We tried the Lower Mainland's newest luxury blow dry bar

Mar 19 2021, 3:58 pm

Before the pandemic, I was one of those people who washed and blow-dried my hair religiously — three times a week. But since working from home became the norm, I’ll admit I have let my standards slip.

My basic drugstore-bought hair dryer has been collecting dust in the bathroom cabinet; it’s been that long since I picked it up. I let my hair dry naturally, knowing that it will, without a doubt, frizz up on me. But will anyone ever notice over a Zoom call? The answer is yes.

I knew deep down that it was time for a much-needed change, and the stars aligned when I found out that I’d have the blissful opportunity of experiencing the Lower Mainland’s newest luxury blow dry bar: Wish Dry Bar.

The hair boutique opened its first location at 1459 Bellevue Avenue in West Vancouver in January, a stunning waterfront destination offering an elevated experience for blowouts, treatments, and makeup for your everyday and special occasions — seven days a week, opening at 7 am Monday to Thursday, and 8 am on Fridays.

Wish Dry Bar/Janis Nicolay

Once my appointment was booked, I was sent a COVID-19 consent form to complete by email. On the evening of my scheduled visit, I couldn’t help but admire the gorgeous ocean-front vista outside the hair boutique.

Masked up, I went inside and met the team of stylists and the owner of Wish Dry Bar, Sogol Clark. Having grown up on the North Shore and holding love for the community of West Vancouver, Clark felt the scenic Bellevue Avenue was the perfect place to open the first location of Wish Dry Bar.

“I wanted to create a space that allows people to indulge in a little bit of ‘me time’ — something I think we could all use right now,” says Clark. “I’ve always loved getting my hair done but found there wasn’t something that offered an elevated, luxury experience I was looking for.”

Sogol Clark/Allison Kuhl

During our conversation, Clark’s passion for her business and creating a safe, beautiful space for her clients and team of expert hair stylists and makeup artists quickly became apparent. She enlisted the talented Vancouver-based designer, Peter Wilds, to bring the interior of Wish Dry Bar to life, with stand-out pieces by local artists Gabryel Harrison and Natalie Shteinberg adorning the walls.

Before I sat down for my consultation, I was beyond impressed. Full disclosure: I’d never been to a blow dry bar before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But the incredibly friendly and patient stylist looking after my hair transformation explained the process in detail, offering options suited to my hair type.

Wish Dry Bar/Allison Kuhl

While most dry bars use just one product line, Wish Dry Bar raises the bar high with quality products and treatments to suit everyone’s unique needs and preferences, including those from Davines, R+Co, and Kevin Murphy.

On the extensive menu, I noticed blowouts for different styles: messy beach hair, sleek and straight, mermaid waves, and big hair with lots of volume. The stylist recommended the latter for my hair and a 20-minute Davines Replumping Smoothness and Volume treatment.

Almost instantly, I could feel the treatment working, warming my scalp to reinvigorate each strand — a key element of the repair stage. This was exactly what my hair needed after a year of air-drying it at home. And since Wish Dry Bar feels more like a sanctuary than anything else, I could unwind while the treatment set.

Wish Dry Bar/Janis Nicolay

Mid-blowout, you can sip a Nespresso coffee or another beverage of your choice, with wine and cocktails slated to be available soon. I opted for bottled water, and on my next visit, I’ll certainly look out for the most glamorous cocktail on the menu.

One pertinent thing to know about Wish Dry Bar is that all stylists undergo extensive training to produce consistent results — that last longer than your average blowout. Only luxury hair tools are used to achieve your finishing look, too, like Dyson Supersonic hair dryers.

Wish Dry Bar/Allison Kuhl

When my blowout was complete, the stylist applied some R+Co strong hold flexible hairspray to keep the look neat for longer. With my hair shimmering, looking stronger and healthier than ever, holding volume I could never achieve with my basic hair dryer, I felt exultant.

Not only did the blowout last four days, but my hair has also felt super soft and silky ever since. For maintenance in-between blowouts, Wish Dry Bar even stocks a range of products that you can easily use at home.

Wish Dry Bar/Allison Kuhl

The beauty haven has plans to expand across the Lower Mainland this year, but until then, you can experience their luxury blowouts and treatments in West Vancouver. Simply visit wishdrybar.com or download the hair boutique’s app here and schedule your first appointment.

Wish Dry Bar

Address: 1459 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver

  • Monday to Thursday: 7 am to 7 pm
  • Friday: 8 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm

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