Actress Tracee Ellis Ross is gracing the cover of Essence magazine‘s October 2019 hair issue rocking a fierce fro and a silver fringe ensemble that’s just as fierce.
A diamond bracelet adorns her right wrist while a matching necklace accentuates her neck. Ross’ eyes look as if they are gazing directly into the camera, and are ready to let you into the “Queen of Natural Chic’s” soul.
Essence‘s hair issue with Ross’ on the cover comes right on time, as the famed actress just launched her own haircare line called Pattern Beauty. In the spread, Ross wears a handful of diverse hairstyles from exaggerated curly afros adorned with baby’s breath like the late Minnie Ripperton to braided updos.
In the issue, Ross shows that she’s the “mane attraction,” and discusses why she’s happy that women can identify with her, her squad of girlfriends, when she first realized that black was beautiful, and her new haircare line.
“The truth is, I’m glad they can identify with me because I identify with them. I feel like we are a community of sisters out here,” Ross said while speaking about the women who find her relatable.
“That kind of makes me cry a little bit, because we are a community of sisters told by mainstream society that we are not the thing, and I know I’ve had to make my own way through that messaging. I look out and see other sisters and think, I see you. Do you see me? Because I see you.”
The 46-year-old actress who’s mostly known for her role as Joan Clayton on UPN’s Girlfriends talked about how she has a diverse girl gang that she can go to.
“I have a gang of girlfriends. I have great siblings. I cry when I need to cry. I sleep when I need to. I get down on my knees. I meditate,” Ross said. “I have friends who are in my life for everything and people who are steps ahead of me who I go to for mentorship. I share my vulnerability, my shame, my hurt, my loneliness.”
Ross’ new haircare line Pattern Beauty has been in the making for a very long time.
“Ten years ago, when Girlfriends ended, I wrote a pitch for a line of hair care products. It has been 30 years in the trenches of my hair. Twenty years of dreaming. Ten years of trying, strategizing and asking. Five years of continuing to learn,” she explained.
“Four years with chemists, and 74 samples later, we’re here. I am launching a hair care line for curly, coily and tight, textured hair to empower people and meet the unmet needs of our community at a price point we can afford because we know that we need a lot of product in all this hair. Pattern’s products are very important to me”
Ross also talked about her very own haircare journey, which eventually led her to create her own products.
“It dates back to high school when I would wake up, and before I even put my glasses on, I would call to check the weather. If it was anything over 67 percent humidity, I would not wash my hair. I stopped relaxing my hair the summer before tenth grade. I ran track, and I found that putting heat on my hair was too difficult. But I couldn’t figure out how to wear it. I tried every product under the sun,” Ross explained.
“Then, about 20 years ago, I went into a salon and a guy was like, “Oh, my God. Do you know how many people come in here with a magazine picture of your hair and tell me that’s what they want? I tell them I’m going to have to sew it in.” And I was like, “No, no, no. It’s not about sewing it in—it’s about having the right products.” We have to have the right products to nourish, hydrate, moisturize and soothe our hair. With the right products and tools, our hair can do anything. That’s when I starting thinking about the idea of creating my own product line.”