As someone who started their natural hair journey only two years ago, I realized quickly the road to bomb curls is paved by trial and error. Transitioning from a relaxer is a bit of a toss-up, as you're never completely sure what your natural curls will look like in the end. I have combed the hair aisles for the best solutions to keep my curls popping (at least until day three).
As soon as I think I have my routine for my 3c hair down, something new comes along—promising to keep my curls better hydrated and more defined. And while there are a lot of great products out there to try, so many fall into the "for all curl types" category, which means they're not made specifically for me. Can't a girl get a little attention?
The answer to that question is yes, because Tracee Ellis Ross herself created Pattern Beauty, a line of products designed to enhance and celebrate curly, coil-y, and tight strands—not relax or tame them in any way, shape, or form.
Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross
Founded: Tracee Ellis Ross in 2019
Based In: California
Best Known For: Providing a range of products for natural hair types
Most Popular Product: Hydration Shampoo, Mist Spray
Fun Fact: Pattern Beauty regularly donates to organizations that support women and people of color
Other Brands You’ll Love: Miss Jessie's, As I Am
Though Pattern Beauty launched in 2019, it had actually been in the works for a decade.
“I’ve been dreaming of launching a haircare line for so long, because there is a community of extraordinary people—a big, bold, stunning community—that has unmet beauty needs that have not been addressed, not been serviced, not been understood, not been cared for, not been celebrated,” Ross said in an interview with Byrdie.
The line, which caters to curly hair types ranging from 3b to 4c, features refillable, reusable bottles and is cruelty-free. But one of its stand-out features is that it eschews the usual one-size-fits-all approach to hair, instead offering a range of products for curly, coiled, or tight hair types to customize conditioning and styling. In addition, Pattern Beauty's products feature zero relaxers or straightening products. Each is designed to let curls go free while looking their absolute juiciest best—or living their best life, as the brand puts it on its website.
"Take up space. Be who you are. I think that’s so much of what Pattern is about," Ross said of her brand's mission.
Ahead, discover the best products Pattern Beauty has to offer.
Products from Pattern Beauty can be bought individually or in bundles, like the Deluxe Bundle. Bundles come fully equipped for anything and everything you may need to tackle wash day, including a microfiber towel, shower brush, hair clip, spray bottle, shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, and hair serum.
This creamy shampoo comes out like silk and has a pearlescent look to it. Unlike most other curl cleansing products, it lathers up in a satisfying way even though it's made without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). The jasmine, bergamot, and sandalwood scent is subtle, earthy, and not distracting. After rinsing, hair feels good, clean, but not stripped—courtesy of the formula's blend of aloe vera leaf juice, coconut oil, and honey.
Pattern Beauty's conditioner is immediately intriguing—it's one of few brands I've seen that offers up a larger conditioner than shampoo. I've never really heeded the warnings of "dime-sized" amounts anyway, but it’s nice to have a product that is finally taking the way I use it into consideration. The conditioner comes in three iterations: medium (for curlies), intensive (for tight), and heavy (for coilies).
The heavy version is thick—like, really thick, so I found myself using less than I typically do during wash day. It clung to my curls with ease and I didn’t have to worry about any product sliding out of my hand. The scent is soft and clean, and the product feels buttery soft when worked into hair. It's best if you want heavy hydration without weighing hair down—though if your curls are super dry, you might want to leave it in for extra time to soak in as much moisture as possible.
The in-shower brush works great for detangling. It makes conditioner easily slide through hair, providing great slip as you work out any tangles. And, it's comfortable to hold and doesn't slip even when soaking wet. We love that it's made of nylon, which is notoriously great for detangling curly locks.
If you have tight curls, break up hair into small sections—the bristles on this brush are pretty concentrated.
Anyone with curly or thick hair knows: you need a strong hair clip to keep it in place. This one is amazing for holding up heavily conditioned locks, so you don't have to worry about conditioner sliding down your back or face. It's strong and sturdy—it contains iron, after all—so if you drop it, it won't shatter like other fragile clips made of plastic.
Though much lighter than the heavy conditioner, the leave-in is creamy, with some weight to it. It softens and defines curls in just one step—pretty revolutionary for someone who typically uses a slew of other curl defining products as well. Just squish it into wet hair and grab a microfiber towel to soak up the drips. It helps control frizz as hair air dries. It's also great if you want to free your hair of excess product and go (almost) all natural—it gives curls a healthy bounce and shine without looking too done or too perfect.
This rich cream is ideal for weaving braids, Bantu knots, or just keeping curls defined. It's chock full of nourishing shea butter, cacay oil, and sweet almond oil for extra hydration. An all-in-one cream for shine, hold, and leave-in conditioning, it's a desert-island product for sure.
This high-powered gel keeps your style locked down all day. It gives the strongest hold without making curls stiff, and has aloe vera for moisture. We love using it with a heated dryer to sculpt curls when we want serious hold. It also imparts a slight sheen.
To refresh your curls and coils in between shampoo days, the Hydrating Mist smells like a dream and gives curls much-needed moisture with coconut and avocado oils. Since it's a mist, it's lightweight, so curls keep their bounce and movement. It's our favorite product for when our curls need some juicing up.
To top off your natural-hair routine, this lightweight blend of oils including argan, sunflower, castor, sweet almond, apricot, and shea is the perfect finishing touch. Pat over hair to add subtle shine or gently massage into your scalp to relieve dryness and itching. We love that the serum leaves no greasy residue and smells delicious. Best of all, curls look more defined with added strength.