Love her luscious locks? The actress dishes on how she maintains that glossy, curly mane

By Brittany Talarico
February 24, 2015 02:00 PM

When you’re not cracking up at Tracee Ellis Ross’s antics on the hit show
, you’re probably suffering from a case of hair envy.

From smooth top knots, to billowing curly bobs, Ross shows off her versatile look onscreen and in real life — just check out her popular hair blog for curly girl style tips.

It’s no surprise Diana Ross‘s daughter has awesome hair, but the actress and faithful user of Optimum’s Amla Legend hair products told PEOPLE that loving her look took time. Below, see what she had to say about her mane.

Chelsea Lauren/Getty

Have you always loved your hair?
It was a long journey from childhood. For so many years I was trying to beat my hair into submission, trying to get it to look like someone else’s hair and I didn’t know how. I remember going through a phase where I even put beer in my hair, because I was told that would make it smooth and curly.

Did you ever chemically straighten your hair?
Definitely, when I was growing up. That’s what everyone with curly hair did back then. I think I was 13 years old when I started growing my hair out from the relaxer. I was living in Switzerland going to boarding school and my hair was breaking off. It was scary. I remember calling my mother and saying, ‘This is really bad and really hard.’

What did you learn about hair from your mom Diana?
My mom was a natural texture person and it was always the bigger the better. She loves my hair big and out and she always has. Even though I grew up with the image of my mother wearing her hair that way, I hadn’t really seen it elsewhere, so it still has taken courage to wear my hair natural and not feel the pressure to straighten it. I’m loving the natural hair movement. It’s really encouraging and is expanding the definition of beauty.

So what’s your wash, cut and night time routine?
I wash twice a week unless I work out a lot and then I’ll wash more. Every two months I’ll get a trim and every two years I’ll get a cut. And my night ritual is that I go to sleep. I don’t wrap my hair, I don’t bun my hair, I don’t do crap!

Is there a go-to product that keeps you camera-ready?
If I have an 8:00 a.m. call and I work out at 6:00 a.m., I don’t have time to get my hair blown out before going on camera. On Black-ish we work in a lot of different natural styles. One of my favorite products is Amla’s edge tamer. It’s perfect for slicking down flyaways and giving hair that freshly washed look.

What’s your biggest tip for curly girls everywhere?
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! That’s my favorite thing about the Amla products. They’re all about rejuvenating your hair. They give you the look that you want, but long term, they’re actually helping your hair get healthier.

What do you think of Ellis Ross’s look? Do you think more girls should embrace their natural texture? Share your thoughts below!

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–Janine Rayford Rubenstein