Tracee Ellis Ross rocks a curly updo at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones.
Embracing natural curls!

Tracee Ellis Ross reveals her journey to accept her hair and how she celebrates the power of Black beauty

The Black-ish star opened up to fellow Hollywood actress Kerry Washington, revealing her process to accept her hair and highlight its beauty

Tracee Ellis Ross wants to make sure her message as a “Black beauty entrepreneur and advocate” is widely spread. Her experiences growing motivated her to make a difference in the beauty industry. After ten years, she was finally able to build a brand that represents her and is formulated to fill a gap.

The Black-ish star opened up to fellow Hollywood actress Kerry Washington in an interview for ELLE’s inaugural State of Black Beauty cover story, revealing her process to accept her hair and highlight its beauty. “It started as such a personal relationship with my own hair and feeling like I didn’t have the support to find what I needed. Not just in terms of products, but in terms of how to love myself. I was very supported in my family around my hair. But in terms of seeing all different kinds of versions in the wallpaper of my lives out in the world, I wasn’t seeing it. And I was getting confused,” Ross said to Washington. “All of the things that I was taught from the media were like; I was supposed to have easy breezy beautiful hair. Bouncin’ and behavin’. My hair didn’t blow in the wind! All of these things didn’t match up.”

Growing up, for the singer and actress, her naturally curly hair made her feel like activities she enjoyed doing were also ruining her style. “I was a track runner. So I was sweating out my hair all the time. And I swam. So there were all these things that were occurring for me personally, and I discovered that there were so many other people who were experiencing the same disconnect.”

Ross realized people that looked like her were marginalized form the beauty industry and even the supermarket’s beauty aisle. “There was a void, in both seeing ourselves in our natural, authentic beauty, and also having products that would work for us to do our hair naturally—to wear it the way it naturally came out of our heads,” she said in the interview. ”It was after Girlfriends that I wrote my first haircare brand pitch. And it was not received the way I thought it would be received.”

According to Ross, women frequently visit her go-to supply shops on Wilshire, trying to get the products she used to swear by, simply because they wanted to have her hair. “One of the stylists was like, ‘You don’t know the amount of people that come in here with a picture of you pulled out of a magazine, and they want your hair. If you were to do a line of products, you’d be a millionaire.’,” she said. “I was like, ’What? My hair?’ And, you know, there was no social media at the time, so there was no connection between the community and me. Then I went to an event for Curly Nikki, who was one of the original natural hair care bloggers, and there was a line of women around the block, all wearing their hair naturally. It was the first time I saw the larger community. That’s what started to give me this idea. But the journey was a slow one. Our beauty was not a part of the standard or culture of beauty. There was no real frame to hold.”

The superstar stayed with the idea for years, ten years to be exact. “There was no real frame for the beauty that existed. It took about ten years to create Pattern,” Ross haircare line for natural manes. ”The mission is two-fold, to create effective products for the curly, coily, and tight, textured community. The second part of the mission is to be an active space to celebrate Blackness and the power of Black beauty.”

Sign up to our newsletter to stay in touch with your cultura. Get the latest on your favorite celebrities, royals, and the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news delivered right to your inbox!