Blast Blow Dry Bar is now open at Shops at West End in St. Louis Park, and I was one of the first customers on Monday for the $35 shampoo and style. (Someone has to do this research for the community.) I was a little worried when the online scheduling system didn’t work for me, and while it is not fair to judge a business based on its very first day, the technical glitch did foreshadow a few opening pains.
Overall impression: Nice! I love the glittery exterior and the interior is bright and sleek. The bar in the center is ready for a photo op, with glass lemonade dispensers and a cupcake stand. The modern, white chairs face the bar rather than walls, as has become a dry bar standard. Still, it’s nice to be able to watch your blowdry in progress, and the free standing mirrors are at such an angle that I found it tough to see my reflection–even after my stylist made adjustments.
The blowdry menu was presented to me on iPad. I selected the “Signature Blast” – smooth, with body and a touch of curl. Next, a mixologist showed up with a tray of scents. I was a little confused about what I was selecting…the presentation could use fine-tuning. Basically, Blast has created its own shampoo, and clients can customize. I went with a Honeysuckle scented moisturizing formula, with a smoothing agent added in.
While the blowout itself is $35, Blast offers add-ons, like a scalp massage for $10. Really? Lots of salons offer a scalp massage at the beginning of a treatment, which sets the tone for a relaxing experience. It’s one of my favorite things about going to the salon. But I could never justify paying extra for it. As an opening special, Blast is offering a free service upgrade. No one mentioned this when I arrived, but I realized afterwards that my stylist must have treated me to the deep conditioning treatment–my shampoo seemed luxuriously long. I might have dosed off at the sink, but I was distracted by Extreme Couponing on the flat screen TV that faces the shampoo stations. Unnecessary media, if you ask me.
The blowout itself was as good as any other I’ve received lately, although my stylist seemed to lack some of the technique I’ve observed at salons with regimented training programs. She also used a lot of Moroccan Oil styling products, and I’ve been told that the less product used, the longer the blowout is likely to last. Time will tell. (Update: it’s day 3, and the blowout is holding up really well–even in the heat. I think I actually like my hair more on Wednesday than I did right after the service on Monday!)
Blast offers waxing, makeup, polish changes, updos and extras like feathers, braids and hair tinsel. There’s a VIP lounge which rents for $35 an hour– a fun way to extend a beauty party for a group of girlfriends. Blast’s second location, next to aLoft Hotel downtown Minneapolis, is expected to open by August.