The Search for the Best Blow Dry in Utah: Lunatic Fringe edition

What you don’t know about me is that I went to Beauty School.

lol, you thought you knew me. Well, there are some things I’m passionate about in this life and one of them is having bouncy, beautiful, fun hair. My natural hair… well.. Hermione can eat her heart out because this rat’s nest did NOT come here to play games.


(My Grandma took this picture. No joke. Nana is ALWAYS there to take a picture when my hair isn’t done.)

Sometimes I luck out and it looks fabulous, like in this sick picture of Sam and I in New York when it had rained on us and my hair was a giant puff ball but somehow this picture made it look killer. But most of the time I just look like Hagrid.

I love when my hair is BIG, but smooth, wavy, bouncy and easy to run your hands through. In my dream life, I would live in Paris or New York, shoot 2 destination weddings a month, see a Broadway show every other week and get my hair blown out twice a week. Sadly I live in Provo, shoot 6 destination weddings a year and see Beauty and the beast at community theater with my boyfriend.

So I’m trying to live at least a tiny bit of my perfect life by finding the BEST blow style in Utah. I CANNOT find someone who can do my hair to my preference in Utah. I went to a few people in Provo and let’s just say they weren’t great. I decided to not even blog about my experiences because I don’t think it would do the Salon any good. I’m a wedding photographer and when I get married I want to have the most luxurious blow style the camera has ever seen. So I took a trip up to Salt Lake to get a blow out at my all time favorite Salon, Lunatic Fringe.

The Salon:

Now I have a SERIOUS love for this salon. The owners are amazing people(Sean is also a graduate of Harvard Business School so homie did his time as a stylist AND as a scholar so of course their brand is successful). They are an ethically sound salon and I know for a fact that they treat their employees pretty well. Their stylists are happy, The Salon is clean, trendy and inviting, AND you can tell that they put time into educating their staff. This is really important. It’s a team based Salon which I will go to a hundred times before I go to a booth rent Salon. (Why: Because a Booth rent Salon is lucrative for a stylist who simply pays her rent and keeps more of her money with clients she takes, however, it’s every man for himself and the level of education is all over the board. It’s roulette going in to see any stylist compared to the uniform and team oriented base pay style salon. I’ve always had a better experience with a Team style salon, however, there are for sure opportunities to find individual talented stylists at Booth rent style). ALSO Lunatic Fringe is a frequent NAHA winner(North American Hairstyling Awards. Think the Oscars of Hair. I’ve actually been before and it is EXTRA.) this means that they are one of the top salons in the USA, They reach out in their industry, They seek to be creative and all the artwork on the walls in their salons is work done by THEIR stylists. I went to the Sugarhouse location which is co-owned by Jake Thompson (Click on his name because he’s an overall RAD dude.) and this shop definitely wreaks of creativity. Edgy artists who can clearly do really interesting creative work as well as create luxury services are for sure employed at this place.

The Experience:

I arrived a little bit early, was met at the desk by a tall hipster girl with purple hair and those really expensive Nordstrom floral embroidered booties. Checked in, offered a beverage, seated in a chic spot. My stylist was able to take me back early and had a quick consultation where I laid down my Blow style rules. Big, Bouncy, Round Brush, NO back combing.

Ashley wasn’t threatened by that and took me to the Wash House. This salon has some Paul Mitchell roots and puts value into their Wash House experience. Instead of some sink somewhere it’s a separate dark room with relaxing music where they massage your head for 15 minutes. Mmmyyeeessss. The entire service duration took about an hour but mostly because of the fact that my stylist was so personable that we chatted a bit while she worked her butt off on perfecting my style. I noticed that there were actually a lot of children in the salon today which was heart warming for me. It’s Back-To-School Season and kids were coming to get their hair done. It just showed me that Lunatic is a place for creatives and anyone who values feeling beautiful.

The Stylist: Ashley (Click on her name to see her other work!) is a Junior stylist at the Sugarhouse Lunatic fringe and clearly much more conservative of the stylists. She was a pretty traditional blonde dressed more modestly and was the ideal stylist. She gave incredible wash house services and did something that takes stylists a lot of time to master: listened to me. She asked me lots of questions about my lifestyle, my story, my relationship with that cute bearded guy and my photography business. She was complimentary, kind and confident in her ability. She was also super committed to making me look Extra and that’s what I need in a stylist.

The Service: I’m going to let you guys know that this salon runs a crazy deal on blow styles if you’re fans of having great hair. between 11-4 they do a $20 “Lunchtime blow dry” special. Freaking $20. You get a head massage with that. I got charged $25 in Provo for some old lady to curl my hair and breathe in my face with her smoker breath while talking about her kids. $20? EASY. Also, they use GREAT product. We used Oribe product and decided to stay within the entire line to be consistent. It made my hair very smooth and it smells like luxury.

The Style: Smooth, volume, movement and shine. What more could you want from a blow dry? Ashley did a killer job and while she did her job of making me look pretty, she also did all she could to make me feel pretty.

(Products used: Oribe Moisture + Volume Conditioner. Grandiose plumping Mousse, Macimista Volumista, Aprés Beach.)

Final Rating:

Lunatic Fringe get’s my BEST VALUE award for a blow style. You really get the most for you $20 out of them. Beautiful style, 10/10 experience and over all feeling of luxury.

I’m still going to continue my search for the BEST blow out in Utah. I’m visiting the dry bars, small salons, and the bigger chains. But if you have a hot date and have $20? Get yourself to the nearest Lunatic Fringe.

If you want to nominate someone who does killer blow styles email