Carola Long: 'Professional hair-styling might seem like an indulgence, but it's cheaper than buying a new dress'

Beauty Queen

For as long as possible I resisted the growing popularity of the salon blow-dry, or "up do" proclaiming my preference of a messy look over a smooth, "done" style. I kept my head (of tousled hair) when all around me were losing theirs, and while having my hair dried after a cut I cowered irrationally under the drier like a terrified pet on fireworks night. However, this party season it's finally sinking in that, alongside sleek, shiny, rich hair, laissez faire locks often look more 'Beetlejuice' than bohemian .

My resistance to professionally done hair has been further weakened by the fact that blow-dry bars are springing up everywhere – Daniel Hersheson have just opened a second one in Westfield, west London, while Harrods new Glamour to Go Space offers everything from catwalk plaits to temporary extensions – and salons are offering pre-party packages that offer champagne or simultaneous treatments.

I love the concept behind Daniel Galvin's new "festive pampering session" (available from 1 December at their salon in George Street, London W1, for £40, 020-7486 8601). This is probably because although it exudes a certain metropolitan glamour, it would also appeal to dirty stop-outs. It includes a glass of champagne, and you can get changed into your glad rags at the salon, then they will courier your discarded daytime clothes to your house the next day.

Professional hair-styling might seem like the kind of indulgence that gets rapidly dispensed with in a recession, but the stylist Lino Carbosiero at Daniel Galvin says that it's more popular than ever – particularly with City women who tend to wear their hair tied back for work, and opt for "big sexy hair". It's also cheaper than buying a new dress. He cites the three key party styles as a soft beehive, big hair with softly waved ends, and half-up, half-down styles. The inspiration for this season's volume trend might have been influenced by the Texan socialite look on the catwalk at Dior, but it also has a more populist source. Numerous people have been coming to the salon clutching pictures of big hair icon du jour Cheryl Cole.