Thanks to modern technology, not even the simple blowout has been spared disruption. With apps like Glamsquad, TheStylisted and Priv, it is now as easy to order a hairstylist to your home as it is to order your favorite take-out dish (or three).
This past spring, another beauty startup disrupted the blowout in a different way—this time following the model of fitness app ClassPass, which lets users access unlimited workout classes at a variety of gyms for the recently-raised price of $125 a month.
Vive, heralded by some as the “ClassPass of Blowouts,” lets New York’s hair-obsessed women book unlimited salon blowouts for a $99 monthly fee. All users have to do is tell Vive when and where, geographically, they would like their blowout, and the app will match them to one of Vive’s 140 vetted participating salons in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Hamptons. Since launching in the spring, Vive has been gradually letting eager prospective users off its waitlist.
The beauty world is abuzz with talk of Vive, despite the success of New York’s on-demand at-home blowout services. According to founder Alanna Gregory, there is something you get from the salon experience that an at-home beauty service simply cannot offer—like a glass of champagne, coffee or tea, or “that classic head massage you get when someone’s washing your hair,” Ms. Gregory said. There are also the less tangible benefits:
“When I sit down in a salon chair, I breathe a sigh of relief,” she said. “It’s a feeling of escape—that feeling where you can relax and unwind that you don’t necessarily get in your home.”
Vive rigorously vets the salons it lets onto its platform, judging them on factors like customer service, staff training, the quality of hair products they use, plus reviews on sites like Yelp, Google and Foursquare. Vive’s roster of Manhattan hair hotspots include Damian West, RPZL, L’Apartment, Joseph Battisti and Takamichi.
Of course, some will question whether the $99 monthly rate is worth it. With blowouts in NYC usually costing somewhere in the $40 range, Vive is a good deal for those looking for a weekly or biweekly fix. As one might expect, Ms. Gregory insists it is “absolutely” appropriate to sport a blowout any day of the week. Having formerly worked in finance, she recalled that she “was getting blowouts pretty frequently—I wanted to look and feel good and presentable on the trading floor.” Vive’s users, she said, tend to get anywhere from two to seven blowouts per month.
“It’s like your best accessory—your hair,” she added.
Ms. Gregory also has stats on the top trending blowout styles—one of which she fondly referred to as the “Big Hair Don’t Care.” She described it as “a really big, sexy blowout with a kind of swoop in the front and a deep side part—an 80s-type blowout with a lot of volume.”
She, personally, is also a fan of simple loose curls—”almost, like, before it becomes beachy,” she said. “You can just wear that anywhere.”
As for Vive’s future, Ms. Gregory promised some “big exciting news” coming out in the next month. We mentioned the rumors that Vive is going to begin offering unlimited manicures, but Ms. Gregory would not offer any hints. She did confirm, however, that she is generally interested in expanding Vive to offer services besides blowouts.
“Our goal as a company is to empower women to look and feel their best, and make their lives more beautiful and cheerful each and every day,” she said. “Of course, right now our first goal is to make every day a great hair day.”
We will keep our manicure-loving fingers crossed.