Tracee Ellis Ross Opened Up About Her Hair Journey and Aging

The actress spoke with Megan Thee Stallion about how she views her appearance in a recent interview.

Tracee Ellis Ross wearing a yellow and blue patterned dress against a yellow background
Photo: Getty Images

Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross is known for her pearls of wisdom relating to wellness, aging, and beauty. So it should come as no surprise that Ross opened up to Megan Thee Stallion about her hair journey and how she feels about nearing her 50th birthday in a new cover story for The Cut. And trust, her philosophy on getting older will have you looking forward to all the good stuff to come in your own life.

"It feels like total excitement," Ellis Ross told Megan when talking about the next chapter of her life. "The strange part is I turn 50 this year, and I feel like I'm at the beginning."

She may feel like she's just getting started, but Ellis Ross seems to have already learned and accomplished plenty. For instance, her own experiences inspired her to launch her hair-care brand, Pattern Beauty, in 2019, a project that she said was a full decade in the making. "It started because of my own personal journey with my hair, trying to make sense of how my hair grew out of my head, products that didn't exist, a world that wasn't mirroring back the truth of my own beauty," she told Megan.

Over the years, Ellis Ross tried all kinds of styling techniques, including chemical relaxers, sleeping in rollers, and even using a clothing iron on her strands, she explained in the interview. She told Megan she did her own hair on the first season of her TV series Girlfriends, and the rapper admitted she doesn't always trust hairstylists on set either. (ICYMI: Here's how Megan keeps her natural hair healthy.)

"People are always confused on what to do with our hair, and it's not that hard," said Megan, with Ellis Ross adding, "People are always like, 'I know you have difficult hair.' I'm like, 'I don't have difficult hair. You just don't know how to do my hair.'"

After years of Ellis Ross "nursing [her] hair back to health," it continues to evolve. "Now I'm 49, so I have grays and am coloring my hair, and the textures changed again," said Ellis Ross in the interview. But she's all about embracing her hair along with every other change to her appearance. "I feel the sexiest I've ever felt," she said. "Even with all the working out, [my body is] just a little softer. My butt's bigger. My boobs are bigger. A lot changes as I've gotten older!"

Ellis Ross seems to take her exercise routine — which includes intense gym sessions, at-home workouts, and gyrotonics — seriously. She's previously indicated that she loves working out because of the way it makes her feel. "It allows for a deep connection within my body where the workout is more about how it feels — beautiful and sexy and strong while I'm doing it," she previously told Shape when discussing her regular Tracy Anderson workouts. "I work out mostly for that strength. When I'm strong, I can make it through so much."

And she's only felt stronger and more confident over time. "I'm so much more comfortable in my skin," said Ellis Ross in her recent interview with The Cut. She went on to praise the way Megan has broken barriers by taking ownership of herself while still in her 20s, saying, "It gives me a different sense of, Oh, I can do that. And I'm not alone."

Though in different stages in their lives and careers, the pair agreed that women "don't have to be one thing," as Ellis Ross put it. "I can be a soft and quiet person today and a bold and sexy power woman the next day. I can be a boss-ass bitch and I can be the delicate woman." (

Megan agreed, summing it up flawlessly: "I am strong, but I'm also very much a tulip." Someone really needs to turn that into a bumper sticker, because she couldn't have up it better.

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