Drybar: Branding with Style


Drybar: Branding with Style

DryBar, the nationwide chain of hair-styling salons, is a triumph of architectural branding. In the nine years since its first store opened in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, DryBar has added about 120 stores across the continent that conform to their signature design aesthetic and offer customers in any location a consistent experience.


The look, intended to evoke a bar-like social venue instead of a traditional hair salon, blends elements of traditional and contemporary design.
Photo credit: Heitler Houstoun Architects / © Clark Dugger Photography

as a very particular look. Certain key elements of the design are seen in virtually every store interior (except a few where the look has been modified to fit the context of a special location). These include the bar itself; the white marble countertops; a chandelier made of yellow plastic hair dryers; placement of mirrors where the customer will only see them at the end of the treatment; and a coffered ceiling made of Ceilume thermoformed ceiling panels. 


Because of the use of sprayed products during Drybar treatments, ceiling panels that can be cleaned easily are a must for Drybar’s finishes.
Photo credit: Ceilume

“The real groundbreaking idea of the original Drybar,” explains Josh Heitler, Senior Principal of Heitler Houstoun Architects, “was to break the mold of the salon, to have it look and feel and smell nothing like the typical salon experience.”  Heitler Houstoun, New York, NY has designed all of Drybar’s stores from the beginning, refining and tweaking the design, and even fabricating the signature blow dryer chandeliers by hand in their own office. “In 2009, when we were designing the first one, nobody was really sitting at a bar to get a service. Now it’s so ubiquitous, it feels like there’s a bar for everything. But that was the unique idea: you’re getting a service in a new and social way, where you’re sitting at a bar having a glass of wine, watching a movie, perhaps you’ve gone with friends… You’re not staring at yourself in a mirror the whole time.  And, there’s the built-in idea of the big reveal, when they turn you around to the mirror at the end. The station itself, all of the dimensions and all materials are standardized across all the stores.  The idea is that a customer who’s traveling, at a Drybar anywhere in the country, will find that part of the experience comfortable and familiar.”


Every Drybar includes a chandelier made of blow dryers, each one fabricated by the architect’s office.
Photo credit: Steven H. Miller

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Drybar: Branding with Style Drybar: Branding with Style Reviewed by FADED4U on November 21, 2019 Rating: 5

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