By John Ingle Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas.
A trend often seen in metropolitan areas has blown into Wichita Falls to provide women "affordable luxury" and a "guaranteed good-hair day."
Primp and Blow, a blow-dry bar located on the north side of Parker Square next to Massage Envy, was opened in July by Lacee and Robert Ernst as the first stand-alone business of its type in town that offers hair maintenance in between visits to stylists at a salon.
In short, the business offers a wash and style for women on the go. Stylists do not color or cut hair.
"People here may not be familiar with what a blow-dry bar is unless you've been in (bigger cities) and stumbled across one," Lacee said. "To this market, the concept is new and it's a fresh idea, but in bigger cities you're starting to see them all over the place."
Lacee said the idea of bringing a blow-dry bar to Wichita Falls came after years of frustration of spending time on her own hair and not being happy with the results. She said her stylist was often booked well in advance, and there wasn't a place for her to simply walk-in for a "blow out".
After looking at the roughly five different blow-dry bar chains in the country, she said they decided Primp and Blow's modern and sleek look was the right fit for Wichita Falls and the first for Texas. There are seven other locations in Arizona, Kansas and Nebraska.
An enticing feature of Primp and Blow is being able to schedule women for appointments and accept walk-ins.
"I got in the habit of going to them (blow-dry bars) when we would go to Dallas or Fort Worth or Oklahoma City, and every time I walked into one, I just was really impressed and loved the idea, loved the concept," the former pharmaceuticals rep said.
"So it's something we wanted to bring to life here in Wichita Falls."
Stylists go through extensive training through Primp and Blow's official program, Lacee said, to learn how to use a hair dryer and round brush to provide the signature look the franchise is wanting to achieve. The stylists are also makeup artists trained by Smashbox to help complete the look.
Jennifer Bert, 29, a return customer to Primp and Blow, said she goes to the blow-dry bar to achieve the look she can't get at home.
"I love it," she said. "Just the convenience the convenience it gives and the ability to get a little primping done."
Lacee said the business has grown each month they've been open as more and more women are discovering it. A feature some like is that the store opens at 7 a.m. on Mondays so women can get a wash and blow out before heading off to work.
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays have also become popular at Primp and Blow. Lacee said there has been at least one "Girl's Night Out" group just about every weekend begin their night there with a bottle of wine and good times.
The main thing, she said, is to make sure the customer has a positive experience.
"Excellent customer service goes a long way," she said. "If we treat our clients extremely well and we provide good service, they'll return. That's what we're finding, and hopefully they'll bring their friends back when they do."
Visit www.primpandblow.com and look for Wichita Falls under the "locations" tab to see a full listing of services available.
Customers can schedule appointments by calling 940-222-2513, online or on their mobile app, or they can simply walk-in. They are also on Facebook at Primp and Blow Wichita Falls.