Fab Naturalista! Tracee Ellis Ross is a curly-haired queen on the cover of ESSENCE

Fab Naturalista! Tracee Ellis Ross is a curly-haired queen on the cover of ESSENCE

Article By Debra Wallace // EEW Magazine // Natural Hair

Tracee Ellis Ross is flaunting her melanin magic and juicy curls, and is inspiring textured-hair women everywhere to embrace their fierce, fabulous, flawless crowns, too.

The Golden Globe-winning actress, who identifies as Christian, is a curly-haired queen on the cover of Essence, where she celebrates her blackness and shares her journey to seeing her full worth, potential, and beauty.

The 46-year-old daughter of living legend, Diana Ross, reveals that she once had moments of self-doubt while living in her mother’s shadow.

“As Diana Ross’s child, you wonder whether you will become anything in your own right,” she said. “So it was a really big moment to go from being on the cover of Essence with my mom to having my own cover. Now I’ve had three on my own and one with my mom.”

Nowadays, the black and Jewish entertainer, who feels a deep connection to both Christianity and Judaism as a result of growing up in an interfaith household, became black women’s best friend in 2000 on her hit sitcom “Girlfriends,” portraying Joan Carol Clayton, Esq.

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Though that role has ended, she still feels a certain closeness to other melanated queens. “I feel like we are a community of sisters out here. 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,” she said, adding, “I look out and see other sisters and think, I see you. Do you see me? Because I see you.”

Photo Credit: Essence

Photo Credit: Essence

Fans will be seeing even more of Ross in her current role on ABC’s award-winning “Black-ish,” and they get to hear her narrating its latest spin-off, “Mixed-ish.”

Though Ross has clearly found her footing and is in a great space career-wise, she expected to be thriving even sooner than this. According to her, after “Girlfriends” ended, she anticipated countless roles being offered, but that didn’t happen.

In her quiet season, she said, ‘It allowed me to continue to create an unbreakable, unshakable foundation for my life, a relationship with myself that is based not on what everybody outside is saying, but on what I believe is good and right.”

RELATED: Find your sparkle! Shine for God’s glory

Ross continued, “It allowed me to continue to grow as a person and to realize I was deserving and worthy. I could own my success, but I could also own what might look like failure. I could literally be my own best friend and mirror, knowing that my worth is not tangled up in what I think I should be getting.”

Now the sought-after actress is embarking on a new journey as a beauty boss. She is founder and CEO of a hair company called Pattern Beauty, “because it is about the magical patterns of our hair.”

RELATED: Hair Love short film celebrates the beauty of natural hair

Pattern’s product line currently offers four conditioners, two oil serums, and a few key accessories to help women of color confidently rock their kinks, coils, curls and waves—something Ross was not always able to do.

Back in high school, she said, “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.”

She doesn’t have that problem anymore and is hoping her Pattern hair care line will solve natural-hair issues for other women as well.

Read more of the feature here.


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