Salon’s high-powered blowouts fill niche

When Bree McCarthy’s best friend first introduced her to the blowout hair trend a few years ago, the East Dundee resident was an immediate convert.

“I fell in love with it,” said McCarthy, 32. “Ever since then, I don’t like doing my own hair anymore. She got me hooked.”

Soon, McCarthy noticed not only that the blow-dry-only salon trend was gaining popularity, but that it was also a niche missing in the suburbs.

Recently, she decided to leave the corporate world behind and go into business for herself by opening Blow Bar in the South Barrington Arboretum.

At Blow Bar, clients first get their hair washed and a scalp massage. Then, high-powered hair dryers, round brushes, and other styling tools are used to achieve the finished look. Depending on the length and texture of the hair, a blowout can take between 30 and 45 minutes.

Jacia Pearson, the friend that introduced McCarthy to the style, is now a stylist at Blow Bar. She enjoys giving clients a look they might not be able to achieve on their own.

“If they can do it themselves then I’m not doing my job,” she said. “And I like that they feel good when they walk out the door.”

Clients leave the shop with hair that’s shiny, bouncy, and with a style that will last for days, McCarthy said.

At her shop, blowouts are $35, and a 10-minute scalp massage, scalp treatment or hair mask can be added on for $10. Braids and dry styles start at $15.

“It used to be considered a luxury service that was done more for a special occasion, but by making the price more affordable to everyone, it has become part of a woman’s weekly routine,” McCarthy said.

The salon is already a big hit, with clients coming from all over the Chicago suburbs.

“Some people have never had it done before but had heard about them,” McCarthy said. “Some people come in every week to get it done. It’s very exciting to hear how excited they are to find us here.”

Her goal is to open several more blowout-focused hair salons in the suburbs.

More information about the Blow Bar salon can be found at