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Beauty centers in Cairo: the good, the bad and the ewww

I tell you, one of the things I can’t wait to go back to Egypt for is my favorite beauty center.

I don’t remember how I discovered it – it was probably just because I lived nearby and ended up there when I saw the inviting “Lebanese beauty center” sign on the first floor of a building on Shahab Street, picturing two beautiful smoky eyes.

Okay so let me explain something first. In Cairo you can find the best and the worst version of nearly anything, and this of course applies to beauty centers as well. As much as I would never enter one of those overpriced rich-expat-trap spa’s with fake Italian/French/American names, I learnt to my cost that the über cheap ones are not the place to be either.

One day I thought that for once I could be unfaithful to my beloved Lebanese beauty center, and I paid the consequences – I was too lazy to take a taxi all the way to Shahab Street again, now that I moved to another neighborhood, and I was told there was a cheaper place just a few blocks from my building… so why not trying?

The fact that the shop was old, falling apart and… dirty didn’t really discourage me as I am not very fussy. I was still hoping that the room upstairs, the “wax room”, was better than the hairdressing room I entered first.

Wrong.

The woman made me lay on a couch with holes in it, without even a layer of paper on it, and I was already grossed out by thinking about who laid there before and… ewww don’t make me think further.

If this wasn’t enough, that was the most painful wax of my life. She was pushing the way too dry halawa (Middle Eastern version of wax) on my bones in an almost violent way, so I escaped before she moved to more sensitive areas.

Ciao ciao, maasalama.

I jumped on a taxi and with pleasure paid my 10 extra pounds for it, and finally entered the Lebanese beauty center as if it was paradise. Never again. I will never cheat on you again, I promise!

Beauty center in Cairo, Egypt

My favorite esthetician in my favorite beauty center :)

Here comes Heba – my favorite esthetician in the beauty center. I always ask for her when I go.

She’s deaf-mute. I don’t know if this makes me look like a bad person but I feel very comfortable with it, as I am not forced to try and speak Arabic with her. We speak the international language of signs, and we communicate perfectly.

I wave my hands like this and that (hey remember I am an Italian so I have a complete vocabulary in these 2 hands of mine!) and she understands, and answers back. What more do I need?

What I like about this beauty center is that it’s on the first floor of a building so it’s very quiet and you have all the privacy. It’s big, quite modern and not dirty. 

There are many girls working in it and they never seem too busy, so they are not in a rush either. They are super accurate with their job, and I love spending all the time I need in there.

If I am lucky, while I get my manicure I can see a bride getting her wedding make up done. I see women entering the shop and taking off their hijabs, away from the looks of men. They look at me and smile and I smile back.

I just love it.

And well, the greatest surprise is at the counter – last time I went, I had a full body wax, manicure, pedicure, eyebrows threading and a lot of fun for less than €20.

Did you ever go to a beauty center abroad? Any interesting experience/technique to tell? 

 

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21 Responses to Beauty centers in Cairo: the good, the bad and the ewww

  1. Sue says:

    could you tell us which area that street is. Definitely want to support a good business like this. Worth waiting till I get to Cairo once in a while to experience. Thanks for this post!

  2. Ayngelina says:

    Lady never take chances with waxing it’s such a painful lesson to learn.

  3. Craig says:

    I’ll take your experience into consideration the next time I will go to a beauty center.

  4. Carol says:

    hahaha your post is quite refreshing and indeed interesting. I will take that advice the next time I’ll go to Cairo.

  5. Divine Grace says:

    I have never been to Cairo but I am sure when I get there, I have to try their beauty salons too…

  6. Juno says:

    Maybe in Vietnam I’ll try….:)

  7. Erica says:

    I’ve never had waxing, threading, pedis or manis… I’ve always been a bit scared (says the lady with tattoos).

  8. Francy R says:

    Can’t believe you’ve been charged only 20€ for such a comprehensive treatment! When Travelling I’ve only had a haircut once, in St Petersburg and it was actualli cheap! I paid only around 13€. though I wasn’t so satisfied!

  9. Ceri says:

    Wow. I’ve never been to a beauty centre at all! Never so much been for a massage. It sounds lovely. :)

  10. nick0514 says:

    Hello,

    Cairo is a wonderful place. I’ve been there a year ago. Their beauty salons are really cool. :)

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  12. Jackson says:

    Ooo. U got really an interesting experience with only €20 . Cairo is really a cool place. I never got this treatments but hope nxt time when I available there I should take this.

  13. Superlau says:

    Hi, can you please give me the correct address and the name of this beauty centre? I really need it!! Thank you! :)

    • Giulia says:

      It’s on Shar3 Shahab, off Gam3at el Dowal, where GAD restaurant is. Walk into Shahab for like 2 blocks and you’ll find it on your right side, on the second floor! There’s a big “Lebanese beauty center” sign there. You can’t miss it:)

  14. Roxanne Vigil says:

    Every time I travel, I have a hard time finding a person to thread my eyebrows just the way I like them. This is the only place I have found where I am actually satisfied. And the girls who did my pedicure were incredibly accurate. I am going back!

  15. silvia says:

    great tips! where can i find this awesome beauty center? i want to get refreshed before heading back to italy!

  16. sab says:

    Hi Ladies,

    I went to the Lebanese Beauty Center based on this recommendation, and I have to say that it was the worst salon/spa experience I’ve had in Cairo. It was so disappointing, that I would have rather flushed my money down the toilet.

    Went to get a few things done, and waited an hour, but then started with a massage. The room was filthy, the bed is just the same bed they do waxing on- not a massage bed. The bed and walls were filthy, the towel that I laid on was filthy. The massage was a joke. Far beyond unprofessional, she had absolutely no idea what she was doing, and I swear that she was using vegetable oil, because the oil’s smell was sour and gross. There was dance music blasting, so it was impossible to relax, given everything. Even though I asked for an hour, she gave me only 30 minutes- which was better, because it was so bad. I was so upset, I smelled so bad from the oil, and so grossed out, that I was going to leave and not get anything else done. The woman at the register argued with me over me getting an actual hour-long massage. I checked the time when I entered the room, and the time that the woman finished. I also checked that there was not a single clock in the room to tell her how long she was working. So I was charged for the full hour anyway.

    There are so many salons in Cairo, and only the expensive ones know what they’re doing. With the rest, you literally get what you pay for. Sacrifice some cost, and you sacrifice so much service- cleanliness, professionalism, and skills.

    • Giulia says:

      Opppssssss I’m sorry for your experience! I never tried a massage there and to be honest I probably wouldn’t because as we both know it’s very hard to find professional massages in Cairo!
      For waxing, manicure pedicure etc I still recommend it. All the people I took there were happy about it.
      For massages, yeah it’s different

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