I’m a strong, independent woman with unique thoughts and opinions, but anything Tracee Ellis Ross does I will blindly follow like a lemming jumping off a cliff. When she launched a fashion line with J.C. Penney, I was one of the first to order a pair of wide-leg tuxedo slacks. A couple of months ago, I took a picture of her straight-back cornrows to my salon as inspiration for my vacation style. And when news of her new hair-care line hit, I cleared out all my wash-day favourites to make room for Pattern Beauty.
On top of the chic packaging and marketing campaign featuring flourishing Afros, I was most drawn to this celebrity launch because it felt like it was created specifically for me. The tagline: “Every curl has a story” spoke to the years I spent whipping up custom shea-butter mixes and aloe-juice spritzes in my dorm room.
These days, the natural-hair section in the beauty aisle is much more saturated, so I rarely need to DIY. However, there’s still a lack of products for coily hair types in big-name beauty retailers — and Pattern Beauty is poised to fill that void with a 10-piece lineup launching in Ulta stores this week.
I could run through all the Pattern products one by one, but I’m gonna cut to the one every woman with curly hair really cares about: the conditioner. For women with natural hair, conditioner is so much more than a post-shampoo step. You can use it to do a pre-shampoo treatment, you can wash your hair with it, you can even use it as a leave-in when mixed with a bit of water in a spray bottle. It’s the cornerstone of any Afro hair routine.
Pattern Beauty has three rinse-out conditioners available in the lineup — medium, heavy, and intensive — and a universal leave-in conditioner. When formulating these conditioners, Ross used her looser curls as a starting point (she uses the medium conditioner), but also wanted to create products that could work for tighter, Type 4 textures. And she intentionally made the bottles a whopping 13 ounces for people who "need more than a quarter-size of product."
Even still, I was skeptical of a conditioner that comes in a tube — regardless of how large that tube is. I assume that if it’s creamy enough to squeeze out of the packaging, then it’s not thick enough for me. But when I popped the cap on the Intensive Conditioner for Tight Textures, I was pleasantly surprised by the weight of it. It had the consistency of mayonnaise — the full-fat kind my mom used for her hair masks back in the ‘90s.
Once I put it on my soaking wet 4B curls, I immediately fell in love with the scent. It’s got a hint of floral fragrance that isn’t so overpowering that I have to stick my head out of the shower mid-detangling. Even though it’s thick, the Intensive Conditioner did give my hair slip. I was able to detangle my curls using the Pattern Beauty Shower Brush, and in the end, I had far fewer hairs in between the tines than usual.
While the tube makes it seem like this is a lightweight rinse-out, this is really a deep conditioner in disguise. After letting the cream sit for about 20 minutes, I rinsed it out with cool water and noticed very little excess conditioner going down the drain. My curls drank up all the much-needed moisture from the shea butter, vitamin E, and avocado oils, and were left feeling sleek and soft. But the best part? Knowing I can scoop out 10 more golf-ball size treatments, and not hit the bottom of the tube until spring.