“You’re wasting my time and yours.”

WELLINGTON, FLORIDA—A Forest Hill Boulevard blowout shop called ‘The Blow & Go Bar’ has made a startling business decision following the wrap of the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). From now on, owner Piers Reims says, he will no longer cater to the equestrian market in Wellington.

“This was a difficult decision, and one that I pondered for many reasons—the winter months are our biggest season. There is no denying that horse rider ‘snowbirds’ make up the bulk of the blowout market,” Reims reflected.

“But this is what it comes down to: Oui, I am a hair stylist, but I am also an artist. And a man. It is folly to continuously waste my time on these women who leave my salon, and not 20 minutes later, are slapping a dirty, sweaty helmet over my blood, sweat, and tears.

“This is my life,” Reims said passionately.

The 46-year-old stylist says he moved from Quebec, Canada decades ago to pursue a better life, working for pennies on the dollar for years in Miami before striking out on his own. Since that time, Reims has built a veritable blowout empire in Palm Beach Country, and while he’s grateful for the role the equestrian market has played in his success, watching the constant desecration of his work, he said, has taken a toll on his mental health.

Oh, the things I’ve seen,” Reims lamented. “They ride all day, they go to the bars all night, and then they show up here on Monday mornings with the hair shellacked to their ears. I think, in many cases, it could stand up on its own it’s so dégoûtant.

“Not to mention the things I’ve found in—how do you say it in English? Those ‘rat’s nests!’ Old hair nets, chewing gum, baling twine…. Once I even found a horse ear plug in the girl’s extensions! Can you believe it? And she just giggles, and says to me, ‘Oh! We’ve been looking for that!’

“I spend an hour of my day on each client—sometimes more than that—fixing their hair; washing, shampooing, drying, straightening. It is my craft! And then, voila! The client walks out looking like a movie star: she is red-carpet ready.

“I wave goodbye, I feel proud, and then, what do you know? A few days later, she’s back, covered in hay; ratchet, unwashed tresses. She sits there, scrolling her phone, drinking her iced café, barely acknowledging my existence.

“I am a human being! I have feelings too!”

Reims has already posted a sign on The Blow & Go Bar’s door, apologizing for the inconvenience, but noting he will no longer accept horse-riding clients in his establishment. And while he acknowledges the considerable financial impact this decision is likely to have on his business, Reims says you can’t put a price on piece of mind. “I don’t regret my decision for a minute,” he said.

“My only thought now is for those poor ladies who run the nail salon next door.”