This is an article from 2010. For an updated 10 top Dubai hairdressers, click here.

Rather than having to scout out a reliable stylist in Dubai, many expats choose to go for up to six months without a cut so they can visit their old hairdresser back home during the holidays. Move on – you live here! To help you make the leap, here are our favourite stylists in the city, all hand-picked and tested by the Time Out team. 


Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon (scroll down for details)
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Deb Whitehead
Pastels Salon
Nationality:
English
In Dubai: 10 years
Modus operandi: ‘With colour, I like to accentuate the cut with tone and depth, and when cutting I like to give movement to the hair so that people don’t ever have to pick up a hairbrush to style their hair.’
Top hair tips: ‘Buy good products. Listen to your hairdresser: we’re not selling it, we’re recommending it. Buy shampoo based on the texture of your hair, and buy conditioner depending on whether it’s dry, chemically treated, coloured and so on.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘Cheryl Cole. Her hair always looks shiny and healthy, even if she just pulls it back.’
Favourite product range: Kérastase
Time Out tries…
Consultation: Great – Deb asked about our lifestyle and day-to-day hair regime, which was refreshing.
Chat: We gossiped about everything from teenage romance to celebs, but mostly we talked hair. We asked why our hair gets greasy so quickly. ‘You have fine hair, but lots of it, which means you have twice as many actual hairs than most, and therefore twice as many sebaceous glands, so your scalp will naturally be more oily.’
Atmosphere: The understated salon is hidden underneath the luscious Ritz-Carlton. It also offers great manis.
Result: It took us a while to get used to the colour – at first we felt the blonde tone was too yellowy and warm, but it wears really well and gets better with time. Our old blonde shade used to look too coppery after a few weeks, so Deb was definitely on to something.
A cut with Deb costs Dhs275; a half head of highlights is Dhs400. Pastels Salon, Ritz-Carlton, Al Sufouh Road (04 399 5016).


Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon (scroll down for details)

Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Shadi Nassif
Carita Salon
Nationality:
Lebanese
In Dubai: Eight years
Modus operandi: While Shadi is good at colouring, it’s cutting that is his speciality. ‘I can really do something special when I cut hair,’ he says.
Top tips: ‘Don’t put product on wet hair. Hair product often has alcohol and silicones in it, and if you apply it to wet hair it will sink straight to the scalp and block it or dry it. Also, avoid shampoo that contain sodium products (such as sodium laureth sulphate). The salt will dry out your hair.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe. Her hair is heavy, shiny and very beautiful. It’s long, but well cut and very healthy.’
Favourite product range: Carita
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Consultation: Shadi immediately summed up our hair woes (dry scalp) and applied a Carita scalp scrub. He’s also the first hairdresser in Dubai that has managed to pinpoint the exact shade of red we’ve been looking for.
Chat: The conversation was friendly throughout, but not intrusive. After a while, he just let us read while he busied himself with our hair.
Atmosphere: Because the Carita Salon is located in Al Qasr, a luxury five-star hotel, it’s not super-busy, which is nice. We took the opportunity to relax while being thoroughly pampered.
Result: We love what Shadi did with our hair. It’s a very different look: the zingy red shade and cute bobbed cut has prompted people to tell us we look like a ’40s starlet. It’s a style we’re planning to keep.
A cut with Shadi costs Dhs150; a full head of highlights costs from Dhs450 (there’s a discount for Dubai residents). Carita Salon, Al Qasr Hotel, Jumeirah (04 366 5653).

Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Yvonne Currie

Hairworks
Nationality:
Scottish
In Dubai: Four years
Modus operandi: Yvonne credits her current knowledge and confidence to her training at British salon chain Toni & Guy, which she says taught her to focus on ‘softness and suitability’.
Top tips: ‘Always choose the correct hair colour for your skin tone. Blondes, if you get a yellow look as your colour fades, a toner from the salon will help. Also, be aware that dry and chemically damaged hair need different attention: dry locks need moisture, while chemically harmed hair needs protein.’
Celeb hair inspiration: Yvonne’s number one hair guru is London-based celeb stylist Anthony Mascolo, who has been named British Hairdresser of the Year three times.
Favourite product range: Redken
Time Out tries…
Consultation: Yvonne was very thorough; she recognised we’d been using the wrong colour for our skin tone and suggested a new shade that ended up looking great.
Chat: Friendly, helpful, and chock-a-block with hair care tips.
Atmosphere: This JBR salon is fairly basic, but it never feels too noisy or busy, which makes it easy to relax.
Result: The colour was a little grey to start with, but after a few days it became a beautiful golden blonde; soon everyone was asking for our hairdresser’s number.
A cut with Yvonne costs Dhs250; a full colour is Dhs370 and a full head of highlights is Dhs480. Hairworks, Jumeirah Beach Residence (04 437 0222).

Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Brian Montgomery

Saks Salon
Nationality:
Scottish
In Dubai: Just over a year
Modus operandi: He stays up to date on style and says his forte is ‘a classic bob with timeless lines, yet with a modern twist’.
Top hair tips: ‘When tying your hair up in a ponytail, use a bobble without a metal clasp – they can snap the hair.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘Sienna Miller, she pulls off any hair style and has great bone structure.’
Favourite product range: Kérastase
Time Out tries…
Consultation: Brian listened to what we were looking for and made several helpful suggestions, explaining his reasoning thoroughly (dye the roots to eliminate the chemical build-up from previous dye jobs; add layers to make our hair swish). We felt very well informed.
Chat:
He had plenty of good gab, and we walked away with a slew of book suggestions and some insider celebrity gossip.
Atmosphere of salon: There’s no in-salon distractions apart from a pile of magazines, but Brian proved entertainment enough.
Result: We were a little scared when he started to snip away at the front of our hair, but the new layers won us over. The colour is perfect and the semi-permanent dye makes it gloriously glossy.
A cut with Brian costs Dhs350; a full colour is Dhs400 and a full head of highlights is Dhs500. Saks Salon, The Palace Hotel, Downtown Burj Khalifa (04 430 8572).

Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Sandra Filo

Sisters Beauty Lounge
Nationality:
Australian
In Dubai: Two years
Modus operandi: During a thorough consultation, Sandra focuses on face shape, skin tone and eye colour to determine the perfect style and shade for each client.
Top tips: ‘Instead of conditioner, use a hair masque – it will nourish your hair in the harsh Dubai climate. Towel-dry your hair before applying the masque to make sure it’s properly absorbed. Also, never brush wet hair.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘I love Rihanna and Jessica Biel’s hair, but my new favourite is Cheryl Cole.’
Favourite product range: L’Oreal and Kérastase. ‘Kérastase’s Oleo Relax Slim serum is amazing – apply it on towel-dried hair after washing to keep out 80 per cent of Dubai humidity.’
Time Out tries…
Consultation: Sandra listened to our hair likes and dislikes, then explained how to tailor these to suit our face. We usually go for natural highlights with a darker shade underneath, but she suggested adding a splash of colour through our fringe to freshen things up.
Chat: Sandra offered plenty of friendly gossip without being intrusive, then left us in peace to read a magazine.
Atmosphere: The Sisters salon is sleek, stylish and spacious, with a drinks bar where clients can relax before their appointment. It also offers plenty of in-house beauty treatments so you can have a mani or pedi while your hair colour develops.
Result: The cut was exactly what we asked for (a tidy-up of our split ends, while maintaining the length) and although our highlights were blonder than usual, the shade did wonders for our skin tone and prompted several positive comments from colleagues. The shot of darker colour through our fringe was an inspired choice: it gives a modern, edgy look.
A cut with Sandra costs from Dhs280; a full head of highlights starts from Dhs420. Sisters Beauty Lounge, The Dubai Mall (04 339 8500).

Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Sharon Anderson

Salon Ink
Nationality: Australian
In Dubai: Five and a half years
Modus operandi: Sharon believes in following the seasons: ‘In Dubai we have so many natural elements to deal with, it helps to think ahead, if it’s the middle of summer and the humidity is high maybe a fringe isn’t the best idea!!’
Top hair tips: ‘To create the natural wave everyone is wearing at the moment twist your hair around your hot styling tongs starting near your scalp and finishing at your ends, hold for about 10 seconds then let cool down. For a fun natural look, run your fingers through to break up the curl, and for a more glam 40’s inspired wave brush out gently with a soft bristle brush.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘At the moment there isn’t one celebrity I can single out, my personal style is quite low maintenance and I am loving how Hollywood is also moving in that direction.’
Favourite product range: Kerastase Soleil
Time Out tries...
Consultation: As the queen of 'play it safe' (we’re bottle blondes and our idea of experimenting is adding a second low light to a head of signature ashy tones), there was no need for any lengthy discussion, although given Sharon's advice relating to the texture, shape and base colour of my hair we knew we were in safe hands and would have been more than happy to go along with whatever she suggested.
Chat: She talked holidays, nights out and the latest diet tricks, and all delivered with good old dose of Aussie humour.
Atmosphere: Buzzing - even mid week this popular salon is busy, attracting a mixed clientele.
Result: Superb. The colour is exactly as requested and Sharon refrains from lopping off too much of our frazzled locks following our plea to "leave it as long as possible".
A cut with Sharon costs from Dhs300, and a full head of highlights cost from Dhs500 (roots only). Salon Ink, Oud Metha (04 334 4002).

Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Maria Dowling

Mariadowling
Nationality: Irish
In Dubai: 14 years
Modus operandi: Maria is undoubtedly the most famous Dubai-based hairdresser, and she’s particularly known for her fabulous colouring, but she’s also currently focusing on the slice cutting style. ‘Clever slicing can make fine hair look thicker, and thick hair look less bulky. The secret is to not make hair look layered but add movement.
Top hair tips: ‘Hair is like skin, so always treat it with love and care. Invest in good products and learn to love your hair and work with it. Ask your stylist to show you how to do different styles. For example, it’s amazing what a difference styling irons can make to an unruly head of hair.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘Jessica Biel. Her hair colour is fabulous at the moment. At the salon, we call it the ‘last summer’s highlights’ colour job. You can add lots of lights to make a bright
sunny statement or keep it lighter and colour less of the hair. It’s colour that can settle into the hair and the washed out vintage appeal is always beautiful.
Favourite product range: ‘Kerastase: it’s pure luxury for the hair and delivers results you can see and feel immediately.’
Time Out tries...
The consultation: When we first started going to Maria’s, nearly four years ago, we had a long chat about what we wanted to do with our hair, including colour and cut. Thankfully she appreciated the fact that we’d been trying to grow it past our shoulders for years, and she also explained exactly how she could improve our colour – by bringing in more of our natural colour, and working, over time, to make the tones consistent throughout the length of our hair, rather than zebra stripes.
The chat: Although Maria is the most renowned hairdresser in town (and counts high society among her regulars), she is incredibly down-to-earth, funny and a good listener. We look forward to our sessions as much for the conversation (and magazine time) as for the hair repair.
Atmosphere: Soothing: a mix of music, chatter and herbal tea all round.
Result: We’ve never been happier with our colour, and regularly get quizzed on where we have it done.The process takes three hours – but every three months that’s not so bad. My hair looks great and I always leave in a good mood. The only drawback is that Maria has a six-week waiting list.
A cut with Maria costs Dhs350, and a full head of highlights for long hair costs Dhs750. Mariadowling, Satwa (04 345 4225).

Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Jenna Barron

Ted Morgan
Nationality: British
In Dubai: One year
Modus operandi: Jenna believes the most important part of her job is to listen: ‘I don’t want to influence clients; I want to allow them to make up their own mind about what they want with their hair.’
Top hair tip: ‘Good products. If you use good shampoo and conditioner and have a regular conditioning treatment and look after your hair, I genuinely believe your hair will look after you. Especially out here: if your hair is in really good condition it means that your cuticle is closed, and if your cuticle is closed, it lets in less humidity and less heat damage, so when you style your hair it will stay styled for longer.’
Celeb hair inspiration: When it comes to celebrity style, Jenna is guided by her clients. ‘It depends on the person whose hair you’re doing. Some people love their Jennifer Anistons, long and sleek, then you’ve got Rihanna who changes it up all the time... It depends on what your taste in fashion is.’
Favourite product range: Redken
Time Out Tries...
Consultation: Jenna asks what our hair routines are and when we last had a dye and cut – she makes a few suggestions, including one about switching from permanent colouring to semi-permanent, without making us feel reprimanded or patronised. We decide on a rich brown with chestnut low-lights, and a trim to try and rescue the fringe we cut ourselves (with the kitchen scissors).
Chat: Well-travelled and adventurous, Jenna has lots to talk about and we cover everything from island hopping and water sports to Dubai’s beach parties.
Atmosphere of salon: Bright and airy.
Result: It’s exactly the colour we hoped for, and as we’ve got the semi-permanent, it will fade gradually and won’t leave us with the unsightly roots we’ve often sported before. As for the fringe? Rescued and vastly improved.
A cut with Jenna starts from Dhs280, and a full head of highlights for long hair cost Dhs520 (Ted Morgan has a standard price for all its stylists – refreshing). Ted Morgan, Club House 1, Al Nafura, Shoreline Apartments, The Palm Jumeirah (04 430 8190).

Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon

Eldine Gerber

Roots Salon
Nationality: South African
In Dubai: One year
Modus operandi: ‘My specialty is definitely colour. Just by using the right techniques to suit skin tone and face shape my clients can experiment with an edgy but classy, natural and stylish look. My sole goal is to make them feel beautiful, which in return resonates as outward beauty.’
Top hair tips: ‘If you straighten your hair, always use heat protector; it can make such a difference.’
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘It’s got to be Jenifer Aniston, even now; the majority of my customers ask me for this cut.’
Favourite product range: Kerastase
Time Out tries..
Consultation: Excellent, she can tell that the last time our hair was cut they made the shape too blocky, and she knows exactly how to get the flow back.
Chat: She’s super easy to talk to, we discuss travelling and all the places we want to see, tips on how to get moisture into the hair and the best bits about Dubai.
Atmosphere of salon: Fresh, warm, simple yet elegant.
Result: A simple cut done really well, blow-drying was fast and efficient, and the finished result soft and silky hair.
A cut with Eldine costs Dhs220, and a full head of highlights costs Dhs450 for long hair. Roots Salon, Jumeirah, near Emirates Hospital (04 344 4040).

Rami Jabali at the Jacques La Coupe Salon (scroll down for details)
Deb Whitehead at the Pastels Salon
Shadi Nassif at the Carita Salon
Yvonne Currie at the Hairworks
Brian Montgomery at the Saks Salon
Sandra Filo at the Sisters Beauty Lounge
Sharon Anderson at the Salon Ink
Maria Dowling at the Mariadowling
Jenna Barron at the Ted Morgan
Eldine Gerber at the Roots Salon

Rami Jabali

Jacques La Coupe Salon
Nationality:
Syrian
In Dubai: Five years
Modus operandi: He’s very serious about hairdressing, treating the consultation as the most important part of the service: ‘We believe that a great haircut is different for every woman and that achieving it should not be a daily struggle.’
Top hair tips: 'Be sure your stylist gives you a good consultation: we consider the individual's unique features, lifestyle and needs when considering the perfect cut and colour. Also be sure to get your hair cut every four-six weeks to avoid split ends, and if you have coloured hair, use a professional mask treatment weekly.'
Celeb hair inspiration: ‘Rihanna, Charlize Theron and Kim Kardashian all have great hair. Rihanna has a dynamic iconic image, forever evolving with current trends, Charlize Theron and Kim Kardashian’s hairstyles always look healthy, glossy and attractive.’
Favorite product range: 'UNA; it's an all-natural product range from Italy which is exclusive to Jacques La Coupe Salon’ (It smells divine too).
Time Out tries...
Consultation: Rami told us what was wrong with our current cut and how he would fix it. He seemed to know what he was talking about and we felt confident and well informed. (Although was a little perplexed we'd apparently been walking around with a bad cut for weeks.)
Chat: Rami takes his work seriously and seemed too focused to chat at times. But during the hair wash and finishing touches we had a good chinwag.
Atmosphere of salon: Stylish and cool. The salon looks really good and happy customers pop in and out chatting with Rami and Luke like they're old friends.
Result: The cut looks professional and sleek. It is shorter than we felt we'd asked for, but then Rami had explained he needed to fix the cut first and we would need a little patience for it to reach the desired length again. In a couple of weeks it should be perfect.
A cut with Rami cost Dhs280, and a full head of highlights Dhs375-450. Jacques La Coupe Salon, The Address Dubai Marina, next to Marina Mall (+971 4 445 8381, www.lacoupebeaute.com, www.ramijabali.com).