The West

Jessica Bennett gets her hair done by Ciara McNally at Blow Dry Bar in Raine Square. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Women who feel the pressure to look immaculate know that beauty routines can be time consuming and expensive.

The Australian cosmetic and toiletry retail industry is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to business analyst IBISWorld.

Facials, body scrubs and wraps, manicures, pedicures, hair removal, fake tanning, make-up, lotions, lash tinting, fake lashes - looking beautiful can cost a small fortune and, in the case of waxing, it can really hurt.

Even pregnant women are not immune to the pressure to look amazing - hence the often-used term "Yummy Mummy".

Men also are willing to part with their hard-earned cash for a touch of "manscaping" and other grooming routines.

And then there is hair. Fashion trends dictate the look of the season when it comes to hair - be it long, short, straight or curly.

Keep an eye on your colleague with the perfectly straightened locks next time it rains or humidity is high - see how quickly she'll run on her sky-high red-soled Louboutins to protect the hair she had professionally blow-dried for $70. Frizzy hair is Immaculate Woman's worst enemy.

Nathan Cuneen thinks he can solve that problem for women working in the CBD. The Eastern States-based franchise owner is thrilled about the opening of Perth's first Blow Dry Bar in the new $500 million Raine Square development.

Mr Cuneen established Blow Dry Bar in Sydney in 2008 and the franchise has grown to 16 salons across Australia, with another 12 under construction and plans to take the concept overseas.

Perth would have 2-3 salons in the next six months.

"The goal is to have 150-200 in Australia and more than 500 in the United States," Mr Cuneen said.

The first Blow Dry Bar concept store in the US has been earmarked for Manhattan in early 2013.

Mr Cuneen said he had identified a gap in the beauty market for hair salons to cater to a demand for quicker and more-affordable services.

"Our goal is to be No.1 in the market," he said.

For $35, women can have their hair washed and blow-dried. The salons also offer cut and colour options, plus treatments and extensions, but 80 per cent of traffic - which encourages walk-ins - is based on blow-drying.

Mr Cuneen said his cheaper and quicker salon options would not be at the expense of quality.

"It's all about the consumer experience and exceptional customer service, so our Blow Dry Bar training academy focuses on providing that," he said.

The West Australian

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