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Tue, Aug 06, 2013
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Start ladies' night right
by Zul Andra

Everyone likes to go out and let their hair down, and this place lets the ladies do just that.

Yes, at Blow+Bar, you can have your hair treated, nails manicured or even get that stiff shoulder massaged. But why am I featuring a hair salon?

Because every great night out needs a starting point - a springboard to fun. And there are few better ways to start a ladies' night than being preened to look your best - and getting to swig a glass or two of complimentary wine in the process.

And it's all done within an hour, with the free wine a big draw.

"No way!" a female friend of mine said when we passed by the salon on Rodyk Street.

She was visiting from Bali, so I showed her around Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay, but the Blow+Bar offers proved most fascinating of all.

My friend was transfixed and later made me promise to take her there.

My chivalry, however, took a hike and I said: "But it's a stone's throw away from your hotel." Later, some journalistic sense of investigation kicked in. "I hope there's sauvignon blanc."

I met with the salon's operations director, Ms Ashley Soh, a few days later. Together with brand director Diane Goh, the 30-year-olds founded and built the yearold salon on one core principle: Never a bad hair day.

That's quite a promise.

But the women I spoke to seemed enamoured by the concept.

"I love the personal service," said Ms Kelly Hamilton, 30, director of an event consultant agency.

"They remember what I like and how I like it. The list of services is perfect for pre-event pampering and it's set up so that you could bring a group of girlfriends and have the entire place to yourself. A one-stop shop for all your beauty needs."

The six-seat salon on the riverside has hosted everyone from the women of Facebook Singapore's marketing team to bachelorette parties - I imagine all exiting the joint in shampoo ad-like slow-motion.

Depending on your hair length, a wash, scalp massage and styling will be in the region of $35 to $48.

There's an extensive list of add-ons such as hair colouring, treatment, texturising (a totally alien term to me and most other men, I'm sure) and massages on top of manicures and even make-up.

They have quirky packages - all catering to that preparty prep - called the TGIF and Pick Me Up from $95 upwards that include wash, treatment, styling and manicure.

They even do cut and wash for men from $35, and if a manicure's your thing, mate, go for it.

I sport a Vin Diesel-do but Ms Soh gamely offered me a scalp massage on the house.

I took a rain check. I'm not too sure if a similar initiative would work for men. Guys are pretty simple creatures.

A pre-party to us is just partying earlier in the day.

This isn't a wine bar. There are only two types on offer: white (yes, there is sauvignon blanc) and red (merlot). But hey, do you really need more to get the party started?

I've been to ladies' nights where the clubs offer everything from a free bottle of champagne to drinks by the truckload.

I've also been to those kinds of nights with girlfriends whose faces are as black as the dance floor because their haircut isn't done right.

In future, I'll send them to Blow+Bar and get the party started.

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