The World According to Al Sagheer

Mohamed Al Sagheer is one of the top names in the beauty industry in Egypt and the Arab world today.  His rise to the top of the beauty industry is a story of unique talent, a love of perfection, and a good dose of business savvy. eniGma’s Radwa El Ziki paid a visit to the beauty guru to learn more about his phenomenal success and his philosophy on life, hair and beauty…

Grooming hair is one of the most important parts of every woman’s daily routine.  However, while basic daily grooming is simple enough, for many young Egyptian ladies it seems there’s always a wedding to prepare for over the weekend, a last minute occasion that calls for a hair fix or simply a special gathering of family or friends that requires an extra grooming effort.  Luckily for us, Mohamed Al Sagheer, the Middle East’s number one hair guru, is always ready to provide his magic touch.

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Creative, perfectionist and self-motivated are the three main words that Al Sagheer uses to describe himself. They are the qualities that led thousands of women to trust him with their hair and which fuelled the success of his hair and beauty empire today.

It was 32 years ago when Al Sagheer opened his first salon at the Heliopolis Sheraton Hotel (now the Fairmont Heliopolis Hotel). With a clear vision in mind, a passion for hair styling and a determination to succeed, he broke into an industry that was exclusive to a few names back then.  His vision saw him enhancing Egyptian women’s natural beauty by introducing international techniques that were unfamiliar to the Egyptian hair scene at the time.  He combined that with the introduction of different hair trends, a mixture of modern make up products and the traditional skills that Egyptian hairstylists were famous for.  Soon enough Al Sagheer managed to become one of the most prominent names in the Egyptian beauty business.  Reflecting on his personal motto for success he says if you get the right people on board then you have guaranteed success. Al Sagheer admits that “a big part of my success goes to my team.  They are very passionate and and dedicated.”

Al Sagheer SS 12
Al Sagheer SS 12

Al Sagheer was dedicated to taking over the industry by adding new services to his growing beauty empire. So how does he manage to still outshine everyone else after all these years? Al Sagheer explains that from day one, his philosophy has been to provide his clientele with the utmost quality of service. “That’s not as easy at it sounds,” he adds.  He does that by making sure all the services offered are administered by highly trained staff. His staff receive regular international training sessions to enhance their knowledge of the latest and trendiest methods in their field.  He went as far as establishing the Al Sagheer Academy to guarantee the staff are always up to date.  The academy has gained a reputation for creative and progressive education and conducting high quality educational programs for Al Sagheer staff and external candidates. Courses include hair dressing, hair cutting, make up, facials, pedicure and manicure. The second  Academy in the works has the capacity to educate 1,500 students in all aspects of beauty and hair care including hairstyling, cutting, and cosmetology, to name a few.

Among all the life challenges he faced along the way, Al Sagheer finds the goals he sets for himself to be the hardest and most testing. “I always want to achieve more,” he tells us.  His ultimate goal is to give the younger generation the full opportunity to excel and compete at an international level.

Al Sagheer Arkan
Al Sagheer Arkan

But how does he stay inspired and passionate about his work after all these years in the business? Al Sagheer admits that his love for modern culture in all its forms keeps him inspired. Al Sagheer also tells us that he enjoys traveling and traces of different designs and art can be seen in his work, specifically in the seasonal hair shoots that the salon conducts every season.

To up and coming hair stylists out there, Al Sagheer says he has some important advice he’d like to share with them. “Be passionate about your profession  and constantly update yourself with the latest trends,” he explains.  Al Sagheer also advises all hairstylists not to delay achieving their personal goals. “If you want something and feel you can do it then don’t procrastinate. If I went back in time, I’d do exactly what I did in life except I’d do it faster to make room for more achievements,” he adds.  Judging by his success, they would do well to take his advice seriously.

Before ending our visit with Egypt’s leader in the hair and beauty industry, we made a point of asking him about the latest products, trends and general hair advice.

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What are the main problems Egyptian clients have with their hair?
Sixty percent of Egyptian women suffer from dry hair. To tackle any hair problem the most important thing is to get a proper hair diagnosis which we can offer for you at our salons and then solve it with the appropriate treatment. The hair care regimen will differ according to the hair type and the diagnosis.

Blow drying our hair has become an essential routine, how do we keep it healthy even after daily exposure to the heat?
There is an array of products in the market that can protect your hair from the heat. Before blow drying your hair, I suggest using Small Talk from TIGI which is basically a thermal protector. It also adds extra shine and manageability to hair cuticles. I always train my staff not to over blow dry the hair as this results in hair breakage and damage. That is why a professional dryer should have different levels so you can control the heat on your hair .

Does our hair differ with age?
As our body ages, we see changes in our hair texture. The hair of a newborn is very soft and fine. But as we grow older, the diameter of the hair thickens, especially when we enter childhood and early adolescence. As we enter adulthood, the hair changes again. It becomes finer when we hit our 40’s and 50’s. There is no need to worry because these changes are genetically programmed, everyone goes through them. Dealing with such problems is simple. For women  to maintain healthy hair they should trim their hair every six to eight weeks. You should also use the proper shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for your hair type. Even women with healthier hair should have a hair treatment every two to four weeks. I recommend using Lazartigue, for its advanced professional technology and natural ingredients.

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What are the latest hair trends?
Ombre hair colour is a recurring hit on the red carpets lately. I suggest that brunettes opt for this trend. Also popular is dip-dye, which basically consists of dipping  the tips of the hair in colour while keeping the rest of the hair in its natural colour. It is not only a trend for teenagers; women of all ages should give it a try. Shorter hairstyles and side parts have also made a comeback this season.

As Egypt’s hair guru, what advice would you give to the woman who wants to have the perfect hair on her wedding day? What are the latest bridal trends?
Choosing the wedding hair and make up stylist can be one of the most important decisions you make for your special day. It is important to find a stylist and make up artist that has the skills and expertise to ensure you not only look and feel like a princess on your big day, but who can deliver their service in a caring and stress free manner. There are so many options for the bride, from the classic “chignon”, to styles with hair either half up or completely down, to big braided plaits, which are very trendy and popular at the moment. We usually have an annual hair show at the Fairmont Heliopolis, as part of the Wedding Fair.

Nowadays we are all conscious of using natural products, what are some recommendations?
We are soon going to deliver a new line, KEUNE’s So Pure. Their Natural Balance products utilise 100% pure plant essential therapy. They are enriched with over 30 plant extracts and organic essential oils such as Argan oil, each hand-selected for a special purpose and these are the only active ingredients in them. The So Pure Natural Balance embraces the knowledge of phototherapy, aromatherapy and homeopathy to create healthy, shiny hair through a well-functioning scalp.
To be constantly updated with their news and trends find Mohamed Al Sagheer Group on Facebook and Twitter @alsagheersalons

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