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Blow dry bars in Singapore: EL reviews blow outs at specialised hair salons across the island

To us, a blow dry has always been the necessary bit that comes at the end of a long session at the hair salon. While we often enjoy chatting our way through a set of highlights and a cut, you can start to get fidgety around the three-hour mark. Hence why, as the hairdryer is being untangled, we’re often keen to avoid asking for anything too snazzy and be on our merry way.

But salons that specialise in blow dries, who will simply blitz your hair ahead of a big night? Interesting! We’ve noticed a few ‘blow dry bars’ like these around town over the last few months, so it was about time we tested them out and brought you the best. Read on for a review of our top five, along with before and after shots.
 

Before (left) and after: Rachael and her pal Natalie 

TREATMENT: Perfect Blow Dry
WHERE:
The Big Blow @ Cluny Court
REVIEWED BY: Rachael Wheeler, Online Editor

The Big Blow is a team of seriously experienced (and seriously cool!) stylists who know exactly what they’re doing and can transform your look in no time at all. Oh, did I mention they come to your own home? Oh-ho yes. We’re not talking big bucks either.

With myself and a pal in need of preening ahead of an awards ceremony, we booked up with two of the team’s pros for the full works – blow dries, plus make-up. I was treated to a session with co-founder Ellie, who has travelled around the world as a make-up artist. I’m not sure if she had a third and fourth arm tucked somewhere, but I emerged from a whirlwind of rollers and powder to discover a new, vastly improved version of myself.

Having prepared models for fashion week in the past, Ellie made short work of my face and ‘do, upgrading me from respectable to delectable in around half an hour. My voluminous hair deserved its own swishy soundtrack by the time she was done with it and despite feeling various layers being applied, Ellie somehow managed to make the ‘wow’-factor look effortless and natural. 

The next time I go back (and, trust me, I will – I just need to beef up my social life to create the demand for it), I’ll opt to have my appointment at The Big Blow’s new salon in Cluny Court. Not just because you get a glass of prosecco (and chocolate truffles, if co-founder Mark has had time to whip them up!), but because I simply liked being around the team – it’s a cool way to kick off the night.

The Big Blow Lounge @ Cluny Court
501 Bukit Timah Road, 6465 4836
Opening times: 9am – 7pm daily
Price: Full styling and up-do: $60 and full make-up: $55 (at home, full package would be $200)

 

Before (left) and after: Liana

TREATMENT: Geisha Blowout
WHERE:
PREP at Mandarin Gallery
REVIEWED BY:
Liana Talib, Client Services & Production Manager

After this visit, I simply wished I’d discovered PREP much earlier. It’s Singapore’s first blowout-only salon and located at Mandarin Gallery.

I tried out the Geisha Blowout ($60), one of the salon’s most popular hair treatments. Using Shu Uemura Art of Hair products, the blow out left my hair feeling radiant, with a unique, airy touch.

Prior to washing, Xavier – my designated stylist – combed my tresses and analyzed my hair type – frizzy with some stray strands. Yup, sounds about right!

Next, a hair wash, using a cleansing oil shampoo (getting my hair washed by someone else is one of life’s guilty pleasures) combined with a very relaxing head massage in between. Finally, a leave in mask for five glorious minutes.

For the blow out that followed, I asked for big curls. Fast-forward ten minutes and I couldn’t stop gawking at my new princess hair. I was in LOVE with my new celebrity style and only wish it would stay like that permanently. All in all, the blow out took an hour, which is pretty decent considering I have waist-length hair.

As I headed home, a stranger actually approached me to say how gorgeous my hair was. I’m definitely coming back to PREP for another blowout session whether I have a big night out or not!

PREP, Mandarin Gallery
#03-34 33A Orchard Road, 6732 6123
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 10am – 9pm, Saturday, 10am – 8pm, Sunday, 11:30 – 7:30pm
Price: $45

 

Before (left) and after: Laura

TREATMENT: Permanent Blow Out
WHERE:
Blow+Bar
REVIEWED BY:
Laura Pereira, New Business & Events Assistant

Ten minutes of my morning routine always involves sitting in front of the mirror, blow-drying my hair into the perfect silhouette. I’m Eurasian, with thick short hair that falls just above my shoulders (I’m going through the annoying outgrowing phase from a pixie cut). By midday, my hair rebels and likes to curl out in every direction possible – every girl’s hair nightmare (do you feel my pain, sister?!)

Well, I’ve now officially found my fairy godmother! Blow+Bar‘s latest treatment, the Permanent Blowout is, as it reads, a permanent blowout. It gives your hair natural bounce, a volumised finish and natural curls that last for up to six months. There are nine different styles to chose from (there is even one for men!). I opted for ‘Vavavoom’, a blow out for shoulder length hair.

Technical director, Jason, whipped my locks into rollers before connecting them to a machine (which looked rather like they were reformatting my brain!). After three hours (the wine and magazines helped!), my hair was transformed from ordinary to extraordinary.

It is hard to imagine life without it now. My new do has so much character and volume and has given me a real confidence boost. If you’re seeking something with easy maintenance and minimal styling required, this blowout is for you. Cheers to Blow+Bar for giving me extra snoozing time in the morning!

 

Before (left) and after: Michelle

TREATMENT: Ultimate Blow Out
WHERE:
Blow+Bar
REVIEWED BY:
Michelle Castillo-Mohlman, Editor

I have that annoying “type 5” hair that just won’t do anything: over processed by color, a very bad and recent re-bond, 5 days of hot yoga every week, midday pool time – you get the idea. So when I got invited to try out the Ultimate Blow Out at Blow+Bar’s new Raffles outlet, I jumped at the chance.

Arriving at Blow+Bar still sweaty from a nearby hot yoga class, I was greeted with a red wine (sure, why not?) and an iPad menu of options for colour, treatments, and of course, pictures of blow out styles and up dos galore. I opted for the Moroccan Ultimate Blow out, an ultra-conditioning blowout that would help to tame my fried tresses.

Treated by a much needed head massage, director stylist George went to work on my newly Moroccan oil-moisturized locks with his seemingly effortless brush curl and blow technique that demystified my delusions of Dallas debutante/prom queen bouffant, leaving me with an awards-ceremony-worthy coif.

Not only did I look (and feel) like a winner, George’s advice on shutting down my penchant for re-bonding and instead opting for keratin treatments to get my mane back in tip-top shape has drawn me in for my next appointment.

Blow+Bar
#05-18 One Raffles Place, 6438 7005
Opening times: 10am – 9pm daily
Prices for Permanent Blowout: For a la-carte, prices from $160 for women and $160 for men
Prices for Moroccan Ultimate Blowout: $70 for short, medium or long hair, $82 for very long hair

 

Before (left) and after: Susannah

TREATMENT: John Frieda Blow Out
WHERE:
Next Salon
REVIEWED BY:
Susannah Jaffer, Fashion & Beauty Editor

As I have curly frizzy hair that I wash every day, the concept of a blow dry never seems practical. For someone to tame my tresses would be a great feat, but it’s worth a try! And so I headed along to Next Salon, where I was placed into the experienced hands of creative director Dexter Ng for a John Frieda blow out.

First up, a luxurious hair wash and head massage with John Frieda’s Dream Curls shampoo and conditioner (no matter how well you massage your head in the shower at home, it just never feels as good as at the hairdressers). Then, it was into Dexter Ng’s chair for the magic to begin.

Dexter – who’s also a celeb stylist – and his assistant got to work on my mop, spraying in John Frieda’s Dream Curls Perfect Curls spray after applying their Keratin Serum as a base. A handy tip for those with fine hair like myself; opt for lightweight products that don’t weigh down the hair e.g. sprays, serums and mousses rather than gels and waxes – especially if you’re going for volume (and who isn’t?).

Twenty minutes later and, voila, I skipped out of the door with salon perfect and controlled (key word!) curls, ready for the Friday night ahead.

NEXT Salon
#03-19 ION Orchard, 6509 0220
Opening times: 10am – 10pm daily
Price: $60

 

Before (left) and after (pink!) 

TREATMENT: Amplified Keratin Treatment
WHERE: Chez Vous
REVIEWED BY: Rachael Wheeler, Online Editor

After one hell of a makeover, Chez Vous invited me to have a nose around their salon to check out their oh-so-chic layout and stunning new interior. The 2,000 square foot beauty haven has occupied Takashimaya for 10 years, but their recent facelift is innovative, with top of the range furnishings and apparatus to please and pamper the client. During my lovely visit, I was able to test out one of their statement offerings – the Amplified Keratin Treatment.

Having recently cut in a mid-length bob (after years of long, easy hair), I was finding that I needed to give myself a ‘proper’ blow dry every day in order for it to look tame, and I wasn’t doing a particularly good job (see above, left!).

The Amplified Keratin Treatment is a blow out that is designed to coat your hair with a layer of absolute lovliness (it may well be angel dust) that essentially leaves your hair looking healthy, sleek and conditioned for three to four months. I was promised that I’d be able to perform salon-finish blow outs on myself afterwards!  First, you’re whipped off to the Splash area, where they prepare your hair for the keratin chemicals and treat you to a glorious head and neck massage. Back the station, the treatment is applied with care (you know you’re in good hands, as Chez Vous have a ‘hair directors allowed only’ policy), before being dried and straightened incredibly throughly. This is to seal in the keratin, but it doesn’t mean that your hair will remain super straight once its washed (curls girls, do not fear!). You’re then taken back to the Splash zone for another conditioning wash (and heavenly rub!) and the hair is dried and straightened a further time (extra sealing). The whole process is around three hours, but Chez Vous’ staff will treat you like a celeb – there’s food, drinks, nail therapists, endless mags and even a tablet per person to keep you occupied.

The result of my session at Chez Vous? My hair is shiny, soft and easy to manage at all times – I can point a hair dryer at it and it simply falls into place, creating that salon-finish in seconds. I don’t know how they do it, but my hair basically looks like itself… but at its best at all times. Consider myself addicted.

Chez Vous
391 Orchard Road #05-05, Ngee Ann City, 6732 9388
$325+up

 

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