Canberrans are taking to the city’s first blow dry bar in droves, with the owners of the aptly-named ‘Saloon’ in Braddon run of their feet since opening on October 31.
Jaki Bradley and Sarah Wright have found that their ‘one-stop-shop’ for hair, make-up, beauty services and drinks in trendy Lonsdale Street has been an instant hit with Canberrans who are loving the experience of attending to their beauty needs in a ‘cool’ environment.
“We have been completely overwhelmed,” said Ms Bradley. “We were hoping for it to be busy but were not expecting it to be so busy. It’s been humbling.”
The women, both in their mid-twenties, have worked in the beauty industry for about 14 years and were working together one day when a friend suggested they should go into business for themselves.
“The penny dropped and we thought ‘why don’t we’,” said Ms Bradley.
She said that while blow dry bars have been popping up in Sydney and Melbourne, there was nothing in Canberra. However, ‘Saloon’ differs from other blow dry bars in that it offers a much larger range of services.
“It’s literally a one-stop-shop for everything you need before an event or a night out,” Ms Bradley said.
In terms of hair, Saloon does wash and blow-dries for $50, upstyles for $80 and braids for $40. Patrons can have their make-up done for $100 and beauty services include brow waxing, tinting, lash-lifting, spray tans and cosmetic tattooing. Prices for beauty services range from $30 for a regular brow wax to $700 for cosmetic tattoos.
There is also a bar fully-stocked with wine, champagne, beer, cider and non-alcoholic drinks.
Saloon is 94 square metres in size and Ms Bradley said the large premises lend themselves to make-up lessons and group events such as hens’ parties, wedding party preparations, or get-togethers with girlfriends.
“It’s more about the experience of coming here and sharing fun times with friends,” she said.
Ms Bradley said that she has a background and qualifications in beauty therapy, make-up, and fashion and design. She has also completed specialist study in skin sciences, spray tanning and nails, has done some business studies and learnt cosmetic tattooing in Melbourne.
Ms Wright has a photography degree and originally worked in the make-up field, undertaking studies in New Zealand and working on some movie sets. She moved back to Sydney and gained her hair qualifications.
The two women are born and bred in Canberra and met here at a previous job.
Ms Bradley said that the business welcomes ‘walk-ins’ but encourages people to book in, particularly for Saturdays.
The opening hours are still evolving but are currently 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 am to 8 pm on Thursdays, 10 am to 7 pm on Fridays and 9 am to 7 pm on Saturdays.