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Sheikh Zayed, Cairo, Egypt.
Mohamed Al Sagheer: Beauty Parlour Chain Continues to Impress in Arkan Plaza
As the beauty empire that is "Al Sagheer" salons continues to grow and expand both nationally and internationally, one can always be sceptical about whether its famed level of premiere service would continue to impress. Wanting a quick pampering session to add a little R&R to an otherwise hectic week, we headed over to the Sheikh Zayed branch.
Located in one of 6th of October's classiest hang out and dining spots, Arkan Plaza, the salon's ground floor entrance leads to a boutique of hair and beauty products boasting ever-loved brand names- the likes of Kérastase, Bed Head by TIGI and Keune. Climbing up a flight of stairs, we were greeted by the salon manager who asked which treatments we wanted.
The salon's décor carries the chain's signature modern theme, with artistic pieces hanging on the wall and green and pink-rimmed mirrors. The white walls and floors, and abundance of windows give the place an optimistically warm feel.
Leading us to the hair washing basins, our hair was skilfully washed and conditioned by one of the employees, who then continued to untangle our locks prior to its brushing and styling (100LE). The downside, however, was the fact that we had to wait about fifteen minutes before our hairdresser came by and started styling our hair.
The end result of hair that was perfectly curled with just the right amount of volume, though, made the slightly bothersome wait worth it. Our hairdresser professionally held up a mirror to show us what our hair looked like from the back, and spritzed it gently with hair spray to make sure it retained its curls throughout the day.
Whilst our hair was being styled, a friendly manicurist carefully filed our nails into the shape we requested and effortlessly applied French manicure on them (65LE).
Upon finishing our nails, our manicurist then took care of our eyebrows, gently threading them to perfection within a few minutes (40LE).
All in all, Mohamed Al Sagheer has continued to offer us exactly what we needed thanks to their skilled staff. From the salon manager, to the hairdresser to the manicurist, they all showed friendly demeanour, carefully listening to our requests and putting them into action. Perhaps, price-wise, it is more costly than many other salons, but the professional treatments and impressive end results are worth paying a little extra for.
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.