What's the Black woman's equivalent of a messy bun? It's a difficult question to answer, especially when you consider the Western world's rather violent relationship with Afro-textured hair. For generations, curls and kinks have been deemed "unkempt" by Eurocentric standards, thus putting pressure on Black people — particularly Black women — to appear in public with their hair always looking "done," especially when it's worn in its natural state. Sure, Meghan Markle's messy bun has become iconic — but would it have been considered chic by mainstream society if she didn't straighten her hair? I doubt it.
The pressure to have perpetually "controlled" frizz- and kink-free Afro-textured hair is one that brands have capitalized on. There is no shortage of curl creams, edge controls, and defrizzers on the market. But Bread Beauty Supply founder Maeva Heim isn't about that life.
"I noticed that there was a broadly consistent look and feel for brands across the textured hair category and that there was an established idea around what it meant to have 'good' curls," She tells Allure in an email. "This often meant a super glossy, defined, 'no-curl-out-of-place' photoshopped look that just isn’t realistic for day-to-day life, and is often not achievable for all curl types — especially women like myself with 4C, super-coiled hair."