My very first encounter with The BlowOut Bar was at the Namshi Spring/Summer launch event, and I have been raving about them ever since. Check out my Khaleesi-worthy braids and salon visit by clicking here and here.
Today I would like to introduce you to the very vivacious Lana Ghandour, the glamorous woman behind The BlowOut Bar concept. How does it differ from other salons? What are the key styles of the season, and what does a founder of one of Dubai’s most upcoming salons use on her own hair? Read on for more!
Please give us an intro on yourself. How did you branch out into the salon business?
Of Lebanese/Jordanian origin, I moved to the UAE 10 years ago from the U.S. Having grown up across multiple countries and exposed to myriad cultures, I was drawn to Dubai for its diversity, energy, culture, and vision its leadership had for the future. It wanted to be a part of it!
My background is in management consulting, with a focus in marketing & communications strategy…. very different from the beauty industry! It all started about five years ago looking different from what it is today. The idea came up out of a personal need and recognition of a gap in the market. When the blow dry salon concept started spreading out of California throughout the U.S. a few years ago, I was encouraged to build on the idea and take it to the next level. That and a great deal of support from my amazing family and husband, led me to open The BlowOut Bar.
Tell us a little bit more about The BlowOut Bar. How does this concept differ from other salons in the city?
How was the concept created?
The BlowOut Bar is a blow dry salon concept, where no hair cutting or coloring services are offered. We offer blow-dries, creative hair styling, customized hair care and treatments (such as the Brazilian Blowout, moisturizing and strengthening treatments, and treatments with natural ingredients), nail services, and eyelash care, among others.
We are different from other salons in Dubai not only in the services we offer, but also in the customer’s experience. While the BlowOut Bar is my first venture, I tapped into my experiences as a customer at spas, salons, and nail bars. I pulled from both positive and negative experiences, and aimed to build a place where customer service is key and where we go beyond what has become the expected customer experience in the industry.
One of our key differentiators is our team of highly skilled and creative stylists and technicians. They are great at what they do: from quick blow-dries to creative and unique hair styling. Our technicians are also fantastic with nail and eyelash care, and have even built a large following of clients who often come just to get their nails or eyelash extensions done!
In addition to being quite talented, the team is super friendly and warm. We set out to build a neighbourhood go-to salon. Somewhere where everyone knows your name (sounds cliché, I know, but it’s true!). Somewhere where you can come in and hang out for 2 hours, or pop in and out because you’re in a hurry. Our goal is to try our absolute best to have every client walk out absolutely loving the way she looks and feels…from her hair down to their pedicured toes.
Which of your services are most in demand?
Our most popular blow dry style is the Beach Babe…tight or loose waves. In terms of other services, the manicure and the Home Made Hair Mask (using all-natural ingredients customized to your scalp and hair needs) are the most popular.
What hair care challenges do feel are intrinsic to living in the UAE? Please give us 5 tips on how to care for the hair daily.
The one constant hear from friends and clients is how the weather and water has affected their hair since they moved to Dubai. For those not accustomed to the climate, the heat, humidity, and hard water can take a toll on one’s hair leaving it dry and looking lifeless.
Below are a few tips to help keep your hair healthy, regardless of the time of year or geographic location:
- Be thoughtful and nice to your hair. If you color or highlight your hair, give it a little break every once-in-a while. Consistent bleaching or application of harsh chemicals can affect the long-term health of your hair.
- Don’t be afraid of a little trim. On average, hair grows about half an inch (or 1.3 cm) every month. Over time and with excessive brushing & styling, hair splits at the ends giving your tresses a dry, damaged look. Regularly trimming the ends keeps your hair healthier and looking stronger.
- Pick a shampoo that’s right for you. The most effective shampoos are those that help meet the needs of your scalp and hair (e.g., for oily scalp, dry hair, etc.). Consider shampoos and styling products that do notcontain strong chemicals, as these can harm your scalp and hair over time.
- Give your scalp some love and nourishment on a regular basis. Consistency is key to seeing results – you have likely heard this before from a trainer at the gym or a nutritionist, and it is something our stylists live by. We recommend using hair treatments at least once a week (depending on how damaged your hair is). Regular treatments can help maintain hair health and address some challenges (such as dandruff, dry hair, etc.). You can even make some treatments at home with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen!
- A healthy diet helps maintain healthy hair. What you eat not only affects your organs and skin, but it also has an impact on your hair. By maintaining a healthy diet, you ensure your hair (and body) continues to get the vitamins and nutrients it needs, such as vitamin B-Complex and iron, among others.
What is your own personal hair care routine, and what brands do you use on a daily basis?
I have very sensitive skin and scalp, so I always ensure I don’t use any shampoo with strong chemicals. I also typically have very full days, and often don’t have as much time as I’d like to care for my hair…it usually a “wash-and-go” situation.
To help me manage my hair, I turn to Kevin Murphy products. From the shampoo to conditioner, volumizing leave-in spray to curl-enhancing creams, Kevin Murphy offers a wide range of sulfate-free, paraben-free products. I also really like L’Oreal’s Redken products, which are also sulfate-free and great for styling. The cherry on top is that both brands do not test on animals, which is something that’s important for me.
It was very important to me that the products used at the BlowOut Bar are ones that I personally believe in and would use myself. For this reason, both Kevin Murphy and Redken are also available at the BlowOut Bar.
What are the key hairstyles to look out for in the coming months?
Short and medium-length hair is making a come-back, and perfect timing as the weather heats up!
Braids of all shapes and styles – casual or formal – continue to be trendy as we launch into the summer months. Wavy, crimping (a method that adds volume and styles hair in a zig-zag fashion) and the dread-lock looks are styles to look for.