Dry Bar Third Ward

Wisconsin’s First Drybar is Opening in the Third Ward this Week

The company’s first Wisconsin outpost is taking appointments now.

Maybe you’ve never stepped inside a Drybar. But you’ve likely seen lots of women who have. Zooey Deschanel, Renée Zellweger and Cindy Crawford all swear by the salon, which offers red carpet-worthy blowouts for about $45 a pop.  

Dry Bar Third Ward
The interior of the Third Ward salon

And booking an appointment is about to get a lot easier for most Cream Citizens. Local entrepreneur Joy Vertz is opening a franchise location at 243 E. Buffalo St. on Feb. 2, with support from company founder Alli Webb.

“Here we come Milwaukee,” Webb said in a recent press release. “We are so excited to be opening our fist Wisconsin Drybar in the Third Ward area.”

The salon refers to itself as a “blowout bar,” and takes both of the words in that phrase seriously. It doesn’t offer cuts, coloring or the rest of the services typically associated with salons. Just blowouts. And it uses tippling terminology (a “menu” of options with certain styles always “on tap” and “bartenders” instead of cashiers) to great effect, especially when it comes to the styling options themselves – each blowout is named for a classic cocktail. The rolling waves of the Old Fashioned, for instance, evoke the bygone glamour of the 1930s, while the Mai Tai is relaxed and beachy. You can see examples of both hairstyles, and the other coiffure cocktails offered, on the company website. Or you can wander into the salon yourself, as soon as Friday, to check out one of its look books in person.

The Third Ward storefront is anchored by white marble counter tops – reminiscent, of course, of those found in trendy cocktail bars – that stretch nearly the length of the 2,012 square-foot space. Cut-glass mirrors hang from luxe, fabric-paneled walls. And each of the twelve salon chairs is upholstered in spendy Italian leather.

A hip aesthetic can only take a company so far. But Vertz believes that the salon’s commitment to quality and service will see that it thrives in the Third Ward. And she’s confident that the women of Wisconsin are ready for a specialized salon like Drybar. In fact, she’s hoping to open three additional Wisco locations in the coming months. And Drybar’s corporate offices estimate that the company is on track to break ground on several more storefronts throughout the U.S. this year, bumping its total number up over 100.

In other words, Drybar – like the full-bodied blowouts that have made it a household name – could have plenty of staying power.



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.