What is it like to be a Stylist at a Blow Dry Bar?

by Alison Alhamed | September 15, 2017

At weddings, graduations, prom and other special occasions, more and more women can be spotted ditching updos and formal styles and opting instead for sleek, styled, gorgeous blow outs that last far beyond the special occasion.

“Women come to us to look and feel their best, to enjoy some well-deserved pampering, and for the convenience of having an expert do their hair,” says Kim Wolfe, Blo Blow Dry Bar’s General Manager of Franchise Operations. “Clients visit before heading to a special event, because they have an important meeting at work, or because blow outs are part of their regular beauty regimen. Some come a few times a year while others visit a few times a week.”

Here, we chat with Wolfe to learn more about blow dry bars and get a glimpse into the everyday life of a stylist who works at a blow dry bar.

MODERN: What kind of stylist is best to work in a blow dry bar?  

WOLFE: Blow dry bars are a wonderful place for both new graduates and seasoned professionals to hone their styling skills. For new graduates, it provides an opportunity to work directly with clients while gaining a valuable skill set. For seasoned professionals, it helps them master their styling skills, increasing the scope of services they can provide. The skills they learn will serve them well, whether they choose to continue their career in the blow dry bar industry, pursue work at a full-service salon, or work on set as a session stylist.

MODERN: What do you say to the stylist who might be concerned working in a blow dry bar will stifle her creativity?

WOLFE: Blow dry bars do not stifle creativity—they nurture it! When it comes to styling, the sky is the limit. At Blo, we ensure all of our stylists are trained on our seven signature looks. These looks range from messy-waves, to the perfect pony, to big, bouncy, curls. In addition to these signature styles, Blo offers a la carte options—bring in a picture, we will recreate it, bridal hair, braids and extension installation. This means our stylists are constantly reviewing trends and participating in training. Some of our bars hold weekly competitions called Updo of the Week. The lead educator will select an inspiration picture and the whole team will be responsible for creating or re-creating a specific look for it. The stylist with the best look is recognized each week and rewarded a prize. Programs like this help nurture creativity as well as ensure our stylists are constantly pushing and refining their skill sets.

MODERN: If a stylist isn’t particularly strong at blow out skills just yet, are there opportunities for education?

WOLFE: Absolutely. Every stylist who works at Blo, whether they are a fresh grad or an industry professional, must complete BloUniversity (BloU), an intensive training program where you learn to master our signature styles and more. In addition to the initial training, each Blo location has a lead educator responsible for the ongoing up-training and quality assurance of styles. When it comes to new hires, we focus first on the right attitude and a willingness to learn. If you have those qualities, we are confident our training can get you round-brushing with the best of them in no time. Some of our stylists who started out with no blow out experience have quickly gone on to become our top educators, traveling all over the country, opening new locations and overseeing the training of our newest team members.

MODERN: Beyond being a stylist at a blow dry bar, what other opportunities are available for career growth at a bar like Blo?

WOLFE: There are many opportunities available to stylists beyond the Blo network. Whether your interest lies in education, session styling or pursuing careers in cut or color, strong styling skills will help get you noticed and set you apart from the pack. Some of our stylists have gone on to educator positions with companies like Unite or have been tapped to join top full-service salons as a result of their styling skills. Other stylists have been flown out to destination events like weddings, Comic-Con and Miami Swim Week, or have assisted as session stylists on set. Within the Blo network, there are numerous opportunities for career growth. Some of our stylists have been featured on air for segments on styling or hair trends, have advanced to educator positions within our system and have been recognized for their work with career-development rewards such as tickets and travel to Unite’s Global Session, a two-day conference showcasing platform artists from across the world. Beyond hair care and styling, working at Blo can also equip interested stylists with management skills, ultimately leading to the management or even ownership of their own blow dry bar. No matter your career path, the reality is every hair treatment, whether cut or color, needs to be finished off with a fantastic style. Why not give yourself the competitive edge with superb finishing skills? It makes you more employable and opens you up to many more opportunities.

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