Here's Where to Get Your Hair, Nails, and Facials Done in Havana

The Cuban capital’s gritty exterior masterfully conceals a bevy of salons, spas, and specialty boutiques. Here, five ways to primp and preen like a local.

  Photo: Cuba / Alamy Stock Photo

Photo: Cuba / Alamy Stock Photo

  Photo:   REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Photo: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Hair

Hair care in Havana is of utmost importance. Despite year-round humidity, Cuban women file into salons for bi-weekly blowouts, cuts, relaxers, and more. Men take their hair just as seriously. Shaved designs and yes, perms, are on-trend among Cuban gents—just ask Gilberto “Papito” Valladares. In 1999 Papito, the ironic bald barber, transformed his home into Arte Corte, a barber shop and museum dedicated to exhibiting the history of hair styling in Cuba. The salon has since expanded to a beauty school offering courses for stylists on the city’s Callejón de los Peluqueros (hairdressers’ alley).

 

Make a stop here: 

Arte Corte

Specialty: Cuts

Contact: +53 8610202

Address: Aguiar No. 10 between Peña Pobre and Avenida de las Misiones, Old Havana

 

Salón de Belleza Primavera Peluquería-Barbería

Specialty: Cuts and color 

Contact: +53 8320159

Address: Linea between F and E Vedado 

  Photo:   Angel Terry / Alamy Stock Photo

Photo: Angel Terry / Alamy Stock Photo

Nails

Creative city that it is, Havana's nail salons handle manicures as works of art. Forget the monochromatic nudes or expected berry polishes for fall, Cuban nail techs are known for creating talon-like acrylics and over-the top designs. Even your traditional French mani will likely be topped with a generous coat of glitter or a 3-D floral decal.

 

Make a stop here: 

Habana Nails

Specialty: Acrylics and nail art 

Contact: +53 78795363

 

Salón in Miramar Stetic Center

Specialty: Basic manicure 

Contact: +53 72025567  

Address: Calle 84 No. 502 between 5ta and 5ta A Miramar

  Photo:   Adriano Contreras

Photo: Adriano Contreras

Body

Though luxe spas and exotic services are hard to come by, there are a few hidden gems to discover. Take the soothing aromatherapy treatments on the menu at Habana 1791, for example. Therapists at the swanky perfumery (see here and pictured above), use the same fragrant oils featured in their perfumes for calming massages. To continue the scent trip along your journey, the recently relocated Casa Cubana del Perfume now has plenty of space to concoct custom fragrances. And the island’s day spas offer majestic facials using botanic ingredients. 

 

Make a stop here: 

Casa Cubana del Perfume

Specialty: Personalized fragrances

Address: Calle Teniente Rey No 8 between Mercaderes and Oficios, Old Havana

 

O2 SPA

Specialty: Facials

Contact: +43 78831663

Address: Calle 26 No.5 on the corner of Calle 26B, Vedado

  Photo: Lyndsay Green

Photo: Lyndsay Green

Wellness

Like much of Havana’s historic landmarks, its pharmacies are well-preserved oases with old-time flair. Lined with pristine woodwork and decorated with porcelain alchemy jars, many drugstores dual as enlightening museums.

 

Make a stop here: 

Droguería Johnson

Specialty: Soothing ointments

Address: Intersection of Obispo and Aguiar, Old Havana

 

Taquechel Pharmacy Museum

Specialty: Medicinal oils

Address: Obispo No. 155 between Mercaderes and San Ignacio, Old Havana