Tracee's Take on Tradition: Pattern Beauty's Newest Products Evoke Cherished Rituals

Illustration for article titled Tracee's Take on Tradition: Pattern Beauty's Newest Products Evoke Cherished Rituals
Photo: Pattern Beauty

“Time is a whole new thing,” laughed Tracee Ellis Ross on a recent phone call with The Glow Up. She’s not wrong—like us, the actress-entrepreneur has spent the better part of the last year in quarantine, finding new ways to work and testing out new products for her growing haircare line, Pattern Beauty. At the top of this year, she treated us to a new lightweight version of the brand’s beloved conditioners (which quickly became our new co-wash of choice), which reportedly took two years and 60 trials to develop. Proving that she’s all about spending her time wisely, before this very eventful January draws its last breath, Ellis Ross has dropped more treats, releasing Pattern’s new Treatment collection on Thursday.

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“We’re speckling things out,” she says of Pattern’s rapid succession of releases. “So, you know, it’s the different stories, different times.”

The stories of our hair—specifically, our hair’s “patterns”—has always been part of Pattern Beauty’s narrative. But after a year in which we’ve all had more time to reflect and retreat into some new and old routines, time has indeed taken on new meaning—and inspired the brand’s two newest offerings, which Pattern describes as follows:

PATTERN Scalp Serum...for when your scalp craves comfort.

Soothe, cool & calm your roots with our invigorating Scalp Serum. Slightly tingly & super hydrating, this dermatologist-tested serum will give your scalp a sense of relief from tight styles as it sinks into your roots. Formulated with Peppermint, Rosemary & Lavender oils to stimulate your senses, our serum is a universal must-have—from protective styles to locs to full out curls. (4 fl oz, $25)

PATTERN Treatment Mask...for when your hair needs a spa day.

Historic curl traditions come to new life with our rice water-infused Treatment Mask. Luxurious in feel & powerful in performance, this mask delivers slip, curl elongation & definition to coils. Formulated with softening & strengthening ingredients such as Rice Water Ferment & Moringa Seed Extract in a nod to ancestral, at-home remedies, your hair will be left hydrated, silky & pampered.(15 fl oz, $25)

Illustration for article titled Tracee's Take on Tradition: Pattern Beauty's Newest Products Evoke Cherished Rituals
Photo: Pattern Beauty

“When I started this company, I really talked a lot about and felt really strongly that so much of this—so much of us in this community and this very vast and beautiful demographic have become our own best experts, and we have been chemists in our own bathrooms. And I believe we should all have access to our most hydrated, and beautiful, and juicy, and joyful hair in our own bathrooms,” Ellis Ross explained.

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“But it comes from the fact that we are an extension of a long legacy, a beautiful legacy. Black hair has been at the center of political and social and cultural revolutions,” she continued. “We have had maps to freedom braided into our hair. We have learned about our selfhood, [our] womanhood sitting on the floor in between the knees of our mothers and our aunts; with cousins braiding each other’s hair and there are time-honored ancestral home remedies that are a part of our legacy. And this treatment collection is an innovative sort of modern evolution of those time-honored traditions...it just builds on these these traditions, you know, and this is the next phase in a way to honor your pattern.”

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For Black women, these are almost cellular memories—and as echoed in both Ellis Ross’ poetic take and Pattern’s new offerings, those simple but significant modes of connection and care are vital components of our culture. It’s also a timely reminder as we enter a very unique Black History Month, this time amid an ongoing global pandemic and racial reckoning.

“I don’t know that I was trying to send a message,” Ellis Ross maintained in reference to the timing of Pattern’s new releases. “I think honestly, I’m listening. I’m listening to what my experience has been and what all of us seem to be navigating in this time—how we honor ourselves and and how we adorn ourselves and the rituals that we partake in to care for ourselves and actually put love in action I think are incredibly important. And we see that these kinds of things actually end up becoming fuel in this really strange time.”

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Of course despite her very busy life and massive success, Ellis Ross isn’t immune to that strangeness—or the isolation we’ve all been experiencing these many months. “I mean, one of the things I miss terribly is being with my family in the house that I grew up in,” she shares, echoing our own longing as she muses, “all of us in the kitchen—my mom’s got five kids; there’s now husbands, wives and multiple grandbabies—and kids running in and out and cooking and talking and talking over each other and just all the action that is family—you know, for me and what it represents.

“And so I think the ability to tether ourselves to those things that remind us of who we are, remind us of what we come from, remind us of our love and how we love and what we love about ourselves, I think is incredibly important, and I think this treatment collection sort of speaks to that in the packaging and in the story that’s behind it and with it,” she continued. “It’s also, in my opinion, it’s really something that is a part of the extraordinary humanity of Black people in this country...you know, to take the scraps and turn them into a delicacy. And I think we are still on this journey of the arc of justice, on the pursuit of the promises of this country.”

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The Pattern Treatment Collection is available now, as are some seriously adorable explainers for the mask (including a clever bit of double-masking action) and the scalp serum. And as always, Pattern partners with and supports a variety of organizations and causes that echo its own mission of empowerment for people of color.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?

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In Tracee We Trust.

Lavender, peppermint and rosemary... that is my thing.