From “Girlfriends” to “Black-ish,” Tracee Ellis Ross is always showing off one of her trademarks on screen. It’s her natural hair.
Her signature curls and a lifetime of maintaining them inspired her to launch Pattern Beauty, a natural hair care line for textured hair, in 2019.
Ross knows firsthand that natural hair care requires a unique set of techniques and routines. am.
“That doesn’t happen,” she told TODAY.com. I style it in braids.”
Her approach is simple. it doesn’t work for me. ”
The work Ross puts into her hair is how she achieves iconic results, giving TODAY.com a step-by-step guide on how she did the following eight styles.
“Cut is everything”
“The hair itself is Tracy-class,” she says of this photo. “We came out of the pandemic and it was really hairy, so my hair is longer than it was then.”
Before embarking on styling, Ross says he cuts off “a lot” of the ends because “the cut is everything.” She says it frames her face so well because her hair is cut that way.
“I have so many different textures and curl patterns all over my hair that I like to cut it like I’m wearing it.” I dropped my hair and cut my topiary in exactly the same way.
She says the rule of thumb is to straighten curly hair before cutting it, but she doesn’t do that.
“The key is to get your hair dry and cut, but not curly,” she explains. Let dry then pull.And my new trick was pulling with a comb and blow dryer, wide teeth.Comb and blow dryer.I don’t have to do that anymore.Now I have wide teeth. Install the blow dryer (pattern) on the comb.
She says this technique increases consistency.
“If you cut your hair while it’s still in its natural curl pattern, you’ll find that you’re cutting it in the same shape you wear it,” she says.
She also recommends cutting to a blunt end rather than shearing the ends.
Use your fingers to create volume and diffuse!
“It’s the same curl pattern,” Ross says, comparing this photo to the previous one. But “it’s a different day, a different texture, a different humidity level, a different water,” so her hair looks different.
Natural hair is capricious. The 50-year-old actor says his curl patterns have changed over the years. In her ‘girlfriend’ days, her curls were tighter and her hair more voluminous, but now she has to work harder to get the same look.
“Now that I’ve tinted the gray, it’s chemical, so it’s almost like a texturizer. My pattern is a little looser, so I don’t get the same volume as before,” she explains.
Her workaround is to use her finger as a pick and follow up with a real pick.
“I put my fingertips teasingly to the roots of my hair, but they’re not. And I lift the roots of my hair. And I like to pull, I like tortoiseshell picks because they’re smooth. I’ll get through it.” , never make it to the end.”
She says the key to this technique is to start at the root.
“Get in there and get some volume,” she says, adding that “Tracy diffuses it into the comb and then a lot[of it]to the roots,” which gives it a puffier look.
“I did this myself. So my hair, it’s part on the sides, and I also have a crazy hairline.
Ross says she learned how to part her hair in a way that complemented her unique hairline.
“It’s the deep side, but you have to pick the right place, and that’s why I like to go into this little niche,” she said, pointing to either side of her temple.
She says that if she goes to another place, “it won’t work because my hair will go in the direction I want it to go.”
She also said she usually splits the left side because it’s her favorite side of the face.
After mastering the part, Ross used styling cream to smooth the front and a rubber band to create a low ponytail. It diffuses the hair while it is in the ponytail and helps with volume.
know who you want to be
Ross says the photo was for a “Black-ish” photoshoot and knew what he wanted his hair to look like.
“I wanted one of those horse braids. Like a really thick braid, she used bag hair.
Ross famously owned her during the first two seasons of ‘Girlfriend’ because he didn’t want a stylist unfamiliar with his hair to damage it.
“‘Dark,’ I didn’t style my hair,” she said.
She later allowed a stylist on set to style her hair, but it was “always a collaboration.”
“state, state, state”
“I brushed my hair with a paddle brush. Then I used a wide-toothed comb to really get the hair through and created an outer French braid, front to back,” she said. I will explain.
Ross works out regularly and knows that many black women avoid working out because they don’t want to ruin their hair. She said that sweat takes its toll on her hair, but she found a trick.
“Sweat really tangles my hair,” she says. “You have to smooth the hair for it to work. To remove it, you use a (pattern) detangler.”
She sometimes applies detangling agents and conditioners before her workouts and said she works out like that so it’s easier to manage after you’re done.
In general, her guide to managing hair and exercise is, “Condition, condition, condition, condition, and do some more conditioning.”
Get ready-to-use style
Ross says it may take a quick A to B style to get her over.
“This is a bun with curly bangs. Nothing happened here. Diffuse the hair, then put it up. And that’s it. Good. Quick.”
know your hair
“This is me at home. I made it three buttons. You can see my lovely cute side.”
Ross used lots of leave-in conditioner and styling cream for a smooth look, and used hairpins to complete the style.
“I had two buttons on each side, a bottom button and a top button,” she says.
Ross says he’s learned over the years what works for his hair and what doesn’t.
“This is everyday hair. So my hair doesn’t do set styles like twist outs. It doesn’t work in my pattern. I don’t know why,” she says. She works and sticks to it.
For example, what is very characteristic of her is that she closes her eyes and part.
“I use (my) fingernails (to break up), but honestly you can’t do it in a mirror,” she says. Say goodbye and check it out.”
Ross says the style was done by hairstylist Marsha Hamilton, who worked on “dark.” Simple yet elegant.
No matter what hairstyle Ross ends up with, she has only one goal.
This article originally appeared on TODAY.com.