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Blow-dry bars: Your holiday style savior

You just penciled three holiday parties into an already jam-packed December calendar, but want to look effortlessly at your best for all of them. One surefire way to pull it off without losing too much valuable time or money? Stop into a blow-dry bar for some pro hair help.

A blowout is more than just having a stylist blow dry your hair (though it’s worth noting that’s a great option, too!). For this service, stylists wash and condition your hair then blow it dry, shape and style it. The result is the pulled-together look you're after without any at-home effort.

“Professional blowouts lift the hair farther from the scalp,” said Sarah Mars, salon manager and advanced stylist at Primp Blow Dry Bar in Hamburg. “It lasts longer than washing your own hair because it’s keeping the hair away from scalp where it gets greasier quickly.”

A blowout can last up to five days, depending on the texture and thickness of your hair, and costs between $30 and $45. You can take up a notch and add braids, too: Salons offer them as an upgrade.

If you’re looking for a more extensive and longer-lasting option, there’s also the Brazilian Blowout. This smoothing treatment is said to improve your hair’s condition by creating a protective layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the hair cuticle. It’s great for people with frizzy, damaged or over-processed hair—and comes at a much steeper price (between $250 and $350).

Here’s a rundown on blowouts offered at some Western New York salons:

Elle Aire

8212 Main St., Buffalo

Self-proclaimed as Buffalo’s first blow-dry bar (opened in 2014), blowouts at Elle Aire start at $36, take between 45 minutes to an hour and include the use of hot tools. You can choose styles with cute names, like Chanelle and Isabelle, which range from soft waves to straight and sleek. Extras like braids or a hair masque (deep conditioning treatment) typically cost an extra $10. Elle Aire also offers dry styles for $25, Brazilian blowouts for $250 and other services including eyelash extensions and makeup application. Elle Aire takes walk-ins but recommends making an appointment.

Excuria Salon & Spa

5725 Main St., Williamsville

This full-service salon offers blowouts from $31 to $43 depending upon the experience level of the stylist. The service typically takes half an hour but can run longer if you add curling or flat irons to the blowout. Braiding, which is an increasingly popular request here, costs $10-$15 extra. Appointments required.

Primp Blow Dry Bar

22 Main St., Hamburg

Coming up on its second year, Primp Blow Dry Bar is a full-service salon that offers basic blowouts starting at $35. Extra services like braids or clip-in extensions add $10-$15. The standard service takes 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon the tools used. Primp Blow Dry also offers a $90 Blowout and Makeup Special for one day during your birthday month. Reservations recommended.

Groom Service

391 Washington St., Buffalo

Katie Ambrose opened Groom Service as a beauty and dry bar in the lobby of Hotel Lafayette in 2014. Its basic blowouts range from $40 to $55 (ones with braids cost $65) and take 30 to 45 minutes. Groom Service also provides Brazilian blowouts for $350; the salon sometimes runs specials of two Brazilians for $400. It also offers a membership program where customers can choose a combination of two or four hair, nail and skin services each month for $65 or $125, respectively. The membership includes 10 percent off retail products and can be shared with family and friends.

Corto’s Salon and Seasons Spa

20 Buffalo St., Hamburg & 820 Abbott Road, Buffalo

Corto’s original location opened in 1962 in South Buffalo as Joe Corto’s Unisex, a barbershop for men and women, and has now blossomed into a full-service salon in two locations (plus a spa-only spot in Orchard Park). Basic blowouts here range from $25 to $40 and usually take around 30 minutes, depending upon hair length. For additional services such as braids, flat-ironing or curls, add $10. The salon also offers Brazilian blowouts, which start at $200 and take about three hours to complete. Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s best to make an appointment.

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