Blow-dry Bars Doing Good Business Despite Recession

October 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. to take someone/something by storm (idiom)
[too, tuh] [teyk] [suhm-wuhn, -wuh n]/[suhm-thing] [bahy] [stawrm] – to gain popularity quickly, or to attract people completely
Example: Mao Asada took the world by storm because of her excellent skills in figure skating.

2. blow-dry (n.) [bloh-drahy] – to dry hair and give it shape by using an electric hairdryer
Example:  Katy gave her hair a quick blow-dry after taking a shower.

3. sweet deal (n. phrase) [sweet] [deel] – a business deal in which one can get an advantage (cheap prices, good service, etc.)
Example: The client got a sweet deal from the hairstylist because of the salon’s promo.

4. cater (v.) [key-ter] – to provide to the needs or wants of a particular group.
Example: High-end salons cater to celebrities and rich people alike. 

5. fleeting (adj.) [flee-ting] – passing or happening only for a short period of time
Example: The blooming of cherry blossoms is very fleeting.

Read the text below.

The blow-dry bar is the latest trend that has taken America by storm. Instead of the usual hair salon services like hairstyling or coloring, clients can get their hair shampooed and blow-dried for just $35.

Adrienne Zubia, a college student, considers this a sweet deal compared to high-end salons that demand prices as high as $80 to $90 per cut or to discount salons that do not provide good services. She is willing to save $35 a week to get her hair done.

Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, thinks that her shop does not only provide customers with a simple blow-dry but makes them feel happy and confident after each visit.

She put up her first salon in Los Angeles, and in two years she has already opened 16 blow-dry bars in America. She expects to open another nine blow-dry bars next year. Drybar has catered to celebrities like Julia Roberts and Cindy Crawford.

My Blow L.A. is another blow-dry bar that has gained popularity since it opened two years ago. It is owned by Gretty Hasson, who quickly earned profit after only a month of business in Beverly Hills.

Hasson considers starting the business during the recession period an advantage.  Women who used to pay $70 a week in the salon can get their hair done twice a week at the blow-dry bar. And those who can’t afford paying $70 to get their hair done can now do so for only $35. Hasson will open up a new blow-dry bar soon, because she believes that blow-dry bars are more than a fleeting trend.

Blow-dry bars attract both career women and housewives. A lot of these bars also offer other services and entertainment such as sparkling wine, snacks, and movies.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think blow-dry bars are becoming popular?
·         If blow-dry bars were opened in your country, do you think they would be successful?

Discussion B

·         Is spending for fashion a wise way to use money? Why or why not?
·         How can people balance their spending between needs and wants?


October 21, 2012