Blow dry bars, that’s where it’s at, ladies. Having said that, however, I rarely – if ever – go to blow dry bars; the entirety of my hair care routine is me washing my hair with sulphate-free shampoo about three times a week, and bending over at the waist to blow dry my hair upside down for extra body and volume. Also, I have bleached hair. I’m beyond help.
Cue Simpli Dry, the salon for girls on the go. It’s a blow dry beauty bar that provides professional wash-and-blow, scalp and shoulder massages, treatments and manicures and pedicures (by appointment only) – just note that there’re no cut and colour services available.
While it’s not the first to debut as a blow dry bar in KL – that honour belongs to Dry Parlour, though it shut its doors last year – it’s still something of a novelty. For one thing, Simpli Dry is open from 7.30am on weekdays for your morning meetings, or for the days you have to leave immediately after office hours to rush off to a dinner date where you’re required to look respectable, at the very least.
It’s an airy, white-walled space on Jalan Batai – bare bulbs hang from high ceilings against wide mirrors, the seats are cushy leather, and there are hot pink blow dryers resting on each station’s marble countertop. There’s a play corner for children, and the back area of the salon is reserved for manicures and pedicures. The playlist is poppish but not distracting; even the constant hum of traffic drifting in from the main highways outside is comforting.
I arrived at about 10am – there were no other customers save for me, although they trickled in throughout my time there – and was promptly but politely ushered to my station. A stylist asked me, with a smile, if I’d like coffee or tea. Another wrapped a hot pink towel around my shoulders. A third one – who ended up as my attendant – began to wash my hair.
There’s something comforting about the act of having another person wash your hair. It’s one of my girly guilty pleasures. At Simpli Dry, my wash, using Korean and Italian products, lasted 15 minutes as he worked out the knots and kinks in my hair and neck. I took this time to catch up on my glossy magazines – another salon guilty pleasure – but was pleasantly surprised to find that Simpli Dry stocks Monocle and The Economist, and even a backdated issue of Grazia.
My stylist gently nudged me to the rinse stations, where he conditioned my locks before rinsing it thoroughly for another 15 minutes. For an extra RM15, you can request for a shoulder massage – and you should.
It was decided – by the stylists – that my hair ends should be blown and styled into soft, controlled curls. I emerged from a whirlwind of curlers and dryers 15 minutes later to discover a bright-eyed, improved version of myself, albeit one that looks like she’s about to audition for a spot in a K-pop girl group. My hair still looked like my own, except it looked the way it did on good hair days: smooth, shiny and salonperfect.
If you’re looking for a one-stop beauty bar for styled hair and stunning nails on a budget, Simpli Dry simply delivers.