By Nicole Lopez del Carril/The Gazelle
Think you are a cosmopolitan beauty connoisseur? If you have yet to try the new Chinese fire facial, you haven’t seen anything yet.
The question is: how far would you go for beauty’s sake? The "huǒ liáo," a treatment that became a viral sensation
this summer after snapshots of flaming faces lit up multiple internet feeds
, made its way to our neighborhood Chinese salon, The Gold Moon Beauty Saloon.
The treatment involves putting wet towels to cover the hair, eyes and neck and another damp towel over spots with either aging skin or scarring. Alcohol is then doused on the towel and lit on fire. For a few seconds, the flames lick the towel before it is smothered with a second damp towel. Repeating this multiple times is akin to steaming your face, opening pores and tightening the skin, explained Anna Qiu, the store manager.
If you think flaming facials aren’t for you, don’t fret; the Gold Moon Beauty Salon prides itself in its vast array of beauty treatments for all women in Abu Dhabi. Besides the usual — haircutting, nails and massages — Gold Moon offers Keratin hair treatments, threading, banana waxing as well as “halaweh,” a traditional Arab sugar wax.
Gold Moon is hidden inside Hamed Centre, a five-minute walk from Sama Tower and is considered home by the shop’s four beauticians.
Amreen Syed, a young woman from Hyderabad, India, came to Abu Dhabi three years ago with her sister. After her sister had a tragic accident in Dubai, Syed was alone and anxious to find a family in the city. Qiu and her two other Chinese beauty technicians gave Syed both a job and a family to belong to in Abu Dhabi. Now, although she doesn’t speak Mandarin, she is one of them, stroking their hair and giggling about their lives and gossiping about men.
The Gold Moon Beauty Saloon opened only seven months ago. Although business is slow, it is expanding by word of mouth. A conveniently short walk from Sama and very affordable, this is a perfect salon for NYU Abu Dhabi females. Haircuts range from 30 to 50 AED, manicures cost 40 AED and eyebrow threading costs 15 AED. In contrast to the large hotel salons of Abu Dhabi, Gold Moon is more intimate and student-friendly.
Directions: Walk down Electra Street, past Al Safa, and enter the Hamed Center. On the second floor, turn right. At the end of the hall there are two beauty salons, an African hair salon as well as Gold Moon Beauty Saloon.
Nicole Lopez del Carril is a staff writer. Contact her at email@example.com.