She was in and out.
"We don't do cuts or color," said Avi Shenkar, 32, owner of Blo/Out, the entrepreneur's second location; the first is in Huntingdon Valley. "But if they want a good blowout before an event, you come here. This is an affordable luxury."
Time-strapped, recession-weary women began stretching the time between visits to the salon early in the new millennium. So, as a way to get them back in swiveling chairs, beauty professionals started offering a la carte services. After all, washing and conditioning is easy, but blow-drying, fancy braids, and updos look better in the hands of a stylist.
Within the last year, the bar concept has become quite popular in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
Two years ago, Yolanda Bailey opened a Weave Bar - there are now two locations - for women who needed quick hair extensions. And last summer, Kevin Gatto started offering a braid menu at his Collingswood salon Verde.
The bar concept extends beyond beauty, too. Boutique owners who want to specialize in certain kinds of apparel open bars: There are denim bars, and airbrush bars are becoming staples in kids' clothing stores.
Dominican hair salons were the precursor to the blowout bar. As more women ended their relationship with chemically straightened hair, the Dominican stylists, versed in all hair textures, offered straightening services with high-powered dryers and brushes.
Women who had spent their formative years paying salons a few hundred dollars for straightening were getting chemical-free looks for less than $50.
Evidence of the first official blowout bar dates to 2005, when Blow opened its doors in New York's Meatpacking District.
In 2007, another, this one called Blo, quickly became a popular haunt for women in Vancouver, British Columbia. And in 2010, Los Angeles-based Drybar became a hot spot. Rachel Zoe has plans to open a blowout bar called DreamDry in New York's Flatiron District this year, too.
Economics play a part in the blowout resurgence, but fashion trends are helping, too. Long, wavy, "Hollywood" hair has been popular for more than three years, the look appealing to women of all ethnicities. In their own way, blowout bars continue to desegregate salon culture.
"It doesn't matter what kind of hair you have," said Dana Morrison, owner of Heads and Tails, a combination blowout and waxing bar at 19th Street and Rittenhouse. "Jewish women, Italian women, black women, all women want to feel beautiful."
Shenkar entered the bar world after spending years working in finance in Miami. Before the "bottom fell out," he sold his shares of an investment company.
After that, he worked on a few websites, but nothing really panned out. He decided to go into the hair business after a friend asked him to invest in a salon. Shenkar did research and decided the blowout bar concept would work better for him, so he took $100,000 and opened his first in Huntingdon Valley in May.
Before opening the Center City space, Shenkar put out a call for investors on social media, and the bunch that answered include former NHL player Raymond Giroux. Shenkar is planning to open Blo/Outs in Bryn Mawr, Washington Square, Atlantic City, and Margate.
Shenkar's nearly two-month-old Rittenhouse Square location, big enough for 18 stylists, is girly-girl meets futuristic, with slate-gray, white, and hot-pink colors and blinding chandeliers. There is space for a makeup bar upstairs.
It's already a hub where the city's power women pop in. Last week, Meryl Levitz, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, walked in for a quick hair pick-me-up.
She liked it.
"I'm sure I'll be back soon," she said.
Contact fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington at 215-854-2704 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ewellingtonphl.