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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
La Coupe: Luxurious Salon Now in Zamalek
With a few branches already running in Mohandessin, Heliopolis and Sheikh Zayed, La Coupe recently made its debut in Zamalek, located on Mohamed Anis Street.
Down the block from Didos, their Zamalek branch is conveniently located within walking distance from Maraashly and Taha Hussein Streets. Decorated in white, black and grey, with a large window to the side, the shop feels spacious and luxurious.
With our roots growing out and our locks calling for a trim, we decided to let Marwan, their stylist, make recommendations for improvement. After consultation, we decided to go ahead with a chocolate brown dye and a trim. Beginning with the colouring process (250LE–350LE), the colourist worked on the roots while an assistant mixed the main colour under Marwan’s supervision. The colourist was careful that the mix was solid and well-blended, but gave it room for natural sun colouration as well.
After the colouring, we opted for a Kérastase ampoule treatment (100LE) to hydrate. The end result was exactly as we wanted – a chocolate brown hue that was rich and deep with reddish undertones.
We’ve been told Marwan works miracles with short hair, and having had a bad run-in with a pair of scissors recently, we decided to throw caution to the wind and let him snip away. After about 15 minutes of what seemed like random cutting, the result a messily styled bob that hit the mark.
Next, we decided to get a manicure (40LE). Led into a room with little foot-baths and a long couch, we resisted the temptation to sink into the sofa, and instead surrendered our hands. Like many parlours that don’t specialize in nails, they don’t accommodate you for just a manicure, the set-up is designed for a full hand-and-foot treatment. With an assortment of funky-coloured nail polishes to choose from, we sat through a thorough filing, brushing, clipping and polish. We did however have to remind the manicurist to apply a topcoat.
The parlour also offers waxing and sugaring (60LE for arms, 80LE for legs); Moroccan facial treatments can be done by appointment for 500LE.
Other hair treatments include hair masks (150LE) and Kérastase Caviar Treatment (400LE). A haircut ranges between 100LE to 120LE, while Keratin hair treatments start at 800LE for the Crystal treatment and a hefty 1,800 LE for the regular treatment.
For a man in Cairo, getting a haircut is something of a terrifying prospect. You risk all manner of calamities such as fauxhawks, excessive gel and god only knows what else. Luckily, more and more high-end options for males are cropping up, and what better place is there to test out than Cairo mainstay, Mohammed Al Sagheer.
On walking into the popular Zamalek branch, you will be immediately greeted by well turned out doormen. The men’s section is on the first floor, but that won’t prevent the elevator attendant from shepherding you into their glamorous little box. When approaching the desk, the receptionists are more than polite, offering refreshments and asking if you wanted to see a specific stylist.
The stylist leads you round the corner to where the seats and wash basins are. You are given the choice of whether you want hot or cold water, and the fragrant shampoo makes for a pleasant experience. However, the chairs for the basin are not adjustable, which may leave the more vertically gifted amongst you uncomfortably contorted.
The stylist will then lead you the seat in front of the mirror and ask what you want. The request was simple; a faded short back and sides, and a simple trim on the curly top; not an unusual or difficult request. However, instead of fading the lower sections, the stylist simply shaved it all one level on the sides, and applied a very rudimental fade to the back section. Instead of a trim, he took about a millimetre off of the front section of the hair. At this point, you will be directed back for a second wash, and then return to the seat for styling.
Usually when you get a haircut, the stylist asks you how you brush your hair, and what, if any product you use. Instead, this stylist added a very heavy wax without as much as a word. The application was heavy-handed, uneven and left the final hairstyle looking rather greasy. When met with requests to trim the top further, he refused, instead trying to reassure this reviewer that it looked fine and then simply walked away. For 70 L.E., it’s reasonably priced, but the customer service on this occasion left plenty to be desired.
It wasn’t until later in the day when the awful product was washed out that the full disaster became clear. It looked like a mess without being professionally styled and coiffed, with lower sections of the top still being far too long and the shaved back being noticeably uneven.
The moral of the story? Be very clear, very firm and don’t take no for an answer.