Sunday, 19 October 2014
Finding an experienced hair colorist in Riyadh took me longer than it should have. It's not that there wasn't a good colorist out there, (though they are thin on the ground), it's more that, when it comes to getting myself sorted, I suck.
Granted, my first visit to a hair salon in Riyadh to cover the persistent grey that likes to decorate my head didn't exactly fill me with confidence regarding the hair dressing skill set available in the city. The woman looking at my hair said she couldn't mix dark brown with plum (my usual colors) - she could only give me what is in the book. I was shocked! What type of hair salon lets a hair colorist loose that can't mix colors!
It turns out the majority of expat Filipino women coloring hair in salons throughout Riyadh (and most are Filipion) aren't colorists at all. Heck, I'd be surprised if most of them aren't even salon trained. They, like many of their male counterpart Worker Bee expats (and you can read about them in my post on Worker Bees), get sent to workplaces and are told 'Just Do It'. So that's what they do.
Considering that even Hubster knows how to throw a packet color into my hair (though getting him to commit is like getting blood out of a stone and the end result varies depending on his state of mind at the time), if he can learn to do it, anyone can! I have been known to throw a box of color at my head myself over the years, usually when going through 'budget restrictions', but no matter how careful I am, the stuff ends up splattered over anything in my heads vicinity. Preparation for a self dye job requires covering most of the furniture in the room with old towels for protection.
One day, the gray afflicting my hair shafts required some serious attention. I'd had enough of bad hair jobs, including Hubster's efforts. (The last straw with Hubster the Hairdresser was when he insisted on having a movie playing while he did my hair. Suffice to say, his attention wasn't really on the job which was a bit of a disaster!) So, I called my compound neighbor who had been recommending Malonie, a colorist she had been visiting for some time. The phrase 'She's not cheap' came with the recommendation and, to be honest, it was the reason I suffered so long with other hair care means for so long.
The cost, in the end, isn't that bad. In fact, when you consider I get the color I want, she doesn't watch movies while on the job, there's no mess for me to clean up, it's nice to get out of the compound for a salon visit every month, she's a lovely lady and I'm happy with the result - then the cost is very little at all.
Currently Malonie is working a couple of days a week out of Four Nail Spa and Salon on the DQ. She was working out of their space at King Faisal Hospital too, but the hospital recently started undergoing some serious re-development nearby, so getting to that branch can be a bit tricky. The contact details, if you're interested are - Diplomatic Quarter (Al Kindi Square) + 966 11 201 4444, King Faisal Specialist Hospital + 966 50 165 4444.
Another recommendation is Sue, on The Arab Investment Compound (aka TAIC). A few friends have been visiting her and are very happy with the results. As an added bonus, Sue can cut hair too, which is really good to know because finding a hair stylist is yet another exciting adventure you ought to be prepared for if you ever decide to move to KSA. To date I admit I haven't yet braved the land of the Saudi Stylist (and you can read about that here) - I prefer to get my hair cut at salons overseas (yes, I know, I'm a snob!)
Tomorrow morning I'm heading back to Malonie at Four because my roots need attention and although Madame Lily suggested I grow my hair out, I'm not brave enough to go without color in my hair just yet!