After watching her sister suffer from misdiagnosed scalp conditions and experiencing her own battle with hair loss due to COVID-19, Shaina Rainford saw a need for natural products that stimulated hair growth as well as nourished it.

In 2020, she launched Bask & Lather Co., which offers various products for hair growth, scalp stimulation and overall health.
Bask & Lather Co. also expanded their offerings to beard growth and care products for men and serums for eyelash and eyebrow growth.

The brand’s ability to incorporate user-generated content and impressive influencer relationships lead to an impressive social media following, putting Bask & Lather Co. on the radar for consumers looking for products to care for their crowns. The demand also landed the brand on the shelves of several beauty supply stores nationwide.

In 2023, Rainford took the brand over to TikTok and saw an instant boost. In less than a year, Bask & Lather Co. has racked up nearly 260,000 followers and a whopping 5.7 million likes — 25% of all her sales are directly from TikTok Shop.

Blavity recently spoke with Rainford about how TikTok helped her fill a void for natural hair care in a digital space.

How has the use of social media helped you with the growth of your business? 

Shaina Rainford: Social media has been the key component of the company’s exponential growth. I built a large organic following on Instagram within the first year of business, contributing significantly to our success. 

Specifically TikTok? 

SR: TikTok has been an amazing journey. Initially, I was unsuccessful in curating TikTok content alone, so I decided to hire a social media manager, and they were also unsuccessful on the platform. My 15-year-old son, Jayden, told me he could manage our TikTok account. I said, “You’re a 15-year-old boy. What do you know about women or haircare?” Well, Jayden created viral video after viral video for our TikTok and skyrocketed our TikTok Shop account. We quickly gained over 200,00 new followers in just a few short months and hold the #1 spot for the bestselling hair growth oil and bestselling edge control on the platform. 

Did you always utilize a strategy when you began using TikTok? 

SR: We did not, and that was the issue. I initially thought we could reuse Instagram reels for TikTok, but simply put, that is NOT how it works. 

Is your content on TikTok different compared to other social media platforms? How do you address it if so? 

SR: It’s very different. On other platforms, we emphasize social proof and branding. On TikTok, we emphasize catchy hooks and create the “I must have this” feeling.

Did you have a brand that inspired how you approached your social media/TikTok strategy?

SR: No, actually. I believe TikTok is a unique place where you have to find your own rhythm.

What did you see missing from how other hair care brands utilized social media?

SR: The willingness to bend the rules. Most other hair care brands focus a lot on aesthetics, and their feeds look absolutely beautiful. However, authenticity and a relatable tone convert extremely well for our brand.

How vital is user-generated content to your brand?

SR: User-generated content is everything for our brand as it provides amazing social proof for new prospective buyers. 

Do you feel Black women-owned businesses have to deal with algorithm issues more than others? 

SR: I absolutely do believe this is true. 

What did you do to ensure your brand, Bask & Lather Co., stood out among other hair care brands, especially those targeted toward women of color? 

SR: We have a brand story like no other and the proof to substantiate it. We are our target audience, and our customers feel connected to us. 

What has been the process of making your items available in-store versus solely through social media and website sales? Do you see great conversions from your TikTok content? 

SR: We are profitable online and growing quickly but comfortably. While it “appears” ideal to be on store shelves, it can also be highly detrimental to your business if you are misguided or unprepared. As a profitable, debt-free business with no investors, I am not in a rush to go into mass retail at this moment. We will, however, have independent beauty supply store distribution. We see excellent conversions from TikTok Shop and look forward to continued growth and success on the platform.