As someone who finds a trip to the hairdresser as potentially stressful as a visit to the dentist, I always approach salons with some trepidation and cynicism. Too many times have I entered a salon brandishing photos, parted with more cash than I care to admit and left feeling more groomed, but slightly cheated. However, I am nothing if not relentless in my quest for the holy grail of hair salons. My neglected tresses were in desperate need of attention and I was keen to try relatively new hair salon Studio XY, located at the NYUAD campus on Saadiyat Island.
Several hours spent on Pinterest pouring over ‘fringspiration’ photos of effortlessly chic Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy and Charlotte Gainsbourg had reignited my life-long love of French girl hair, and I arrived at Studio XY ready to be transformed!
Next door to the gentlemen’s Studio Y, the independent ladies’ Studio X offers a wide range of hair and beauty services including hair styling and treatments, colouring, nails, massages and facials, with prices starting at a mid-range AED 370 for a cut and blow dry. The hair salon was quite small, but the décor modern and elegant. The friendly staff made me feel at ease; always a good start! My stylist took time to listen to what I wanted, but wasn’t particularly responsive. I was a little worried that she didn’t understand my vision for attaining the je ne sais quoi of my idols, but after she began cutting I could see she knew what she was doing. When it came to the first snip of fringe I realised it was now or never, swallowed my nerves and took the plunge.
Half an hour later, I was still in one piece and had a great new haircut, complete with fringe – not quite rivaling Jane Birkin, but still a big improvement on my lackluster locks of earlier that evening. So the verdict? The whole experience was quick and painless, though not super-luxurious. The staff were welcoming and competent, and I will probably visit again as the location is so convenient for me.