The Bella Blog
Black Hair Care Products and Services in Costa Rica
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Today's post is directed to those women (black & brown - w/curly/kinky/tightly coiled hair) currently living n Costa Rica and/or relocating to Costa.
When i set out to research the availability of products and services in Costa Rica specifically designed to address the needs of hair care for the black community, I was cautiously optimistic. After having lived in Grecia, (a small agricultural town in Costa Rica's Central Valley), for 4 years I was aware of the difficulty in finding adequate products and services there, but was hoping to discover more options outside of the city.
Costa Rica Fact:
Within Costa Rica, mass consumption products account for 80% of the entire cosmetic product market. Premium and high-end products account for the other 20% of the market. Profit margins for high-end products are between 50% - 100% for distributors. Beauty salons’ profit margins often exceed 100% for products used in hair treatments such as tints, keratin, etc. Roughly 70% of cosmetic sales are made within the Central Valley, in the greater San Jose Metropolitan Area. The remainder of cosmetic sales are made in rural areas, of which the top three locations are Guapiles, Perez Zeledon and Puntarenas. Source
The Results of my research
According to Halsey - a social media contributor speaking about her frustration in finding products - "it’s like this for black women with what seems like everything beauty-related. There are rarely enough foundation shades for our skin tones, and it can sometimes feel like we are literally doing a scavenger hunt when it comes to finding the right hair care products at mass retailers. It can be even worse if you're traveling to a new country or state. It’s one of those things that we’ve learned to deal with and work around—and as Halsey acknowledged—it feels like just another microaggression in the world of beauty." Source
The emergence of the natural hair movement of the 2010s has created a confidence in wearing natural hair and thus has launched an onslaught of new products.
In the span of 20 years, the black hair care market has undergone a profound transformation. Sales have moved dramatically away from relaxers and redirected toward natural hair care products.
Costa Rica Fact:
The distribution channel for professional products includes approximately 4,000 beauty salons in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA). Around 200 of these salons sell high-end products while 3,000 are smaller spas that only sell mass consumption products. There are also approximately 1,000 professional spas of which 100 are premium spas, 200 are small spas, and 700 are independent estheticians. Professional products can also be found in pharmacies (approximately 1,000 in Costa Rica). Dermatologists and plastic surgeons recommend the products purchased in pharmacies. Mass consumption products are distributed in big box stores such as Walmart, PriceSmart, retail stores, discount stores, pharmacies and through catalogs. Source
But not for us --
After doing my own research, as well as, contacting other black women in Costa Rica, I came to the conclusion that, once you are living in Costa Rica, your access to the majority of black hair care products and services, will be severely limited. If you require services tha are typically performed in a salon, you will be even more limited.
I think that low demand is part of the problem with black haircare products, but there is a bigger issue concerning the lack of a variety of cosmetics as a whole.
Costa Rica Fact: Even though Costa Rica has a high demand for cosmetic products, there are some disadvantages in terms of market accessibility. Costa Rica is a competitive market that is very price sensitive. Minimum quantities can be an issue due to the proportion of the Costa Rican sector and the market share of other countries’ products. Product registration has been an obstacle for U.S. companies trying to access the Costa Rican cosmetics market. The main issue with product registration is the requirement by the Costa Rican Health Ministry to obtain a Certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices or License of Operation, which must be issued to the manufacturer by either the government or a trade association. Source
My advice to those who are natural and those who are relaxed
Learn to do your own hair and bring your own products!!
What Is Available and Where??
San Jose and the Central Valley
1. Miami Cosmetics, San Jose
Address: Av. 2, Catedral, San José, Costa Rica
Phone: 506 2257 2527
Here are some pictures of some of the products they carry, such as Cantu products, shea butter, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
They also carry hair sponges, hair dyers, curling/flat irons and a very wide selection of hair for weaves and braids
2. Nina's Beauty Supply, San Jose
Address: 150 metros Este de la compañia Nacional de Fuerza y luz en Guadalupe (diagonal albanco Nacional de Costa Rica)
Telephone: 506 8300 0925
CR *IG: NinasBeauty506
3. Rachells, Moravia, Costa Rica Moravia
Address: Guadalupe, San Jose, Costa Rica
(has hair and a salon)
Telephone: 506 8811 0516
Jeffrey Lacey G
Professional Barber Specializing in Afros & Curly
Address: Barrio Córdoba, 200 Norte de MacDonalds parque de la paz
10103 San José, San José Province
Telephone: 506 8370 4005
also on FB lazycutz @lazycutz40 and IG lazycutzjeff
Sisterlocks - Central Valley
Carmen Hutchinson Miller - Heredia
Telephone: 506 7009 0176
Braider - San Jose
Telephone: 506 7047 6071
Salon - Heredia
Yaru Curls - deliveries available
Telephone: WhatsApp 7249-1736
Address: 25 metros Este de los Tribunales de Justicia Heredia Province Heredia
Caribbean Beauty Salon - Heredia
Contact on Instagram
Braider - Central Valley - Grecia Area
Telephone: 506 6291 7520
Braider - Puntarenas -Jaco
New Style Barbers
Reach via IG - margi06_nails
Available on the Caribbean Coast
Parfait by Sheyci's Salon
Exclusive hairstyles and make-up are performed for Afro women, nutrition service is also provided by private consultation to the general public.
Address: Limon, Costa Rica
Telephone: 506 7229 3008
Hours: 9am - 5pm
Shamelly Beauty Center - Limon, Costa Rica
Braider - Caribbean PuertoViejo/Limon Area
Telephone: 506 8368 5187
Shantel’s whatsapp is +506 8831 0948
Telephone: 506 8876 3984 (inquire re services)
Sisterlocks - Caribbean/Limon
Telephone: 506 8634 0900
Salon - Caribbean
Salon de Belleza ??
(I wanted to get this post out -- Any changes or updates to this list are welcome in comments below)
I invite those of you who do not already belong to the Black Expats in Costa Rica Facebook page, to join us there. You will find additional information which may be helpful with your relocation.
As this list will most likely change over time, we will also keep an up to date list of hair care services in Costa Rica on our FB page.