Curly Hair Mishaps in Costa Rica
Costa Rica was beautiful, but my hair was not.
A poem (I kid).
Okay, I know it sounds terribly vain of me, but I refused to take a lot of photos of myself during my trip to Costa Rica because my hair was an absolute mess.
As a recent participant in the natural hair movement, I've spent a lot of time trying to perfect my curly hair routine until I got it down to a science so I could flaunt some #BlackGirlMagic in beautiful Costa Rica. I even brought a small mountain of hair products (two different conditioners, a leave-in conditioner, a curly hair cream, and three different types of oils) and my trusty diffuser with me to make sure the curls were always on point.
So, where did I go wrong?
Well, I horribly underestimated the different climates I would be in. Even though I visited to Costa Rica during the dry season, I still trekked through scorching jungles, humid beach towns and wet rain forests.
SANTA ROSA NATIONAL PARK
I kicked off my trip with a visit to the Santa Rosa National Park which is a part of the Area de Conservacion Guanecaste - a World Heritage Site. The area consists of hundreds of miles of diverse flora and fauna that is absolutely stunning. The reserve is rife with a ton of wildlife; within 15 minutes of entering the park, I spotted white-faced capuchin monkeys swinging above in the trees, snakes slithering about and a variety of birds shrieking in the sky.
The reserve has about 10 different habitats and the region that I camped at was particularly blistering. The temperatures reached around 95 degrees Fahrenheit daily and I felt as if I were in the bowls of hell. I'd assume hell isn't as pretty, but I digress.
Anyways, back to my hair. Those were the only days it looked normal and foreshadowed my days to come.
The high heat dehydrated my hair terribly and no matter how much olive oil I lathered onto my hair every night, it was still brittle and dry under the blazing sun.
I had high hopes for my hair’s recovery in the beach town of Cuajiniquil. No such luck.
I was only in town for one afternoon and despite being by the water, it was still unbelievably hot. So I did what anyone who is concerned with not damaging their hair does: go snorkeling.
In hindsight, it wasn’t the best decision for my hair but it was such a fun experience! I was hesitant to get in the water at first since I can’t swim, but I’m so glad I did. The water was breathtakingly turquoise and clear and there so were so many colorful fish. I even saw a couple of jellyfish and managed not to get stung, even though a couple of people in my group did.
Nestled in between the mountains and clouds, Monteverde is a small town that is home to the famed cloud forest and has the honor of being my favorite city in Costa Rica.
I spent the majority of my trip in this green paradise at which point I completely gave up on my hair. In cloudy Monteverde, my hair seemed to be in a perpetual state of moistness. I would blow dry it, sit in the sun, pray to the hair gods, but nothing seemed to work.
I didn’t fret about it too long as I had more than enough activities to keep me distracted. I went ziplining, hiked the cloud forest and drank a bunch of great coffee.
I have none. Whatsoever. Your curly hair is most likely destined for doom in Costa Rica. And you may not attract a hot Tico with that mop, I mean frizz, but the view makes up for it. And despite the misadventures my curls had, I had a blast and can’t wait to go back.
As you can see, my hair didn't care to participate in my photos. My headband and hat were my only saving grace.