After a Core Fusion class at Exhale’s Central Park South location on a recent evening, women headed to the locker room as usual to prep for evening engagements. But one woman, instead of hastily drying her hair and throwing it in a half-wet ponytail, sat in her socks while a stylist created a head of perfect curls for a celebratory dinner she was heading to at Peter Luger.
Her blowout was courtesy of Glam & Go, a just-launched company that’s bringing super-quick hairstyling services into the city’s gyms and locker rooms, a place where founder Erika Wasser says fitness-focused women are constantly sacrificing great hair for fitting in their workouts.
“I joined Exhale and Equinox and all of these gyms, and I wasn’t going, and I realized the reason was my hair,” Wasser says. “I didn’t have the extra hour to spend in order to get back into my life looking great.”
It’s a business model that doesn’t came as a surprise. Blowout bars like Drybar have been expanding across the country, and sweaty workout buffs are a natural market to tap. Rachel Zoe’s DreamDry, which shares an investor with Flywheel, opened both of its New York locations super close to the popular cycling studios (the 57th Street DreamDry is just a few blocks from Flywheel’s soon-to-open Lincoln Center studio). Blow has partnered with local studios like Yoga 216 for special events; Fix Beauty Bar has done the same with SoulCycle. Tracy Anderson included an in-house blow-dry bar in her new Brentwood studio that opened in Los Angeles this year.
Another company, Vive, which will provide on-demand beauty services delivered to your door when it launches in early 2014, is promoting its impending launch by providing blowouts at special events at Uplift Studios and Swerve.
Glam & Go just takes the concept one step further, by billing itself as the “in-gym blowdry bar for people on the go,” and emphasizing speed and convenience. Its services are currently only available at Exhale’s Central Park South and Upper East Side locations in New York, but Wasser hopes to expand to other gyms soon.
Glam & Go has made getting your hair done as easy as getting your workout in. Gym-goers can sign up for a spot before class and then choose from a menu of four signature styles (with cute names like Hot Body and Serious Curves) or four of-the-moment braids, all of which can be completed on sweaty hair, using dry shampoo, in 15 minutes, for $20. Full wet-to-dry blowouts cost $40 and take longer.
Of course, logistical issues abound. A locker room can only fit a couple of stylists, so if demand is high, you won’t always be able to sit down right after your last stretch. Plus, each spot a stylist takes in front of the mirror takes space away from those who want to do their own hair and jet. Wasser, however, is confident that Glam & Go’s approach will work, because she created the concept around the green room experience she was used to as a stand-up comedian and actress.
“I would show up to set with crazy, gross hair, and in 15 minutes, I’d be camera-ready,” she says. “I thought, ‘What if I could recreate the green room experience in the women’s locker room?'” We’re thinking many women would like that very much. —Lisa Elaine Held