I got tag-teamed at Blo. I'd requested the "Holly Would" style from a menu of seven sketches. Two bloers, Ananda and Sara, each armed with dryer and round brush, tamed and smoothed my just-washed thick, wavy hair into a swingy, shiny, not-too-done â€™do.
Not that blowouts are usually two-bloer affairs -- it was a couple of days before opening and the atmosphere in the new-to-Toronto blowdry bar was giddy. Cute-chic in pink, white and grey, the space was loud with music, blasting dryers, animated chatter, and back-and-forth staff (bloers mostly). Ananda had started the job and seemed to take entirely in stride Sara's casual decision to help out.
Both experienced stylists -- Ananda from New York and Sara from another busy salon in Toronto -- had prepped with the 30-hour training course in the Blo technique. It's about every client getting the same consistency no matter who does it, said El Presidente Judy Brooks (above right) later when she shared some of Blo's philosophies. "You can't request a bloer," she explained. Besides changing the dynamic between the staff, bookings interfere with the zippy in-and-out-in-about-30-minutes objective. No reservations means no waiting around for a late-arrival customer finish her appointment. And, said Brooks, it fosters a friendly environment in which regulars get to know everyone, and vice versa.
This is Blo's fourth location in Canada. The first and, according to their press, still the only wash-blow-go bar (no cuts, no colour, don't call it a salon) in North America, opened in Vancouver in 2007, as did two others soon after. And a smaller "Pop-Up" bar is scheduled to open in Yorkville's Four Seasons hotel soon.
My Blo â€™do reminded me how much I like my hair straight. I don't have the luxury of lots of visits for about $32 including tax each, but I like the idea of being a regular at a friendly spot with a cheerful staff of blow-out experts. The concept seems a civilized way to take a bothersome task off my plate. I'd look forward to sleek hair every couple of weeks or whenever I need it instead of dreading it fiercely.
Not that I can't do a good blowout job on my own. I have the tools and the technique. It's just the 70 sweaty minutes my thick, unruly hair would put me through (I'd have to turn off the A/C -- old building circuits). Blo that.
If you're much further downtown, near the King and Bathurst area, you might like to know about Ritual 2.