AL-Nasaem (Salmiya)

One number to rule them all

I refuse to believe that this sad little building with all its janky-lookin’ stores is the one all those people have been referencing for all those years.

It’s a miracle the place is still standing upright! Inside, the entire complex smelled like some sort of extremely pungent ethnic dish, maybe curry (ironic really, for a place meant to be dedicated to Hair Care). Everything was dusty! Most of the stuff looked very suspicious including the products (a huge 35.2 fl oz tub of Banana Conditioning Hair Mask by the brand Kanechom for only 500 fils? No, thanks! Probably give you cancer or summat) and tools (over-priced Made in China Curling Wand knock-offs that’ll probably singe your hair). The products that looked “legit” (from already well established brands) looked they’d been “lightly used” already and were either sticky or gunky! The Hair Extensions (I saw these girls paying several hundies, in Kuwaiti Dinars, for them) looked pretty ratchet as well. I believe the top floor had one or two Hair Salons (facing each other). As opposed to stairs, to get to the top floor, there was a ramp… Basically, Al-Zaamil (formerly known as Al-Lathayna) was a mess of a building.

I could wrap my head around all that. What I struggled with, was why did they have no less than five (yes, 5) Al Nasaem stores, not only all in the same building, but actually wall-to-wall (one was on the top floor, but the rest were on the ground floor) with each other? After entering the millionth store and realizing the entire place was store after store… that sold the exact same products, I asked the sales assistant and she calmly explained “Oh, all of these stores are part of Al Nasaem“.

That’s just… so stupid.

Matrix Total Results Brass Off Conditioner and L’Oreal Hollywood Waves Siren Waves Cream

That said, that didn’t stop me from purchasing these two lol

Matrix Total Results Brass Off Conditioner (10 oz/300mL) retails for KD 4/500

Cool it down with New Brass Off, Total Results’s 1st system to neutralize brassy tones, while moisturizing hair and protecting it from breakage. Non-color depositing formula that retains cool tones and hydrates hair. Protected Color. Professional Care. Get Up to 6X less breakage with our most neutralizing system yet*.

Brass Off System, with Vitamin Oil, nourishes hair so it has movement and touchable softness. Dry and brittle hair is soft and replenished with moisture.

To Use: After Brass Off Shampoo, apply to wet hair. Massage. Rinse. Follow with Brass Off Blonde Threesome.

*System consists of Shampoo for neutralization, Conditioner for nourishment, Leave-In Cream for softening, smoothing and protecting.

Matrix was a legitimate brand and I’ve actually used several products from Matrix before, so I was pretty excited when I spotted the Brass Off Shampoo and Brass Off Conditioner being sold. I really liked the packaging! It looked pretty cool! Also, these things were huge! However, they looked extremely dusty as well, which is why I decided to skip purchasing either one.

Luckily, all the stores in the building, sold exactly the same products (so stupid). Seeing the Matrix Brass Off System over and over again, in all the other stores, is actually what tipped me off (which is when I asked the sales assistant and she assured me that I was not in bizarro world and this was in fact, real life).

If you’ve got eyes, you’ll have noticed that my hair (most recent photos, in my previous post) is Brass City Central, at the moment (thanks to dis), and the last time I’ve had mah herr dyed (pics) was about 6 months ago, give or take. Since I get my hair done every 6 months as opposed to every 3 weeks, it’s safe for you to assume that I don’t actually enjoy getting my hair dyed. In fact, I loathe the entire process (the smell, the waiting, the end result which is never what I asked for, and the list goes on and on). I’m both too old and too lazy, to maintain blonde hair like I once did (once upon a time). That’s why I’ll opt to use anything (Charles Worthington Warm Brown Instant Root Concealer) that’ll help me prolong the visit back for a “touch-up”.

I was hoping this Matrix Brass Off stuff would help in that department. Figuring that the any Blue Shampoo or Purple Shampoo would probably strip my hair of what little moisture it had left, I opted instead for the Brass Off Conditioner. In the cleanest looking store (that “happened” to open out to the main road, and was therefore the first store that potential customers would enter, which explained why it was in better shape than the other seemingly run-down Al Nasaem stores, farther back in the building), I found a non-dusty Brass Off Conditioner and purchased it.

Looking at the directions now, to neutralize the brassiness in my hair, it seems I should’ve purchased the Brass Off Shampoo instead, because the Brass Off Conditioner was only meant for “nourishment”. I suppose I’ll have to go back and pick up the Brass Off Shampoo (ugh).

L’Oreal Hollywood Waves Siren Waves Cream (5 oz/150mL) retails for KD 7/000

Recreate the Red Carpet Look, with defined, soft, shiny waves and curls. An elasto-cream texture offers bouncy curls, while illuminating the look of the hair’s natural shine. Distribute evenly through damp hair. Dry with a diffuser or air dry. Ideal for all hair types.

Pro Tip: Have your waves fallen flat? Boost curls by reapplying Siren Waves on dry hair. Instead of scrunching, try wrapping small sections around your finger, holding for 15-30 seconds.

L’Oreal was another legit brand, which I happen to use frequently, so I wasn’t suspicious of their products. As such, I was absolutely delighted when I spotted the Hollywood Waves Collection!

Spiral Queen Mousse
Siren Waves Cream
Waves Fatale Cream
Sweetheart Curls Spray

Prior to entering the building, I didn’t even know that L’Oreal Hollywood Waves had existed and yet, I was pretty sure I needed it in my life! I wasn’t sure what any of them (other than the mousse) actually did, but I was excited to find out! Also, the packaging was so vera’, vera’ cute! I really had my heart set on getting both the Spiral Queen Mousse and the Siren Waves Cream.

Sadly, every single product looked like it had been “lightly used” (the nozzles had dried up gunk on them and everything). Thankfully, due to the stupid design (where they had identical stores wall-to-wall with each other), I found the L’Oreal Hollywood Waves Collection in every other store, but all of them looked pretty ratchet (and were actually sticky).

However, in that one Al Nasaem store on the top floor, I found a seemingly less ratchet version of the Siren Waves Cream and quickly snatched that sucka’ up! I found the Spiral Queen Mousse too, but it was “lightly used” (ugh), so I just couldn’t justify purchasing it. I tried to pay for the the Siren Waves Cream using my debit card (K-net) but the scanner wasn’t working… so, the sales assistant asks me to follow her down the stairs ramp and enters one of the many other Al Nasaem stores on the ground floor and pay for it there, instead. So stupid.

On my way out of the building, I saw that they had a Buy 2, Get 1 Free (with every purchase of 3 items, the lowest priced item would be free) “deal”. It was plastered all across the windows of the stores that were facing the main road. Yes, I had purchased two items from two different stores, but technically, the entire building was the same store, from the lay-out down to the dusty products, to the extent that even the “check-out” process was interchangeable (I bought something from one store, but payed for it in the other). They’d seen me lugging around the big bag (like I said, the Matrix Brass Off Conditioner was huuuge), but they failed to mention the Buy 2 Get 1 promo. Was it worth going back in there and risking exposure to asbestos (I may or may not be exaggerating) or at the very least tetanus? I decided against it and just left.

Final Thoughts

I’m thinkin’… maybe all those people who’ve been raving about “That awesome Hair Place in Salmiya” were talking about some other place (hopefully/maybe)?

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