naturally NYC was next. And what started happening as our presence started to grow, we were getting so many requests to come to D.C. on Twitter and social media. This was our most requested city, hands down. It’s a cool metropolitan city.”

What are some tips for maintaining a great blowout after visiting the Drybar?
AW: “Make sure you don’t go to the gym [laughs]. The Drybar has a Shower Cap for the morning after ($15). Dry shampoo is great. If it’s three or four days in and your hair looks dirty, try blow drying just the front part to help refresh your look.”

Any beauty products you’re loving right now?
“It’s always changing! Right now I’m obsessed with MAC glitter. I like anything that’s sparkly and shimmery. As far as hair products, the Style Winder, a modern version of a curling iron to help achieve that messy, beachy waves look.”

Drybar, 4840 Bethesda Ave., 240-483-4277; 1825 Wisconsin Ave., NW 202-609-8644;