Trend Alert: Blowdry Bars

There are bad hair days. And then there are bad hair weeks. You know - those unfortunate stretches when you're forced to surrender to one tragic, greasy topknot after another; avoid reflective surfaces at all costs; and pray you don't run into your ex. My forays into such frazzled hair territory are brought to a halt by one thing only: a blowout. The good news is that the service once saved for special occasions has become affordable, accessible, and quick.

Some may think I'm being dramatic. Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance, Ph.D., does not. "Experiencing what you perceive to be bad hair is not trivial at all," she says, referencing a study she conducted that explored the cultural truism that "bad hair" (defined by participants as "hair that sticks out, needs cutting, is frizzy, damaged, poofy, flyaway, wild, was badly cut, or is bushy and greasy") leads to a bad day. "We found that the perception of having bad hair affected overall performance and self-esteem to a degree that participants felt they were less able to accomplish what they needed to do, and they felt less comfortable socially." It may sound silly, but great hair makes us feel happier, more alluring, more secure.

The evidence is all around me as I have my hair done at Drybar in West Hollywood, one of the busiest outposts of the growing chain's blowout-only salons. Smiles and hellos bubble from the front desk as women of all ages enter in a steady stream - sunglasses on, hair up, and all with the same let's-get-down-to-business expression on their faces. Upbeat stylists take first-time clients through consultations as regulars cheerily order Mai Tais (loose, beachy waves), Manhattans (sleek, pin-straight locks), and other signature looks with kicky cocktail names, each going for $35 ($40 in NYC), regardless of hair length, texture, or thickness.

A pop-glam vibe prevails: The bright white room is flooded with natural light; Rihanna and Lady Gaga pump through the speakers; chick flicks play closed-captioned on flatscreens; magazines, cookies, spa water, and champagne are all within arm's reach. It's Disneyland for the hair-obsessed. How could you not have fun here?

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