How has life changed?
"When we see the people, the people who are living in the streets ... the homes that are gone ... everything makes us unhappy," she said. "Even the jobs, (they are) not like in the past."
She keeps trying to explain.
For instance, she offers, she still goes to restaurants. But now she's mindful to leave well before dusk arrives. You have to go home early, she said, because nobody wants to be outside, just in case. Shells are falling, but where, no one can predict.
Handi moved her children to a school close to home, fearing for their safety on the 30-minute drive to a better school on the edge of Damascus.
"How do you explain it? My little boy, he doesn't understand really what's happening," she said. "But my daughter ... she understands what's happening.
"We can lie to them. We have to say what is happening, but we (don't) say the people die."
She tells them: There is a bad situation in the country.
The first time Alaita heard shelling, she was with one of her young sons. They were both scared.
"Little by little, we start making joke that it's a water pipe sound," she said. She felt kind of guilty about kidding around.
"I know it's really bad because people are dying ... for nothing!" she said. "People are stupid. For nothing this goes on!"
Handi likes to think things will get better.
"We hope ... everything will be good," she says, her voice straining.
Not far from the salon, in a middle-class neighborhood near the center of the city, another woman, a pharmacist, is doing brisk business. Her shelves are well-stocked.
She's afraid of reprisals from the rebels and asked not to be named.
She looks like she's in her 50s. Her make-up is soft and her hair is pulled back the way that women who are very busy style it. She wears a white lab coat. Her female assistant wears the same, a white hijab covers her hair entirely.
Business is down maybe 30%, the pharmacist said, but that's mostly because customers aren't buying as many cosmetics and creams anymore.
"We sell too much medicine for anti-stress, depression, sleeping pills," she said. "Yes, we sell too much now."
She's asked how she feels about al-Assad. She says she supports the president.
Fighting in Syria is a "game" involving "big countries" such as Russia and the United States, she believes. There are "many hands outside" Syria that are responsible for the violence.