The hair salon, a sacred place for many; is not only a place to be pampered or try a new hairstyle, but also a place that attracts all walks of life. The diversity of these customers leads them in turn to bring with them juicy stories and hilarious incidents. By talking to several Arab hairstylists, we’ve curated a collection of stories you wouldn’t believe actually happened.
One of our customers came to the hair salon to thank us and offer us some chocolate. She then continued to tell us about her recent engagement party held at her home. It was like any other party, the guests were having fun. Later, a handsome man entered the house and went to greet the bride and groom. All the guests seemed drawn to him. He had this charismatic manner that made him quite approachable. Throughout the night he mingled with all the guests. It felt like it was her own engagement party. Everything was great. Once the festivities were over and the man was gone, however, the guests began rummaging through their bags and pockets. Their phones, wallets and jewelry are gone. Panic began to spread. To everyone’s shock, it turns out the mystery man was actually a marriage breaker. And not just any type of marriage breaker, but one disguised as a sneaky pickpocket.
– Sanaa Hussein
In the living room, two customers were seated side by side. One was in a bad mood while the other felt festive because it was her wedding anniversary and even asked if we could put on some happy music. The other grumpy customer scoffed and said “you must be a new bride”, which she actually was, having only been married 2 years now. By comparison, the grumpy customer said she had been married for 10 years and had just had a fight with her husband. That’s why she came to the salon to let off steam and get her hair done. They both continued to chat until their hair was done, then they headed to the cashier to pay. With only a credit card in her purse, when the happy customer realized the salon only accepted cash, she called her husband to come pay for her. Upon entering the living room, the husband stopped abruptly, his eyes widening as he looked at the two women standing together. To everyone’s surprise, this man was actually married to both of them.
– Raghad Mohana
One day there was a customer standing with her friend. I came to her and she said that last night she had a dream that she went to a hair salon where she dyed her hair red and cut it in a layered cut. So today, she literally wanted to turn her dream into reality. When I asked her what color they used to dye her hair in the dream, her friend answered 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 figuring out who was right about the color for an entire half hour. I wanted to end this situation, so I went to my boss, I told him the whole situation. He told me about a dye to use on his hair. I went back and dyed her hair. It is important to know that this was not the color she wanted. Yet once she looked at herself in the mirror, tears started streaming down her face and she gave me a big hug. In my head, I was like “if I had just dyed her hair any shade of red, this whole episode could have been avoided.”
At the hair salon, we had a male assistant named Adam. He was Nigerian and his Arabic was not very good so there were many situations where he misunderstood a customer and vice versa. One day Adam was assigned to wash the hair of one of our regular customers. As she rested her head 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 to wash her hair. Then, she again let go “no, it’s still not hot”. So, he replied, “the water is hot.” This continued for some time and their volume kept increasing. All of a sudden, Adam reached a breaking point. He ripped off the water hose and started spraying the customer saying “see, the water is hot!”. The whole barbershop, with its customers and employees, started laughing. So he also started spraying some of the employees. So here we are, everyone is cracking up and their clothes are wet and along comes a hairdresser called Ahmed, who is laughing hysterically. He said it was all a prank and he told the customer to play all the time.
– Roqaya Medhat
I was in a hotel room one day doing the bride’s hair and makeup for her wedding. She looked beautiful and was ready to start her new journey. In a few minutes, her husband was to arrive and pick her up. So when we heard a knock at the door, we thought it was him, but instead three women were standing at the door. Everyone stopped and stood still as the bride’s mouth dropped open in shock. Dressed in white, the three women entered the room, screamed and started dancing. Their wedding dresses floated all over the room. So it turns out that 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 chose her dress or when she did her hair. She feared that they would copy her style and steal the thunder from her at the wedding. But karma seems to work otherwise, I guess?
– Lamise Refaat
While working in a hair salon in Dubai, I had a client from Lebanon. That was a few years ago, so instead of an electric straightener, we used to heat up the iron and use it to straighten our customers’ hair. So when I came to ask the client what she wanted to do with her hair, I asked “would you like me to dry your hair or iron it?” She then turned to me, flabbergasted and asked me “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 colleague behind me, laughing wildly. So, I approached her and asked her “what’s so funny?” My colleague continued to laugh and walked over to the customer to apologize on my behalf. She told him 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 a real hair or clothes iron, in Lebanese, however, it refers to a person’s “behind”. I guess I learned some interesting new information that day.
– Soad Ahmed
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