When you’re a curly girl like me and you hear of a hair-care line dropping from the queen of the wash-n-go, Miss Tracee Ellis Ross, you celebrate.
This goes without saying, but the release of Tracee Ellis Ross’s new hair care line, Pattern, was monumental. Though there are several products on the market for natural curly girls like myself, it was an entirely new level of excitement knowing that this iconic woman of color had released a product with me in mind. Therefore, I did like any other curl diva would do: I rushed to my local Ulta Beauty store and got my hands on a trial kit.
Beyond the anticipation of trying out this new line, I was more interested in the message and how this product contributed to the ongoing conversation about natural hair in the Black community. Tracee’s new line was a social commentary on Black women and women of color, their hair, and their identity.
Pattern is what I would deem self-love personified.
It is a revelation of the ways in which society has rejected the notion that natural hair in the Black community is beautiful (i.e. afros, cornrows, and jheri curls) with aims to liberate every natural curly girl from this subtle suppression of identity and reestablish our confidence in who we are. Not only will we have a little more pep in our step, but it’ll put the joy back in our curl.
In my research (cause you know ya girl has to do her research), I sat through interviews and marketing videos from Pattern, listened to the backstory behind its creation, and realized that it was my own story Tracee was sharing. That’s when I realized that not only was Pattern a beautiful byproduct of Tracee Ellis Ross’s hard work and dedication to creating something that women everywhere could afford and benefit from, but it was also a story of identity. Not many people would see the launch of a hair-care product and think “this is about so much more than hair,” but it is. Beyond what it can do for our hair, it is a story of self-love and self-acceptance.
Growing up in a family of beauticians and barbers, hair was a huge part of who we were — it was our glory. I can recall my own hair evolution and have come to realize every stage of it was in direct correlation with my journey through self-discovery and self-acceptance (like Tracee says hers was as well). As a teenager, I would sift through various fashion magazines with women that didn’t look like me, subconsciously feeding on this Eurocentric beauty standard they were perpetuating. I began to work tirelessly, trying to fit these standards and coming up short every time. I ran my hair dry, trying to accomplish these hairstyles I had seen, not realizing that the way I was tampering with and constantly trying to change my hair was a byproduct of what I felt I needed to do with my identity as a whole. It seemed as if what and who I was naturally was not socially acceptable or enough.
It seemed as if what and who I was naturally was not socially acceptable or enough.
This hair-care line that Tracee Ellis Ross launched, as well as so many others before her, is more than just a nice product for our hair — it is a call to action for every person that has struggled to feel accepted or beautiful as they naturally are. It’s a celebration of our uniqueness and the curly, coily, tight-textured hair we were born with. It is a nod at every kind of hair that defies gravity and serves as a reminder that different is magical. It’s an encouraging word in a bottle, reminding us that we are beautiful just the way we are. It is a redefining of every image of Eurocentricity we’ve been inundated with through social media, magazines, and the like.
As if the message weren’t enough, the product is phenomenal.
I’m relatively easy to please as it relates to hair-care products, and I love the simplicity of this line. The heavy conditioner and leave-in conditioner are incredibly moisturizing and hydrating, and my curls love it. The shampoo has an airy, clean scent that is effortless and accomplishes the goal in completely stripping your hair of all its gunk. Overall, this line was beautifully crafted and delivers in every way.
Tracee, thank you for creating such a wonderful beauty product that speaks to the struggles and victories of every curl diva. Thank you for giving us a product that encourages us to celebrate our individuality and gives us the confidence we need to rock our hair in its natural state. Though it has taken a while to get here, our hair story is finally being told and now we are free to be who we are in our curly, coily, and tight-textured glory. As Pattern says, “may our hair live its best life.”
available at ULTA