A Drybar salon in Los Angeles. Getty.
A franchiser has acquired the rights to the license for the Los Angeles-based chain of blowout salons, which came to prominence in the mid-2010s and now has 114 locations nationwide. Drybar Holding, LLC — still a separate entity — will remain responsible for operating 87 locations.
After raising over $50 million in funding to open more salons and launch a product line, Drybar Holding sold its trademark to licenser Helen of Troy in 2020 for $250 million. With this latest transaction, of which the financial details were not disclosed, WellBiz Brands owns the license to all DryBar physical locations. (Helen of Troy still owns and distributes the product line.)
Founded in 2010, Drybar was an early leader in an effort to scale niche beauty and wellness services. In the past, most nail salons and fitness studios were small, boutique businesses. But Drybar founder Alli Webb, along with the founders of cycling studio SoulCycle and others, saw an opportunity to McDonald-ise the model, making the services easily accessible and more affordable. Webb in particular was capitalising on increased demand for blowouts sans-haircut.
However, the impact of the pandemic on in-person services, combined with a low-margin business model, have made it difficult for some to continue to scale. WellBiz Brands also owns fast-casual eyelash salon Amazing Lash Studio, studio Fitness Together and Elements Massage.