Hair loss is never easy. It can affect men, women and even children. It can come in several forms and be associated with alopecia, hypotrichosis, age, anxiety, stress, cancer and many other health-related issues. Having experienced it herself, Alisa Halek-Schoenack took her 24 years in the salon industry, coupled with the operation of Fantasia Salon and Hair Loss Center, and made it her mission to create a space where people suffering from hair loss can feel at ease. With the help of her husband, Aaron Schoenack, they secured a space in Minnetonka, pinpointed new needs for the industry, and renovated accordingly to fit their vision of incorporating ultimate comfort for the guest.
Alisa’s appreciation for the salon business began at a young age when she would accompany her mother to Fantasia Salon in Crystal, Minnesota of which her mother was a guest for 50 years. Originally owned by Twila Donley, who had struggled with her own hair loss issues, Fantasia took a bolder step in the ‘80s making giving back to the hair loss community a priority. In 2017, Alisa reached out to Twila for business mentorship, and in conversing, the question came up as to who would be the salon’s predecessor. Alisa asked if Twila would consider her. Fast forward to today, the team and vision continue on through Alisa’s direction, and they have become a very strong, close-knit group that has rebranded as Nedia Hair Loss Salon and Spa.
Being a privately and family-owned business, Nedia has the flexibility to ensure treatments and solutions can be customized to the guest—starting with the design of the space itself. One waiting area is comfortable and shielded from the rest of the salon where guests can rest peacefully and privately while waiting for services. If guests feel more social, there is also a secondary waiting area. There are private manicure and pedicure rooms with a semi-private option where one can choose to lounge in luxury solo or with a friend. There are private, soundproof luxury hair loss treatment rooms where guests can work with their salon expert one-on-one as well as traditional salon stations throughout. Alisa explains that many going through hair loss or oncology services will not seek a traditional salon spa experience due to the investment of a hairpiece or wig. A comfortable environment is key. Those going through oncology treatments are sensitive to many things, and the Nedia staff has oncology-trained service providers who are equipped to handle a variety of needs. Oftentimes, spa locations just aren’t equipped to handle the sensitivity and privacy the hair loss guest is seeking.
The Nedia staff is intent on caring for the whole guest, including mind and body. The team carries more than 100 years of experience combined and understands the importance of care. Their level of compassion for the guest goes beyond just another salon service; it centers around making someone feel safe. Alisa describes the team as “multigenerational, caring, compassionate, loyal, loving, giving, honest and hardworking.” On the retail and product side, Nedia carries Davines, a natural line from Italy whose mission aligns closely with Nedia’s and is rooted in natural resources and giving back to the community. Nedia has also seen great results using the HLCC hair loss line which is amazing for guests who are searching for a healthy environment for hair growth. Nedia also carries one of the largest selections of hairpieces and wigs in the midwest which vary in price, color and length, and can be customized to how the guest wants to look and feel.
Alisa admits that a lot of the drive behind their business has to do with their son, family and a focus on how they can give back to guests going through hair loss. Nedia has partnerships with North Memorial Health Hospital, Gilda’s Club Twin Cities and Firefly Sisterhood just to name a few. They also offer a complimentary haircut when a guest donates their hair to Children with Hair Loss. Nedia is a beacon of light in what can sometimes be a difficult and dark world. When asked what the most rewarding part of the business is, Alisa says, “making a difference in guests' lives every moment, every day.”
For more information on Nedia Hair Loss Salon and Spa, visit TheNedia.com.