Today didn’t start the way most days do: emails, matcha, more emails. Today I started my Friday morning on Zoom with Tracee Ellis Ross—and 40 other beauty editors—getting the scoop on her two new hair treatments, her go-to hair routine, and of course the gorgeous magenta lip color she’s wearing (MAC Magenta Lip Liner all over her lips and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned on top).
“Hair care is self care: Putting in a hair mask or massaging your scalp and then having a beautiful hair day—I don’t know how I got poppin’ curls at 4 a.m. in the morning! Somehow Pattern came to the rescue!” Ross says, thanking us for getting up early on a Friday, which was the only time she could squeeze us in while filming Black-ish and Mixed-ish in LA. “This treatment collection is really special because it hearkens back to those generation-old ancient remedies, and we’ve sort of modernized them. I’m so excited about them and they really work.”
However, Ross says there’s one ancient remedy she’s thankful they didn’t revive: “What we’re very lucky about is that we didn’t reimagine the remedy that my grandmother used on me and my cousins. She would line all the cousins outside the bathroom, wash our hair on the countertop with our head in the sink, and she would condition our hair with mayonnaise.”
First thing I notice as Ross holds up the new products is the new packaging—not as much of the brand’s signature bold yellow or charming graphics. “We wanted to lean back into that apothecary feel, so we still have that beautiful texture that’s so important,” the actress says. “When you pick up the things that you use in your bathroom, you not only want them to look beautiful, but also feel good and be easy to use. We brought in a different color packaging that looks very old-school apothecary, which I love.”
The first product of the two new launches is a Treatment Mask ($25). “We’ve combined two remedies into one—rice water rinse and moringa oil—so it strengthens and fortifies the hair, the rice water smooths the hair and makes it shiny, and of course, it length retention,” Ross explains. “The moringa seed extract is packed with antioxidants and vitamins and fatty acids that soothe, protect and moisturize your hair and scalp. The beauty of this to me is the texture. It’s not a creamy white—we handled that with our four conditioners—it really feels like a mask. You can wear it and go about your day because you don’t have a whole bunch of creamy white stuff in your hair.”
Ross says some of her friends leave it in all day, but she prefers a more temporary approach. “I like to wash my hair with the Hydrating Shampoo in the shower, put the mask in for 10–15 minutes, then rinse it out and use the Intensive Conditioner. And my hair is like new baby hair—poppin’ new baby hair. It’s like someone handed it to me on a silver platter. It’s ridiculous.”
It’s OK to use on chemically treated hair and color-treated hair, and though Ross prefers to use it every two weeks, she says there’s no harm in using it more often. “It is truly a gift, in my opinion. That’s why we call it a treatment because it’s a treat.”
The second product in today’s debut is a Scalp Serum ($25). “It not only treats your scalp, but also your senses,” Ross says. “It’s soothing, calming and keeps the roots of your hair happy and invigorated. I like to put it on the tips of my fingers and get in there with a massage. When you have protective styles, tight braids—you know I love my two tight buns on my head, my center part and my slicked-back bun—my scalp gets tender and dry like everyone else’s. This allows you to add moisture to your hair without that tea tree oil feeling that sometimes lights you up like you’ve got Icy Hot on your head. It’s got peppermint, rosemary and lavender in it, so the scent also invigorates in different ways. I like using it on dry hair, but you could use it on freshly washed wet hair too.”
As far as her personal routine goes, Ross stresses how much TLC goes into her hair, even mentioning that she’s scaled back on makeup—right now she only does her eyebrows and lips—because her hair takes time. “I don’t rush through my hair process. My hair does not like to be rushed. I co-wash and separate my hair into six sections. I am loving how I comb my hair with shower brush. Then I do a completely ice cold rinse with low water pressure—my curls like it because it seals the moisture in and helps me get some shine. I do it with low water pressure so any curls that have formed don’t get broken up. The best part for me right now is that for years, my bathroom was covered in all these different products, and now it’s all Pattern. All the jumbos are lined up. Every morning it’s like, which conditioner am I going to use today? It’s a bit like a kid in a candy store.”
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