Monday, October 05, 2015

Hairytale Ending: Hair by Connie

Every once in a while I seem to stumble upon someone truly exceptional.  It usually happens in an odd way and I'm sure that The Universe has set it up in some mysterious and magical weave of journeys.

My hair girl of the past 4 years left Kuwait a month ago.  I'm a loyal hair person. I don't switch.   I thought she was doing a pretty good job.  I was really upset because she had gone and hadn't been able to refer me to anyone else. I had finally gotten the closest to Gwen Stefani hair color that I ever had - but it wasn't in the best of health and a couple of choice words from my tell-it-like-it-is sister made me question the inevitable:  Had I gone too blonde?  ("The girls in my office didn't recognize you. They asked if you had decided to go white.")  DAAAAYUM!

The most commonly asked question I receive from female readers is:  Where do you recommend for either highlights or a cut?  (Male readers' most commonly asked question is;  How much do you charge for a massage.  I DON'T DO THAT!  Sheesh!  I wrote one innocent post about legal! massages in Kuwait and it turned into a free-for-all that has now lasted over a decade.)


Someone asked recently so I posed to my DG Facebook account asking the question.  Then saying, 'Hey, while I'm out here - if someone wants to do my highlights in exchange for a POSSIBLE blog post/review (if it is a positive experience - and only then), write to me."

I got a nice message from an American lady named Connie who does hair from her home salon in Fintas.

Ok, ok, so I have been to "home salons" in Kuwait before and had to stick my head under someone's kitchen sink tap when it came time to wash out the foils.  NOT for me.  Equally degrading is having to stick your head in their sink and then being charged the same amount of money you would AT a real salon where you would be pampered and offered something to drink and finished with the latest products offered to you (but not at the home salon).  That just has never done it for me.

But, I thought - ok, I will give it a try and Connie seemed nice.  I knew very little else about her, but I did see some of the photos of people's hair she had cut/colored and they were all fabulous.

I made an appointment.  I got directions to her house. I went.  Didn't know what to expect.

Out came this petite woman with a shiny mane of long, thick hair.  It was sooo pretty (Mashallah) and she probably thought I was being weird because I couldn't stop staring at her!  Was it real?  Was it a wig?  Who did that??  (Her daughter - who she taught.  OMG.)

Connie's salon really is just that - a salon.  Ok, let me back up a little.  It could be a salon in the South (US) maybe - comfortable seating area and nice kitchen area as well as a little terrace outside.  A real salon wash station (reclining chair and salon sink), comfortable salon chairs - the whole experience.  She also has quite a bit of high-dollar products to choose from.

And... Let me just say... ho lee sheet.  Girlfriend is more hair technologically-advanced than almost all of the salons I have been to in Kuwait - and that includes Tony and Guy; which is right up there.  Connie receives more regular training than most stylists in Kuwait do (regularly attending hair shows and conventions and training in the US).  She uses the latest techniques and the equipment she's got in her basement salon is shock-and-awe level.  She's got over $10,000 in sheers, a Wella Climazone (which is a 7000KD piece of equipment used for processing hair color), and uses Jaguar Thermo Sheers (which seal in hair during a cut and makes your hair healthier).  She's got an enormous array of brushes and insists on using only natural bristles.  Me likes.

(Not me)  Photo by @hairbyconniekw

What I liked the most was the personal touch.  There were no snooty, staring customers.  Just me.  I got her full attention. Connie doesn't double-book and likes to take her time (in my case, it was about 4 hours from beginning to end).  Don't freak!  She offered me chicken pot pie that she had just made and has lots of snacks on hand.  Connie's from Kentucky and those women are constantly trying to feed you (love it!!!).  Even when they are about a size 2....

And like most Southern girls, she's gonna tell it like it is.   If you are used to people cow-towing to you and BSing you, Connie is not your girl. She is a straight-talker just like me.  So, when I first sat down and heard her (first, but not last) expression of, "I gotta be honest with you...." about how my hair looked like, "trailer trash", I was like, 'Ok, let's do this.  Show me what you got.  Bring it on.'

(At this point, I already knew that she was about to get a favorable review.)  "We're going to do something different.  Something that  you've probably never had before."  Yup.  It's true.  It happened.

I had asked her just to touch up my roots, but she asked me if she could make my hair healthier and put in some lowlights.  She started by painting my roots with color and then proceeded to do balayage (hand painting individual strands - similar to foil highlights, but she could do several different colors and it is less harsh than foils).

During the time that she was doing my hair, I got to hear about her life's adventures in Kuwait (and how similar we both are).  She's been here for 25 years.  I've been here coming up on 19.  So we played the, "Do you know...." game.  I knew some of her friends.  She knew some of mine.  Kuwait is small. I'm sorry that I hadn't met Connie before because I just felt like I've known her forever in a matter of hours.  My new best friend.

We ended with a lovely cut - just a little off, but it all fell into place with the thermo sheers.  She knew immediately what type of cut I had received before (bad! "chemical cut").  ... Live and learn.

We hugged.  I promised to see her soon.  I went home happy and sleepy and with bagorgeous new hair.  When I got home, Dorothy and BFF were in the kitchen and the "Oh my God!  Oh my God's" started.  "WHERE did you have it done?  Let's call her!  We're going!"

I thought I would freak out by not having platinum blonde hair anymore, but I really like it. It feels better.  It looks better and I have had a lot of compliments (but not at work, where I could walk in wearing a pink wig and a tutu and no one would bat an eye.... Don't dare me... don't....).

So, go to Connie.
As her card says, 
"Free driver service available for those who do NOT have a car.  
Minimum salon service 25kd or 3kd round trip"  
Instagram:  hairbyconniekw.  
Phone 9922-2331

As her card also says, "The greatest form of flattery is a referral."  Connie, consider yourself flattered, girl, because it just doesn't get any better than this.  I can NOT say enough good things about you!  Looking forward to our next hair story.


AG said...

GORGEOUS natural color! Balayage is the most amazing thing to happen to hair lately. Sounds like you've found an incredible stylist and friend! Good stuff.

Lorey Cross said...

Yep, Connie is Kuwat's best kept secret for sure!

TAlmon said...

Can't wait to try her out!

Nowall Hassan said...

No one else is allowed to touch my hair! I love Connie.

Blonde in Kuwait said...

She and her home salon sound amazing! I'm also a loyal customer and have been going to the same lady for a couple of years now, but I'm saving Connie's info for sure!