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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Nails & More: Cutesy, Intimate Salon in Zamalek
With hair and beauty salons being some of Cairo's most essential businesses, it's a surprise that so many fall short of expectations. Harbouring a reputation as the city's food-court Island, Zamalek is steadily expanding into – and arguably hogging – the salon scene. Newest spa and salon, Nails & More, has opened up almost next door to Toi, on El Gezira El-Wosta Street.
With valet parking close-by, the small salon is easily noticeable with their large motif spread over the front facade. The frosted glass front door is locked for extra privacy, concealing the girly haven beyond; using shades of aquamarine, hot pink and soft creams, along with pretty chandeliers, the salon is both trendy and cosy.
Calling only a little in advance, we were graciously slotted in at our desired time for a manicure (50LE), as well as a full leg wax (80LE). The salon also offers hair treatments such as brushing (70LE), cuts (100LE) and highlights (300LE+). A full range of spa treatments are also available including Moroccan bath (250LE), massages and body scrubs, facials, makeup and acrylic nails.
Reputable hair, nail and beauty products are sold from behind the counter; namely Orly nail polish.
Before being shown through to the waxing room, we were offered a complimentary drink, and took it upon ourselves to choose our nail polish; the tidy displays sport numerous shades and brands. The waxing room is a little cramped, but adequate and clean nonetheless, with fresh towels strewn over the bed. Aside from a couple of wires hanging from the wall, the room carries the same, homely feel as the rest of the salon. Seen to by the owner herself, the process was fast, thorough and virtually painless; afterwards we were handed a fresh towel to clean off any extra oil, and left to re-dress in private.
With just three seats, side tables and fixed pedicure basins, the nail-care area has a relaxing vibe and due to limited seating, is unlikely to ever become over-crowded. Our manicure – carried out by a technician named Marwa – was equally as thorough as the waxing, with the usual filing and cutting of cuticles, before our hands were exfoliated and oiled with a delicious smelling perfume. Two coats of our chosen nail polish was applied absolutely flawlessly, with both top and bottom coats to improve longevity.
Nails & More is a cutesy, professional addition to the growing number of salons in Zamalek, we just hope that - as its popularity grows - the schedules are managed effectively to avoid overcrowding.
As the beauty empire that is “Al Sagheer” salons continues to grow and expand both nationally and internationally, one can always be sceptical about whether its famed level of premiere service would continue to impress. Wanting a quick pampering session to add a little R&R to an otherwise hectic week, we headed over to the Sheikh Zayed branch.
Located in one of 6th of October’s classiest hang out and dining spots, Arkan Plaza, the salon’s ground floor entrance leads to a boutique of hair and beauty products boasting ever-loved brand names- the likes of Kérastase, Bed Head by TIGI and Keune. Climbing up a flight of stairs, we were greeted by the salon manager who asked which treatments we wanted.
The salon’s décor carries the chain’s signature modern theme, with artistic pieces hanging on the wall and green and pink-rimmed mirrors. The white walls and floors, and abundance of windows give the place an optimistically warm feel.
Leading us to the hair washing basins, our hair was skilfully washed and conditioned by one of the employees, who then continued to untangle our locks prior to its brushing and styling (100LE). The downside, however, was the fact that we had to wait about fifteen minutes before our hairdresser came by and started styling our hair.
The end result of hair that was perfectly curled with just the right amount of volume, though, made the slightly bothersome wait worth it. Our hairdresser professionally held up a mirror to show us what our hair looked like from the back, and spritzed it gently with hair spray to make sure it retained its curls throughout the day.
Whilst our hair was being styled, a friendly manicurist carefully filed our nails into the shape we requested and effortlessly applied French manicure on them (65LE).
Upon finishing our nails, our manicurist then took care of our eyebrows, gently threading them to perfection within a few minutes (40LE).
All in all, Mohamed Al Sagheer has continued to offer us exactly what we needed thanks to their skilled staff. From the salon manager, to the hairdresser to the manicurist, they all showed friendly demeanour, carefully listening to our requests and putting them into action. Perhaps, price-wise, it is more costly than many other salons, but the professional treatments and impressive end results are worth paying a little extra for.