I have always wanted a blow out, but never had a good enough reason to indulge in one. So I figured attending someone else’s wedding is as good a reason as any to go for it. You dress up so take a lot of photos, and end up being in everyone’s background anyways. Plus this particular wedding served as a quasi-reunion for me; seeing faces I haven’t seen since high school. It was time to dress to impress. I already spent $25 on altering a $39.99 dress, why not spent a little more to have my hair be just as impressive. By the way the weather wasn’t cooperating so I didn’t even end up wearing the dress.
They have several locations, I choose the one on South Granville, knowing I could find free parking. Tucked away on a corner, it is one of those shops that you go if you know. Though their signature pink on a sandwich board and hanging sign does help to draw attention. They take walk-ins. I am sure that helps because not many people plan their day around having their hair washed and combed without a cut and colour.
The set up feels like a hair salon, but there are no scissors, there are no capes worn around the neck. They style, they don’t change what you already have going on. I wasn’t the only one in at 11am on a Friday morning. I wondered what occasion everyone else was dressing their hair up for. Because truly I cannot envision this service as an every day thing. But I guess I can’t talk as there are days where I don’t even comb my hair.
The receptionist greets you right as you enter. With her sit staff on phones waiting for their next client or someone to walk in. Behind both bodies are the traditional bottles of shampoos and styling products for sale. Basically anything familiar when handling hair. They prefer appointments, but once again walk ins are also welcome. The website where I reserved a chair asked that I come in earlier to settle in, though the extra time was spent just starting right away.
I was directed to one of their work stations. A clear plastic chair facing a counter with a mirror. The chair did not rise or lower, and the counter did not have many tools. Though all you really need is heated tools and hair spray. The stylist I was assigned was full of energy. She was friendly and we chatted so long as I continued to engage. The whole appointment was quick. Sit, curl, spray and off you go.
Even though there is a “menu”, it is anything goes, you dedicate what you want. I went for a cross between two similar curly styles. The specialist told me she would be using a straightening iron to do the curls and she got right to it. When I made the appointment I added a footnote mentioning this would be my first time at “Blo” and was curious to know more about their other services before we began. I guess they don’t read the notes they give you space to write in.
Styles vary from up dos and straightening styles, to varying levels of volume and curl. Each its own description and sassy name like “hunt club”, “executive sweet”, and “holly wood”.
So what I assumed would be a hair washing and blow drying before styling was just hair curling. Immediately I did not feel it was worth the cost at $40. I am lazy, but am more than willing to do this myself and save the money for something else.
I mean waking in to a place called “blo” and hearing blow dryers going, I expected a blow out. I even asked what I was getting, I wanted the full experience, I wanted a blow. But apparently since my hair was washed a few days ago, it made for the best condition to style, where the curls would last. My thought was I wanted to keep the style for a few days and therefore wanted to start with a clean head of hair. Though at this point it was too late, she had started, and I am not the type of person to get her to begin again. Though secretly I was disappointed. I feel I didn’t get the full service and in the 15 minutes I sat I did not get my money’s worth.
The stylist confirmed where I parted my hair, asked if I wanted volume, and if I wanted hair spray.. My hair looked good, but I could have technically done this myself for nothing but my time. Probably triple the time it took her, but it would have been worth it. To not wake up early, drive out, potentially pay for parking, then tipping. It took me 30 mins each way to get a service I could do myself. At 15 minutes, I paid $3 a minute.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I won’t be indulging in this service again. It is great for special occasions and lazy people, but $40 is better spent investing in a good curling or straight iron. The worst part, it barely held past the wedding ceremony. The friction from putting on and taking off my coat was too much for the curls. At least they looked good for an hour or two.
1529 West 14th, Vancouver BC