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12.07.2017

With the dual opening of Honey and Dough and BloBar, the active cutesification of Defence Colony Market is apparent. Clearly viewers of the same Pinterest board, both new businesses are perfectly in-sync with their tiffany-blue doors and air of heightened estrogen. If a collaboration is not in the works, it should be: nothing goes together better than macaroons and ringlets, white sliced bread and the smell of chemically loaded shampoo.

After two gentle text messages from the staff at BloBar – one confirming the appointment, the other a light slap on the wrist for lateness – we stroll in to the salon one evening, expecting it to be packed with C-block girls making party-hopping, driver-sharing plans. Alas, they are nowhere to be found. This may have something to do with the salon’s unlimited blow dry deal: for something like 3,500 + taxes per month, the salon ensures perfect hair through the week, not just on Saturdays. Their work here, we must assume, is already done.

Modeled after the Californian chain Drybar, BloBar specializes in all things hair: highlighting, coloring, straightening, and even crimping (if anyone is still doing that). Its interiors emphasize an above-the-belt focus: with half-length mirrors all over the salon, you’ll almost forget you have legs that need waxing and toenails that need polishing. The salon chairs face away from the mirrors and on to a communal bar, designed to surprise customers after all the work is done, in hopes of eliciting reality TV makeover style coos. We like this conceptually, but with no stack of People magazine or live gossip to eavesdrop on, it can feel a little detention-like: there’s nothing to look at except a failed Lichtenstein poster and a quote about the inherent beauty of all beings.

A stylist with spectacular blonde and blue hair and never-ending lashes tells us more about BloBar as she combines a deep temple rub with a quick hair wash (the salon only uses Moroccan Oil products). We learn that along with specialization, speed and efficiency are iron-hot values here – it is possible to drop in for an 8am blow dry before a big meeting where you have to present, and you’ll be treated to a steamy hot coffee or tea while you go over the executive summary in your freshly massaged head.

Along with specialization, speed and efficiency are iron-hot values here – it is possible to drop in for an 8am blow dry before a big meeting where you have to present, and you’ll be treated to a steamy hot coffee or tea while you go over the executive summary in your freshly massaged head.

Post- shampoo, we are handed a BloBar brochure that refreshingly features a series of middle-aged women that look like people you know, modeling different “looks.”  The styles are named after Indian inspired cocktails. Some successfully inspire laughter – the Patiala Peg for instance, features weapon-like straight hair. We pick something easy with volume, and set off into dream land while our peacock-bright stylist takes over. She handles hair like clay and sings passionately, while a jet of hot steam runs through her fingers.

Thirty-something minutes later, the results are—thankfully—not transformative. The bounce is big, the whiff of just-washed-hair is intense, and the parlour shine is all there.

If you visit, it’s likely that you, same as us, will be medium-happy with the results. The clincher though, is the genuine smile on the stylist’s face and the owner’s earnest compliments. While we’re not returning in a huge hurry, we’re likely to recommend BloBar to friends who get very upset when faced with Delhi Salon Attitude: you know, the kind of professionalism where expressionless, bleached-hair men tell you how dry you hair is, how you need hair spa (whatever that is), and how your last wash seems like it was ages ago even though you shampooed your hair specifically in anticipation of this visit. This hand-holding is a little pricier than it needs to be though, so make sure your sensitivity is worth it.

Getting there: 36, first floor, Defence Colony main market, Rs 900 + taxes for a wash and dry (bring cash if you can, it’ll save time).

Accessibility: No wheelchair access possible.

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