I shed a few tears after reading this article. People in Mosul, Iraq, had to endure hell for three years under Sharia law was set in place by the Islamic State (ISIS). This meant women covered head to toe in black while men had to grow long beards.

Without the terrorist group around, men and women have now dashed to salons for makeovers, plastic surgery, and dental treatments.

AFP found that five salons have opened in Mosul. Everyone loves this freedom to express their beauty, and the stores cannot keep up with demand.

Muhannad Kazem opened the first salon in Mosul called Razan. His business “offers teeth whitening services and other dental care.” He told AFP that his “employees came from Lebanon, and the treatments and machines were imported.”

Men make up the majority of their customers. From AFP:

Raji Najib, a Syrian living in Mosul, recently made use of the city’s aesthetic offerings.

The 40-year-old had long been self-conscious of his bald spots, until his Iraqi friends told him what had worked for them — hair implants at a new clinic in their hometown.

“They told me the equipment was modern, the nurses competent and the prices good,” Najib said.

Not only is the treatment in his backyard, but the procedure costs $800 compared to $1200 in Arbil located 50 miles east of Mosul. The plasma injections to prevent hair loss only cost $63 in Mosul compared to $83 in Arbil.

Back in April, IRIN posted a story about a salon in Mosul run by a woman named Hanen. The salon is not only a place for women to achieve their beauty goals, but it is also where they can unload the trauma they endured under ISIS:

The salon chair transformed under the militants’ control, Hanen says. Before IS, chat between hairdresser and customer was full of complaints about everyday life and family. During the occupation, conversation was fearful and stilted. And now, the chair is a place of sometimes heartbreaking honesty as women share their stories, of their losses, of forced marriages, of trauma.

“We cry with her,” Hanen says of these moments. “We comfort her, we try to heal her psychologically as much as we can, we tell her that pain… [fades] with time.”

Roua, a middle-aged woman getting brown and blonde streaks in her hair, says the first thing she felt entering the salon was “trust in the place and the people”. She says she comes at least once month, and not just to keep up her highlights. “The salon is necessary. For women to continue, they need it. Women must have it.”

Hanen ran her salon secretly during ISIS’s reign, but wives of the terrorist group’s leaders would even visit her. She said she cut “their hair with gritted teeth.”

THIS is why I cannot stand social justice warriors and feminists. We take so many things for granted in this country, including hair salons. Who would have thought that having a place to get a quick haircut could become a luxury?

I doubt the residents of Mosul will ever completely heal after what ISIS did to them. I’m glad they can have some sort of normalcy.