I should start by telling you that my relationship with my hair has always been a strained one. From weaves to the tightest buns I could manage with just my two little human hands to many failed wash-and-go attempts and more heat styling than I care to admit, I’ve spent my entire life just trying to keep my hair under control. It’s true that over the last few years, the social narrative surrounding natural hair has taken on an almost overwhelmingly positive tone, and while that’s helped me to confront my utter miseducation about my natural-hair needs, it hasn’t solved all my problems. My 4B hair texture has been the source of more stress than just about anything else in my life. I’ve found myself yanking on, fighting against, and crying over my coils. What’s more? I know for a fact I’m not alone.
All this to say, I (along with every other curly girl out there, I’m sure) have tried just about every product under the sun that promises “manageable,” “soft,” and “insert condescending adjective here” hair—shampoos, conditioners, pre-poos, after-poos, serums, milks, and a misguided mayonnaise-and–egg yolk mixture I read about online that one time. So when I got wind that actor, producer, and all-around badass Tracee Ellis Ross was formulating a haircare line specifically for the textured-haired goddesses among us, I knew it would be something special. I’d idolized her since watching her play everyone’s BFF Joan on Girlfriends with my mom in the ’90s, but since then, she’s solidified herself as a bona fide icon who is at once impossibly cool, unapologetically herself, and totally at peace with her big ol’ mane. I mean, she’s goals.
Early on Saturday morning, after spending hours taking down the box braids I’d be wearing for most of the summer the night prior, I buckled down for a comprehensive wash day to put the new system to the ultimate test. Just in time for its launch at Ulta stores across the U.S. and online, read on for my honest thoughts on Pattern haircare.
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