Back to Blonde (Photo Heavy)


Serving you some Draco Malfoy realness lawl

After spending forever trying to get into my personal Instagram account (I totally forgot my password, which just goes to show how often I actually use the app lawl) to frantically hunt down something appropriate to wear during Ramadan, I kept on receiving those annoying notifications from Instagram on my phone afterwards. I spent weeks ignoring them, but on July 12, I’d finally had enough and tried to disable the notifications through the app itself, which is when an ad for Belleza and more Salon & Spa popped up. I clicked the ad (which took me to their insta account) and immediately my eyes were drawn to the photo shown below.

Translation: Ammonia-free Dye and Bleach… Extra Strength Protection used with every Hair Coloring Session… so the hair does not get damaged and the color remains… vibrant and rich with a beautiful shine to make the hair appear healthy and fresh

As soon as I spotted that gorgeous ash-blonde color (in the After photo) I was obsessed! Seeing as how I’d just chopped off all my hair (pics, here), I was less hesitant about messing with it. Plus, they straight up advertised “ammonia-free dye” and “extra-strength protection”. It seemed legit. Being the impulsive creature that I am, I quickly called them up and made an appointment (30 mins from time of call) to dye my hair!

I’d inquired about the price during the call (‘cuz I wasn’t gonna’ go if it was something ridiculous), but they said they had to see me first, as the price would depend on the length of my hair. I referenced the photo (shown above) and asked to get the same person to do my hair. They assured me that Madame XYZ (apparently, she was the one who oversaw all the dye jobs) was available to dye my hair. So I quickly hopped in the car and used the Location via their Instagram account… which led me to the general vicinity of the Belleza and more Salon & Spa, but not to the actual salon itself. Thankfully, I’d asked our live-in driver to take me. That’s why I could afford to take a quick photo of my hair (just to have a before and after of my own) which I’d thrown into a messy bun. After about 45 minutes of wandering aimlessly around Sha’ab, I finally found Belleza and more Salon & Spa!

I had to wait for about 15 minutes or so, for Madame XYZ (obviously I’m not gonna’ use her real name) to come out of the back room. I showed her the photo and complimented her on her work, and told her it was exactly what I wanted. When I let down my hair (to show its length) and asked her about the price, she literally said, “Don’t worry about it” (it meaning the price), which did not bode well for me.

She asked if she could take “before and after” photos of my hair, to put up on the the Belleza and more Salon & Spa account on Instagram, to which I agreed (this woman was going to dye my hair so I wasn’t about to refuse her anything). While she was doing all that, I explained to her that regardless of how dark my hair might look, bleaching it would be unnecessary, because my hair dyes (changes color) quite easily. I’ve been told so, by several hairstylists (which was… whatever), but when the Nina (locally infamous Russian hairstylist) said it too, I was convinced! That’s why I specifically asked Madame XYZ not to bleach my hair! She told me to relax and just trust her, before disappearing into the back room (to mix the dye or whatever), while someone else prepped me.

Once she returned, as soon as Madam XYZ was close enough, the eye-watering fumes quickly tipped me off that she was going to bleach my hair, which was the exact opposite of what I’d just asked her. Before I could protest, she’d already plunked down a generous amount on my hair (meaning there was no going back). Still, I voiced my thoughts saying “I did not want you to bleach my hair”. She assured me it was necessary and that it was only for a little bit and that it would make everything go faster. She told me that by doing that, the color would be naar (which literally translates to fire) which I thought was odd because why was a woman pushing 50 using teenagers’ slang? Basically, nothing she said convinced me nor made me feel reassured.

Shortly after Madame XYZ had applied the bleach to my hair, my head started to burn (not tingle, but straight up burn)! My hair felt like it was literally on fire! I’d been dying my hair blonde ever since I was 17 years old, so I’ve grown accustomed to the slight burning sensation that comes with using bleach (they tell you that it’s just the product working), but this was something else! I figured maybe it’s because I hadn’t changed my hair color in about 4-5 years, I might’ve forgotten how much it actually hurt. So I tried to stay quiet and just deal with it, but the pain kept getting worse!

I told Madame XYZ, but she reiterated that “it’s just the bleach working”. Dude, it felt like being eaten alive! After about the millionth time of sharing my discomfort, Madame XYZ asked me when was the last time I washed my hair. I told her that I’d just gotten’ out of the shower, right before coming to her salon. She told me that was why it was extra painful and that normally, you shouldn’t bleach freshly washed hair (ideally, it should be second or third day hair when you bleach it). I thought it was hilarious how she was lecturing me, as if it was my idea to get my hair bleached LOL I’d straight up asked her not to bleach it, several times! In any case, she did nothing about the pain, so I just had to tough it out. The smell of bleach (or as they refer to it in this area of the world “oxygen”) was God-awful! I couldn’t decide which one bugged me more, the smell or the pain!

Eventually, someone took me over to the sink and washed my hair. Then the darling assistant who’d prepped my hair earlier (holding my hair up in the photo above), checked my hair for unbleached strands or something before blasting it with a blow-dryer, so it could dry and Madame XYZ could finally apply the hair color to my freshly bleached hair. The woman who prepped my hair (you can partially see her holding my hair up) was such a sweetheart! Talking to her made time go by much faster (I’d forgotten how tedious getting your hair bleached can be)! I mean, I had my phone with me, but still, the whole process was so boring! Plus, I’d much rather have a conversation with someone, instead of sticking my head in my phone the whole time.

The last time I dyed my hair was around I wanna’ say January 2013 or 2014 (Hair “Journey” with pics, here). I mean it sounds so dumb and pretentious to call it “a journey”, but if you’re into makeup and that sorta’ thing, you’ll know what it entails and also, calling it that, just gets the point across much faster. Anyways, she was the reason I was smiling (we kept giggling the whole time) in most of the photos. Plus, it’s embarrassing to take selfies in public (it makes me feel like I’m being vain), which was also why I was cracking up in most of those photos.

Once it was fully dry, I ran my hand through my freshly bleached hair… and my hand got stuck! My hair had been so severely damaged, to the extent that I could barely finger comb it, let alone run a brush through it! It felt like someone had taken a sticky wet lollipop straight out of their mouth and just rubbed it all over my head!!!! The texture was awful! My usually soft hair now felt so dry and brittle! You could see how crazy frizzy it was in the photos. Clearly, it had been over-processed. So much for “ammonia-free” and “extra-strength protection” lol Clearly the ad on Instagram was a complete lie.

I’m not a girly-girl, so I’d never get upset over a bad haircut or dye job, but I’d at least like to run a brush through my hair and not have the brush firmly lodged in my now extra tangly and knotty hair! Usually, I tend to shower and walk out the door, letting my hair air-dry in natural waves/curls (low maintenance). Also, I’m always playing around with hair styling products that contain some form of alcohol (which can be drying) or straight up Sea Salt Sprays. With my hair now utterly destroyed, I could kiss all that goodbye! It would take a lot (and I mean a lot) of extra care and effort, to nurture my hair back to health. Plus, it meant I had to ease up on the hot tools… except my hair was crazy frizzy now, so I kinda’ needed the help of hot tools to tame the frizz. Ugh, all this was so unnecessary and easily avoidable if only she’d listened to me.

The icing on the cake, was when Madame XYZ ran her hands through my now fully dry and freshly bleached hair (before applying the hair dye to it) and proclaimed that my hair was “tired” and proceeded to rattle of a list of hair repairing treatments (from Keratin to BB to whatever else) that they offered at Belleza and more Salon & Spa. This woman had just completely destroyed my hair and now she was listing hair treatments to fix it (all nonchalant, mind you) as if she wasn’t the cause of my now severely damaged hair. That’s about when I felt the urge to strangle the woman so instead, I just seethed quietly (she was applying the hair dye at the time). After that, it was just a waiting game, for the dye to take.

After a good long while, two of the assistants hurriedly washed my hair (it was getting late and they were about ready to close up shop) and one of them managed to get water in my eye! I felt my blood run cold! For some reason (I don’t even know where, when or how, I even developed this fear), but ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always been deathly afraid of hair dye getting in my eyes… and consequentially burning them (I’d imagine it would hurt quite a lot) and then losing my eyesight because of the hair dye. Extreme, I know, but irrational or not, that’s one of my (many, many) fears.

That’s why I began frantically dabbing at my eye with the towel wrapped around my neck (to keep my clothes from getting wet, as they washed my hair). The assistant who accidentally got water in my eye (in her attempt to make amends, I guess… ) got a piece of extremely rough toilet paper (not tissue paper, extremely rough and textured toilet paper) and started aggressively rubbing it on the most sensitive part of the face, the under-eye area. I don’t exactly know why she was effectively sandpapering my delicate under-eye area, but I asked her to kindly stop and assured her everything was fine. As far as I was concerned, my eye wasn’t stinging and even better, I still had my eyesight (crises averted), so I honestly didn’t care if my makeup was more than a little smudged (from my frantic dabbing of the towel earlier).

After they washed it, the color looked more like a warm-toned honey blonde, rather than a cool-toned ash blonde! Madame XYZ assured me that it would look differently after she’d blow-dried it. Despite everything, Madame XYZ masterfully blow-dried my hair in about 15 minutes! She straightened it, flipping the ends inwards, while managing to both give me sufficient volume (just the way I like it) and taming all the frizz! She told me not to wash my hair for a week (lol eww no thanks, I washed it 3 days later and even then, it killed me to wait that long) and said that I should come back at a later date, for her to tone it (or “rinsage” as they call it in this area of the world, pronounced with a french accent). The color was nowhere near what I had asked for and to further prove my point, I asked Madame XYZ if she wanted to take an after photo (since she’d already taken a before photo) to put up on their Instagram account. She declined and said that she’d take the after photo, the next time I came (once she’d removed all the brassiness from my hair, I’m guessing). That’s when I knew, she done messed up!

Then, she asked me to pay… a whopping KD 100! That’s not including all the tips and stuff (I think at one point, every one of the assistants had done something or other to my hair). In the past, I’ve had my hair done by Joe Raad (Lebanese hairstylist of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern celebrities) during my stay in Lebanon. He’d washed, cut, dyed and styled my hair to… perfection! Literally, everyone was always complimenting my hair and asking me where I’d gotten it done, and when I’d say Joe Raad, they’d just nod knowingly. Everyone just knew Joe Raad was magic! His work cost no more than $30 (U.S.) which was about KD 10. Meanwhile, this woman had just fried my hair and was now, asking me to pay ten times as much. By then, I was already sick of being at Belleza and more Salon & Spa and I had a few errands to run afterwards and it was already getting late so I had to hustle. As such, I happily pulled out by debit card (K-net) and payed whatever they wanted, without any complaints.

My hair’s color (shown above, impromptu pics taken in the car, hence the horrible lighting) might look okay, but it’s not what I actually wanted, which was fine. However, the next morning (in natural daylight), I was shocked by how bright and brassy it looked! Once the sun set, it looked like a more palatable brown. It felt like one of those mood rings, except instead of a ring, it was my actual hair lol

About four days later, I had an event to go to and everyone (friends + family) gushed about me going lighter with my hair. They were all saying things like “This is the LuLu we all know and love” and “Now, that’s more YOU!” which I thought was funny. Apparently, everyone really disliked darker hair on me (including my very own mother, who was constantly urging me to go blonde again). I’m already well aware that my own natural hair color looks quite fake on me, but that’s just because of my odd sallow skintone lol

Truth be told, I kinda’ miss having darker hair. I haven’t gone back to get the color toned, not even to get the roots touched up. In fact, I haven’t messed with my hair color since July. It’s gone considerably lighter after each wash and now my hair color is more of a horrible gold… with about an inch or so, of dark roots. I can’t let it air-dry anymore, because I’ll just end up with lots of knots (that are pretty painful and time-consuming to de-tangle). Heck, I can’t even brush it anymore, without the use of some Conditioner. My hair feels like straw. The frizz factor is through the roof! I keep shedding an abnormal amount of hair (I don’t really care about that as much, but after a certain point, enough is enough, I mean I don’t wanna’ end being bald, because then I won’t be able to use all those fun hair styling products)! Basically, my hair is all around mess lol Come to think of it, maybe shaving it all of wouldn’t be such a bad idea! I could maybe have a baby mohawk with some nice undercut action going on… Hmm, it’s like I learned nothing from this whole experience (still just as impulsive) lol

To sum up my whole experience with Belleza and more (more indeed) Salon & Spa in one word, I’d say “ugh!”

10 thoughts on “Back to Blonde (Photo Heavy)

  1. Omg!! This is the kind of nightmare i never want to see. I am super picky when it comes to my hair, choosing the right hair salon and hair stylist (this is mainly coz of a childhood incident). I have been dying to give my hair a makeover but thinking of all the damage i am inflicting myself, i step back. If i were you, i would literally strangle that hair stylist and would have straight up given them a piece of my mind.

  2. Hi Sonia! You’re smart to do your research beforehand. I’m kinda’ impulsive, I want something when I want it, consequences be damned (gambler’s mentality lol) and believe me, if I thought it would’ve done any good, I totally would’ve had a talk with that woman. However, the damage was already done. Telling her off wouldn’t fix my hair so I saw no point in discussing it with her any further. Also, I wouldn’t call her a hair stylist. Maybe a hair fryer or hair destroyer, but not a hair stylist lol she doesn’t deserve that title. Are you gonna’ share the incident that happened to you? Girl, you can’t just drop a teaser like that and not share the rest of it hehe

  3. Lol hair fryer! That sounds about right. Well the childhood incident… i wanted to have layers in my hair and i was growing them out mainly for this. I remember that day so vividly. I was so excited and went in for my haircut. To my surprise, the place was undergoing some renovation but she said she would take me in and took me to another room where there was no mirror in front of me and sat me down for my haircut. I told her exactly what i wanted and trusted her with my hair. After she got done, she handed me a hand mirror and i got the shock of my life. She ended up chopping off all my hair and gave me a bob cut. I was so furious and told her that this is not what i asked and she said she felt this would suit me better. Unlike you, i couldn’t hold back. I gave her a piece of my mind and this is how i got scarred for life :(

  4. Yikes! That sounds awful! No wonder you’re more selective of your salons. The question is… did you ever go back to that same salon? :P

    Thankfully, hair grows back (even though it seems like it takes forever) and in the right hands, even a bad dye job can be fixed ;)

  5. Nope!! And i never will. Lol!! I am planning to try Aveda for a haircut. Have you heard any reviews about this place from anyone?

  6. Good lol like I said earlier, you’re smart! If it were me, I’d probably forget the whole thing and go back to the same place 6 months later lol

    About Aveda, I’ve only seen the Avenues branch (I believe the hairstylists were men… from what I glimpsed, but that was months ago, so I could be wrong) and even then, I don’t even know how I go there (I’d just left & Other Stories and my head was still reeling from all the prettiness) lol In fact, & Other Stories was the only reason I was visiting that side of the Avenues. To be honest, I haven’t gone back there since. Also, no haven’t heard much locally about Aveda or any other salon for that matter. Once my friends or cousins or whomever start talking salons (generally name-dropping Kuwaiti Hairstylists) I tune out (because it’s just not my aesthetic). I’m very wary of our local salons (but sometimes impulse wins over like in this instance lol) because of how awful they are generally, but I also like trying trying out random places that I’ve accidentally stumbled upon, which is risky (case in point, this instance… again lol) but sometimes it pans out! For examples, the salons furthest from the city (let’s say areas like Mangaf and Mahboula) that cater more towards the Americans are way more professional, offer a variety of services you wouldn’t find elsewhere and have a selection of imported cult-classic hair care products (sealed and everything) available for purchase too (it’s where I used to pick up my purple/blue shampoo for my blonde hair back when I was younger and it wasn’t as readily available as it is now, if it even is available in the city lol). Best of all, those salons do not cost an arm and a leg! The only negative is that those places are so, so, so far away (I literally live down the street from Kuwait City lol).

    If you do get a haircut at Aveda, let me know how it turns out, por favor! I’m interested to hear what you’ve got to say :)

  7. Haha i love your sense of humor. I too have heard about some salons in those areas that are good but like you said, its too far off for me too. There are few international stylists who visit Kuwait frequently such as Nicky Lazou but i personally feel they are a bit overpriced and i cant justify the price.

    I have heard good reviews about Aveda Dubai so was a bit intrigued to try it here. I will def update you of my experience. You are real gutsy to try new places here. I dont mind trying them for a mani or pedi but not my hair (like i mentioned earlier, super picky lol)

  8. haha Girl, you want horror stories (from a salon that left the dye too long and a strand of my hair literally broke off back in 2005, to another that mixes in hazardous ingredients with their henna when I tinted my brows in 2008, to another salon that used nail glue to apply individual lashes to my eyes back in 2010), I can give you an endless amount of horror stories (based on first-hand experience. I didn’t hear it from someone. I actually experienced it myself lol)

    G’luck with Aveda! Hope you get awesome results :)

  9. Pingback: Spotted at Boots (October) | LuLu ♥'s Makeup

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