Time Out goes in search of the 10 best hair salons in Dubai
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 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
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
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
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
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.’
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
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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.’
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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
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
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
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).
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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).
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Zara Nov 01, 2014 04:46 pm
I recently called Carita Salon in Al Qasr to book an appointment with Shadi Nassif only to find out that he has left them ! Does anybody know which salon he is working in now ? It would be a great help as I trust only him with my hair !
HelenB Jan 02, 2014 08:57 pm
When I have time occasionally, I do enjoy reading the reviews of salons here. It's not that I'm looking for a new stylist (I'm very happy with Toni&Guy), but I'm on the Time Out mail list. It seems all the same names keep popping up. Funny that? And because of the many same reviews from the many same salons, this should be obvious to all, that they must be self congratulatory written. It's a shame as you would hope that we could get a accurate & honest review from Time Out.
I personally don't believe any of it.
Anyway, to all the readers ... Happy New Year, and here's hoping you never have a bad hair day! I guess I'm one of the lucky ones?
Prerna Apr 18, 2013 10:24 am
Ashwina the coolest stylist in Dubai for Indian hair so entertaining while she does the best job on u!
anna Mar 19, 2013 08:50 pm
i went to toni and guy difc and i had my short haircut with tony he is a style director he is lebanese and i want to say he is my idol i love my hairrrrr try toni :)
Debbie Mar 02, 2013 09:04 am
Hello everyone , I use not to trust this comments but I change my mind after I received complementary treatment with Jacques at Jacques la coupe , it's like your in Paris or Euope ,very professional and clean the best color in Dubai , i got Christmas gift voucher an I used it last week just AMAZING