How many times during lockdown have you wanted to do your hair at the salon but had to think twice about it?

Thanks to Covid restrictions, changes in levels and salons being deemed another potential place for the virus to thrive, many ladies like myself have had to think twice about getting their hair done.

For me, as a new- ish mom (when do you ever stop being a new mom?) and having landed a new job during the year of Corona meant that it would be one full year before I make my way to a salon. Yes, you read that right! My last trip to have my tresses tended to was in January 2020.

Although salons have been able to operate since level 3, I was always bothered by two things before making an appointment:

  1. The thought of sitting with a mask on while having hot air applied to my head.
  2. How easy it would be to social distance in a hair salon?

When I was offered up the opportunity to review Carbon’s Open Air Drybar  at Hydepark Square in Johannesburg, how could I resist?

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An outdoor blow dry means more ventilation.

Here’s how it works:

The Carbon Open Air Drybar incorporates an outdoor, safe and enjoyable hair experience. The actual washing of the hair takes place inside the (beautiful) salon.

Following strict Covid protocols, especially where hand sanitising is concerned and by using products from an up and coming brand called French Lemon which are vegan and cruelty-free, some of the safety elements are eased. There was also clear spacing between myself and the next customer when having our hair washed.

They have created a space outdoors which includes the gigantic mirror, relevant tools and products and comfy chair for those looking to get their hair dried. As for the stylist, they remain completely covered with their masks through the process. (ask for @jen_Carbon) Your hair is then styled outdoor meaning there is more breathability and air circulation.

This means more ventilation, especially while wearing your mask making the experience of having your hair blow-dried a lot more comfortable.

French Lemon products.

The service:

The service at Carbon Open Air Drybar was professional yet delicate. I have been to countless salons over the years and one of the most irritating things to encounter is a hair stylist who immediately touches your hair and tells you EVERYTHING that’s wrong with it. (Ummm, yeah that’s why I am here, lady). Despite being having not been at the salon in a whole year, Jen was more interested in ME. She provided a personal touch and made conversation around other things than the bad state my hair was in.

The products:

Towards the middle of 2020, Carbon integrated Kevin Murphy into their retail and colour offering.


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These products are sustainable, adaptable, and cruelty-free. Kevin Murphy  packaging is recyclable or biodegradable. They use only natural products that does not cause any harm to the environment.

Glampalm which promises to prevent hair damage, add shine and give hair an overall glossy luxurious finish are the styling products used.

The salon also offers a space for manicures and pedicures.

The Verdict:

As we all accept the new normal the new Carbon’s Open Air Drybar is a great way to get your hair done while feeling a little more relaxed about the whole process.


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