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New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt.
La Coupe: Efficient Hair & Beauty Treatments at the Dusit Thani Lakeview, New Cairo
With the growing population of New Cairo, beauty salons are in high demand, with several of the cities well-known hairdressing brands opening up on the outskirts. Hidden in the basement of the five-star Dusit Thani Lakeview hotel, La Coupe can be found at the end of a long, almost desolate corridor, and down two flights of steps.
Flooded with artificial light, the salon is bright and orderly, with two rather tawdry purple sofas and a copious number of hairdressing stations with full length mirrors. Very cramped in comparison, there are separate rooms for nail treatments and hair removal.
Walking in without an appointment early in the morning, we managed to avoid any wedding or engagement parties and were seen to immediately. Best known for their work with hair and bridal packages, we requested a wash and blow dry (90LE), a manicure (50LE) and facial threading (20LE).
Cloaked in a slightly worn-out robe and directed towards a row of wash basins, the assistant proceeded to thoroughly wash our hair whilst firmly massaging our head, before a second assistant blow dried and gently detangled our knots. Our hairdresser quickly appeared to swiftly complete our required wavy-style – we explicitly asked for the use of a brush, and for our hair not to be curly. Although admittedly the end result was pretty, it did end up curled with heated curling tongs, which wasn't exactly what we wanted.
As we were pressed for time, we asked that our manicure be done at the same time as our hair; a request that was duly carried out. Whilst the range of nail polish is adequate, we noticed the omission of a wide range of both neon and pastel colours. Although we were aware of several broken nails, our fingernails were filed a little shorter than expected, but ended up tidied and shapely nonetheless. The beautician's intense snipping of cuticles led to a little soreness in one finger and one thick coat of nail polish was left looking a little untidy round the edges. Unusually, a base coat, but no top coat was applied.
Afterwards, we were led to the tiny waxing room, where our threading session was quick, meticulous and no more painful than usual.
La Coupe at the Dusit Thani is one of the better-hidden salons, particularly convenient for emergency visits, with efficient staff and professional hair and beauty treatments.
What better way to spend a rainy afternoon in Cairo than looking out onto the flooded streets from a warm salon chair as someone brushes your hair?
The visit to KRISS salon in New Cairo didn’t exactly start out as seamlessly, though; the telephone manner of the receptionist was found wanting, to say the least, as she opted to cover the mouthpiece with her hand instead of putting me on hold as she hollered at a colleague for help because she didn’t understand what a bleach and dye treatment was. Another let-down, was that of KRISS’ six branches, only one features a ladies-only section— the New Cairo salon located opposite Rehab Gate 6, at The Corner Mall.
However, things improved once inside the glass-front salon, which was a little on the small side square footage-wise, but cosy with cream-coloured walls, floors and decor.
After being guided to a black patent-leather salon chair, one of the two ladies’ stylists asked what was to be done. When treatments were added to the appointment that weren’t previously arranged for, she was pleasantly accommodating and began to appraise the head of hair in question before getting started.
The stylist stated that a cut would cost 150 LE, bleaching and dying would be 400 LE each (measured by how many millilitres of product was used) and the final styling would come to 100 LE. Altogether, a pricey day at the coiffeur, but the treatments are actually fairly priced when you consider them individually.
The hair was spritzed with water and combed thoroughly before being braided and cut; KRISS is one of the few salons in Cairo that understands how to cut hair that is to be donated to Cancer foundations to be made into wigs.
What they did with the remaining 12cm of hair was brilliant. Pixie cuts are becoming a trend among Egyptian women and KRISS has definitely caught on and learned a thing or two about how to create them. The stylist was precise – even snipping a little extra off after the final styling, making sure the ‘do played up bone structure (including the now close-cut back of the head and nape of the neck).
Then it was time for a bleaching – not exactly everyone’s favourite experience; the stylist made sure to dry the hair before applying the colour-zapping mixture in order to minimise the burning sensation we all dread. They were also careful to check the progress of the treatment every 15 minutes or so to make sure the hair wasn’t overly-bleached or damaged. When the desired tone was achieved, the hair was washed with L’Oreal shampoo, dried with a towel that came in plastic packaging (we’re assuming it was dry-cleaned) and brushed before L’Oreal permanent dye was applied.
Throughout the whole process, a blue plastic cape was used to ensure any spills didn’t cause dire discolorations on clothes – this was a nice change from the spare towel salons usually use.
One thing that didn’t differ between KRISS and other hair salons, however, was the stylist’s neglect to clean away excess dye from the ears during/after the dye was rinsed out.
Once the colour was set, the stylist got out the blow-dryer and flatiron and went to town, styling the ‘do almost exactly like in the reference picture that they'd been shown. Needless to say, we were well-pleased with the drastic before-after result and would definitely go again.
The salon also caters to men, so would make for a neat unconventional date (like couples’ massages, but cheaper!). In addition, KRISS features a mani-pedi section stocked with Essie polishes, including gels. To see what else KRISS offers and book an appointment, visit their Facebook page.