Drybar cofounder Alli Webb

WellBiz Brands Inc. has acquired the franchise rights to Drybar’s salon business.

Through the deal, WellBiz would become the franchiser for the 141 U.S. Drybar salons. Drybar Holdings LLC, the largest franchisee, will continue to operate 87 shops. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The deal comes during a tough year for beauty salon and service businesses, many of which have been closed temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Drybar’s website shows that locations across California are closed in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, for example, but that a handful of locations in New York are open.

Drybar was founded in 2010 as a blowout specialty concept by Alli Webb, who has since gone on to start an online jewelry business. The company starting experimenting with dry styling services, which are more suitable for women with textured hair who aren’t necessarily looking for blowouts, in 2017.

The company received private equity backing as it grew from Castanea Partners and Roark Capital, and eventually developed a successful product line. The product and salon businesses were split up, and the hair products segment was sold to Helen of Troy for $225 million in 2019.

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WellBiz also runs franchises for Amazing Lash, an eyelash extension salon chain, as well as Elements Massage and Fitness Together. The company’s chief executive officer Jeremy Morgan said the business is aiming to build “best-in-class services that women love,” and that Drybar fits into that goal.

“Drybar is truly a category creator with remarkable customer loyalty,” Morgan said, adding that WellBiz should be able to use its expertise in personal care services and franchising in order to grow the Drybar chain.

Piper Sandler advised Drybar Holdings. WellBiz will be able to use the Drybar trademark due to an agreement with Helen of Troy, which owns the trademark.

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