Candera Thompson is a CEO looking to help aid naturalistas achieve stronger and healthier curls with her Caribbean inspired brand, Bask and Bloom. After experiencing postpartum hair loss after having 3 kids, she was inspired to take the guesswork out of the everyday hair care routine with her line of nourishing products. As a one-stop solution to treat all hair types and textures, Bask and Bloom features nourishing ingredients that are ethically sourced and environmentally conscious. The brand features a range of products featuring cleansers, conditioners, moisturizers, stylers, and butters with botanical extracts and vitamin-rich oils to support hair growth and hydration. We spoke with Candera about her experience with postpartum hair loss, building her brand, and what products to shop for this upcoming season.

bask-bloom-curly-hair-products-CEO

When you were growing up, who were your hair inspirations?

Janet Jackson. She switched up her look often, and there was this fearless aura about her with each style. 

How did postpartum shedding inspire you to create a haircare brand?

I am a mom of three and I experienced severe postpartum shedding and hair loss in some areas. I was not able to find a solution that helped my hair thrive after childbirth. I visited a dermatologist who prescribed medication to help with the thinning areas. But I was never able to digest the pill, it came back up immediately. I decided to focus on natural remedies, inside and out, that would keep my hair healthy as it grows. 

I also spoke with many women in a Facebook group who all felt left out, just like me. Their bodies had changed, including their hair. No one really talked about the journey it takes to get back to feeling like ourselves and we were not satisfied with the options on the market to help with postpartum shedding. We wanted a safe, non-toxic solution that was effective in reviving our hair. 

With my background in business and marketing, I wanted to fill this gap of developing hair care solutions for hair breakage, damage and loss by creating Bask & Bloom. About 8 years ago, while I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter, I made the decision to become a full time entrepreneur and the brand has grown and developed since then. 

Did you have a different haircare experience when you were pregnant versus afterwards?

Yes. During my first pregnancy I wasn’t paying much attention to safer hair care options, or even ingredients for that matter. I knew postpartum shedding was a thing but I didn’t realize how severe it could be, or that complete hair loss in some areas could come from it. After my pregnancy, it made me more aware of what I was using, ingredients claims and how it would help the overall wellness of my hair. I established a more holistic approach to include deep treatments every wash day, scalp massages, hot oil treatments and made sure none of the styles pulled at my roots. Three kids in, this routine coupled with efficacious products has helped me reach my hair goals much quicker.

What aspects of your Carribean heritage are integrated into your brand?

My Bahamian heritage influences the Bask & Bloom brand in many ways. Our logo has the 3 colors of the Bahamian flag (black, gold and aquamarine blue) to pay homage to my home country.

I grew up on the island of Abaco, which was small and there wasn't access to major hospitals unless you travel to a bigger island. Herbal medicine became the go-to for the majority of ailments along with seeing a nurse at a small clinic. These herbs were steeped and made into tea, tea rinse or body salve and were my original source of inspiration in creating Bask & Bloom’s formulas. 

The company’s mantra is “Relax. Shine. Flourish.” because I want to give customers a little taste of my home every time they use Bask & Bloom products. I drew inspiration from the beautiful turquoise waters and orange/golden sunsets of Abaco for the packaging and each product has a refreshing tropical scent. Customers can escape to their own personal Caribbean oasis when they use Bask & Bloom products no matter where they are. 

In the bigger picture, my experience as an immigrant has greatly influenced my entrepreneurial resilience. I moved to the U.S. from the Bahamas alone at age 16, after being awarded a college track scholarship. I went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA, and worked in the fields of marketing and sales for 9 years before becoming a full-time entrepreneur. 

When you were developing your brand, what were your non-negotiables?

  • Ethically-sourced ingredients including Fair Trade raw materials.
  • Raw materials not on any banned (toxic) list in our targeted countries
  • Multipurpose formulas to avoid having to layer with 3+ products
  • Performance focused on moisture, scalp and hair follicles

What is one misconception people have when experiencing hair loss or shedding?

One misconception is that there is a quick fix. The scalp is home to tens of thousands of hair follicles so hair loss, thinning and shedding can be quite complicated. Especially shedding, which is a normal process our hair goes through so it’s hard to tell when the shedding is excessive. There’s also medical, hormonal and environmental factors that can play a role in why the hair is changing. We always recommend seeing a medical professional first to rule out anything serious, then establish a consistent healthy hair regimen to allow the hair to thrive again. Thankfully, there are now more innovative raw materials on the market that have been clinically tested and FDA approved to use in formulas for hair growth and fullness.

What type of nourishing ingredients can naturalistas find in your products?

Bask & Bloom products are highly-concentrated with nourishing butters and oils, herbal extracts, and mild proteins to promote strong, healthy hair and scalp. In the majority of our core products you can find:

  • Mango Butter
  • Cupuacu Butter
  • Avocado Oil, Jojoba oil , Flaxseed Oil , Sacha Inchi and Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Herbal Extracts (Aloe Vera, Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Horsetail, Nettle, Marshmallow Root

We’re super excited about the luxurious ingredients in our newest launch. It's the first preview from our upcoming Super Bloom Collection: the 2-in-1 Pre-Poo/Deep Conditioner. This dual purpose product is made with murumuru butter, hemp seed oil, amla oil and sacha inchi oil, which soften and moisturize strands, soothe the scalp, and promote the overall health and thickness of hair. There is also a unique blend of botanical extracts (marshmallow root, ashwagandha, yucca, gooseberry and turmeric) that work together to reduce hair loss, and calm and soothe the scalp, while promoting growth.

Which B&B products are essential for the fall season and why?

We recommend the Brahmi Root Hair Masque (deep treatment and best seller), More Moisture Cream, Ease Leave-In Conditioner and Herbal Infused Hair and Scalp Oil. These products were specifically formulated to provide and lock in moisture, and protect against breakage that can come from harsh weather elements.

We also recommend our limited edition Nourishing Amazon Hair & Body Butter, only available during the fall and winter. It's packed with nutrients to hydrate and protect hair and skin in the colder months, including murumuru, cupuacu, mango, and shea butter and it comes in four yummy scents, as well as unscented.