Actress, producer, and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross has undeniably built a beauty empire with her haircare brand, Pattern, which first launched in 2019. Now, three years into her tenure as a beauty boss, the star is making new waves in the space with the release of her brand’s first blow dryer, a routine essential that’s been in development—or at least on her wish list—since even before Pattern’s inception. To round out the product offerings, Pattern has also released an oil-based Shine Spray and Heat Protectant, each priced at $20.
“The blow dryer was a part of my original vision—little did I know that it would take two years to figure out how to do it properly,” Ellis Ross shares. “Like so many of us, I had a negative relationship with heat. I really longed to reframe the historical relationship of heat as submission to a new narrative of possibility.”
Her personal healthy hair journey started after she needed to nurse her hair back to health after over-straightening it, while still starring on television. “I had to figure out ways to style my hair and do it safely, and in that process, I discovered—it was actually stylist Scott Williams—and I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ and he was like, ‘I’m going to use a low-heat setting, and we’re going to discover new things.'”
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This new dryer is Ellis Ross’s way to reframe the way we all think about heat styling. “I wanted to create a dryer that could be used not only by someone who’s gone to beauty school, but people in their own bathrooms—I really feel that people should have access to their most beautiful selves in their own bathrooms,” she adds.
As for her current at-home styling routine? The actress often starts by detangling her hair with a paddle brush, then finishes her look by activating the dryer’s wide-tooth comb attachment. “It’s like our [manual] wide-tooth comb, which is one of my favorites. I do a paddle brush, and then the wide-tooth comb, especially if I’m going to braid my hair. I like there to be air in my hair before I braid it, so I can grab my sections.”
Although the Pattern Blow Dryer has a number of built-in capabilities that make it simple to elongate and smooth curls, Ellis Ross notes that the tool isn’t designed to rival the sleek results you get from your favorite flat iron. “The intention is not for bone-straight hair—you can get that if that’s what you want, but for everyone, it’s about your comfort level,” she advises. “It’s heat, start low. Start with the lowest setting, see how that feels on your hair, practice, and see what that does for you.”
To put Pattern’s customizable and streamlined hot tool to the test, four BAZAAR beauty editors with curl types ranging from 2A to 4A, tested the dryer and its attachments over the course of a week on their wet and damp hair. Read on for their thoughts on whether or not the Pattern Blow Dryer is truly worth the investment.
Jenna Rosenstein, beauty director
How I Tested
I have 2A/2B hair—though you wouldn’t know it, because I never wear it curly. I always rough dry, flat iron, then curl my hair to get soft, even waves. What struck me first about the Pattern dryer was how chic it looks. I love the neutral tone, and I wouldn’t mind leaving it out on my bathroom vanity. I decided to split my hair in half and do half curly with the diffuser attachment and half with the smoothing attachment.
Ease of Use
This dryer feels great in your hand, and it’s very easy to use. But what I noticed right away is that it doesn’t get very hot or blow air very hard … which is not a bad thing! Every hairstylist will tell you that other dryers like the Dyson should be kept out of the hands of impatient non-stylists, because we all use settings that are too hot and too hard for our hair, resulting in damage. Drying your hair is about using just the right amount of heat to dry it quickly but not haphazardly. I really felt like the Pattern dryer got just hot enough to dry hair without compromising it, but that might take some getting used to.
It’s definitely pricier than a drugstore hair dryer, but not as expensive as the Dyson. Considering all the attachments and how chic it looks, it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a new dryer that works on all curl types and helps protect your curls from heat damage, this is the perfect choice.
Jamie Wilson, beauty editor
How I Tested
I washed my 3C hair and wrapped it in a microfiber towel for 10 minutes. After that, I applied a small amount of leave-in conditioner and heat protectant, lightly detangled with a brush, and split my hair into four equal sections. On damp hair, I used the diffuser attachment on two sections, set to maximum heat and low air flow. For the other two sections, I used the wide-tooth comb attachment set to high air flow and maximum heat.
Ease of Use
I rarely blow-dry my hair, but the attachments were intuitive and easy to secure to the dryer. After a quick read of the user guide, I was well versed on the functions of its cool shot button and the ion button too. Overall, it was not complicated.
I think the Pattern Beauty blow dryer is worth it. For $189, you receive four attachments (the diffuser, nozzle, brush, and wide-tooth comb). The dryer itself features three heat settings, two air settings, a lock-in cool shot button, and the ion button (when turned on, it smooths the cuticle; when turned off, it adds more volume).
Let me start by saying this is the prettiest blow dryer I’ve ever had—truly! However, I do have a love-hate relationship with heat styling tools. They have both given me amazing-looking hair and tons of breakage and damage as I tried to beat my curls into submission as a teen. So I tend to use them in moderation now.
Initially, I was perplexed but grew to be pleasantly surprised that even at the highest heat setting, the dryer never got too hot. I didn’t worry once about possible heat damage. Actually, this would be a good choice to use during summer, because you won’t have a heat stroke in the bathroom.
I love that the wide-tooth comb moved with ease through my hair, never once snagging it. It is my favorite of the two attachments and is a great first step for stretching my curls if I ever decide to go the silk press route. And even though I don’t love diffusers, I wanted to test this one. I like that the attachment covered a wide surface area and didn’t leave my hair frizzy (I made sure to keep the air on low).
My one area of caution goes out to anyone whose hair takes forever to dry. To save time, I would recommend working on damp hair instead of soaking-wet strands, only because the heat settings don’t seem to get as hot as traditional dryers. But overall, I’m excited to play around with this some more.
Katie Intner, associate beauty editor
How I Tested
I have wavy, medium-thick, keratin-treated hair, so I started my dry like any other: with 70 percent dry hair. I typically use a curling iron on my hair, so my blow-dry method is to get the roots and crown looking sleek, and rough-dry the mid-shaft to ends.
With the Pattern dryer, I first used the concentrator nozzle to rough-dry my hair before going in with the wide-tooth comb to finish drying and straighten it out. I soon realized the wide-tooth comb was slightly too wide for my hair and barely dried my hair, so I switched to the straightening brush, which worked like a charm. Lastly, I used the straightening brush to smooth out my roots and hairline.
Ease of Use
I’m a Dyson girlie, so to me, the dryer was a little heavier than expected, but I appreciated how the control buttons were easy to toggle back and forth (there’s nothing worse than trying to switch the heat and fumbling with the device. The one thing I was craving from this dryer was a round brush attachment. As much as the straightening brush made my ends sleek, my roots weren’t able to get straight due to the size of the brush. I ended up taking a round brush and the concentrated nozzle to DIY it, which worked great!
This dryer is on par with other hair dryers on the market. But a hair dryer that comes with four attachments and is available for less than $200 is a good deal.
For my wavy, sometimes frizzy hair, this dryer worked well, but I wouldn’t reach for it on the regular, as it didn’t help with my problem area (my roots). If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool that doesn’t cost upward of $200, this blow dryer fits the bill.
Tiffany Dodson, associate beauty commerce editor
How I Tested
While I typically wear my 4A hair in its natural, curly state, I usually opt to air dry instead of using a diffuser, which is why I was excited to test Pattern’s nylon and aluminum version. After washing and detangling my hair in the shower with the help of the brand’s coveted Shower Brush (one of my holy grail beauty favorites), I squeezed the excess moisture from my ends and gave my curls a quick shake to loosen them up. Next, I added about a handful of leave-in conditioner, spritzed on some heat protectant, and fired up my blow dryer.
To start my drying experience, I snapped in the diffuser attachment first, which aims to simulate the results of my beloved air dry. Its ventilated prongs made the process a literal breeze, and encouraged an even distribution of airflow to my damp curls. I primarily toggled between the dryer’s low and medium heat and speed settings, as I’m dealing with the lingering effects of minor heat damage and still a little paranoid about using tools. And to add extra volume to my roots midway through my dry, I swapped its diffuser attachment for the wide-tooth comb, which provided the perfect amount of lift.
Once my hair was completely dry, I ended up with a little frizz—which is normal for me if I don’t use gel or mousse—but overall had nice curl definition and an even dry in less than 10 minutes.
Ease of Use
One of my favorite aspects about the Pattern Blow Dryer, aside from its streamlined clay tone, is the fact that it’s basically foolproof. Whether you’re new to at-home tools or a seasoned professional, the hair dryer is simple to use. The alignment of each of its buttons makes it simple to change settings without having to stop and physically look at the tool. And once each attachment was clicked in, I never worried about it accidentally disconnecting. As an added bonus, the attachments can be added either vertically or horizontally, which maximizes their efficiency. Plus, since the body of the dryer never gets too hot to touch, maneuvering it around my head to suit my specific hair needs was easy, especially since its power cord has plenty of extra length.
Considering the blow dryer looks a lot more expensive than it actually is at less than $200, and that it includes four attachments, a built-in ion generator, and a professional-grade motor, I’d say you get plenty of bang for your buck with this hair tool.
Although I tend to minimize my use of hot tools nowadays, I can honestly say I’m more inclined to include them in my regular hair routine after trying the Pattern Blow Dryer. Not only did using its diffuser drastically cut down on my drying time overall, but trialing attachments like the concentrator nozzle, wide-tooth comb, and brush attachments made it even more fun to play with the length and definition of my curls.
Final rating: 4/5
Just about anyone with a head full of curls, coils, or tightly textured hair can appreciate the thoughtful technology behind the Pattern Blow Dryer, especially with its range of attachments and highly regulated heat output. Though many of our editors prefer a hot tool with slightly more juice, the power behind this dryer is just right for smoothing or drying hair while minimizing heat damage.
- Includes four attachments with vertical and horizontal positioning capabilities
- Somewhat limited drying capabilities with three heat and two speed settings
- Heat output may not be intense enough for some users
The Pattern Blow Dryer is available for $189 online at patternbeauty.com.
Associate Beauty Commerce Editor
Tiffany Dodson is currently the associate beauty commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she specializes in trend forecasting, building relationships with major and emerging brands, and crafting shopping stories—from holiday gift guides to product road tests. Tiffany’s work has previously been featured in outlets like SELF, Bustle, and Teen Vogue, and she’s been quoted as a commerce and beauty expert in publications and platforms like The Business of Fashion and NPR’s Life Kit podcast.