It’s unlikely many people have seen more flawless blowouts than Alli Webb, founder of Drybar and a longtime hairstylist. So it made sense for her to write, “The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All,” a primer for women wanting to conquer the blow dryers in their midst for the purpose of banishing bad hair days. Released last week and published by Abrams Image, Webb isn’t afraid the tome will stop women from rushing to their nearest Drybar for services. For most, there’s nothing that compares to sinking into a chair to cede control to someone more talented than them in the mane department. It’s a recipe that has put Drybar on course to generate $100 million in revenues and expand to 70 locations this year as well as spread its products to Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. WWD talked to Webb about the business, textured tresses and authoring a book.
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Alli Webb: It’s a good question, and people can very easily access a lot of hair tutorials online and on YouTube. You may have seen our Dry-It-Yourself videos on YouTube. There has been a great response to them. The book has allowed us to really spell it out. A book allows us to do that in a way nothing else allows us to do. I think having an actual guidebook in your hands that you can go back to and refer to whenever you are in a hair pinch will serve well.
WWD: What was a challenging part of writing the book?
A.W.: It was getting it all out of my head and on to paper and organize it in a way that made sense to people. I have been doing hair for 20 years, and I speak hairdresser. I have learned that not everybody understands that. My ghostwriter isn’t a hairdresser, so I had to break everything down that I was explaining to her for our customers to really understand how to do things without it being overly technical.
WWD: What is a popular style you had to include?
A.W.: It’s probably a toss-up between being able to achieve that perfect messy beachy wave the people struggle with and a basic blowout. There are a million little things that go into making your hair not look frizzy, but most people have no idea what those things are. The book is about establishing those basics and making your hair smooth and not frizzy.
WWD: What is your trick to avoiding a bad hair day?
A.W.: I can go pretty long between blowouts. I like how my hair starts to feel on the second and third day because I like lots of texture. I make sure I make the front of my hair — the fringe — look nice and touched up, and that might mean re-blowing my bangs. [Drybar’s curling iron] The Three-Day Bender is a great way to camouflage some of the hairs that have gotten askew overnight and to add some texture.
WWD: What is a hairstyle trend that you detect is emerging?
A.W.: Texture is one that stands out for me. People are getting more risky and making their hair not always perfectly polished. People are going bigger with their hair.
WWD: What is the key to positive client-hairstylist banter?
A.W.: You need to infuse a little bit of humor into everything you do. When you establish a lighthearted rapport with your clients, it makes it more fun and easy, and your clients trust you and they are willing to try more things. It’s just hair, and it should be fun.
WWD: What makes your locations tick?
A.W.: There is a family vibe amongst our stylists and clients. They feel they are really part of something. I have had some really great stylists come through that are amazing stylists that have a little bit of an edge or aren’t warm and friendly, and we are big on that. You have to be a nice person. It’s not just about being a great stylist.
WWD: Would you write another book?
A.W.: I could see myself writing a book with my brother, who has been my business partner forever and my best friend. There are a lot of people interested in how we raised money and grew the company. I have learned so much from him over the last six years about the business side, and he knows more than any straight guy should know about hair.