Best for: hair care novices
As far as hair treatments go, this renowned salon offers the Rolls Royce of blow-dries. The place is supremely popular and getting an appointment can be tough – there’s often a waiting list. But once you secure a spot, you’ll be treated to a luxe hair detox mask and soothing head massage before the stylist turns on the dryer. The process is interspersed with useful tips (‘Brush hair up from the roots to give fantastic lift’), and ours finished with a custom session with the straightening irons, during which Maria showed us how to recreate the look at home.
Al Mina Road, Satwa, near Capitol Hotel (04 345 4225). Wash and blow-dry from Dhs140. Hair detox treatment from Dhs150.
Best for: limp locks
If you suffer from lifeless hair, get yourself down to Ted Morgan, where the friendly stylists will inject some serious va-va-voom into your barnet. While you’re there, you’ll also get one of the best head massages in Dubai (ask for Trudi, who has magic hands), a big mug of tea or coffee and a pile of mags, all making for a rather nice way to spend an hour. Be sure you’re going somewhere glam to show off your new gravity-defying do (we wanted to don a ball gown, some serious eyeliner and rock it Audrey Hepburn-style when we left the Palm Jumeirah salon). It’s great for a special occasion, and our hair stayed silky-smooth for days.
Al Nafura Clubhouse, Shoreline Apartments One, Palm Jumeirah (04 430 8190). Wash and blow-dry Dhs125 (short), Dhs150 (long); curly blow-dry Dhs200.
Best for: a glam look
Patsi must put something in the water – all the stylists at her salon are as chirpy and chatty as the lady herself. Settle in for a good old gossip after a relaxing hair wash, which comes complete with an intensive head massage. After a quick consultation, the stylist sets to work with the magic of a round brush and hair dryer, managing to make hair do things we thought were impossible, including flick, whoosh and sweep. You’ll pick up plenty of tips along the way and, while the resulting ’dos are more glam than edgy, they still look great (we guarantee you’ll walk out of the salon bouncing, shining, flicking and whooshing). Our style had calmed a little by the following day, but it still had more shape and bounce than we’d ever been able to create on our own.
RAK building, Garhoud (04 286 9923; www.dubaibeautysalon.com). Other location: Green Community (04 813 5333). Wash and blow-dry Dhs80 (short), Dhs100 (long).
Best for: a quick getaway
You can’t fault JetSet for decor. This cute aviation-themed salon is nothing if not spunky, with stylists all dressed in 1930s air-hostess uniforms – they’re so friendly and accommodating, we can’t help but wish all airlines would treat us this way. The blow-dry kicks off with a relaxing head massage that’s soothing enough to make you forget the world outside. Best of all, we were in and out in less than half an hour (and that includes the wash). As we left, we couldn’t help noticing how well the staff customise each blow dry to suit each individual customer.
Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 5005). Other location: Jumeirah Beach Residence (04 437 0177). Wash and blow-dry from Dhs105.
Jens Hair Studio
Best for: shimmer and shine
Those suffering from brittle, straw-like locks would do well to check out this salon. In less than 30 minutes, we found our unruly hair polished into something sleek and silken. The overall experience is fast, furious and effective – after a shampoo and rather vigorous (yet strangely soothing) head massage, our tresses were blasted with a hairdryer, then yanked into submission by a brush the size of a steamroller. ‘Volume’ is a word we shudder to use around hair stylists, but despite initial fears of a Dolly Parton-esque bouffant, we left looking silkily polished.
White Crown (KFC) building, just past the Fairmont hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 331 1425). Wash and blow-dry from Dhs120.