As a proud member of the natural hair community for 15 years, I've seen all types of hair brands come and go - all with the claim of defining curls, adding moisture and being the new "IT" collection for all of us curly girls. Some brands definitely made big waves within the natural hair community and as the movement continued, others wanted in on the action, including big brands that never used to be inclusive (like ever), and of course celebrities.
My straight hair before.
My curls after.
As a lover of all things beauty and hair, Tracee Ellis Ross is a fashion and hair icon all her own and was a trailblazer in her own right. She was one of the first black women to wear her hair in its natural state YEARS before it became a movement and now, a trend. So when I found out last fall that she was launching her own haircare brand, Pattern, I knew I HAD to try it. Because, duh, it's Tracee!
Of course, with any new product launch, the natural hair nazis were out in true form and the reviews were a mixed bunch. The overall thought was that it was great for looser textured curls, any tighter and it was flop. As fate would have it, I received a PR package shortly after it launched so I decided I was up for the challenge for my super thick and curly fro.
Needless to say, I felt in my gut that it could go really good, or REALLY bad. So I cleared my schedule and began my wash day ritual and this was my experience:
From (L to R): Pattern Hydration Shampoo, Pattern Heavy Conditioner For Coilies, Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum & Pattern Leave-In Conditioner
When I first opened my PR package, I was IMPRESSED! The packaging was so chic, so special and just so TRACEE! Even if I didn't end up liking the products, I'm an artist so I can at least appreciate the packaging and marketing which was so captivating. The package even include a Manifesta - an ode to black hair and curls of all textures - and I even got a Denman brush, microfiber towel, hair clip and a fine mist water bottle. A natural girls' best friend!
Pattern Hydration Shampoo
First up was the Hydration Shampoo. After several tries with other shampoos that have dried my hair out in the past, for me, this shampoo would be the true test to see how the line would take to my hair. Also, after having my hair straightened for two weeks, I was pleasantly surprised that not only did my hair feel hydrated while shampooing but my hair was slowly reverting back to its natural state! The shampoo was truly hydrating, created a gentle lather and left my hair feeling super soft. After rinsing out the product, my curls were already popping.
Pattern Heavy Conditioner For Coilies and the Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum
Next, I deep conditioned with the Pattern Heavy Conditioner For Coilies and the Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum. The conditioner was a bit thick for my liking but I made sure to drench each section with water to help distribute the conditioner evenly which made a huge difference. I also applied the Jojoba Oil for an extra moisture boost and used the "Green House Method" with a hot head bonnet and plastic cap for about 20 minutes to trap in moisture. After I rinsed it out, my hair was uber soft and hydrated, so even though I didn't like the texture of the Conditioner For Coilies, it did it's job. Period.
Pattern Leave-In Conditioner
Because the wash and shampoo process was so seamless, it made the styling process a literal dream! I applied the Leave-In Conditioner to each section, applied water to distribute the product evenly, and detangled with the Denman Brush (a must-have). I loved the texture of the Leave-In Conditioner (really creamy) but I was a little apprehensive about it being enough to style my hair, so I kept it simple with a traditional "Wash & Go".
After detangling each section, I applied a little Jojoba Oil to the ends of my hair and applied it onto each section to smooth my curls. It took only 25 minutes because my hair was super easy to detangle and so soft which made styling it a piece of cake! Afterwards, I sat under the hair dryer for 30 minutes and finished drying with a diffuser from roots to tips.
The Final Look:
When I tell ya'll this is one of thee BEST "Wash & Gos" I've done in a long time, I mean it! After drying, I fluffed it out with my hair pick and my curls rose in all their glory! All of the products worked wonders in my type 4, normal porosity, highly dense curly hair - I was literally amazed!
Tracee DID that! My hair was super supple and because I only used one product, it turned out big and fluffy but still had definition; the ultimate goal for curly hair. I would definitely rate this product line an A-.
I always tell people that each head of hair is different and that products work differently even if you have the same supposed "type" of hair. It's NEVER an exact science. But I can truly say that Pattern Beauty worked in my hair even after seeing tons of mixed reviews (and I obviously had my doubts) but I took a chance and was really shook. Pattern Beauty proved me wrong and has allowed me to STAN for Tracee Ellis Ross even more!
Featured image by Annisa LiMara/xoNecole
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images