Drybar's Alli Webb on Getting the "Drybar Bill" Passed as Law, Perfecting a Great Blow Out With Her New Book
Plus, she shares her makeup must-haves.
"We've been on this rocket ever since we started," says Alli Webb, founder of The Drybar, about the business' steady ascent since the opening of the first salon, located in Brentwood, in 2010.
By now Webb's journey to make pretty, blown-out hair accessible is a well-known success story. But the beauty entrepreneur isn't stopping there. She released her first book this winter, The Drybar Guide To Good Hair For All (Abrams Image), is expanding the Drybar product line and recently helped lobby to pass The Drybar Bill in Congress to make it legal for hair salons in Virginia and California to serve one glass of complimentary wine or Champagne. (Thank you!)
"We were running into the problem of not being able to serve a glass of wine or Champagne in some of our shops, so we lobbied to get The Drybar Law passed first in Maryland and now California," says Webb, who saw the law pass in California just last week.
While imbibing certainly makes for an upbeat atmosphere at a Drybar (or any salon for that matter), a glass of bubbly also plays into ethos of the Drybar brand, from the menu of hairstyles (on offer are a Mai Tai, Cosmo and Straight Up), to the relaxed vibe Webb and her team have cultivated.
The feeling resonates in her book, which reads like a girlfriend's guide to getting your ideal hairstyle, starting with basics like how to ID your hair type and do's and don'ts of shampooing (hint: you shouldn't be doing it every day). Webb also breaks down salon lingo, gives product recommendations and detailed tips for each style, and includes commonly asked hair questions from real women followed by her advice and expertise.
"The inspiration (to write this book) was to make good hair more accessible and not so serious," says Webb. "It always baffles me how people aren’t shy to try makeup, but they are timid to try hair. We've broken some of those barriers and made women realize that it doesn’t have to be so perfect."
For instance, in her book and through the salons, standard styles like the Cosmopolitan (pretty, polished and loose curls) mix with the Mai Tai (tousled and textured) to form the Cosmo-Tai — relaxed curls with plenty of volume. The Cosmo-Tai is popular in Los Angeles, where bouncy and beachy are still big beauty goals, Webb reports.
As for the most common problems Webb and her team hear, clients either want to know how to turn up the volume or how to tame down the frizz.
Though the book is a thorough tutorial on how to DIY a professional-grade blowout, some women will remain daunted (or still find it difficult to get the right angles from arm to brush to blow dryer). Either way, the success of Drybar is in having options.
"We've broken some of those barriers and tapped into this emotion of selling happiness and confidence," says Webb.
While Webb has cracked the good hair code, she remains in awe of makeup and has built her own list of favorite products and tips picked up from professional makeup artists she is around when appearing on TV or in photo shoots.
Below are Webb's must-have makeup items that she turns to while traveling, at work, or completing her beauty look after getting a great blow out.
3. Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, $35
4. Mary Kay brow gel (a recommendation from brow expert Kristie Streicher), $10
5. MAC lip pencil in Edge to Edge, $17.50