With a surge in blow dry bars appearing in Ottawa, bad-hair days just might be a thing of the past. The pop up of these new shops are courting women who want polished locks in a flash and as with most businesses, some salons are better than others. If you’re a blow dry bar regular, you’ve likely been asked where you’re going for blowouts. Almost a best kept secret, blow dry bars have developed a sort of cult following in which women seek ‘perfect hair’, sometimes visiting the salon twice a week to maintain a polished look. Big and beautiful hair isn’t just for a select set of women either. In Ottawa, female politicians are booking their blowouts in advance of big events or press conferences and are often making the trek to the salon before the sun rises to be television ready for when the day starts.
Blow dry bars attracts women with all hair types, but the core customer is someone with long locks who wants a just-groomed look—not necessarily pin straight, but sleek and smooth with volume and fullness.
You might be asking yourself, whatever happened to using a blow dryer at home? Not only is a great blowout difficult to achieve but it can also be time-consuming and physically tricky to achieve at home. Professionals divide hair into sections and use a combination of a high-powered hair dryer, a large, round brush to tame hair into a smooth and lasting style.
The trend comes as the hair salon industry is struggling. Consumers are stretching out the time between haircuts, coloring and permanent straightening treatments. With that, some salons are changing the way they advertise, to be known as a blow dry bar first and a salon second.
I caught up with owner Fouad Eid, better known by his clients as ‘Fou’, with C’est Fou Blow Dry Bar. Fou also serves as the stylist for weddings and special events at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel and he currently boasts a large list of politicians and staffers who seek his services, such as MP Michelle Rempel, MP Candice Bergen and MP Lisa Raitt. I caught up with the busy stylist to find out why he brought the blow dry bar concept to Ottawa.
OLM: What was your initial vision for C’est Fou? Why did you decide on the blow dry bar concept?
Fou: My vision for C’est Fou was to establish an express beauty service in the nation’s capital. Blow dry bars are fairly recent and are an attractive retail concept in the beauty industry. The concept is to create a modern and affordable blow dry bar that is renowned for having blow dries as its signature service. Being a stylist is part of who I am and how I express myself as an artist. I’ve always liked to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of my work.
OLM: Why did you decide on Ottawa to set up the salon?
Fou: Quiet simply, I decided on Ottawa as it’s the nation’s capital and at the time, it didn’t have a blow dry bar. Most major cities offer this service and I felt that there was a void in Ottawa. When I opened the salon, I did so with the objective to establish C’est Fou as the premier blow dry bar in Ottawa, to develop a strong reputation and clientele base, and to create a brand as the most professional, convenient and affordable location for blow dries and styling.
OLM: What sort of client comes to your salon?
Fou: Our express beauty service is most often frequented by women on the go, such as politicians, lobbyists, the press and socialites who want to look professional or runway ready in a convenient and affordable way. Most clients book a blow dry because they often have an important meeting, an interview, or a formal event like a reception or wedding. However, I’ve noticed that lot of professional women come in just because they want to look and feel good.
OLM: What’s your best advice for women when it comes to hair?
Fou: Embrace your natural hair type, whether it’s straight, curly, fine or thick. Secondly, always tell your stylist what you don’t like about your hair, so they can address the problem. Lastly, women should know that beautiful hair needs an expert!
At C’est Fou, appointments are not required and walk-ins are welcome. Check out cestfoublowdrybar.com for pricing and blowout packages.