Megan Marconyak sports the "Divalicious" style.
On Wednesday night I dropped by the VIP opening event for Shine, the brand-new blow-dry bar at 5227 W. Broad St., just west of Libbie Avenue. While I was there, I scoped out the blow-dry experience and learned about the business.
Allison Bridges was an investment banker who always sought out blow-dry bars to style her curly locks when she was traveling for work. She started thinking about opening one here in Richmond, so she enrolled in technical school to learn about hair styling. Shine opened in early April.
Customers are welcome to walk in or schedule an appointment by phone or online. A regular blow-out costs $40, and you can peruse several styles ranging from straight and sleek to big and curly on an iPad in the salon. Up-dos and makeup are also available for additional fees, plus there’s a membership option that gets you two blow-outs a month for $75, plus a free one on your birthday.
All the stylists at Shine have been to technical school — some are recent grads and some are just looking to supplement their income as stylists. When I stopped in, I was paired with Brittany Williams, who owns a salon in Mechanicsville but works at Shine on the side because she loves styling hair. I asked Williams to recommend a style that would last through a night’s sleep and a 6 a.m. train ride to Baltimore the next day before I spoke in front of a group. She suggested the “Divalicious,” a voluminous, curly style that she said would look good the next day, if slightly less big.
My hair was washed, blow dried and styled with a bit of flat iron while I relaxed in a plush chair and chatted with Williams. Stylists at Shine use the salon’s own brand of products that Bridges chose from a company in California, and they are also available for sale. Williams told me that the dry shampoo is the best she’s found on the market, so I may need to stop back and give it a shot.
The whole experience was easy and effortless. And, when I woke up the next day, my hair still looked coiffed, as promised. In fact, my coworkers asked me how early I woke up to do my hair! Shine is certainly an easy way to get a little extra oomph for important events.