Is your hair feeling a bit lacklustre? Whether it’s colour, texture or product build-up that’s bothering you, we’ve got some suggestions.

Book on in, and thank us later. If nothing else, having a salon blow-out in this humidity is always going to be a plus.

These salons are a good use of your dirhams and your time.

Expert hair colour at award-winning salon Maria Dowling

maria dowling salon

Who’s it for?

Anyone who’s fancying a change to their look, but feels they need a bit of reliable guidance

The consultation

While Maria herself is known as the Queen of Colour, her salon staff are equally clued up and when I find out I’m in the hands of Rebecca, the salon’s second-in-command and the woman responsible for Maria’s own hair, I know I’m in good hands. I’m reassured further when Rebecca runs me through a two-page questionnaire on all things hair, from colours I’ve loved and loathed previously to more general questions about my own style and lifestyle. The aim, it seems, is to find me a look that’s going to work in my day-to-day life, without me having to throw out half the contents of my make-up bag and wardrobe first.

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The procedure

Having decided to brave something of a new look, going from brunette to copper, Rebecca first sets about stripping back the existing colour in my hair. This is a two-step treatment and takes around an hour, going back and forth between the chair and the sink. What I’m left with, rather than the dark brown I expected, is evidence of some seriously red tones in my own hair, which I take as a sign that we’re on the right track. Rebecca then applies the dye and I sit with my head in foil for a while, before shuttling back to the sink and having an intensive conditioning treatment applied to ensure my locks are left in good shape despite all the colour work. My hair is then cut before being blow dried so that I can see the final result.

The verdict

While I fancied a change and was keen on the idea of copper, I’m surprised by just how much I like it. Rebecca has somehow managed to make quite a dramatic change look natural, to the extent that over the next few days I have a number of people ask whether I’m a genuine redhead. The colour seems to have brought out my eye colour and I feel like I need less make-up than I did with my natural dark brown, which could make me look washed out at this time of year when SPF50 is a must. I’m a convert.


Full head permanent colour from Dhs550.

Maria Dowling Salon, ground floor, Al Meena Residence, Al Mina Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 6.30pm. Tel: (04) 3454225. Taxi: Al Meena Residence, next to Ibis Styles Hotel.

KeraStraight KS Ultimate


Humidity, air conditioning and the water here in the UAE can all wreak havoc on hair, leaving it dry, dehydrated and frizzy. KeraStraight eradicates that frizz, repairing the hair and leaving it shiny, healthy and far easier to style.

How it works

While many permanent straightening or smoothing treatments rely on harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde, KeraStraight’s KS Complex encourages the re-building of keratin, which in turn repairs and strengthens the hair shaft, adding elasticity and moisture and protecting against environmental effects such as UV rays, smog, dust and smoke.

Why try it?

If you spend half your life fighting with your hair, this is the treatment for you – it not only vastly reduces styling time, but the effects last for up to four months. Insider tip? Try the treatment with Shakira at Pastels’s Mercato branch – she’s the only stylist in the UAE to achieve a 100 per cent result in KeraStraight’s punishing exams.


From Dhs1,000 depending on hair length

Pastels Mercato Mall, Beach Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 3447883. Taxi: Mercato Mall.

Rahua Omega-9 Oil Treatment

be bar

If your hair is feeling lank and flat, or it’s suffering from product build-up – and frankly, in summer, isn’t everybody’s? – this conditioning treatment using Amazonian Rahua oil could be the answer.

How it works

Using products from Rahua, an all-natural, organic and vegan haircare brand built upon ethically sourced ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest, this treatment detoxifies hair, repairs damaged strands and smooths the hair cuticle to leave your locks smooth, shiny and healthy looking.

Why try it?

While there are many conditioning treatments around, knowing exactly what products are being used and what chemicals they contain is a rarity. Our hair felt much smoother and softer after this treatment, without the use of harsh chemicals. The blow dry at the end lasted for days too!


From Dhs250 to Dhs450 depending on hair length.

Be Bar, Villa 594, Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, Mon to Thur 8am to 8pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 8pm, Sun 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3212348. Taxi: next to Hamptons café.

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This article was originally published in Good magazine

Images: Supplied