Bread Beauty Is For The Overlooked Black Consumer

Photo: provided by Bread

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I’m so excited to introduce Bread Beauty: a company making textured haircare simple. Just as bread is food for the soul, Bread’s products are soul food for your hair. You can truly sense the care and intention behind Bread’s thoughtful collection of must-haves, from the brand’s most recent hair-oil to-go ($18) – which is the same formulation as the hair-oil ($24), a lip gloss for your strands, just with a convenient dropper bottle – to its all-inclusive hair-wash ($20), suitable for curly, afro and textured hair, but loved by all.

Photo: provided by Bread

Founder Maeva Heim felt there was a need for a brand that looks and thinks differently about all things hair: the curls, fuzz, frizz, bangs, braids, bantu, etc. As Maeva was undergoing her personal haircare journey, transitioning from chemically straightening her hair to embracing her natural curly texture, she identified a gap but also an opportunity in the haircare industry that she felt uniquely equipped to take on. In Maeva’s own words: “for far too long, hair routines and the rhetoric around Black hair have been dominated by messages of heavy product usage, excessive routines, styling and hair manipulation” and Bread is here to challenge that. After pitching to Sephora and securing a launch deal for both in-store and online (as one of the first Australian brands selected for the Sephora Accelerate program), along with over $2 million in funding for Black female-led startups, Bread launched in July of 2020 with the hopes of simplifying haircare routines worldwide.

As a non-Black woman with wavy/2c-3a curls, I made the decision to give the Bread products I was so generously gifted to a dear friend of mine, Olivia London, who I believe is able to make better use of them. Olivia was born and raised in Los Angeles in a mixed household. Her mom is from Chicago, IL and her dad is from Guyana, South America. She is an actor and was recently touring on the Broadway National tour of ‘Waitress.’ Olivia was kind enough to walk me through each step of her Bread haircare process. Please enjoy her authentic and unapologetic voice as it flows through this review.

Photo: provided by Bread

HAIRCARE AS SELFCARE

Olivia’s initial reaction to Bread’s aesthetically pleasing packaging was a long and sharp “WOW.” It is truly different from anything else she’s seen before and it immediately got her excited to try everything out.

Starting with the mud-mask ($34), which boasts a nutrient-rich combo of Green Tea Leaf Extract, Broccoli Sprout Extract, Hemp Seed Oil, Davidson Plum Extract and Pineapple Fruit Extract to amplify its detoxifying abilities: “the smell is natural and organic like food, probably because of the broccoli, but it also has a hint of cookie butter. There’s so much of the product in the tube, which I love because I get to really lather my hair in it.”

Next, Olivia used the hair-wash ($20), made from a combination of  aloe vera juice, lemon tea tree oil and argan oil - she divided her hair into 4 sections and coated each one fully; “the consistency felt almost as thick as a conditioner, but it didn’t feel like it was stripping my hair of its natural oils, rather moisturizing it. I tend to struggle with finding the right shampoo because usually they dry out my hair and scalp, but this one left my hair feeling so soft and hydrated after the wash, while still cleaning it.”

Moving on to the hair-cream ($28), with a unique blend of quinoa protein and mango butter, Olivia liked this consistency as well: “it’s thick and heavy but it doesn’t leave a casing over the hair like other conditioners do. My curls felt soft, hydrated, defined and bouncy afterwards. It defrizzes and tames my hair yet the conditioner isn’t flaky, it just absorbs into my hair fully.”

Olivia’s absolute favorite was the scalp-serum ($28), which is the product she says felt most like self-care: “it smells like peppermint and is so cooling on my scalp, which makes sense because of the eucalyptus and chinaberry extract in it. I suffer from dry scalp so it’s nice to have a product made just for this. I could feel my scalp saying – thank you, I appreciate you.”

And last but not least, is the hair-oil ($24), which includes safflower oil & Australian kakadu plum, felt like the cherry on top at the end of Olivia’s haircare routine. It made her hair look shiny and truly defined her curls after they had dried. A sweet treat to end on.

Photo: provided by BREAD

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

Maeva grew up in Perth, Australia, first being introduced to the beauty space by spending hours at her mother’s braiding salon. The smells,  sights and textures of beauty and hair products were sprinkled through her everyday, ultimately defining her entry into and understanding of womanhood. Maeva went on to start her early career working behind the scenes at global beauty brands, but always felt like something was missing. Her identity was one that wasn't acknowledged in mainstream discourse surrounding hair conversations, and in addition, she had trouble finding clean hair products that were easy to use, functional, and fun. Although Bread only launched in 2020, Maeva traces the beginnings of the company back to her mother’s salon; “the braiding tutorials, storytelling, familiar faces and close-knit community of women with curly, coiled and textured hair was her Mum’s own version of Bread.”

Photo of Maeva: provided by BREAD

Similar to Maeva, Olivia traces her first memories of trying her best to navigate the complexities of Black hair back to her childhood. But her haircare journey really only began later in life: “Growing up, my cousins and I all got perms on our hair per request of our grandmother. We really didn’t know how to care for our hair at that point. It wasn't until high school where I realized that I didn’t really know my natural curl pattern, so I decided to grow my hair out and discover what was underneath the perm. So really, I’ve only been navigating my natural hair for the past five years. I’m still on that journey of discovering how my hair functions to this day and I don’t think I’ll ever be done exploring the complexity of my own hair which is also the beauty within itself.”

Photo of Olivia: provided by Olivia

Olivia has noticed that in today’s social climate, more people are starting to embrace their natural curls and different curl patterns, but there is still an underlying fear instilled in her long ago, that she may be treated differently for the ways in which she chooses to wear her hair.

Nevertheless, she is doing her best to lean into that fear and allow herself the grace to be more expansive with her  hair, literally. Knowing that companies like Bread even exist, has massively helped her on this journey of self-discovery: “Knowing that a brand is specifically made for me, makes me feel so happy. The branding of Bread says it’s made for hair types 3a-4c, and my hair type is 3c/4a. I know a lot of Black women that use so many different brands when it comes to products. A shampoo from one line, conditioner from another, etc. To know one company caters to all of it is incredible. Hair is such a sense of identity in our community. When we see products we can identify with, it makes the hair care journey feel a little less lonely.”

Photo: provided by BREAD

Bread continues to declare its position in the haircare industry through renarrating society’s prejudiced view of textured hair, whilst also creating a brand for the new generation of overlooked consumers. For all those Maevas and Olivias out there in the world, you finally were gifted the brand and products you’ve been waiting for. The search is over, start your selfcare journey with Bread.

Make your haircare easy with Bread Beauty.

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