Tracee Ellis Ross: ‘I used to beat my curls into submission’

Tracee Ellis Ross tried to “beat her curls into submission” when she was younger because she believed her natural hair wasn’t the “right” look.

The Black-ish actress took to Instagram over the weekend to post a slideshow of pictures showing her different hairstyles over the years and explained to her followers that it took her a long time to accept and love her locks. Tracee also recalled how she damaged her hair by trying out different ways to relax her curls.

“I can literally chronicle my journey of self-acceptance through my journey with my hair. Growing up, society told me there was a right way to wear my hair and a right way to look,” she candidly wrote in the caption. “Those ideals didn’t match what I saw in the mirror, so I tried to beat my curls into submission- putting body lotion in my hair, sleeping in rollers, blowouts, relaxers, texturisers, ponytails so tight they gave me a headache; and I even whipped out an iron (the kind you use for clothes) in an attempt to straighten it that way.


“Trying to make my hair look ‘easy and breezy’, ‘bouncin’ and behavin” actually had the opposite effect (sic). My hair was broken, damaged, and tired of trying to be something that it wasn’t.”

But one day, Tracee, who is the daughter of singer Diana Ross and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein, finally decided to give up the products and embrace her signature tresses.

“It was a long road to knowing, understanding and, eventually, loving my curls. Now I just let them be the happy little ringlets and zigzags of joy they want to be,” the 46-year-old concluded.

Scandal actress Kerry Washington heaped praise on Tracee in the comments section and said she loves her curls too.

“I love this! And I love you! And MY curls love YOUR curls and I’m so grateful that ALL the curls are all FAB & FEIRCE (sic) & FREE,” she posted alongside a string of heart emojis.