By Frank Witsil
Detroit Free Press
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new Blow Dry Bar in Detroit is helping to revive downtown AND the $44 billion hair-salon industry, which, after the recession in 2007, was struggling to lure back customers who had cut back on traditional salon services to save money.
Detroit Free Press
After years of planning, Nia Batts and Katy Cockrel, both 32, opened a blow-dry salon in downtown Detroit last month.
The salon, Detroit Blows, doesn’t cut or color hair. It washes and styles it. It aims to be a place where mostly women — though men are welcome, too — can go to be pampered and bathed in hot air as hair professionals turn tangled tresses into glamorous locks.
“The idea is you can come in, you can get a blowout,” Cockrel said. “You can get your makeup and brows done. You can get an express mani and pedi, all using nontoxic products, and you can pick up a gift item on the way to a dinner party or wherever it is you are on to next.”
But, more than being a trendy place to get your hair styled, Detroit Blows represents the kind of enterprise that Detroit seems eager to develop and millennials are seeking to create: A business that solves a problem, aims to make money, is socially conscious and has an edgy name.
At 1232 Library Street, it’s the first blow-dry salon in the city, the founders said.
To raise investment for the enterprise, they turned to family and friends, some of whom, they said, got equity in the company. The pair also received a $20,000 grant from Motor City Match, a Detroit Economic Growth Corp. program that is aimed at growing businesses in Detroit.
There are a handful of salons like it in the suburbs. Salons like this, which are also referred to as blow-dry bars, have been popular on the East and West Coasts in the past few years and are becoming trendy in the Midwest.