Blow dry bar opens in the Old Port

Having a bad hair day? Come February Portlanders will have no excuses when Lush Blow Dry Bar opens on Exchange Street. The popular blow dry bar trend, popping up in Connecticut, New York and Boston, has finally reached Maine. And with hat head season in full swing, the timing is primo.

“It’s a place for women to come and get their hair shampooed and styled for dinner, for work, for the day,” said proprietor Liza Gonzaga. No color. No cut. Just shampoo, neck massage, a brush and a dryer. Get in and out in 40 minutes.

Growing up in Norway, Maine, the daughter of a hair salon owner, Gonzaga has styling in her genes. She graduated from Empire Beauty School and was working in Greater Boston when the concept, lead by chains such as Drybar, was suddenly everywhere. Upon returning home she noticed amid Portland’s multiple salons, there was no place to dry on the fly.

She has taken over the Gourmutt Beastro and Barkery, renovated the space and added six stations for blow outs.


Whether your dream hair is straight and sleek or wild and wavy, Lush can tease out a look to suit. “I am passionate about a good old-fashioned round brush and blow drying to make hair straight and soft,” she said.

Flip out, flip under or go Brazilian. Got a big presentation? Leave the coif to the professionals. “People that have their hair and makeup done are taken more seriously. We are told not to judge a book by the cover, but everybody does,” said Gonzaga.

Plus, “it’s nice, every once in a while, to get your hair washed and blown dry by someone besides yourself.”

So true. Add complimentary coffee and wine and this does not sound like another hare-brained idea. See ya at the bar!

Lush Blow Dry Bar, 8 Exchange St, opens first week of February.



Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.