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Best of New York 2012 • Health & Self

Smackdown: Blowouts

  • Blow
    Clubby blowout salon.
    342 W. 14th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-989-6282
    Perky California challenger.
    4 W. 16th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-561-5392; and 119 W. 56th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-561-5392

    Opens weekdays at
    Blow: 8 a.m.
    Drybar: 7 a.m.

    Blow: $40 to $60; depending on hair length and texture; flat-ironing is an additional $10
    Drybar: $40 flat rate for any head

    Blow: Black-and-fuchsia décor sets a decidedly meatpacking-district mood
    Drybar: Sunny and casual, with a yellow-and-white color scheme

    Blow: Gussied-up fashion types in leather leggings and red-soled heels
    Drybar: Chatty post-sorority professionals and mother-daughter pairs

    Level of stylist chatter
    Blow: A steady stream of salon-standard small talk
    Drybar: After initial pleasantries, will leave you to your magazine

    Blow: Blow’s own sulfate- and paraben-free line
    Drybar: Moroccan Oil and L’Oréal

    Complimentary Sustenance
    Blow: Water, but you’ll have to ask for it
    Drybar: Champagne, coffee, tea, and cookies

    Blow: Requisite stack of fashion and lady mags
    Drybar: Flat-screens playing chick flicks (The Notebook, Crazy Stupid Love)

    Notable fans
    Blow: Gucci Westman, Julie Gilhart
    Drybar: Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Emma Roberts

    After the blowout, you'll look like
    Blow: Kim Kardashian (loose, voluminous curls)
    Drybar: Jennifer Aniston (sleek and flippy strands)

    What else?
    Blow: Updos, extensions, straightening, cuts, color, and nails
    Drybar: Updos, Shirley Temple blowouts for kids, at-home services


    Cancellation policy
    Blow: Within 24 hours, you’ll be charged ($40)
    Drybar: No charge, if you call

    Drybar wins, thanks to its two locations, extra-early hours—and mood-boosting Ryan Gosling flicks.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).