My Bar Band Debut Calls For A Professional Blowout

I wasn't about to disrespect the charity I was singing for by performing with average-looking hair.

When I was applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to major in one of three things: creative writing, deaf education, or vocal music education. Well, I actually wanted to go into musical theater, but my parents thought that wasn't a stable option, so vocal music education was the compromise. Not that it mattered--I ended up majoring in creative writing, which, for some reason, my parents thought was more stable than musical theater.

The only thing I enjoy more than writing is singing, but while I get to write all day every day, I don't get to perform, like, ever. I go to karaoke every now and then, but that's really it--totally unsatisfying. I have a constant itch to get out there and sing on a stage of some sort, but because the only instrument I play is the cello (and not very well), I can't exactly accompany myself at an open mic.

A couple of my coworkers had heard me do karaoke, so when another coworker (also named Marci) announced that she was throwing a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research, I was recruited to be part of the colleague-based band that would play the event.

And it was kind of sort of the happiest and most terrifying moment of my semi-young life.

The only singing I've done with a band has been tipsy one-offs at Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke (which is how I met both Beth and Allegra over a decade ago). But now I was going to be doing lead and backup vocals on multiple songs--an actual set list. Holy crap, you guys.

So, we've been practicing once a week throughout September, polishing a couple dozen songs that we hoped the attendees would enjoy.

But even though I practiced at home almost every night (sorry, neighbors and dogs) and encouraged my friends to come out for a good cause, I had one other thing on my mind: my hair.

It was going to be an unseasonably warm 83 degrees the day of the show, and to me, that meant my hair would look less than public-performance acceptable: dry, puffy, frizzy, with sweat weighing it down at the roots. I wanted better for myself for my first real bar band experience; I wanted better for the people who were donating $20 to Marci C.'s Project Purple team just to get in. They deserve a singer who's reaching her optimum hair potential.

So I booked an appointment at DreamDry, the blow-dry bar founded by Rachel Zoe and Robin Moraetes, and yesterday morning, I went to the 21st Street location (they also have a 57th Street spot).

DreamDry has just added Kerastase products to their existing Oribe selection, and my blower-outer, Jay, started out my style with a Kerastase Fusio-Dose treatment, in which a specific concentrate and a booster are combined for whatever your particular hair type and issues are. (Mine was for color-treated hair and moisture.)

Next, Jay swiped through the iPad at his station to show me the "menu" of blowout, updo and braid styles available, most named after the icons known for them: Veronica, Ali, Brigitte, etc. I went with the Farrah, a more subtle, sleek version of the loose waves Farrah Fawcett used to wear during her Charlie's Angels days.

Before breaking out the blowdryer, he applied Kerastase Chroma Thermique, a color-protecting leave-in treatment, and Kerastase Initialiste, a new scalp treatment to improve hair health. He also used Kerastase Lift Vertige to boost volume at only my roots, because the rest of my hair doesn't need any help in that area.

About 20 minutes and oodles--OODLES!--of celebrity gossip later, he asked me what I thought.

And I said, "I could never do this myself. I love it."

And it's true: No matter how hard I try, I can't manipulate my hair into this shiny, loosely brush-curled state, mostly because my icky autoimmune chronic pain prevents me from lifting my arms above my shoulders for long enough. And also because I'm not a hairstylist. Actually, that's probably the main reason.

I got compliments throughout the day and into the night as the event ran its course.

More than 100 people came to Stitch, and with others donating online, over $4,000 has been raised for pancreatic cancer research.

And to reflect what DreamDry charges for their awesome blowouts, I'm donating $40 myself. (And hey, you're more than welcome to throw a few bucks their way, too.)

Have you gone to a blow-dry bar? Would you go EVERY DAY if you could? Or would you reserve it for a special occasion like this?