It’s been a long time coming but, finally, PATTERN Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross is available in the UK and we couldn’t be more delighted. This isn't just another beauty range with a celebrity name stamped on it, it is Ross’s passion project, carefully mastered with a resulting collection that truly caters for curls, coils and tight-textured black hair.
The black-ish actress and daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross spoke of PATTERN’s exclusive UK launch in Boots: 'What started as a dream 20 years ago has now become a reality: creating products that exceed the needs of the curly, coily and tight textured community.
'And now we get to grow our family by expanding to the UK. I’m so excited for PATTERN to continue sharing and revelling in the love language of our legacy – our beautiful crowns, brimming with the richness of our heritage, that can do and be anything that we can imagine. A celebration of our authentic beauty. A gentle invitation back to ourselves. An ode to freedom.'
In 2009, Ross set out to create effective formulae to meet the needs of this vast community. Despite facing 10 years of roadblocks, she remained true to her vision and the promise of the brand. In 2019, she finally launched PATTERN in the United States. In 2021, PATTERN expanded to Canada, and now PATTERN establishes its presence in the United Kingdom.
At the UK influencer launch, Ross didn’t just chat about her haircare line, which ranges from an accessible £9-£25, instead she changed into a bright orange swimsuit and jumped into a shower that had been specially installed, demonstrating to her guests exactly how she used her products.
The director and movie star also hosted a dinner which was attended by the likes of Fast and Furious star Nathalie Emmanuel, model Leomie Anderson, influencer Patricia Bright, broadcaster Julie Adenuga, podcast host Tolani Shoneye, and Stormzy’s stylist Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe.
So does PATTERN truly live up to the hype? Spoiler alert, yes it does. Natalie Corner, Grazia's deputy commercial editor, put a selection of products available exclusively at Boots to the test. She discovered that a little product really does go a long way, which isn’t usually the case on afro hair. Keep reading for her honest review...
PATTERN Beauty By Tracee Ellis Ross
My curls are 3c, so even though it can get matted if not washed, as soon as it’s wet it’s pretty easy to manage. I started with the cleansing shampoo which, at 230ml, I was surprised was smaller than the conditioner bottle at 384ml. But I need not have worried I would run through the bottle quickly because I used around half a palm size of the product and worked it through.
Be aware this is a cleansing shampoo, so don’t expect a lot of foaming action as it works to remove build-up and residue. It includes ingredients like antioxidant-rich Matcha Green Tea, Aloe Vera and Panthenol but isn’t sulphate-free. However, it doesn’t contain any harsh, hair-stripping solvents so my hair didn’t feel dried out which can happen after shampooing. I did feel the need to go in with another round to get rid of all of the product out of my hair after having my natural curls out. You can use the hydrating shampoo instead for an extra moisture boost.
I tested out the lightweight conditioner on my 3C hair. In the PATTERN collection, there are four different conditioners light, medium, heavy and a leave-in, all catered for different hair types from fine, curls, coils and tight-textured hair which makes wash day a whole lot easier when you have the right product to cater to your hair type and not just a catch-all.
The conditioner bottle is purposely bigger than the shampoo bottle, as many people with afro hair will attest to, we always need more conditioner and often run out of it before shampoo – especially for those who choose to co-wash. I have to confess I made the mistake of not reading the instructions first and squeezed way too much product out, thinking that I would need a large amount, and definitely did not. The lightweight conditioner, which features Coconut Oil, Irish Moss and Biotin, left my hair feeling soft and moisturised but use half as much as you think you need.
If there is one thing that makes wash day easier it’s a brush you can use in the shower, I’ve been using Tangle Teezer’s Wet Brush for Curly 3C to 4C hair which has been wonderful. However, PATTERN’s shower brush has longer bristles and is a little sturdier thanks to its thick handle. Either brush makes working the conditioner through your hair easy. The PATTERN shower brush isn’t harsh on your hair and detangles while still creating definition.
In the summer especially my scalp gets very dry, so oil or serum is ideal to reduce itchiness. I was delighted to learn that PATTERN has a jojoba oil hair serum in the collection that is super lightweight and felt very moisturising to my scalp. The only problem I had was with the application, for example, Cantu’s hair and scalp oil has a large nozzle that makes it easy to dispense directly onto the scalp, with the PATTERN bottle it’s a small pump that didn’t distribute as easily onto my scalp, with more of the oil sitting on my hair than I would have personally liked.
This whopping 443ml tub of styling cream is priced at £25 on Boots, which I must admit is probably more than I would be willing to pay for a styling product. But the thick buttercream consistency, which has Shea Butter, Cacay Oil and Sweet Almond Oil in, meant I only needed a very small amount to work through my wet hair. I preferred to use this on the back of my hair to create the curls I needed, on the front the gel creates a better hold for the curls that tend to frizz quickly. The styling cream would be ideal for twist-outs, braids and Bantu knots.
Miss Ross is really spoiling us with these extra large tubs of hair product. The PATTERN strong hold gel is probably my favourite out of the whole collection. It worked perfectly to create definition in my curls that frame my face and the curls I always find the trickiest to stay looking good, with no crispiness. Instead, they looked still wet but held firmly in place. The strong hold gel was also ideal for a slicked back bun style to prolong my hair before wash day. Another styling product at £25, but is likely to last a long time so the cost per use may not seem so high.
I’ve never really known how to make my edges look good, and have only ever used an old toothbrush to try and tease them into place. So receiving the fanciest most luxurious ever edge brush and mini comb I’ve ever seen made me want to treat my edges like royalty. The PATTERN Edge Tool is made of strong, vegan boar bristles and arrives in a gorgeous velvet pouch with gold brand lettering.
The PATTERN hydrating mist smells delicious, it has Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil, to really quench thirsty curls. Don’t mistake it for a detangling spray as I did, it’s better used as a curl reactivator for day three or four hair. My hairdresser explained to me last time that I should stop adding more product to my hair when my curls look frizzy, and instead reactivate it with water, something that didn’t occur to me. I’m still learning! But this hydrating mist works perfectly as the formula is lightweight enough not to overload my curls and brought them back to life when they were looking flat. Probably not a huge necessity at £18, but a lovely treat.