The hair salon, a sacred place for many; is not only a place to get pampered or try out a new hairstyle but also a place that brings in all walks of life. The diversity of these clients leads them to, in turn, bring with them juicy stories and hilarious incidents. Speaking with several Arab hairdressers, we have curated a collection of stories you wouldn’t believe have actually happened.
The Enigmatic Guest
One of our customers came over to the hair salon to thank us and gift us with chocolate. She then went on to tell us about her recent engagement party held at her house. It was like any other party, guests were having a blast. Later on, a handsome man entered the house and went to greet the bride and groom. All the guests seemed to be drawn to him. He had this charismatic way about him that made him quite approachable. Throughout the night, he would mingle with all the guests. It felt as if it was his own engagement party. Everything was great. Once the festivities were over and the man left, however, guests began to rummage through their bags and their pockets. Their phones, wallets and jewelry went missing. Panic began to spread. To everyone’s shock, it turns out that the mysterious man was in fact a wedding crasher. And not just any type of wedding crasher but one disguised as a sneaky pickpocket.
– Sanaa Hussein
The Marital Coincidence
At the salon, two customers were seated together. One was in a sour mood while the other was feeling festive because it was her wedding anniversary and even asked us if we can put on cheerful music. The other grumpy customer scoffed and said “you must be a new bride” which she in fact was, having only been married for 2 years now. In comparison, the grumpy customer said she had been married for 10 years and just had a big fight with her husband. Hence why she came to the salon to let out some steam and do her hair. They both continued to chat until their hair was done and then they headed to the cashier to pay. With only a credit card in her purse, when the cheerful customer realized the salon only accepts cash, she called her husband to come pay for her. Upon entering the salon, the husband abruptly stopped, his eyes widened as he looked at both the women standing together. To everyone’s surprise, that very man was in fact married to both of them.
– Raghad Mohana
A Hair Dream
One day, there was a customer standing with her friend. I came over to her and she said that last night she dreamt that she went to a hair salon where she dyed her hair red and cut it degrade style. So today, she wanted to literally turn her dream into a reality. When I asked her what color they used to dye her hair in the dream, her friend responded on her behalf and said it was copper red. However, in response, the girl said, “no, it was definitely burgundy red!” I paused then jokingly asked the friend, “were you with your friend in the same dream or what?” The friend said no. They both kept going back and forth as to who is right about the color for a whole half an hour. I wanted this situation to be over with, so I went to my boss, told him the whole situation. He told me of a dye color to use on her hair. I headed back and dyed her hair. It’s important to know that it was not the color she wanted. Yet, once she took a look at herself in the mirror, tears started streaming down her face and she gave me a huge hug. In my head, I was like “if I just dyed her hair any shade of red, this whole episode could have been avoided.”
– Sabah Ali
The Innocent Prank
At the hair salon, we had a male assistant called Adam. He was Nigerian and his Arabic wasn’t that good so there were many situations when he would misunderstand a customer and vice versa. One day, Adam was assigned to wash the hair of one of our regular customers. As she placed her head back on the backwash chair, he began to wash her hair. At that exact moment, the customer said “no, I want you to use hot water. this water is cold!” So he replied, “the water Is hot.” Then he continued washing her hair. Then, she again blurted out “no, this is still not hot.” So, he replied, “the water is hot.” This kept going on for a while and their volume kept getting higher and higher. All of a sudden Adam reached a breaking point. He snatched the water hose and began spraying at the customer while saying “see, the water is hot!.” The entire hair salon, with its customers and employees, began laughing. So, he began spraying some of the employees as well. So, here we are, everyone is cracking up and their clothes are dripping wet and in comes a hairdresser called Ahmed, laughing hysterically. He said it was all a prank and that he told the customer to play along the entire time.
– Ruqaya Medhat
One Bride? More Like 3
I was in a hotel room one day, doing the bride’s hair and make up for her wedding. She looked beautiful and was ready to begin her new journey. In a few minutes, her husband was supposed to arrive and pick her up. So, when we heard a knock at the door we thought it was him but instead, standing at the doorway were three women. Everyone paused and stood still while the bride’s mouth was wide open in shock. Donned in white, the three women entered the room, ululated and began dancing. Their wedding dresses were floating all over the room. So, it turns out, these three women were actually the groom’s siblings and this was their act of revenge. The bride did not allow them to come with her when she picked out her dress nor when she did her hair. She was worried that they will copy her style and steal her thunder at the wedding. But karma seems to work in other ways, I guess?
– Lamise Refaat
Clash of the Dialects
While working at a hair salon In Dubai, I had a customer from Lebanon. This was a few years back, so instead of an electric hair straightener, we used to heat iron and use it to straighten our client’s hair. So when I came to ask the customer what she wanted to do with her hair, I asked “would you like me to blow dry your hair or iron it?” She then turned to me, flabbergasted and asked “how are you going to iron it?” She seemed very upset. She then asked, “why are you going to iron it?” I was very confused. I heard my Lebanese co-worker behind me, in a fit of giggles. So, I approached her and asked “what’s so funny?” My co-worker kept laughing and headed to the customer to apologize on my behalf. She told her that my Egyptian Arabic is different from their Lebanese Arabic. It turns out that despite the fact that the Arabic word for iron in Egyptian refers to an actual hair or clothing iron, In Lebanese, however, it refers to a person’s “behind.” I guess I learned an interesting new piece of information that day.
– Soaad Ahmed
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