When Tracee Ellis Ross launched Pattern Beauty in 2019, she knew even then that she wanted to craft hot tools. Finally, three years into her journey as an entrepreneur with a sharply-honed beauty vision, the Pattern Beauty Blow Dryer has arrived. “[It’s] a part of my original mission—little did I know, it would take two years to evolve,” Ross muses while gleefully demoing the device.
Like many Black women, Ross recounts having a poor relationship with heat styling. For many of us, it conjures up vivid memories of hot combs sizzling through our mane or endless remarks about the dangers of heat damage. In the quest for healthy hair, many said to ditch the heat altogether. “I really longed to reframe the historical relationship of heat as submission, to heat as [a] possibility,” she says. Therein lies her mission with Pattern Beauty: “It is to exceed the needs of the curly, coily, and tight textured hair community,” Ross continues. “That part of the mission is inextricably tied to the other half, which is that we are an active space that is centered around the celebration of Black beauty. We are the subjects—and not the objects of— everything that we make. We are the center.”
And so, Ross looked to her personal experiences with hot tools to create a hair dryer she and other non-professionals could use with ease. To start, she was adamant that the tool had to be one color from the cord to the attachments for a sleek effect. Additionally, the dryer’s buttons should be easy to read, shouldn’t get too hot, and the attachments should slide and stay on with ease. I, like Ross, have long held a complicated relationship with hot tools; and hearing her speak to the importance of these elements was music to my ears.