Breathe & Reboot

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DESSANGE BAHRAIN has figured out exactly what the year end calls for, as one slightly frazzled editor finds out.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, yes, but it arrives after months and months that can best be described as ‘complicated’. We’ve never needed a little festive cheer more than right now. Enter: Dessange Bahrain, where the decadent packages on offer reflect exactly what its clients are seeking. I opt for the Winter Warmer package, choosing to focus on my hair and hands in preparation for the party season ahead. Because think about it: most of our faces are still obstructed, while our feet have transitioned to closed-toe shoes. But even more importantly, my hands are in dire need of a little TLC after all that hand soap and sanitiser, leaving them dry in the process.

The paraffin wax treatment comes highly recommended and starts with an almond scrub that is made of salt and jojoba oil, and packed with vitamin E. Not only does this exfoliating scrub feel slightly warm upon contact, but I’m also told it penetrates deep into the skin to nourish it. In a perfect world, this step would wrap up with a hot towel being placed over the hands and arms, but as the pandemic continues, the beauty world settles for damp, cool disposable towels instead.

Next comes a hydrating lotion and a mini massage with long strokes using light to medium pressure. At a time when hugs and handshakes are considered borderline taboo, can I just confess? I welcome the human touch. It’s time for the pièce de résistance of this treatment – the paraffin wax itself – so my hands and arms are placed inside extra-long disposable gloves filled with a pale, goo-like substance that’s a little on the hot side, but not uncomfortably so. Suddenly, that scene of Robin Williams dunking his face into a bowl of meringue in Mrs. Doubtfire flashes in my mind. But I digress. It’s a slightly strange sensation, but a surprisingly relaxing one. Over the disposable gloves go terry cloth gloves, and I’m left to settle back and take it easy. This is the first time in months that my hands are inaccessible, and I welcome the 15 entirely uninterrupted minutes. So this is what it’s like to not jump every time there’s an email, a text message, or a voice note from work? I vow to return for this treatment even before seeing the end result.

As the gloves are slowly peeled off and any excess wax is wiped off, everything – my hands, my nails, my cuticles, my forearms – feel softer and more hydrated than they have in ages. I’ve long known that paraffin wax is popular as it’s a natural emollient, and all that hype suddenly makes a lot of sense. The finishing touch is nail polish, of course, and I deviate from my signature sheer-white hue and go for a hint of gold sparkle instead. Dessange Bahrain is decked out with white and gold decorative accents for the festive season, so it only feels apt.

As Jeany, my nail technician, transitions from base coat to polish to top coat, I’m reminded of the good old days (yes, pre-pandemic), when weekly trips to the salon meant a little pampering and muchneeded me time. Life may have gotten more complicated as of late, but it’s time to return to those little rituals. Because self-care is not a destination – it’s a journey. My self-care journey at Dessange continues onto the Precious Treatment Phytodess, which starts with the TERRE PRÉCIEUSE Perle clay mask by Phytodess. Rich in minerals and designed to recharge, it’s applied onto my scalp, then massaged for a deep cleanse. Even with my face mask on, I get a whiff of its scent, and it’s lovely. I detect a hint of lavender and peppermint, which is relaxing yet revitalising.

It’s the perfect combination. And while the clay mask works its magic to tone and add density, a haircare milk is combined with a laminaria cream – again, both by Phytodess. Formulated to deeply nourish dry and damaged tresses, the mixture is meticulously applied, section by section, tackling any tangles along the way. Expect to have this left on for about 20 minutes before it’s washed off, which brings me to the shampoo chair that I’m soon escorted to. Designed with a built-in massage mechanism, it’s quite literally what was missing from my life. As the vibrations move from my shoulders down to my lower back, I feel all my pent-up stress just melt away. All my life, I’ve awkwardly squirmed around while my hair was washed, wondering how the women beside me looked so relaxed – but not here. Sensing my state of bliss, the attentive staff at Dessange offer to carry out the final step of the treatment – the Phytodess Crème Précieuse – right here by the sink. And I happily agree.

This particular blend brings together silk proteins, precious minerals, amino acids, and an ester based in coconut oil, resulting in a rich cream that provides the type of nutrients that my dry and sensitive hair is in need of. We all know that 2020 has been the year of DIY haircuts and hair colour, so the fact that our locks can do with a little replenishment is no secret. The Crème Précieuse is applied, massaged in, and then left for a further 15 minutes. And by the time it’s washed off, I practically have to pry myself off that shampoo chair. Luckily, a hair trim

by the always charismatic Ana is next on the agenda, so my deliciously relaxing day out at Dessange ends with healthier strands and some friendly banter. Make your way over during the month of December, and you’ll find a very special seasonal drink on the menu at the juice bar. Aptly named Mistletoe Smoothie, it’s loaded with potassium, iron, and antioxidants, courtesy of wholesome ingredients such as avocado, matcha powder, spinach, dates, and almond milk. As for the delicate sprinkle of pomegranate seeds? Just the proverbial cherry on top. We think this festive season, in particular, is less about partying late into the night and more about spoiling yourself and your loved ones. Not only can you treat your sister or BFF to a Dessange Bahrain gift voucher, but you can also purchase The Gift of Radiance by Elemis for anyone pending on your gift list. It promises to revive the skin with radiance-restoring formulations designed to soothe, exfoliate, and hydrate. Go on. Share the love.

“Because self-care is not a destination – it’s a journey.”

Call 1771 3999 for more information or to book an appointment.

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