Jet Set Blow-Dry Bar, Hiroo
New York based fashion entrepreneur and socialite Lauren Santo Domingo once famously told online beauty bible Into the Gloss, “I’ve probably blown dry my own hair three or four times…I’m just bad at it and I don’t feel like learning when there are such good hair stylists.”
With the recent rise of blow-dry bars around the globe, it seems that many women feel the same way about their ability (or lack thereof) with the hairdryer and brush. So, as a savior to the blow-dry challenged or just for those who love relaxing in the hairdressers chair, you are going to love Tokyo’s first English-speaking, specialized blow-dry bar: Jet Set. The salon recently opened in the heart of Hiroo, nestled conveniently between Hiroo station and Arisugawa Park.
Jet Set is the creation of longtime Tokyo resident Julia Spotswood. Julia opened Jet Set in October after two years of planning and research. The idea first occurred to her on a trip back to her native U.S., where all of her girlfriends were raving about the blow-dry bars that were popping up everywhere. Curious, Julia made an appointment to try one and instantly saw the potential for the Japanese market. So, in true Jet Set style, Julia went on a research trip to see the blow-dry salons in New York, L.A. and Hong Kong, and considered how she could apply the concept in Tokyo. It quickly became clear to her that in order to make the blow-dry concept work in Tokyo, she would have to combine the convenience of the blow-dry salon with the high level of quality and customer service that everyone living in Japan expects.
So what sets Jet Set apart from the usual blow-dry salon?
The salon is a quiet, light filled and beautifully decorated space that makes it easy to relax. You are offered a range of delicious refreshments to sip on, including delicious organic fresh lemongrass tea. If you really want to relax during your treatment you can even indulge with a mimosa. There are also lots of current, glossy magazines to flip through as you are having your blow dry.
High Quality Service
You can definitely expect a high level of customer service at Jet Set. Julia and her team have succeeded in setting themselves apart from the usual blow-dry salon, where the emphasis is on time and getting as many people through the door as possible. This, refreshingly, is not one of those salons. On both occasions I have visited Jet Set, I have never felt rushed (even though they did finish the blow dry in the set 45-minute timeframe), and have been encouraged to take my time and enjoy another cup of tea or finish the magazine that I was reading if I had the time. There are many small touches that add to the enjoyable experience, be it the handwritten card welcoming you to salon or having your jewelry cleaned during your treatment. It seems that everything has been carefully considered and designed to make you feel pampered during your time at the salon.
Jet Set boasts an expert team of stylists led by Yuki Nakaiwa, who worked for many years at the renowned Aveda salon in Omotesando. In fact, three of the Jet Set stylists have previously worked at Aveda, and others have worked at hair salons in New York.
Convenient Booking Service
The online booking service offered through Jet Set’s website allows you to book or update your appointment at any time. Once you have registered it’s easy to use, allowing you to see the appointment times that are available for the selected day and service, so you can choose what suits you best. Jet Set staff do try their best to accept walk-in requests for appointments, but it’s best to book ahead.
What to Expect
Once you have relaxed into your chair, you can consider the six carefully curated blow-dry styles on offer. Each of the styles are named after great cities of the world: London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Rome and Tokyo, and are designed to reflect the personality of the city.
If you are having trouble visualizing which style is best for you, ask your stylist and she can talk you through the styles, and suggest which ones are suited to your hair type and face shape. My first choice was New York, which is the most popular (and universally flattering) style—a true polished blow dry with lots of volume. However, on my second visit I felt like I should try something different, and on Yuki’s suggestion I tried London—a more relaxed and feminine style with curls in the length of the hair.
With the style decided, it’s time to head to the basin for a hair wash and invigorating head massage. I have to admit, I love getting my hair washed at the salon, and the experience at Jet Set did not disappoint. The products used at the salon smell divine and the expert head massage was thoroughly relaxing.
Once back in your seat your hair stylist gets to work with the hair dryer, leaving you to relax with your drink of choice. Absolutely no complaints here—in fact, I found myself pondering when my next appointment should be…
Jet Set truly is the perfect place to relax and treat yourself, even when you are short on time. The beautiful blow dry is the perfect way to relax after a long day or the perfect way to start a great weekend! Whatever way you look at it, you won’t be disappointed.
Services that are currently available at Jet Set include a wash and blow dry (45 min., ¥3,950), an up-do style (90 min., ¥8,000), a head massage (30 min., ¥5,000) and a head spa (80 min., ¥9,000). On request, Jet Set can organize a hair and makeup package.