Our L.A. correspondent Sydney Sadick caught up with Drybar founder Alli Webb at the Encino opening (aka The Valley), marking Webb’s 29th shop! Cupcakes, champagne, and pampering? Of course!
When did your hair obsession begin?
Really early! When I was a little girl I had curly, frizzy hair, so my mom always blew my hair out because I hated how it looked. I’ve had other careers before I started in hair, though—I worked in PR and I worked in fashion for a little while. I opened Nicole Miller stores in Miami with my brother, who’s my business partner now. But I couldn’t figure out where I wanted to end up. I always knew that I had a passion for all things hair and beauty, and I just felt like I had to pursue it.
How did you transition into making your passion a career?
I went to beauty school when I was like 21, which my parents weren’t thrilled about. But my brother was really supportive. Afterwards, I moved to New York, worked in hair, and some other things while I was there. Then I got married and had kids and was a full time mom living in California. After about five years I just got to the point where I was like if I don’t talk to adults again, or go to one more park, I’m going to lose my mind! So that’s when I started my mobile blow dry business. It was great, but I got so busy so fast that I was running out of me. That’s when I realized I should open up a place that’s just blowouts—no cuts, no color, because I didn’t love that part of it—I loved the styling. I talked to my brother, he thought it was a good idea, he lent me the money, and we started in Brentwood three and a half years ago. The rest is history! Encino marks number 29!
Quite the big number! Any future dream locations?
We’re talking about London—I’d love to go international and open up there. We’re opening up in Boston, Chicago, and Houston, which are important and cool cities for us to be in. There are also places in the south I’d love to get to, like Nashville. I’ve never been but I love country music. Actually, I worked in country music for a little while.
Your travel schedule must be crazy.
I travel so much. I feel like I get the best of both worlds, though. I’ve been in L.A. for eight years, last year I moved to Orange County, and our office is in Irvine. I get to be in the fun, cool, and hip places like L.A. and New York and then go back to my suburban neighborhood where my kids are having a nice little upbringing.
Any travel hair tips?
Get a blowout before you go on the plane. That’s a great way to start your trip. Also make sure you bring dry shampoo and as many tools and products as you can to maintain your hair to keep it fresh.
Where are you most found shopping?
I love All Saints, Free People, and I love the ambiance of shopping at The Grove.
Is there a backstory behind your signature colors, yellow, white and grey?
The grey and white was for a very clean look. With the yellow, my brother, husband and I (they’re my business partners) looked at a lot of colors, but I wanted something that was bright and happy, a color people would want to be around.
You have the best Trader Joe cookies up front in every store. Do you have a favorite?
I love the butter cookies with the jelly in the middle. And, of course, the little chocolate chip ones! We try really hard to make Drybar a place where you give us a hour of your life and just relax and kick back, so I think having a little sweet treat makes such a difference.
How many times a week do you get your hair done at Drybar?
It depends on the week! I’ve been known to go in four times a week! But it’s usually two.
Signature coif style?
Mai tai! My clothes change, but my hair is rarely different. I like it messy and beachy. It’s my comfort hair.