The feeling of being treated like royalty when you visit a hairdresser in Lebanon is like no other.
What you calculate as a quick, one-hour visit might end up consuming your evening ... along with other "inconveniences."
If you're going to get your hair fixed at a Lebanese hairdresser anytime soon, be prepared to be trapped until these 10 stages are over:
1. You're treated like a queen as you walk in
You enter the salon to a thousand hellos as someone takes you to your seat, sits you down, and gets you a beverage of your choice ... coffee, tea, water, juice?
At this point, you wish you can afford a visit to a hair salon every day.
2. As the hairdresser approaches, you know you're no longer in control
You're seated comfortably staring into the mirror and bidding your old hairstyle goodbye ... that's when the hairdresser approaches you.
As they stroke your hair, they ask about the style you have in mind. You explain thoroughly but they absent-mindedly nod in agreement.
You're no longer in control, they're plotting a different plan.
3. A series of guilt trip questions follows
As they get to the job, their judging eyes scan you from head to toe.
"Wen 3amleh 7wejbik?," "w dafirik?," and "min sabeghlik?" ... you're in trouble.
They know you go to other salons and want to know what their competitors have that they don't.
4. All assistants gather around to judge your hair
Your hair suddenly transforms into a case study for all assistants to dig into.
Comments about it being too weak or too dry start raining on you ... but are then followed by subtle advertisements of hair products they sell.
Another awkward situation arises if you decline their offer to spend an extra $200 on a 20ml shampoo bottle that "does miracles."
5. The actual process then begins
Lebanese hairdressers have a tendency to overdo whatever is at hand. No matter what you ask them for, they do more to impress you.
Though all you needed was a little trim, you leave looking like a poodle, and when you ask for a classy bun, you walk out with a peacock's tail on your head.
6. Hair stroking takes place ... again
After all is done and you're left uncertain with the result, their silky fingers run through your hair one last time ... *cue the slow-mo effect and some cheesy soundtrack in the background*
7. Spray time!
At first, they gently spray specific parts of your hair, "byemsouk l cha3er w ma bi nawbir."
Soon enough your face is all spray, your hands are spray, and your eyes are burning ... but they never stop until you suffocate.
Punishment for being someone else's client? Maybe.
8. Cue the compliments
A flood of compliments takes you away out of the blue as you're compared to some Arab celebrity. That lasts until you go home, look yourself in the mirror, and cry at how ugly you look.
9. Before you leave, a selfie for social media
Lebanese hairdressers have photography skills as much as hairdressing ones. They'll take videos, pictures, and selfies with you and your debatably gorgeous hair. Be prepared for your next social media appearance.
10. The most horrifying stage comes last ... the bill
All confident and glowing, you stand up and head to the counter.
"Baddeh 3azbik bl 7seb..." you say aloud, to which the cashier or the hairdresser themselves reply with "byetla3 3laykeh $150."
Was it worth it? Was it?? You wanted a trim for $20 tops ... how did things spiral down so fast?