There are few things as nuanced as Black hair in the beauty space — from the culture it's born from to the tradition it is born into, and the dialogue that surrounds it constantly. It's something I think about a lot when I try the seemingly endless stream of new deep conditioners, shampoos, serums, and sprays on the market right now designed for my textured, tight curls, and rarely ever feel completely satisfied with the final result. I'm not alone in that, either: This frequent kind of trial and error approach to haircare is common for Black women, and it's exactly why Maeva Heim decided to launch BREAD Beauty Supply, a new clean line of haircare essentials for women of color with 3A to 4C curl types.
With 4C hair herself (a tightly coiled texture that often goes underserved and overlooked, even by products claiming to serve them), Heim started this journey with lofty goals to not only reimagine the often overly complicated and time-consuming hair routine folks with textured hair experience, but to help change the narrative around textured hair in general. The narrative that says the effortless, "lazy girl" aesthetic that makes for chic, last-minute hairstyles (like messy buns and top knots) has no room for textured hair. The fact that terms like "anti-frizz" demonize characteristics of naturally curly and textured hair. And, perhaps most importantly, that products for textured hair can't be clean.
“The journey to create BREAD started when I myself was transitioning from relaxed to natural hair after my chemical relaxer exploded in my suitcase while traveling," Heim shared in a press release. "When I went looking for brands and products for my hair type, I became disillusioned with what was available on the market, and frustrated with the lack of simplicity. This opened my eyes to the void in the market for a community-focused brand with a contemporary, visual universe that felt relevant to today's millennial and centennial consumer. Bread exists to offer a simplified, edited routine with just the fundamentals, so women can spend less time worrying about wash day, and more time on anything else."
Take one look at BREAD's website and Instagram feed, and you'll be inclined to believe Heim achieved exactly what she'd set out to do. After one wash day actually using the products, you'll know for sure. Officially launched on July 14 as an exclusive Sephora partner, the brand's initial offerings are a tight edit of wash day essentials, including a hair wash ($20), hair mask ($28), and hair oil ($24). I tried the trio myself right after a long week of hiking and time out in the sun that essentially rendered my hair lifeless, and in a few hours, had some of the softest, defined, and voluminous curls I've had in a while.
The hair-wash, a gently milky cleanser you'd use in lieu of shampoo, is step one in BREAD's streamlined wash day system. Inspired by cleansers made for sensitive skin, the lightly foaming formula is super gentle, with a nostalgic fruity scent and a fun texture that can best be described as melted marshmallow without any of the sticky mess. It's infused with argan oil and aloe vera juice for deep nourishment, as well as lemon tea tree oil for scalp health. While I lathered, I felt the formula coating every strand and leaving my scalp feeling fresh without feeling tight or stripped; detangling was smooth, too.
Step two is the hair-mask, a lightweight, creamy deep conditioner that I credit for how both airy and conditioned my curls were after air drying. Formulated with super fruit oils like Australian Kakadu Plum, sunflower seed oil, and starflower oil, it'll leave your curls hydrated without weighing them down. Both the hair-wash and hair-mask come in functional pouches to reduce plastic use, too.
The hair oil is the last step, and the most luxe feeling, given its cute, chunky glass bottle and sweet but subtle scent from the Australian kakadu plum oil in its formulation. I used it on my still-wet hair to add some gloss and softness while I air-dried, but its a multi-use product, so I plan to use it in-between washes to add some moisture and slip back into my curls.
Going through the BREAD system was quick and easy, and gave me airy, voluminous curls that I didn't feel the need to tend to all day. Like the brand says, it's wash day, simplified.