For those of us with frizzy, unmanageable, flat or damaged hair (and let’s face it, that’s all of us in the Southern summer heat), we’re thankful for Alli Webb! Alli created Drybar on a mission to do just one thing and do it well: blowouts. Since then, the concept of a salon that does no cuts or color has become not just familiar but desirable for women across the United States. Expanding into a line of products, including heat tools that are unmatched in quality, Alli has built a thriving business on something that seemed crazy at the time. This girl has Southern roots (no pun intended, of course), and we’re thrilled to introduce you to her as our newest FACE of the South. Meet Alli Webb!
Tell us about your background. You grew up here in the South, right?
I grew up in Florida, in the land of humidity. I love the South!
When did you have the idea for Drybar? How has it evolved?
As a kid, I always struggled with my naturally frizzy hair, and I longed for a place that would happily blowout my hair at a price I could afford. While I was operating my mobile business, Straight at Home, it occurred to me that I was not alone — there was a big hole in the market for a place to get a great blowout in a fun, beautiful environment, at an affordable price. So, I went to my brother, Michael Landau, and my ex-husband, Cameron Webb, to help make Drybar a reality. I never dreamed it would turn into what it has.
We feel very passionately about focusing on one thing and being the best at it. For us, that’s blowouts. We have really stuck to our guns and our commitment to only doing blowouts! Ten years later we have 126 locations, more than 4,000 stylists and a full Drybar product line. Pinch me!
How have your Southern roots affected the way you run your business? Has there been a Southern influence on your business in general?
Well, I think that generally Southern women are so kind and welcoming, put family first and always offer such a warm, loving and friendly environment, and that is super important to me on all levels. The hospitality in the South is always something I have loved, and I want our clients to feel that same happiness and joy in Drybar. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience.
What’s next? Any big plans or dreams for Drybar or for you?
This has been a year of self-reflection and self-discovery for me. I am always committed to my kids and their happiness and success. I have also been spending some time on myself this year with our new concept, Squeeze, and other personal projects. I had to take a little time to dig deep, reflect, take some time for myself and reset my mind. It’s been a crazy and transformative year, and I am so excited for everything coming up.
Drybar has obviously seen tremendous growth. Did you feel equipped for that at the time? How did you balance it all?
I think it goes up and down. There really is no such thing as balance. Priorities constantly shift, life moves so fast. I think it’s about being present in the moment whether it’s family and spending time with the kids, working on business or focusing on yourself. As an entrepreneur, my mind never stops! It’s so important to take a minute and really reflect on what’s going on, where you want to be and how you are going to get there.
Are there any key players or influences you’ve looked to during this journey?
I’ve read so many amazing books and been lucky enough to connect with people like Brené Brown. I also spent some time at Onsite in Tennessee, which was a truly amazing and transformative experience. But my girlfriends have really made the biggest impact on my life and well-being this past year. So very grateful.
Okay, we have to know … what are your best tips for Southern women battling brutal heat in the spring and summer for hairstyling maintenance? Any secrets?
Tips for protecting your hair during the hot summer months:
- Before heat styling, always shield your hair with a heat protectant like our Hot Toddy. It not only protects against heat damage but locks in moisture to protect your color and will fight frizz all day long.
- Create a physical barrier between your hair and the sun. Our Prep Rally (my fav) leave-in conditioner will do the trick … and so will a big glamorous sun hat! Hats are your best friend!
- Lots of deep conditioning is a must to replace moisture and nutrients that are lost after too many hours in the pool or ocean. Use a deep conditioning treatment like our Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask one to two times a week to revive your hair and help maintain your color.
- Try to only wash your hair a few times a week, and use a hydrating, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like our Sake Bomb products and On The Rocks Shampoo to help clarify the hair.
Which Southern city is your favorite to visit? Next on the list?
Louisville and Lexington. We have new Drybar shops opening there!
What are you reading or listening to these days?
RELATED: Your 2019 Summer Reading List
What’s your holy grail beauty product?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and from whom?
I have always had a tendency to react and respond immediately. I have learned the benefit of thinking things through before we make any decisions or react impulsively, and as founders, we want to react to everything and manage everything immediately. Business moves so fast especially in the entrepreneurial stages, and it’s so important to pause and look at the big picture and overall goals of what you are trying to achieve.
With the exception of faith, family and friends, what are the three things you couldn’t live without?
Thanks for sharing with us, Alli, and for bringing us the blowout. You can find a list of all of Drybar’s locations right here, and look forward to more Southern shops coming soon!
For more inspiring FACES of the South, visit our archives HERE!