Going for highlights or colour can be seriously traumatic. Done right you’re a sun-kissed surfer but there’s a fine line between natural looking and brassy. We’ve begged a few of our favourite Sassy Mamas to give up the names of their colourists and have rounded up Dubai’s all-star cast responsible for their luscious locks.
Many mamas have been using this salon for years and it’s become a trusted favourite for a new hue or a head of highlights. Seriously good at balayage, ombre and now also hair chalking (if you fancy a pop of blue or pink through your hair but need to know it washes out), Hairworks is a lovely buzzing little salon that’s conveniently located for all you Jumeirah/Umm Suqeim mamas (there’s also an Ibn Battuta branch that’s apparently equally good). The salon runs regular promotions when new colourists and stylists join the team so you can pick up highlights at a really decent price.
Half-Head Highlights start at AED 385
Spinneys Umm Sequiem (also at Ibn Battuta Mall)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 394 0777
For blonde with volume, Lebanese owned and run HUSH at The Address, Dubai Mall, is the place for you. Hair stylist Hassan is super sweet and a highlight genius, creating a blonde bombshell effect with bright tones followed by a big hair blowout. A built in TV within the mirrors keeps you entertained in between emails and the hairdresser chat.
Address Hotel, Dubai Mall (Also has a salon in WAFI city mall and Movenpick Hotel)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 327 9577
With three locations at Grosvenor House, Emirates Towers and Palm Strip Jumeirah, JetSet has you covered wherever you’re located. Headed by Patrick Shannon, one of the best male colourists in the city whose background at one of London’s most famous salons, Daniel Galvin in Mayfair, has resulted in a little black book of clients past and present that we would all love to get our hands on and whose hair we most certainly covet.
He may be a celebrity favourite, but there’s nothing intimidating about Patrick – a dad of 2 he understands that time is as precious as our little people and is super-efficient whilst appearing incredibly relaxed. Our sassy mama says that Patrick just ‘gets colour’, transforming her ‘blah brown’ base to look rich and glossy with very natural highlights. Careful not to over-promise or throw colour onto over-processed hair, Patrick prefers to create a long-term plan for your hair, stating that perfection cannot be obtained in one visit, particularly if you have experimented with various tones that need to be gradually phased out.
The salon experience and interiors are inspired by an airport (bear with us, it’s actually cooler than it sounds) complete with cabin-crew style uniforms and a glamorous first class airline feel. JetSet often host top visiting stylists and colourists from all over the world so it’s worth booking and waiting for a much sought after slot with a stylist in transit – the latest visitors clients include Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Zac Efron.
Very much up to date with the latest in colour and technique, JetSet offer everything from highlights to the dip-dyed ombre which looks fab on mamas with long locks and as part of The Grooming Company, JetSets nailbar equivalent NBar is located just next door for a quick mani-pedi to finish your look.
Grosvenor House Hotel (there are also branches at Palm Strip Mall and Emirates Towers)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 3995005
A Jumeirah favourite, this award winning salon has its own range of products and a team of highly qualified staff. Appointments have to be booked well in advance so forget going here for those last minute transformations but get yourself a slot with Charlotte or Maxine (Maria herself only accepts existing clients) and you won’t be disappointed. If you judge a colourists’ ability by the shades of her own hair then Charlotte’s pink locks might frighten you, but we have it on very good recommendation that her touch is magic, staying on trend with the latest colour techniques without going over the top and responsible for very natural looking caramel hues. Maxine too has earned herself an impressive blonde following, taking time to discuss the tones which will suit your particular skin colour and intricately weaving a mix of shades to create depth and an unprocessed look. The Maria Dowling products have been specifically developed to protect coloured hair from fading and definitely worth investing in and even nicer that they’re not forced on you once you’re finished but rather recommended with reason over the course of your appointment.
Our Sassy mama has only two little teeny weeny bugbears with this salon that we thought we should include – there are no windows (perfect if you want to get away from the world but can feel quite dark) and it is a bit of a trek, especially if you’re driving from the ranches as this Maria Dowling devotee regularly does. Still – those things aside, the salon has quite rightly got a fab reputation for super colour.
Half-Head Highlights start at AED 380
Bur Dubai, Satwa
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 345 4225
Whether you’re nipping out during the lunch-time sleep, fitting highlights in between a quick whizz around the supermarket or fancy the five star hotel experience – one of the 3 pastels salons in Dubai is the place to treat your tresses. The friendly ‘no nonsense’ approach is refreshing, with stylists and clients alike gabbling away to each other in an uber-relaxed setting. You can usually get an appointment with Pastels at fairly short notice, perfect for when your roots just tip you over the edge one morning and with fairly reasonable prices and really great results we totally get why this chain has become so popular with many of Dubai’s mamas.
The Pastels team are highly skilled in their area of expertise and have trained in well known salons around the world so are extremely knowledgeable on the latest styles and methods. Dawn at the Al Wasl Road salon comes highly recommended by a neighbouring blonde whose colour I seriously envy and who sings the salons praises, particularly the relaxed and comfortable environment (apparently the flat beds at the sinks are a must for every stressed out mama.)
Half-Head Highlights start at AED 225
Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (Also have branches in Mercato Mall and in The Ritz Carlton)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 388 3534
The Sassy Mama team have been fans of this Salon for years – following it from Oud Metha to its relatively recent location opposite Jumeirah Beach Park. Having been a very happy regular of Tracys who initially fixed a colour disaster inflicted on us by another salon (whose name we shall not mention) she then maintained our highlights beautifully, even through 3 periods of severe post-baby hair-loss,we have more recently been booked with Neda who is equally talented. The stylists here actually listen when you tell them what you’re after – it’s never fun sitting in fear of what your hair will be subjected to – and their honesty is refreshing. If you have aspirations to mirror Gwen Stefani’s bleached look when actually you’re more suited to something a little toned down, they’ll be the first to tell you.
With floor to ceiling windows and a bright white interior ideal for getting colour just right, the salon has a contemporary but laid back vibe, largely due to the two Aussie owners Sharon and Kelly whose friendly chat is infectious. Happily ensconced in the latest issue of Graziea and with a seriously good latte in hand (the salon offers a wide range of drinks on the house)y visits to Salonk Ink are a real treat – offering some much needed ‘mama time’ with the added bonus of beautiful highlights on departure.
Booking early is recommended but all of the stylists at Salon Ink are so good that if you need a last-minute appointment they can usually squeeze you in.
Half-Head Highlights start at AED 400
Beach Park Plaza Centre, Jumeirah, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 3854402
We love the Jumeirah Village Mall branch – this isn’t the most cutting edge (no pun intended) salon in Dubai – the interior is fairly basic and with no windows the lighting isn’t great plus don’t expect to catch up on emails as there’s no WiFi here but there is a really friendly and relaxed vibe and you can just hide away for a couple of hours (and really who wants to be spotted through a window while having their hair done anyways?). Georgia is your gal for fantastic colour – a lovely bubbly blonde (if you judge a stylist based on their own hair you’ll love her from first sight) and is extremely approachable and very knowledgeable. Keen to minimise regrowth (and therefore saving you money with less visits to the salon), she expertly mixes in shades similar to your own. Georgia creates holiday hair (you know, that natural ‘I’ve just come back from the Caribbean’ look) with zero fuss and a great big smile – for any mamas looking for natural highlights and those lovely creamy shades, pay her a visit!
pssst…you can get a great mani/pedi here at the same time!
The Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (several other salons around Dubai)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 342 0787
Mamas rave about these guys and their ability to transform murky to blonde with really natural results. The stylists are super friendly, mainly British trained and keen to please without promising the un-achievable. If you don’t have gorgeous thick hair, they won’t pretend that you can leave looking like Jennifer Aniston but they will recommend the best cut and colour for you to make sure that you look and feel fab when you walk out of the door.
Half-Head Highlights start at AED 370
Al Nafura Clubhouse, Shoreline apartments, The Palm Jumeirah (Also located at Motor city)
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 430 8190
Toni & Guy
When you visit Toni & Guy, you pretty much know what to expect. All of the staff are Toni & Guy Academy trained and this global superbrand promises a certain standard and service – plus they’re always picking up awards for their talents. For working mamas in the DIFC area, the salon at Marble Walk is ideal for lunchtime root touch-ups or post work highlights.
Toni & Guy
Grand Hyatt Dubai (Also have a salon in DIFC)
Tel: (+971) (0) 324 4900
Valerie – IndexTower
If you prefer a more personal experience with no risk of running into anyone you know whilst wearing a head full of foils, an appointment with Valarie is just for you. The epitome of French chic, Valerie originates from Paris where she was trained by hairstylist to those in the know, Christoph Lovelli whose salon she still works in during the summer months. Operating out of her Index Tower apartment in DIFC, Valerie is the (almost) very well kept secret of many a stylish mama, responsible for the most naturally beautiful looking colour and highlights around. An expert in French colouring technique balayage – particularly suited to below-the-shoulder lengths where colour is painted on by hand rather than using the traditional foil or cap methods, Valerie achieves soft natural highlights that don’t have a solid demarcation/regrowth line, perfect for low maintenance mamas who don’t have time to be in the salon every 4 weeks for a touch up.
A huge fan of complimenting natural skin tone and revealing much of your natural colour, Valerie will mix dark and light shades for that sun-kissed look we all yearn for. A visit to her uber gorgeous apartment feels like a quick break in Paris with results to match.
Valerie is a well kept secret – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for her deets mamas!