Thar She Blows! Getting Blown at the Blo Bar, SF

Published in: Hair

Okay, so the name’s kinda cheesy/pervy, but don’t let that scare you away. I got blown at the Blo Bar in San Francisco yesterday, and I can’t wait to go back. It’s completely legit and involves two of my favorite things: efficiency and fabulous hair.


The one I visited is the first to open down here in the States, but there are nine (soon to be 10) other Blo Bars in Canada.

The exterior of Blo Bar SF… they’re so new that they don’t have a sign yet!

Their schtick? No cuts, no color — just a fantastic 30-minute wash/blowout/style for $33 bucks (not including tip).

It may sound a little pricey at first, I mean for something so temporary, but after I did the beauty math πŸ™‚ I think it makes a certain kind of sense.

The inside of the salon

My usual salon charges upwards of $50 for the same thing — a wash and blowout — and they require an appointment sometimes as far as a week out. Blo Bars, however, take walk-ins (as well as appointments), so they’re great for last-minute events when you want a fresh style.

Blo Bar Locations

California, USA

  • Union Street, San Francisco — (415) 655-9886

British Columbia, Canada

  • Yaletown, Vancouver — (604) 909-9495
  • South Granville, Vancouver — (604) 734-7599
  • Four Season Hotel, Vancouver — (604) 609-5460
  • Morgan Crossing, Surrey — (778) 294-3334

Alberta, Canada

  • Calgary — Opening spring 2010

Ontario, Canada

  • Yonge Street, Toronto — (416) 440-4256
  • Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto — (416) 920-2256
  • King Street West, Toronto — (416) 703-1256
  • Bloor West Village, Toronto — (416) 766-4400
  • Oakville Lakeshore, Toronto — (905) 845-2568

Sure, I do something similar (but rarely as good) to my hair at home, but it takes time, from start to finish (including washing) about an hour, assuming I do everything right. When/if I screw something up, it can add an extra 20-30 minutes to the process, sometimes more.

That’s a lot of work… and sometimes it’s just nice to feel pampered. You get a style that looks great from every angle (as opposed to just the sides and front), one that could last for a few days with the help of a good dry shampoo.

How do Blo Bars work?

First, one of their stylists washes and conditions your hair, and then you choose the style you’d like (they have seven main ones but can also do custom styles) from their illustrated menu.

I was in the mood for tight curls, so I chose “Sex, Hugs & Rock and Roll,” a style with tightly defined, yet tousled curls.

Depending on how much hair you’ve got or how well it behaves, they may call over a second stylist to work on you. That’s what happened to me, thanks to my unruly mane.

Ha, ha!

Together, Lindsey and Chris whipped my hair into shape using Blo Bar’s in-house products and top-of-the line styling tools from brands like T3.

Halfway there…

A view from the top

Thirty minutes later, my hair had gone from broke to BEYONCE.


I felt sort of validated later in the day at a Sephora, where one of the sales associates blurted out, “You know, your hair looks REALLY good.”

“Gurrrrl,” I replied back, “it wasn’t my doing. It was the Blo Bar. They’ll hook you up!”

I definitely see myself visiting again, like before a special event. Not only does it save time and effort, but it’s nice to have hair that looks fab from all 360 degrees every once in a while!

Blo Bar San Francisco

Location: 2167 Union Street, San Francisco, California
Phone number: (415) 655-9886
Online booking: Book an appointment online by clicking here


Monday through Wednesday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. by appointment; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. walk-in
Thursday through Friday: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. by appointment, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. walk-inÒ€¨
Saturday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. by appointment, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. walk-inÒ€¨
Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 74 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Solangel says:

    Omg, if one of these opened up in Puerto Rico…heaven!

  2. Citrine says:

    That dude (Scarlett’s hubby, forgot his name…)just made me LOL-ed…

    I like the curl you did yourself much better (Shhh, don’t tell the blow people). I will give them a go if I ever feel like being Shirley Temple for a day…
    .-= Citrine’s last blog post… Vampy Lips from Anna Sui =-.

  3. Angelique says:

    That is just about the coolest thing ever, I NEED TO GO as I am horrifying challenged when it comes to doing anything other than straightening my hair.
    I’m in So Cal so I have hope that one of these will open soon!!!

    A Blo Bar franchise investment would be a guaranteed moneymaker. Hmmm…..

  4. shivotra says:

    that’s amazing. its opening in Calgary soon πŸ™‚

    Sometimes a good hair day really makes a difference – i don’t mind shelling out 35 bucks if I get that.

    PS: your curls were very divalicious.
    .-= shivotra’s last blog post… MIA till April 20, 2009. =-.

    • Andrea says:

      Hehe I know, I’m so excited it’s opening in Calgary!!

      That would be fun for special occasions or days when you want to feel really pretty and pampered πŸ™‚

  5. evo says:

    glad you like it! i’ve gone a few times here in vancouver. it’s great cuz i can get someone else who can curl my hair in a short amount of time without looking i had a poodle on my head. heehee

  6. Kate & Zena says:

    Still none here in ye ol’ Midwest, but that’s okay. It’s really hard to screw up blow-drying a lot of fine, stick straight hair. I mean, yes I have a teeny wave on the bottom that can be a PITA, but it’s REALLY HARD to screw up. When I do have the time and the patience to blow dry, it takes about 8 minutes. If I want it to look really good and get it 100% (as opposed to 99%), it take twelve.

    Now, if I wanted to curl the little sucker, I’m in trouble. 1h30+ and it’ll stay for like twenty. I’ve given up on curling it. I use my ceramic curling iron as a hair straightener. XD

    Dude, it got up to 81 degrees here today! Yay for the heat!!! It’s supposed to t-storm tomorrow though (ick). The heat was GLORIOUS.

  7. Natalie says:

    thats way too cool, sometime you just want a change without coloring or cutting

  8. Christy says:

    I love getting my hair blown out and Blo is definitely a great place to go. Glad that I have 3 here in my area. πŸ˜‰ It’s a bit of a treat, but great for a crazy night out.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… MAC Give Me Liberty of London Review & Swatches =-.

  9. amy says:

    I always wanted to go to BLO to get the perfect straight blow out, curls and the perfect ponytail. Though I haven’t been there yet, I would eventually go in one day for a treat. Good thing they are easily accessible in my city.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… MAC Give Me Liberty of London Eyeshadow Birds & Berries Product Picture, Swatches and Review =-.

  10. Aisha says:

    you loook gor-gusss. lol,curls look great on you karen. πŸ˜€

  11. Beth says:

    I think I have the exact same hair as Kate & Zena. Straight, fine, blah. Will. Not. Curl.

    Its an awesome idea to have somewhere you can pop in and come out feeling awesome. I think for $30-ish, thats totally worth it – especially if the end result looks as awesome as yours does!

    • Stef says:

      I’m going the “will not curl” bandwagon. I’d totally pay 30 bucks for someone to give me the rocking curly ‘do you got Karen!
      .-= Stef’s last blog post… LORAC Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss review =-.

      • Kate & Zena says:

        Beth–I completely agree with the hair definition, minus the blah part. It’s only blah when I get sick of it being straight! I tend to receive compliments on my hair a lot here as it’s super shiny naturally. I wash my super oily hair everyday and it still manages to be that shiny. XD

        Stef–Have you tried curling it the old-fashioned way (i.e. using paper or ribbon)? It works really well and the curls actually stay all day (!!!). I’ve done it once or twice, but I get headaches if I go to bed with my hair up in any way.

      • Karen says:

        Girl, it lasts a long time, too. My hair is still rocking the curls today!

  12. Arianne says:

    You look gorgeous Karen! Way to work that curly hair. πŸ™‚

    I’m tempted to give Blo a try here in Toronto. $30-something really doesn’t seem like that much for the amount of time I would usually spend making my hair look pretty. I’ll probably try it for a date with BF. It’ll be my little secret though, because he will go “You paid how much to get your hair styled? I pay $15 for a haircut!”

  13. Aparnaa says:

    We have something similar in NY – but I would definitely wait for this place, it’s way cheaper! I’d for sure go – my hair is way too much and I treasure sleep too much to do my own hair before an event…your hair does look totally rock and roll and sexy, but that Hollywould hairstyle is like the hair of my dreams!

  14. Nancy says:

    that is the COOLEST thing EV-AH!!! makes me kinds wish, for a moment, that i had my long locks again, but then don’t feel so bad when there isn’t one here in toledo…you are rocking that hair. cool story!

  15. Nina says:

    What an awesome shop!!! We need one like that here in Houston, fo sho!!!

    This would be perfect for the summer when it is way too humid and just impossible to do anything with hair !!!

  16. Melissa says:

    wish they had one in my neck of the woods. Boo.

  17. Glosslizard says:

    Oooh, perfect for birthdays and special occasions! I am soooo hopeless at styling my own hair!

  18. sarah says:

    sounds good for prom πŸ™‚

  19. Christina says:

    I love this look on you! I wear my hair like this whenever I have enough time at night to put them up in paper curls. It works surprisingly well and there’s no heat damage to your hair! As long as you sleep long enough for it to dry of course.

  20. Suji says:

    that place sounds awesome! I hope they expand out to the east coast πŸ™‚

  21. you’re looking fabulous karen! I like that European pony, but it’s probably something I could do at home for less. I would definitely consider getting some crazy curls though
    .-= Makeupmorsels’s last blog post… EOTD: Sunlight On Snow =-.

  22. Claxers says:

    It would be excellent if you were getting married. Pop in their on a morning and rock up looking like a Godess
    .-= Claxers’s last blog post… A new start, a new me (hopefully) =-.

  23. Lydia Joy says:

    OH MY GOSH! I wish there was something like this in Dallas! I love the concept!

  24. Maria says:

    Oh so cool!! I can’t wait until the Calgary location opens – I will TOTALLY try it!

    PS – I was down in the States last week and picked up some of the Milani liquid liners (can’t get them in the great white north) you were raving about and HOLY CROW – can you say long lasting? Love it!

    Keep rockin’ the hair girl!

  25. pinksoysauce says:

    I love the concept, and your hair looks great! Too bad Colorado never gets any of these cool stores. πŸ™

  26. Summer Staff says:

    I need this place! It seems so hassle free (unlike the Aveda Salon I go to) but not as gross and unpampering as others (Great clips, anyone? LOL) I love the Hollywould Style, and your hair looks AMAZING. It looks touseled and perfect, and the store seems so cute and *pink*! Too bad I’m in Ohio (used to live in Malibu, sighhh) and everything reaches the mid-east last. πŸ™

    30 bucks!? That’s awesome! 30 minutes, is awesome too. It’s nice to actually be able to afford nice, pampered hair once inawhile. πŸ™‚

  27. Lana says:

    Wow, you hair looks grea, although you have great hair anywayt! BTW, I don’t think it’s expensive. I mean it’s too much to do it every day, but I’d totaly do it once a week. My salon charges more (55-85 depending on stylist), then, there is an appointment situation.

    why aren’t they in Chicago and LA? I need them bad!

    PS I do read your blog pretty much all the time, but I never comment. Thanks for lots of useful info and cheering me up almost every day:-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lana,

      It’s so great to meet you! πŸ™‚ Glad you decided to pop in and say hi!

      Oh, and wouldn’t it be fab if these shops were all over the US? I don’t mind driving into SF, but I’d looooove one up here in Marin. Then I wouldn’t have to cross the bridge.

  28. The salon here in brentwood is called the dry bar not the blo bar!
    .-= The Crochet Queenn’s last blog post… Midnight Black and Dragon Red Dos Flower Crocheted Hat with matching Scarf,Hand Picked Blooming Blossoms Just For You Senortia =-.

  29. Rachel says:

    That’s amazing! I’m so jumping on BART and getting it done. I can’t wait!

  30. Marissa says:

    I really wish we had one of these in SoCal! I can NEVER get my hair to do much of anything. And $33 isn’t too bad if it’s for a special event.

  31. Carlotta Vincenzi says:

    Karen your hair looks lovely. But I was wondering if you could post some pictures of the other styles in the blo dry menu? Thankyou very much, Carlotta, xxx

  32. Scientific Housewife says:

    That’s such a great idea, you look great!

  33. Your hair looks super cute like that and the idea behind that place?? Super cool! I will have to check it out!!
    .-= Polish Earthgirl’s last blog post… Color Club Rebel Debutante Collection =-.

  34. Janine says:

    Tell them to open a location in DC! They’d make sooooo much money! I mean, $33?!?! Who knows, maybe they can turn a profit in skyrocket DC rent rates, they should look into it!

    K, you look lovely! I would sooooo pay $33 JUST for someone to WASH my hair, I looooove the massage you get! Seriously, I’m obsessed with people washing/combing/blowdrying my hair, I start to fall asleep! In the last few years I’ve kept myself away from salons b/c I get more and more addicted the more often I go…I haven’t cut my hair in one year, dyed it in 3 maybe. I’m due for a trim!
    .-= Janine’s last blog post… Baaaabies go goo and ahhh =-.

  35. tricia c says:

    They do have something like that in los angeles, I think santa monica or west los angeles to be exact I can’t remember. It was featured on the abc channel 7 news like one month ago. They also serve drinks like martinis etc…loves ur hair and makeup. I would like to go, but I don’t know if they work with the hair texture I have. Mine is the same length as yours but thicker with way more curls/waves so I don’t know.

    • Karen says:

      Maybe you should try it just for fun once! You never know… with two stylists and lots of product up in the mix, I bet they could get your hair stick straight!

  36. marisol says:

    To Ryan… how you doin’? (Imitating Joey from Friends). Wait, is Friends one of the shows you’ve never seen?

    I like the concept of this place. I may have to check it out for special occasions. I really don’t know how to do much to my hair so this will be something great to try.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Europe here I come! =-.

  37. Kylie says:

    Your hair looks freaking faboo!

  38. So many interesting and lovely comments! Feel free to send any brainteasers my way oh tresfab Karen. @devsdevelopment

    exes and ohs,

  39. At times like these, I wish I had hair..LOL…Oh my Karen, your hair looks Gorgeous..
    .-= Deliciousinpink’s last blog post… New Book Alert: Crazy Busy Beautiful By Carmindy =-.

  40. Trude says:

    That turned out gorg on you!! πŸ™‚ Hope they open one near LA soon. My stylist is so popular that getting in for just a blow-dry last minute is highly unlikely (especially since I work normal biz hours), and the last time I tried there wasn’t anybody in the salon who could take me! Good for them, sucks for me. πŸ˜‰
    .-= Trude’s last blog post… Ten Things =-.

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