Salon Review: Blow at D4 Hotels, Ballsbridge

By Lynnie | December 16 2010 | 13 Comments


On the first weekend of December, while The Big Snow was still raging all around, myself and Himself stayed in Dublin for the weekend. It was the  beginning of our Christmas meet-ups with friends and I kind of accidentally went to town a little bit on the preparations.

Knowing that it would last a week no matter what I threw at it, I treated myself to a manicure in Mink in Ballsbridge, DARTed out to Ellen in Waxperts for some, well, waxing… and then discovered that the hairdryer in our room was one of those hoover-nozzle jobbies mounted on the wall in the bathroom.

To make matters worse, I’d apparently forgotten that I had a head on me when packing for the weekend. I hadn’t brought my GHD, barrel brush, backcombing comb, hairspray, or my Schwarzkopf thickening and root lifting Dust It powder, which meant that my hair options were going to be limited to limp ponytail or limp, strealish, hanging-in-face flyaway hair. Desperate to bag a last-minute wash ‘n’ blowdry appointment but lacking the time or inclination to skate anywhere in my wellies, I rang down to the Blow salon in D4 Hotels.

They could take me at 5.30pm, and although I was fairly bloody annoyed with myself for forgetting all my blowdrying accoutrements, at least I wouldn’t have to rock up to my first Christmas party of the season with rotten limp locks.

And I thought that at least I could get maximum bang for my unforeseen expense buck by asking for the kind of good big curly blowdry that I can’t ever manage to do myself.

First impressions weren’t great, to be honest. The salon is located off the main hotel lobby, and is basically a couple of rooms off a central corridor that runs almost the full length of the place. So far, so not that unusual, but what really struck me was how untidy the salon rooms felt. The first room housed a couple of manicure stations, and there was a woman at one of them having her nails done, but from the number of hairdryers and their cables that were strewn around the place, it looked to me like somewhere that might also function as a blowdrying suite.

Which would be alright if you were in for a blowdry, of course, but a bit crappy if you were treating yourself to a nice relaxing mani.

Ceiling tiles and frill-free decor coupled with a general air of untidiness don’t make for much of an atmosphere, but you might be prepared to put up with that if the place was good and you were just stopping in for a quick blowdry or file and paint between the office and the Christmas party. The girl who did my blowdry was lovely, and while I was very pleased with its wavy ways initially, it really didn’t last. After a couple of hours, there was just a little movement left in the ends – it didn’t go completely straight – and the roots were back to their normal pancake flat state.

Once I got into a glass or two of wine and found another beauty-mad girl in the group, we reckoned that I would’ve done a better job myself with a Babyliss Big Hair yokie.

Of course, I would have to have remembered to pack it …

Hair, Reviews

13 Replies to "Salon Review: Blow at D4 Hotels, Ballsbridge"

  • Kirstie says:

    that doesn’t sound good. How much was it?

  • redeve says:

    I visited this salon (in the hotel) for a quick blow dry a couple of years back, thought it would be handy as I was staying in the hotel…

    was left unimpressed by the whole experience. Untidy, pricey and staff were “short” to say the least.

    Similar experience in one of their sister locations (Leeson Street) – not a place I would go rushing back to.

  • sweetie1 says:

    Went to the Baggot Street branch a couple of years ago to get a mani, it was awful, really loud and messy. They were very rude to their staff too which was the biggest turn off for me. Never went back.

  • Glamazon says:

    I was in the Leeson St branch a couple of times a few years ago – once for a blow dry at lunch for work do that night and another time for a pedi. Always felt the place was a bit grotty and messy. The girl doing my pedi acted like she really just didn’t want to be there – there was obviously major grief going on between her and the manager that day and a really bad atmosphere – they kept bickering at each other whilst she was doing my pedi!

  • Twinkletoes says:

    I used to work beside the Baggot St one and visited a couple of times, once for a mani and once for a blow dry. I had bad experiences both times – place was messy and loud and staff were not great. I think the only reason they are still in business is because they’re in handy locations, open early and stay open late, they’re open 7days and you can book online. The service is not very good.

  • Jay says:

    Totally agree with this – I had a blow dry there a couple of months ago and wouldn’t go back. The blow dry wasn’t good atall and the place was a mess. The only recommending thing about Blow is the fact that it is the only salon that operates such flexible opening hours – they need to smarten the place up in a big way.

  • Sandy Beach says:

    Went on some voucher deal before to Baggot Street branch. Had to direct the girl on what she was supposed to be doing for my manicure. Definitely a one off – as in never again.

  • EllieBellie says:

    I went to the D4 Salon a few months back, I was left waiting at the basin for ages during which three different stylists came to look after me. In the end I had my hair shampooed three times in total, they would have done it a fourth time if I hadn’t jumped up in horror and asked them what the hell they were doing!

  • Mackenzie says:

    I booked in for a last minute Brazilian here a few months ago, and I’ve never had such a quick one in my life. I was literally in and out within 10mins, usually Brazilians take 30mins at least, but here I really felt that they just wanted to get it over and done with. The girl in question certainly didn’t spend time going back over it to make sure that all hairs were gone etc. I really wouldn’t recommend it, and I think it was really expensive too – like €60 or so? For the service, it was really bad…

  • Reidy89 says:

    There was one in Dun Laoghaire and I went there once for a Brazilian and Once for highlights- First mistake! They should do one thing, and do it properly. Hair Upkeep or Removal! My highlights were a disaster, and after kicking up a fuss and tears they offered to re do them in D4 Hotel and once again, the place was loud messy and the staff were lunatics. So snappy, dismissive and kept telling me what I wanted rather than listen to me!!!

    As for the Brazilian- firstly it was a strip wax…. Yup all off in about 3 goes, secondly she attempted to go over a recently waxed patched a second time in about 5 secs. My skin was roaring red!!! disaster!
    Phew rant over!

  • eleanor says:

    Wow, negative reviews or what! Had s blow dry in blow leeson st tues morning at the crazy hour of 7am (i unfortunately start work at 8). Not sure of the guys name, but he had long hair, designer stubble and did an amazing curly bush blow dry. I had Blair Waldorf hair all tues and wed, all for €15. Yes the decor could do with a revamp, but it result was a million times better than my last few encounters in peter mark where the curls had fallen out by the time I got to the car. My boss goes all the time too and her hair always looks great.

  • Maudy Mac says:

    Stayed at the D4 Ballsbridge last year and had to get my roots done so called in to make an appointment.

    Decided once I set foot inside the salon that I was not making an appointment!! It looked like a messy hair salons from the eighties!! There was stuff everywhere!! And the lady was rude!!! Said it was €90 something euro. I’m used to spending €60 in a salon in Cork or €15 on a home kit so I was like….feck this and walked out.

    Not a good impression.

  • laur says:

    ohhh… I like the shoes in the photo!!! Where can u get them??

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