Tested: a $10 blow-out

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BEFORE my $10 blow-out

You could pull your hair out looking for cheap beauty services in New York. Take, for example, the blow-out. It’s a basic treatment that runs upward of $45 at popular salons like Beehive and Woodley & Bunny, and Slope Suds is right there at $40+. So, when I heard that there was a Daily News-approved salon in Bath Beach, Brooklyn offering blow-outs for a measly $10, I was more than willing to brave the freezing one-hour subway ride from Williamsburg for the good hair deal. After all, there isn’t a cheap-o hair experiment I’d ever pass up.

Image Crew Studio (1723 86th St.) offers a shampoo, massage and blow-dry for only $10. Since my hair is naturally straight I decided to go into this experiment with my best unwashed, parted-on-the-side-to-hide-the-grease-bangs “Sunday” hair (it was Thursday, but I had the day off so it was a Sunday for me). I figured that by going in with my hair in its natural state I would better understand just how good this place was.

ImagestudioWhen I arrived I was warmly greeted by a middle-aged Asian woman who took my coat, looked me over and instantly knew I wanted the famous $10 special. She took me to the shampoo area, washed my hair and massaged my head and neck with such skill that when she finished, I was content as a newborn after a nap. I was so happy I didn’t have a single snarky thought about the circa 1999 Jessica Simpson posters that dotted the walls.

With my scalp still tingling I was handed over to a middle-aged man who combed out my hair and, after some minimal communication about what style I wanted (“uh… straight?”), began sectioning off my hair and blowing it out. This was probably the best blow-drying experience I’ve ever had with someone else behind the blow-dryer. He worked as if with delicate strands of gold—not the over-processed, ill-kept tangles that I try to pass off as human hair. This man was obviously a hair-drying master. When he was finished, he offered me a light dusting of hairspray, ran his fingers through my locks to smooth it all out, and my hair bounced.

I left the salon with my hair looking as it almost never does, which is to say, nice.  Sure, the salon doesn’t offer the luxury services and ambiance of a higher-end salon may (unless you love blond pop stars from and ’80s linoleum flooring), but the experience and end-result is definitely worth more than the $10 price tag.

After my blow-out

Image Crew Studio, 1723 86th St. at Bay 16th St., 718-236-1388, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week

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