Quick and coiffed

This summer, Raleigh will become home to not one but two blow dry parlors. For several years, New Yorkers and Angelenos – not to mention Atlantans, Washingtonians, Chicagoans, and others – have had this sort of fast and affordable salon that skips the cut and color to focus solely on the ’do. Thanks to two separate sets of enterprising young Raleighites, now we, too, will be able to pop in for a fix of style from the shoulders up. To correct a bad hair day, get ready for a night out, or just because. They shampoo, too, so you can go straight from a workout. Like a nail salon, but for hair. And they’ll throw in a cocktail, too.

Walter asked them what it’s all about.


Emily Christian Cutts and Allison Rohde Conley of Parlor Blow Dry Bar

Parlor Blow Dry Bar

Set to open in the Cameron Village this summer

Currently open as a “pop up” salon at 4035 Lake Boone Trail

Who are you, and what you were doing before this?

Allison Rohde Conley, 32, a Raleigh native. I most recently managed and assisted buying for women’s boutique Gena Chandler; I’m still an instructor at Pure Barre North Hills.

Emily Christian Cutts, 31, originally from Wilmington. I was the fabric coordinator for Tory Burch LLC in New York before returning to Raleigh and becoming assistant designer and materials coordinator at Raleigh Denim.

What inspired you to start it?

After Emily’s tenure in New York visiting dry bars and Allison’s visits to blow dry bars in Atlanta, we selfishly wanted a blow dry bar here for our own personal indulgence. There was an obvious void in the market. We both had backgrounds in fashion, and this felt like a great expansion of our previous experience.

Who is your typical client?

We don’t have a typical client. The one thing that unifies our clients is the desire to have beautiful hair that lasts for days. We have styled everyone from a local high school student getting ready for prom to designer Trina Turk, who visited Raleigh for Belk’s Fashion Forward event. The variety of our clientele is one of our favorite parts about our business.

What person or thing best defines Raleigh’s style?

Raleigh is the perfect marriage of modern and traditional. We stay on trend, all the while holding true to the classic looks that the South is known for. Styles evolve. Raleigh and Parlor will continue to reflect the newest of the new, but we will never bid adieu to the classics.

What’s your favorite hairstyle?

Some days we want a voluminous blowout, other days we want to feel a bit more polished with a sleek top-knot, and sometimes we want to go a little crazy with a messy crown braid. Hair is a great way to express yourself daily – it’s a reflection of your mood that day – so our favorite hairstyle changes each day!

Parlor’s prices are $35 for blowouts; $45-$55 for specialty styles; $25 for men and those under 12. Go to parlordrybar.com.


Julie Burris and Jenny Beaudin of Blown Away Raleigh

Blown Away Raleigh 

Set to open in North Hills this summer

Who are you, and what were you doing before this?

Sisters-in-law Julie Burris, 31, originally from Williamston, and Jenny Beaudin, 31, originally from Hickory. We both call Raleigh home now after living here for over 10 years. Before this, we were both elementary school teachers.

What inspired you to start it?

While visiting New York in 2012, Julie had her hair styled at a blow dry bar. She immediately fell in love with the concept and shared pictures and texts with Jenny about the experience. A month later we were still stuck on it, and wondered why Raleigh didn’t have such a thing. That’s when we had a brave/crazy thought to bring one to Raleigh ourselves!

 Who is your typical client?

Really anyone who loves to be pampered and have beautiful hair. Our menu offers services for women, children and men. Most likely our more frequent clients will be women ages 24-65.

 What person or thing best defines Raleigh’s style?

We love Kate Middleton and the royal family. We think Raleigh is a lot like Kate’s sister Pippa. Think about it: she’s becoming more and more popular, she’s laid back but yet classic/traditional, smart, beautiful, young, and fun! And she has great hair.

 What’s your favorite hair style?

Julie: I am a true Southern girl and believe that the bigger the hair, the better, so I love when my hair has been blown out and teased.

Jenny: I love the beach and how my hair looks when I’m there, so I would have to say beachy waves.

Blown Away’s prices are $35 for blowouts; $60 for up-dos; $20 for men and those under 10. Go to blownawayraleigh.com.