I immigrated to America in the 1990’s from Israel–a country that’s accustomed to what you might call “cursed” hair. People in my birth country know how to deal with it without using chemicals or other drastic measures. In fact, any newly minted hairdresser over there knows how to blow-dry even the most difficult hair as a routine matter. Best of all, they know how to do it without it costing a fortune. For years, women from all walks of life have been able to afford this service. Long ago it became a standard part of the beauty regimen for many women.

When I came to America I noticed that hair salons were all full-service–there weren’t salons just for blow-drying. People here didn’t seem to realize that you can style even the most difficult hair with only a brush and a blow dryer. Instead, styling your hair always involved a more elaborate procedure like cuts, coloring, highlights, etc.

Newly married, in a new country, I went to a salon and asked them to blow-dry my cursed hair. Imagine the scene. Imagine three-hair stylists all working on my hair, trying to straighten it up for over an hour. My husband arrives to pick me up but I’m nowhere near done, and my hair looks like I’ve touched a high voltage wire! My hubby sees the struggle of these brave women and me sitting there, feeling embarrassed and apologetic for the hassle and the extraordinary effort I’ve caused.

At this point my husband and the poor, exhausted hairdressers are all secretly wishing I’ll just leave the building. I get it, so I say politely, “Great job ladies, I look electric.” I pay a bill I can barely afford and we leave. My husband tells me how beautiful I look. Very sweet. But I knew it wasn’t true. Apparently he did too because he then adds “… I liked you with your hair curly.” I smiled and couldn’t wait to get home and to go straight to, yes, the shower, and wash my hair.

We’ve come a long way since then. These days the demand for blow-drying services is growing fast. In the past few years we’ve seen an explosion of new salons like Dry Bar, and others, that specialize in blow-drying services. And now, building on this growing demand, BelBella is taking the next step. We’re creating an app that brings blow-drying right to your door, whenever you want.

Matie Kestenberg

CEO and Co-Founder of BelBella