Soniaz : Hair&Nail Studio, Spa and Boutique
It’s been really tough finding a great Salon in Portharcourt. I’m extremely particular about my hair and nails. It’s important that it’s done right…. I am known to give ‘small’ drama when I don’t get what I expect. So to avoid ‘showing myself’, I have tried for a while to find a great Salon option.
I tried Serene Spa a few times. Great ambience, pretty good Spa…. The nail Salon? a bit too pricey abeg! Serene also does not offer hair services (the last I checked)…..I began to wonder why I had to go to two different locations to get my hair and nails done ‘long tinz’. I tried various cheaper options, including a place called ‘Next’. Emeka (He handled my nails at ‘Next’) was okay with his nail craft, but the place is usually stuffy and hot… Emeka also refused to upgrade a bit, he kept using ancient tools…. I started getting concerned about the sanitary situation of Emeka and ‘Next’ as a whole (sometimes I have to go with one or both of my kids to the Salon, so cleanliness is of very high importance). Basically, I had to keep looking.
One day, I joined my sister inlaw to visit a dear friend of hers, Ugonna. Ugonna is really sweet and I tend to value her recommendations … so she recommended this relatively new Salon called ‘Soniaz’. I decided to try them out. I got there early Saturday morning to get braids done…. My first experience was pretty cool. First, you are greeted with a beautiful space and a wide smile from the receptionist. They have a very ‘warm and professional’ manager, plus, they offer free cold drinks through out your stay at the Salon (I think anyone who accompanies you also gets this perk). I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. 3 ladies handled my hair and I was done in no time. The price was reasonable, hair was beautiful…. I decided to try them again on my next trip to the salon for my nails.
3 weeks later, I came to get my nails done and ‘Ghana braids’. Again, my hair was superb… the stylists are great! I expressed that I wanted something quick and cute, I was pleased with the look I got. My nails? Let’s just say my first experience wasn’t so great. The dark skinned guy that handled my nails literally ‘filed’ off my skin…. my skin would burn each time he tried to wipe the sides with the nail polish remover. My nails were pretty, however, I was bruised for days afterwards.
I must add, I got so many compliments for my nails, but, ‘I go dey wound like this for fine nails?’… I decided I would try another nail expert at Soniaz on my next visit. Few weeks later I was back (I visited in between for quick polish changes), this time, I decided to let my nails breathe (I usually add some acrylic to my nails). I asked for a pedicure and manicure. The ‘nonchalant’ nail lady started off by asking me if I would like to use the pedicure chair…. duh! I said ‘yes’ politely and we headed to the chair. I sat and she was about to start, then I asked ‘can you please turn on the Massage chair’…. ‘oh!’ She responded… She turned it on and my pedicure experience begun.
‘Ahhh!’ I yelled…. She had increased the waters’ intensity and mistakenly ran just pure undiluted HOT WATER! Luckily, my skin did not peel, but it sure hurt!… ‘Sorry ma!’, she said as she hurriedly turned on the cold water. At this point I was already irritated.. ‘you can put your leg back ma, I’ve mixed it well’… hmmmm…. so we continued. The massage Chair went off, I mentioned, she goes, ‘Ma, the button is beside your hand, just there!’ (Meanwhile, my nails were soaked to take off the acrylic on it)…. I ignored her ‘order’ and requested calmly again that the Massage chair be turned on. She hurriedly asked her colleague to help turn it on,and we continued. Needless to say, the experience was bland, she offered no pedicure foot massage, there was simply nothing impressive about the experience (at this point I missed the the initial nail dude, at least he gave a pretty good post-manicure massage). Anyway, we were done and it was time to get my toe nails polished. I require a toe separator, as my toes tend to ‘stick’ together . I explained this, and she brought some cutting wool and started shoving it between my toes…. For the ‘caliber’ of services Soniaz expresses to offer (not to forget the not-so-cheap price points), I was disappointed. I was already agitated, but I did my best to keep my cool…. so I asked, ‘do you guys have toe separators?’. She goes, ‘yes we do oh! But it’s far’… Far? Lol. ‘Is it inside this building or you need to go out of this building?’…. She goes ‘it’s inside’… I called out to one of the amazing hair stylists and asked her to fetch me the toe separator which she did swiftly…. The nail polish was applied and then we started with the manicure (ps: whoever you hire can make or break you business). I wasn’t keen on the first colour we tried (on two finger nails), so I asked for a colour change , her face showed a little agitation, ‘Ahn! It’s gel Ma’, she said… I ignored her and went on to choose another colour. Okay, maybe I take post-manicure/pedicure ‘massages’ very personal…. if included, It would have been a better experience. My nails (fingers and toes) turned out okay…. it just wasn’t a seamless experience.
I got a wig made by one of the hair stylists, and he did a great job! In general, the hair section is great….
oh! I forgot to mention that there is a luxury boutique attached with pretty trendy stuff! And a Spa!
This summary is just my experience…. in general, I recommend this Salon. Though not perfect, they are certainly one of the best in Portharcourt … Very comfortable/beautiful space, they’ve got free drinks! (I like awoof), their nail services ‘get comma’ but your nails will ‘sha’ end up beautiful, and their hair stylists are fantastic! I’m yet to try their Spa (for now Serene Spa has me sold on their Spa services), I’ll try it soon though. Soniaz is located on #93 Stadium Road, Portharcourt…. stop by and let me know about your experience.
I certainly don’t know it all, but I like to write the little I do…. and hope to learn a few things from you as well. I look forward to your feedback, always!
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Like I always say, Don’t stay trapped in the norm! Unleash your alter ego!