Pattern Beauty’s new heating system will blow your mind

Of the many relationships black women have with their hair, very few are as frowned upon as heat styling. Every woman’s journey most likely began with the black girl’s rite of passage of hot combs, which almost instantly conjure up visual (or aural) memories of a sizzle, crackle, or pop (in the head from our mother figure standing over us with the culprit in hand). Heat styling is like the ex we’ve been warned to avoid but keep coming back to anyway. Despite the potential problems (heat damage) waiting for its chance to strike, the thrill of trying a new tool is as exciting as watching a budding romance develop.

There’s no end to the lengths we’ll go to transform, bend and stretch our hair into the style we want, whether that means cutting it into a ton of heat protectants or choose protective styles to make the procedure more seamless and less damaging to the hair. But if Tracee Ellis Ross has her way, heat styling and hate don’t have to go hand in hand when it comes to natural hair.

If you’ve been following Tracee Ellis Ross closely enough, she never leaves the house without her signature red lip and, of course, the soft bed of curls that frame her face. From sleek straight backs to “Curly Bob” to Bantu knots, showcase the versatility of black hair has always been the cornerstone of Ross’s look. For so long, Ross’ hair care routine was a mystery, but highly coveted. In 2019, she calmed the storm Pattern beauty, the star’s hair care brand explicitly formulated for thick, curly, natural hair, continues that mission. However, shampoos and conditioners could only take credit for so many of Ross’ signature styles. It turns out that the multihyphenate trick involves blow dryinga process black women have long abhorred.

Today, January 9th, Pattern Beauty enters the hot tool game with its first blow drying system, The pattern blow dryer ($189). Dipped in a matte caramel brown shade, the Pattern Blow Dryer is designed to be the solution for anyone who wants to minimize drying time and stretch hair as best as possible to create a variety of styles. No fluttering or weak limbs on this side, especially when the system comes with four different accessories: a diffuser, wide tooth comb, brush and concentrator. In this new wave of high-tech tools, busy multi-stylers have high expectations to live up to – just look to your TikTok FYP for thousands of reviews and debates about which styler is worth the hype. Unfortunately, the market isn’t as saturated with drying tools that keep thick, tangled strands top of mind. But with Pattern Beauty’s foray into hot tools, could this be the sigh of relief black women have been longing for? I put the pattern bean dryer to the test to find out.

The package

When I opened the Pattern Blow Dryer box, I was immediately drawn to the light brown shade that would stand out like a sore thumb among the sea of ​​black blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons that reside in my hot tool organizer. The sleek semi-matte finish was a luxurious touch that made me feel like the proud owner of a salon, even in the comfort of my bedroom. I picked up the dryer to assess its weight and comfort in my hand. As a lazy beauty lover who wants nothing more than to never feel the pain of strained arms after a drying session, the weightless feel of Pattern’s iteration alone was confirmation that this wash day would be different from the previous ones.

pattern beauty blow dryer

Hair dryer and accessories

Nerisha Penrose

The functions

So much of our hair routine relies on durable brushes, combs, heat tools that can withstand thicker textures, and hair that can hold up to a range of temperature settings. If Tracee Ellis Ross understands one thing, it’s that hair is a black woman’s most prized possession — and so is her wallet. That said, the Pattern Blow Dryer retails for $189 and comes equipped with four attachments. The accessories are easily the best parts of this drying system, which can be locked into place with a double locking button on the sides of the dryer mouth.

For starters, the comb attachment mimics the teeth of a wide-tooth comb, a tool I often use to detangle my hair at the start of my wash day, eliminating the need to rip an extra comb through your strands. Next on my list of favorite attachments is the brush which is made after Pattern Beauty’s Shower Brush, and is designed with scattered bristles that stretch the hair for smoother styles. The concentrator nozzle focuses the flow of heat (or cool air, depending on your mood) exactly where it’s intended to target, perfect for those trying to capitalize on the ’90s exhaust resurgence. Finally, the diffuser acts as the team player, working to give high volume a la Ross’s trademark voluminous ringlets or speed up drying time for luscious twist-outs.

I crawl my fingers into the heating tool and land on a button that activates the cold air function and with the push of a button locks the temperature down, unlike other traditional hair dryers that have to be pressed and released repeatedly to release cold air. As my fingers continue their tour, they encounter the dryer’s main function buttons: three heat temperatures and two speed settings.

pattern beauty blow dryer

Courtesy

The process

I’m as indecisive as you can be about my hair, so I often choose to throw on a wig to minimize manipulation of my natural hair. My wig preparation includes a good washing routine and a simple and quick drying session. After dousing my hair in a heat protectant, I clipped on the brush attachment to see how quickly it could dry my hair. For the purpose of this review, I split my hair in half to test the attachment of the brush on one side and the wide tooth comb on the other. Since my hair is a few months out of a “kiddie” relaxer, not all of my curls showed up to the party, so the diffuser will have to sit out this time. As for the concentrator, I decided to use that piece at the very end for a well-rounded blowout.

Turning the temperature to the highest option and speed, the engine wasn’t loud enough to wake the adjacent rooms, but it wasn’t the quietest either. I looked over at my watch to take the time – 8.08. The scattered bristle design looked intimidating at first glance, but glided effortlessly through my strands with no issues. I watched my curls separate and lengthen with each brush stroke, resulting in voluminous, stretched strands on one side. The time is 8:14. I switched to the wide tooth comb and was even more surprised at how gentle the comb was on my hair. The rounded teeth weren’t harsh on my scalp, but it took a few more turns than the bristles for this side to be completely dry, partly because the teeth are wider and sparser on this attachment. Not bad that it’s only 8:26.

The verdict

As shown in the photo above, the wide tooth side was slightly flatter than the bristle side. Advice for those with thicker hair: The brush attachment will be your best friend. Of the two attachments I tested, the brush seemed to dry my hair faster than the wide tooth comb, which is an instant A+ in my book because I no longer have to use harsh metal comb attachments or rough handheld bristles or Denman brushes that can pull and scratch the scalp. The wide-toothed comb attachment is still a favorite. It is better suited to those looking to lengthen their curls into a Flexi rod set or other natural styles where volume isn’t necessarily a priority. Overall, I love how quickly and easily my hair dries. Even with my hands covered in heat protectant spray and leave-in conditioner, the dryer didn’t slip through my hands or cause accidents. Talk about a win! Additionally, the heat settings were warm enough to get the job done without hot flushes or burning smells reminiscent of a hair salon. No matter what style you’re trying to achieve, I love that Pattern’s heating system has an attachment to anything, well, hair patterns and textures.

Main photo by Nerisha Penrose

Beauty trade editor

Nerisha is the beauty trade editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses and spends far too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.

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