Actress and beauty executive Tracee Ellis Ross lives up to her middle name, Joy. Although I’ve never met her in person, I could feel her joyous spirit radiating through our Zoom meeting as I witnessed her famous voluminous and bouncy curls take up most of my computer screen as she warmly greeted me from her home’s bathroom. She just finished capturing video content of her hair care routine using PATTERN products for ESSENCE readers. Ross was in a cheery and upbeat mood, eager to walk me through PATTERN’s newest update, and I was all ears.
The expansion of PATTERN is personal to Ross, as she has an intimate relationship with her hair, which can be described as the truth of her personhood. “It starts with my internal journey. The truth is that I have wanted to create the blow dryer for a while. I didn’t realize that it takes this long to create a tool that you plug into the wall, but it’s taken two years. So it’s been a part of the original story, and it’s always been a part of the roadmap for PATTERN. And I’ve long wanted to reframe our relationship as a community to heat. In the past my curls and coils, and our curls and coils have been burned and fried and beaten into submission by blow dryers and tools that have been designed to strip us of the gorgeous bounce and bends,” she says.
Today, Ross embarks on a new journey with PATTERN, her award-winning hair care brand, as the company marks its entry into the hair care heat category with the launch of its first heat tool, the PATTERN blow dryer. The brand’s first-ever professional blow dryer provides faster drying with a long-lasting, durable, and powerful AC professional motor, and four curl-conscious attachments, limiting heat and curl pattern damage to your hair.
PATTERN’s diffuser is perfect for achieving volume and definition without heat damage – simulating natural drying while cutting styling time.
The Wide Tooth Comb
Heavy-duty, yet kind on delicate strands, the wide-tooth comb allows for an effortless glide through wet or dry curls and coils, gently detangling hair with wide-set prongs.
Based on PATTERN’s award-winning shower brush, the heavyweight brush attachment is excellent for drying and stretching coils. The bristles detangle and smooth hair while effortlessly drying it, resulting in the desired style in less time.
The Concentrator Nozzle
The focused airflow allows you to work in small or large sections, using a round brush for a sleek look or using the dryer at the roots to achieve volume.
Along with the attachments, the hair dryer provides three heat, two-speed settings, and a lock-in cool shot button, allowing up to six customized airflow and heat settings for any curl type. In addition, the dryer includes an ion-controlled switch that activates ions to smooth the cuticle or deactivates them to add volume. The ceramic-coated grill ensures even heat distribution helping to minimize heat damage, along with a dual-locking mechanism ensuring the attachments stay firmly in place, a feature Ross appreciates.
Ross’ goal with this new product is to improve our relationship with heat so we can maintain our natural textural hair pattern. “I’ve had a lot of experience with blow dryers where they’re just so hot that I unexpectedly see smoke coming off my hair. I use [The Pattern] blow dryer on the high heat setting in the high air blow, and I have never smelled a burned smell coming from my hair. So if you’re somebody who likes to stretch your hair, use heat to enhance and play with the possibility of your hair without damaging your texture or pattern, that’s what this product is about. It features curl-conscious attachments,” Ross shares.
She also wants to make your wash day routine more manageable, and dare we say seamless, with her blow dryer. If you’re anything like us, you’ve experienced the wash day woes, including the annoyance of burning your hands because your blow dryer is too hot or the comb attachment comes off the dryer when working through a difficult section of your hair. The PATTERN blow dryer serves as a solution to both those issues. “This product is easy for people to use in their bathrooms. I have small hands; I can hold it either from the nozzle or the handle. The dryer itself doesn’t get hot; the attachments get hot. So you can hold the dryer anywhere you want. There’s the cold shot, which is great if you’re trying to set your curls. After you’ve done the heat, there’s the ion generator button on the back that helps to saturate the airflow so that you can smooth that cuticle, and if you’re somebody who wants less frizz, it creates that nice shine,” she shares.
She continues, “Another thing that’s been like a huge pet peeve of mine is you put on an attachment on the blow dryer, and the blow dryer gets hot, and then all of a sudden, it’s not as secure, and the thing falls off and hits you in the head. So, with our blow dryer, all four attachments lock-in, and you have to release them with the two buttons on either side. I know everybody talks about innovation, but to me, the most inventive extraordinary innovation is things that function well, work easily, and do the job,” she exclaims.
PATTERN also launched a heat protectant and shine spray to protect curls further. The heat protectant guards curls, coils, and tight textures from the often irreversible effects of heat damage, giving thermal protection. The lightweight spray safeguards strands with Crambe abyssinica seed, sunflower, and jojoba oil, providing a non-greasy solution to stretched styles, silk presses, and blowouts.
Ross believes that there’s a way to use heat responsibly and that it opens a world of possibility, which was part of her original dream for the company. “Like so many, I’ve nursed my hair back to health after years of pressing it within an inch of its life and slowly began to find the right formulas and products to nourish it. But I also wanted to create heat tools that cut down styling time. It’s a part of my own story. I feel like there is a way for us to utilize heat as a gateway and access so many different other possibilities. And I wanted to bring that into the DNA of what we do at PATTERN,” she reveals.
To Ross, self-acceptance has been a journey throughout her 50 years of life, which started with her hair. “I could chronicle my journey of self-acceptance through my hair. All these different rituals and traditions accompany the hair that is part of a culture, particularly for black women and people. You know, it’s a portal into our souls. It’s the way we get to ourselves on the outside and connects us to our legacy, history, and stories in our culture. If I were to describe my hair right now, I would say it’s versatile, strong, and important. It’s worthy of attention and love. And it’s fine, enough as it is. I would want to describe myself that way,” she shares.
The PATTERN Blow Dryer, heat protectant, and shine spray is available at patternbeauty.com and will be exclusively sold at Ulta Beauty in stores and online later this year.