I don’t know too many women who are super-confident about their appearance. I know even fewer moms who are. There’s something about motherhood that forces you to check your ego – and your curling iron – at the door. From the insensitive prenatal nurse who does a double-take at the scale and asks, “HOW much have you gained this pregnancy?” to the oblivious toddler who pokes at your forehead and says, “Mommy, you have cracks on your face,” it can be hard to feel good about your looks once you’re a mom.
So with my husband’s office party looming, I did something unexpected and unprecedented: I booked my first blowout. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this term, it means having your hair professionally blowdried and styled. I always thought blowouts were solely for the Anna Wintours and Real Housewives out there, but it turns out a lot of women have them done regularly. It can make your hair look amazing for several days on end. Good news for those of us who don’t have time to shower daily!
I had heard about this place called Drybar. It turns out there are a couple in DC, where said office party was taking place. So with a few clicks of my new iPhone and before I could chicken out, I made an appointment. You have to understand that I was raised by a mother who was not into hair and makeup. There were no mother-daughter days at the spa, no weekly manicures. She used to joke that she only brushed the front of her hair because that’s all people paid attention to.
My mom did once take me to a beauty school where a stylist-in-training gave me a too-tight French braid (this was the ‘80s) but, alas, I had an allergic reaction to the hairspray and had to go home and wash it all out immediately. Say it with me: awwww. Childhood scars run deep, people.
Anyhoo, that explains why I was both skittish and excited for my appointment at Drybar. Walking in, I was dazzled by the sleek white, gray, and yellow décor. This was no low-budget beauty school. Browsing the menu of options, I decided on the Cosmopolitan – “lots of loose curls,” a la Jenna Elfman here. I had been worried that my shoulder-length hair was too short, but the friendly stylist assured me it was not. They can even style shorter cuts and put in extensions. (FYI, Beyonce.)
The $40 fee (not including tip) included a shampoo, blowdry, and styling. Normally my frugal self might balk at that, but may I remind you that I was about to walk into a room full of people I didn’t know, including my husband’s boss, and I was wearing a plain old dress I had in my closet? (I can justify anything.)
Anyway, it was worth every minute. As I sat at the marble counter sipping Diet Coke out of a wineglass and watching “Bride Wars” on the flat-screen TV while getting expertly coiffed, I thought, “It doesn’t get much girlier than this.” May I also remind you I live with all boys. I needed this. Walking out of there, I swear I felt taller, prettier, and more confident. Here’s what it looked like from the back:
I would show you the front, but I’m self-conscious about the massive cracks on my forehead. Thanks, son. There’s only so much ego-boosting even a good blowout can provide.
UPDATE: My hair stayed looking good throughout the night and even the next day for my niece’s birthday party and all the accompanying photos. I’d say I got my $40 worth, wouldn’t you?