BREAD is all about providing naturalistas with the essential products, ingredients, and maintenance that textured hair needs. As the founder of BREAD, Maeva Heim took the experiences she had in her mother’s braiding salon combined with a degree in business and law to create a brand that’s carving out space for multicultural hair care. As one of the first Australian brands selected for the Sephora Accelerate program, BREAD was immediately launched into the zeitgeist of high-end and coveted beauty products that are a staple for today’s customer. With sleek packaging, fresh ingredients, and branding focused on making haircare fun and attainable whether you have wavy, afro, curly, or coily textures. BREAD doesn’t complicate the haircare process, but seeks to simplify it with must-have products like a deep conditioner, hair-oil, hair-cream, and hair-mask. We sat down to speak with Maeva about her entrepreneurial journey, how Australia influenced the ingredients, and the brand’s mission to stay sustainable.
Tell us about your relationship with hair growing up?
The journey with my hair has been gradual. Straightening my hair with a relaxer was something I had done since I was 6 or 7 years old. And whilst I had protective styling over the years, my natural hair, when left out, was always straight. Growing up, I never had to deal with my natural texture or even understand what it was.
Because of this, I grew up using products that were designed for straight hair. When I was transitioning to wearing my 4C hair naturally, I knew those products were no longer going to cut it. The first thing I wanted to do was find hair care products that were specifically designed for my natural texture.
How did spending time in your mother’s beauty salon impact your perception of beauty?
My first introduction into beauty was back in the ‘90s at my mother’s African hair braiding salon. It was one of the very first African hair salons in the entire country and one of my very first experiences in the beauty industry. From the age of 10 I would spend my weekends there braiding customers’ hair, sweeping the floors, answering the phone and managing the booking diary. We would import a lot of hair-care products from the U.S. that were designed for textured hair and sell them in the salon. That’s how I initially became familiar with the category and what was available in the market for curly and textured hair.
My Mother has always been my number one fan, and there is no one I trust more with my hair than my Mom. Despite me wanting relaxed hair or weaves throughout childhood, she continually and gently encouraged me to wear my natural hair out. I was vehemently against it as a teen, but looking back now I am so appreciative that she was always down to let me do whatever I wanted with my hair.
What inspired the name “Bread”?
When I started the brand, it was actually called something completely different. But someone had trademarked that name so I had to go back to the drawing board which forced me to think about what I was creating. When I thought about what the staples were in other categories, my first thought was bread. BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY is: here for the essentials. The must-haves. Like bread. That just stuck and I kept it.
I’m also really lazy when it comes to hair, which is part of the inspiration for Bread as well. I knew that I wanted Black women to feel like they could embrace “lazy girl hair,” something we haven’t always been allowed to embrace in the past.
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What would you describe as the “essential” haircare products for natural and textured hair?
The first thing we set out to do was simplify wash day, which is why we designed our kit 1-wash. kit 1-wash includes all your full-size wash day essentials: 1 x hair-wash (8.4 fl. oz.), 1 x hair-mask (12 fl. oz.), 1 x hair-oil (3.3 fl. oz.), 1 x bread-puff (scrunchie). Then we have other hair care essentials to layer (and layover) between wash-days, like our best-selling hair-cream (leave-in curl cream).
A hallmark of your products are clean ingredients, are these inspired or influenced by Australia?
One of the things I found when I was researching products and looking at different industry reports was that hair products marketed to Black women had been found to be more harmful than products in the general market. I wanted to make sure we were creating products that were safe and really showed that we care about the customer.
We infused our products with different Australian ingredients, in part because that’s my heritage, but also because I want to put those ingredients on the map. Coming from Australia, I really wanted to highlight and celebrate the incredible native ingredients that grow here that have been used a lot in skincare, but not as much in hair. Many of our native ingredients have properties that are incredible for textured hair.
Tell us more about the mud-mask, hair oil to-go and hair-cream and how they can be used for your curls
hair-oil: is a silicone free, multi-purpose oil that we describe as being like a lipgloss, but for your hair. It can be used in 3 different ways: before wash day as a pre-wash treatment, after-wash day to help lock in moisture, and in-between wash days to help add shine to your strands throughout the week. My favorite way to use it is as a pre-wash treatment (also known as slugging, which has become super popular recently). It’s infused with Kakadu Plum and safflower oil, and smells sweet like berries.
mud-mask: is a clay mask, but not for your face. It is a targeted pre-wash treatment that features a blend of Rhassoul, Bentonite, Kaolin, and Quartz to help reset your curls and gently detoxify your scalp so that you can go longer between wash days. It’s also just gone viral on TikTok!
hair-cream: is our 2-in-1 conditioning and repairing curl cream for all curl types. When creating hair-cream we wanted it to treat your hair while you wear it, so it’s designed to repair and soften your strands throughout the week. It’s infused with Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, and Mango Butter, leaving your curls softly defined and feeling lightweight. My favorite way to use it is for a wash and go. I like to use a brush to evenly distribute hair-cream through my damp hair (in sections) from root to tip.
Why was creating a sustainable brand so essential for your business?
Our products are packaged in glass bottles to cut down on the use of plastic. The hair-oil glass vessel can be recycled or reused in a number of ways - i.e. as flower stem vase, or to decant other beauty or food oils. The landscape is changing constantly in terms of what’s actually moving the needle, so it's super important to me to continue assessing at what stage of the product life cycle our sustainability efforts will make the most impact.
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