It is finally 2019 and officially the year of self care! Now even though we are all broke and January feels like it may never end, with the new year comes new experiences. To help you make the most of everything the city has to offer, we are graciously(!) going to test them out and find out which ones are the best.

To start we are going to explore manicures in Nairobi. We love to pamper ourselves and  while this may seem like a small thing, a well executed mani-pedi has the ability to not only improve your day but your mood too.

So we visited three establishments, all known for their nail and spa services to find out which one comes out on top. Welcome to Battle of the Salons: Manicure edition!


One of the more popular salons in Nairobi, Ashleys pink signage and logo is familiar to most people looking for a little pampering without breaking the bank. They offer a range of services including hair care and beauty, executive barber services as well as spa services.

Photo courtesy of Ashleys

Perhaps one of their greatest enticements is a weekly 50 percent off day which means that your favourite pampering treats are half off. This is particularly great as it has been universally agreed that January is the hardest financial month of the year. Every little helps after all!

Entering Ashleys on their 50 percent off day does mean that there can be a bit of a crowd. We all love a bargain and no one can resist a day of half priced self care. Either way, if you are going I would suggest making an appointment, or come prepared to wait (I waited for around 45 minutes).

The decor is, clean, stylish and modern, but a little crowded which is to be expected from larger chains that aims to see as many customers as possible. However, while there is a large quantity of customers, they do their best to ensure each experience is the best that it can be. I had a wonderful nail technician who made sure that i was constantly comfortable.

I opted for the Gel manicure, a popular choice for most, and the service was great and my manicure fantastic. It did feel a little rushed towards the end, but again, it was their half off day so it was to be expected.

Overall, I will of course be returning to Ashleys. It is convenient, their nail technicians are fantastic and I love a bargain!

Spent: Ksh 2500

Score:  8/10


While not technically a salon, Lynk offers a service I had not previously thought of and that is a full manicure, pedicure and foot massage, all in the comfort of your home. They describe themselves as an online platform that partners with Kenyan artisans to showcase and promote their products and services. Lynk offer a huge range of services and products that include classes and lessons, dining experiences, health and wellness services and spa and beauty services – one of which is of course the mani-pedi.

Booking is incredibly easy and is done through their website You pick the manicure you want, if you want a male or female technician and the day and time you would like them to come to your house.

Now I fully understand the draw of the salon. The camaraderie between the workers and the gossip exchanged.The sounds and lights and smell, It’s a whole experience, not just getting the service you went there for.

However, there is something about rolling out of bed, slightly worse for wear after what was inevitably an activity rich Christmas season and spend the next hour or getting a hand and foot massage all in the comfort in your home.

I absolutely loved this experience. I’m not particularly great in crowded places, and having the service done in my room meant I could listen to my music, or watch my shows all while being pampered. It is also much more personal than visiting a salon. There isn’t a queue of people behind me so your technician can take her time.  I had a gel manicure, pedicure and a foot massage, each of which was excellent.

The experience may have spoilt me. I may never visit another salon again!

Spent: Ksh 2,250

Score: 10/10

Nellys Beauty Parlor

Nestled in the imenti building basement, where phone reception does not reach and space is scarce, is Nelly beauty parlor. Town is known for many places that do nails, or pretty much anything you would like done, but Nelly stands out for a few reasons.

While the space itself is nothing to call home about, fitting at most three people and having no windows, the small hole in the wall holds a far greater treasure and that is the Technician.

Where most nail technicians in town could be working on up to 10 people at once, It is Nelly’s attention to detail that makes him special.

He is always on top of the game when it comes to Nail trends and so he will always advice you on what’s best for your hands in regards to what’s trending. But you had better be warned, Nelly does not do matt nail polish! in his own words,

“it looks pretty until it dries then it looks bad”

He is proud of his work and while he may not have as large of a range of colours compared to the larger salons, I would definitely use him again!


Spent: 500 (gel Manicure)

Score: 8/10

What would you like us to test out next? Let us know on twitter on @Kiss100Kenya!