Lebanese women, and besides the brains they have and the journeys or missions they’ve accomplished, are known for being aesthetic at home as in taking care of their beauty and physical appearances. And they do nail it in that and in competing with the most beautiful women in the world.
Thus, almost every Lebanese woman or girl have actually been to the hairdresser or to a beauty salon for at least once (if not once a week). Can you guess now what we’re going to talk about?
Lebanese hairdressers and beauty technicians in Lebanon are known for their pride and self-admiration, which, to a certain extent, we do agree to, knowing their potentials and skills. If it’s your first time to pay one of those Lebanese hairdressers a visit, there’s no escape from being asked, “Min khabarik 3anne?” With every new client, they do need to know who’s talking about them.
A friendly advice: If you want some discount, you better feed his ego and tell him something like, “Wallaw! Ma enta el-kel bya3erfak!” as in “you need no introduction, everybody knows you!”
#2. Shou bteshteghle? (What do you do for living?)
Whatever you tell them your job is (or your husband’s), chances are they will ask you for favors. If you tell them you work at a dental clinic, they would “out of the blue” want to fix their teeth. If on the other hand, you tell them that you’re a lawyer, they wouldn’t let you until they tell you about their whole family inheritance matters.
Worst is actually when you do work for an NGO like in my case, and you find it really hard to tell what social work is or answer their endless questions such as: Is this job secure? Do you get well paid? Why don’t you offer services to the needy Lebanese communities?….
Because he or she probably knows all the families in Lebanon… Now, even if you’re not originally Lebanese or have this kind of rare uncommon and unfamiliar family name, Lebanese hairdressers would always tell you, “Ken ma3eh shab sa7be men hal 3ayleh” as in “I had a friend who had this same family name.” Yes, don’t be surprised, they can even do a better job than mayors themselves!
#4. 3and min kenti trouhe abel? (To which salon did you use to go?)
So if you didn’t mention in #1 something around why you ditched your original aesthetician to come to him/her, your new hairdresser will keep on digging deeper until you say that your old beauty technician isn’t competent enough or they have ruined your hair and the like. Something they really need to know to use in their chitchat with their next client, and next, and next.
Hairdressing profession is indeed one of those field where the professionals need to talk to their clients (and sometimes gossip) during the dead times or dying sessions.
#5. Ana kteer t3azabet ta wsolet la hon (I suffered a lot to reach this level)
I can’t personally believe how common this statement can be! I have personally been to almost every hairdresser in the country, and each one of them has never been reluctant to narrate the story of their life.
Starting with their personal family matters all the way through to the “bad” salons they worked at. Plot is to tell them something like or similar to, “Wow, bravo! Kteer self-made enta!” It is expected that you praise and admire how self-made they are. Again, this is if you don’t want to pay too much!
#6. Rah a3melik shi helo (I’ll do you something beautiful for your hair)
Lebanese hairdressers want to always upsell on you, either it’s a hair mask or a product, which they insist they’re the only ones to own in Lebanon, they would still want to make you spend more money. The best tip is to actually say you’re in a hurry and you may do that later unless you want to become penniless by the time you step out of the door.
#8. Sha3rik kteer helo w 3abi (Your hair is so beautiful and thick)
In controversy with the above, Lebanese hairdressers won’t miss the chance to praise how beautiful your hair is, even if it’s not the case or so you do believe. Either way, they would still want you to do this hair mask or that hair treatment, either to make your hair grow faster or maintain its beautiful quality. Again, no escape!
If it happens that you know this hairdresser for so long that you even have friends in common, your hairdresser will always want to ask you about those people. Things can actually worsen if they’re not on good terms with them. They would, for instance, want to drag you to speak bad about them by initiating conversations like, “ba3da ma3 hayda el bakhil?” Meaning, is she still with that Scrooge guy?
#10. Shou ma fi hada heik heik? (Are you seeing somebody?)
Regardless if you have ever brought your personal affairs to their table or kept them to yourself, Lebanese hairdressers are so caring that they want to know every single detail about your personal life.
If you happen to have had told them about one of your exes, they would definitely ask you about them every single time you come to the salon. If, however, you’re seeing someone, they wouldn’t miss the chance to also ask you about when you guys are planning to get married.
The only thing I do genuinely wish for is to answer one of those hairdressers, “Okay, there you go, it’s on you!” Weird thing is that when you ask them how much you do owe them, they would always give you that kind of high and imaginary price.
If by any chance you ask them why did it cost that much, they will confidently tell you, “Hay bass la elik,” insinuating that this is a very special price only for you with the hope you believe that you’re one of their favorite clients.