Efficiency doesn’t have to negate indulgence. This is something business partners Nicole Carner and Brooke Gettler have demonstrated with their weeks-old styling venture, Just Air. As the name implies, the chic salon is focused on the perfect blow dry. No haircuts, no highlights, no full color; the establishment offers nothing but a very carefully curated menu of temporary style-based services.
“Convenience is key,” says Gettler.
Though they’ve been open for only a few weeks, the women and their team of stylists has the formula worked out to every detail. A client comes in and, if she’s uncertain of what she wants or it’s her first visit, she takes a seat at the oval bar that serves as reception. There, she can sip a glass of white wine or champagne while discussing options – Beachy waves? or Sleek and smooth like a Kardashian sister? – with her stylist.
Once the decision is made, the customer is given a massaging shampoo and cold water rinse (the cooler temp promotes shiny locks) and is whisked back to a drying and styling station. This is where unruly curls are smoothed into submission. Flat, fine hair is given an uplifting pump of volume. All of this, from start to finish is timed to take 45 minutes.
When I visited for a treatment, I asked stylist Aisha to do what she thought would work best. With her hair shaped into a hip, asymmetrical set of waves, I felt comfortable allowing Aisha to play creative director with my own look. We made small talk as she carefully dried my hair in sections and asked questions about how I usually style my fine, straight-as-a-stick strands. Based on what she picked up on my personality and lifestyle during our conversation, Aisha gave me a bouncy, girl-next-door blow dry with just a hint of curl. It was unfussy and fresh – just right.
While a salon blow dry and style is nothing new, Just Air is part of a growing salon niche that caters specifically to the blow dry and other “special occasion” styles like updos and extensions. The business model is popular in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, but had yet to grab hold in Fort Lauderdale. Just Air’s low price point – $35 for a basic blow dry and style – and specialized nature have helped it to catch on quickly.
“We felt like there was a void in Broward County for a blow-dry bar, and we wanted to fill that,” Gettler says.
Gettler and Carner designed the store with a clean look. The color palette is all silver and white, with touches of lime green. With the exception of the eight blow dryers that hang from the ceiling on retractable cords at each station, tools are cleverly hidden away in mirrored dividers that double as storage space. The computer equipment is all Apple, including iPads that customers can use during services.
With the holidays upon them, the Just Air books are filling fast with women booking appointments for special events and parties. The salon – which provides on-call service for weddings and other special occasions – will be open Thanksgiving Day and New Years Eve, and will be popping up at public events around the city, like Christmas on Las Olas.
Just Air is located at 1317 SE 17th St. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-999-5675 for an appointment.