On "E! News" Tuesday, Rancic said the reaction to her comments has increased her awareness of, in her words, "cliches and stereotypes."
They are damaging, she said, adding that she and others have the responsibility to avoid perpetuating them.
During Monday's "Fashion Police" on the E! channel, Rancic said that Zendaya's hair suggested the smell of patchouli oil or marijuana.
Her "E! News" remarks went beyond an apology tweet in which Rancic said her references had nothing to do with race.
Zendaya's father is African American.
In a long Twitter post, the 18-year-old Zendaya called Rancic's "Fashion Police" comment about her dreadlocks "outrageously offensive."