Gabrielle Union is officially venturing into the world of haircare with the launch of her own product line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union, a major power move for the actress, who has never endorsed a hair brand before. Union, who has turned down past opportunities to front existing haircare collections, brings something new to the table with Flawless.
“I want to make sure that it’s right for me, for my family, for my friends, and for every person with textured hair,” Union told WWD. As owner of the company, she’ll be manning creative direction, product formulation, brand development, and marketing.
Flawless by Gabrielle Union
The Being Mary Jane star also opened up about the hair frustrations she faced as a young girl and in Hollywood. On film sets, she’d be told her hair needed to be “appropriate” (aka no braids, twists, or natural hairstyles). Meanwhile, in school she used to long for “long, blonde hair” like other girls.
“I went through a phase where I would leave my relaxer on so long, thinking the longer I leave this relaxer on, the straighter it’s going to be,” she recalls. “Cut to lesions, like open wounds in my scalp, trying to chase something that was unrealistic, and eventually probably in my mid- to late-20s I decided to give up my relaxer, and I went natural. By natural I mean underneath the weaves, extensions, clips, and the hair color was my natural hair — thriving.”
Union’s line includes 10 products ranging from $19 to $29. It includes a Moisturizing Shampoo, Moisturizing Conditioner, Smoothing Shampoo, Smoothing Conditioner, Hair Masque, Blow Dry Cream, Hair Protection Spray, Shine Spray, Oil Treatment, and Edge Control Gel.
“I’ve had a long journey of self-acceptance and boosting my self-esteem,” Union continued, “A lot of that comes from education and from life, but now that I’m on the other side of 40, I want pride to come from every part of my life.”
Flawless by Gabrielle Union is available starting March 1st on Flawlesshair.com and at Ulta Beauty on April 16.
Kristina Rodulfo Beauty Director Kristina Rodulfo is the Beauty Director of Women’s Health—she oversees beauty coverage across print and digital and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, wellness, and culture.
Gabrielle Union is getting attention from the beauty community after the actress announced that she’s launching her own hair-care line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union, in April. The line, which is designed for women with kinky or curly hair, features 10 products that range in price from $10 to $29, including a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, hair mask, and blow dry cream. The line, which is packed with ingredients like avocado, marula, and argan oils, focuses on hydrating and pampering—which are important for anyone but especially crucial for people with kinky or curly natural hair.
“I want women with textured hair to have great hair days,” Union tells WWD in a new interview, adding that she’s struggled with own her hair’s health in the past. “I went through a phase where I would leave my relaxer on so long, thinking the longer I leave this relaxer on, the straighter it’s going to be,” she said. “Cut to lesions, like open wounds in my scalp, trying to chase something that was unrealistic, and eventually probably in my mid- to late-20s I decided to give up my relaxer, and I went natural. By natural I mean underneath the weaves, extensions, clips, and the hair color was my natural hair—thriving.”
You may have used relaxers in the past, currently use them now, or be familiar with them because friends and family use them to straighten their hair. If not, relaxers are powerful lotions or creams some black women use to straighten their hair. And this isn’t the first time relaxers have been linked with scalp wounds: A class-action lawsuit was filed against L’Oreal in September on behalf of 100,000 women who claim that one of the company’s relaxers made them lose their hair. The suit alleges that the relaxer causes “disturbing and distressing injuries including hair loss and breakage as well as scalp irritation, blisters and burns,” the AFP reports. (A L’Oreal spokesperson responded by saying that relaxers are “technical products that can be used safely according to the instructions.”)
Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, tells SELF that scalp irritation and hair damage can be big issues with relaxers. “Relaxers work by breaking apart the bonds that maintain hair curls,” he explains. “In doing so, however, the chemicals damage the hair shafts themselves, leading to dryness and breakage.” And, if a relaxers come into contact with a person’s scalp, Zeichner says it can cause “significant” irritation to the skin that can result in an inflamed, itchy rash.
Gary Goldenberg, M.D., medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF that relaxers can have a lasting impact on a woman’s hair and scalp. “Chemical relaxers have been implicated in central centrifugal scarring alopecia,” which is a common cause of hair loss among black women, he says.
Relaxers have a caustic effect on the skin, meaning they can cause irritation or, in severe cases, burns and open sores, Zeichner says. If you use relaxers, he recommends visiting an experienced salon for the procedure, if your budget allows for it. If you opt for at-home relaxers, Zeichner says it’s important to make sure the chemical doesn’t come into contact with your scalp. “You can protect the scalp by using petroleum jelly in the part and along the frontal hairline as a safety measure,” he says. If you feel any burning or stinging, remove the relaxer from your hair immediately (or tell your stylist, so they can do so). And since kinky or curly natural hair are more prone to dryness and breakage, Goldenberg recommends moisturizing the scalp and using deep conditioning hair masks regularly, especially if you use relaxers.
If you develop irritation or itchiness from using a relaxer, Zeichner suggests applying an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone ointment to the affected area, and if you have any open sores, you can use over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, like Bacitracin. But if you have significant burns or wounds, it’s best to see a board-certified dermatologist for an evaluation, Goldenberg says, since there’s a chance you can develop an infection. They’ll recommend you press pause on using relaxers and other chemical hair treatments until your skin has time to heal, and they can offer advice to help nurse your hair and scalp back to health.
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For years, Gabrielle Union has been the skin and hair envy of many women. From her near flawless skin and her camera-ready hair in movies and TV shows keeps her looking great. In 2017, she’s taken what she’s learned and officially venturing into the world of haircare with the launch of her own product line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union.
Union has never endorsed a hair brand before and has turned down past opportunities to front existing haircare collections. So she’s hoping to hit her niche’ market, women with kinky and curly hair, with something new.
The line features 10 products that range in price from $10 to $29, including a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, hair mask, and blow dry cream. The line is packed with ingredients like avocado, marula, and argan oils, focuses on hydrating and pampering—-which are important for anyone but especially crucial for people with kinky or curly natural hair.
As owner of the company, she’ll be manning creative direction, product formulation, brand development, and marketing, Union told WWD.
“I went through a phase where I would leave my relaxer on so long, thinking the longer I leave this relaxer on, the straighter it’s going to be,” she said. “Cut to lesions, like open wounds in my scalp, trying to chase something that was unrealistic, and eventually probably in my mid- to late-20s I decided to give up my relaxer, and I went natural. By natural I mean underneath the weaves, extensions, clips, and the hair color was my natural hair—thriving.”
The Being Mary Jane star also opened up about the hair frustrations she faced growing up and the constant pressure of Hollywood. On film sets, she’d be told her hair needed to be “appropriate” (aka no braids, twists, or natural hairstyles).
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I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, dammit: Gabrielle Union is the most underrated hair icon of our generation. Think about it: There are few hair cuts, styles, and colors that she hasn’t worn fearlessly. She’s had a shaggy pixie cut, a platinum blonde bob, waist-length box braids, and everything in between. Like plenty of A-list Hollywood women, though, many of her epic hair transformations have been the work of elaborate wigs and extensions. What she hasn’t shown so much of is her hair in its natural state, which is exactly what she’s doing this week.
On Monday, October 14, Union posted a Boomerang to Instagram; in it, she’s wearing a cropped pixie with a hard side-part and 3C curls, drastically different than a lot of the styles she’s been seen in recently. “Them: Why don’t you ever wear your natural hair?!?!’ she captioned the post, confirming that this is, indeed, her natural texture. “Me: Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” Clearly, the fans are here for it, because the post has already garnered more than 800,000 views and thousands of glowing comments like “Yasssss rock them curls beautiful,” “Love this look! #naturalhairsistas,” and “That haircut is absolutely GORGEOUS… Nice look on you!”
She followed it up with a whole slideshow of photos, because Union never disappoints when it comes to showing off a new look. The post, captioned, “Me ❤❤❤,” is what can only be described as the fiercest thing to ever happen inside what must be a set trailer. Considering the setting, we’re hoping this look isn’t just a temporary switch-up for a role or TV appearance because those curls deserve to be celebrated. Let’s be real, though, it really doesn’t matter what Union does with her hair. She’s proven at this point that she truly is That Chick, meaning she’ll look good in anything.
More on Gabrielle Union:
- Gabrielle Union Has a Blonde Bob Now, and Fans Are Melting
- The Surprising Reason Gabrielle Union Launched Her Own Hair-Care Line
- Gabrielle Union Just Cut Her Hair Into a Short Bob for the First Time Ever
Now, see a breakdown on the actress’s most iconic beauty looks:
Don’t forget to follow Allure on Instagram and Twitter.
Gabrielle Union’s beauty knows no bounds. When the the award-winning actress and mom to my favorite #ShadyBaby to follow on Instagram, Kaavia James, is not busy mothering and filming her latest show America’s Got Talent, she’s stunting on the ‘Gram. And I’m absolutely here every last bit of it. Union’s latest slay came in the form of a curly cut she debuted yesterday, which isn’t surprising because she’s no stranger to a hair switch-up. But nonetheless, it’s a iconic haircut that deserves to be documented.
Union captioned her photo: “Them: Why don’t you ever wear your natural hair?!?!
Me: Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy 🤷🏾♀️”
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Oct 14, 2019 at 9:48am PDT
Hey girl, hey. I don’t know about you, but this boomerang just gave me a gust of confidence and SO. MUCH. LIFE. Union’s followers were also on fire from the bomb she dropped commenting thousands of compliments and heart eyes.
To give us all a closer look, Union posted a second series of photos tagging her long-time hairstylist, Larry Sims, and her very own line of products for natural hair Flawless Hair. I’ll say this: It’s never not refreshing to see natural hair being embraced in all of its glory.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Oct 14, 2019 at 1:03pm PDT
Sidebar: HER SKIN (Union credits her ageless glow to a gallon of water per day and Luzern Laboratories products) What gives her hair so much shape is the way Sims styled and cut her curls into a deep side-part, which is tapered on one side, allowing more of her hair to hang heavy on the opposite side with volume. According to Sims’ Instagram caption, her defined curls are the result of a twist-out, which is a popular method of styling natural hair.
This is certainly not the first time Union has worn her natural hair. Sims has worn many natural styles in the past, including curls, box braids, afros, twists, and more. The picture book of the actress’s past styles would be long, diverse, and incredibly impressive. But there’s something about this curly cut that feels like the winner, and gives me so much inspo. Now, I want a dope dimensional cut on my curls.
My vote: more curls and more natural hair in Hollywood!
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Related Stories Maya Allen Digital Beauty Editor Maya Allen is the Digital Beauty Editor at MarieClaire.com where she covers makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it!
Gabrielle Union’s Latest Hairstyle Includes Her Natural Curls and a Tapered Pixie Cut
Gabrielle Union is a woman who certainly loves to play around with her hair. Nearly every time the star walks a red carpet or posts a new photo on social media, she’s rocking a new style, whether it be braids, a weave, or a wig. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to have a little fun with her natural hair, too.
In her most recent Instagram post, the actress shared a Boomerang of her playing around with her latest style: A tapered pixie cut with her glorious natural curls on full display.
“Them: Why dont you ever wear your natural hair?!?! Me: Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy,” the actress captioned the shot.
View this post on Instagram
Them: Why dont you ever wear your natural hair?!?! Me: Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy 🤷🏾♀️
RELATED: Taraji P. Henson Just Wore Her Natural Hair Out Again
Union didn’t get into styling details on her page, but whoever created this style certainly aced it — and we’re definitely not the only ones who think so. Fellow naturals Jada Pinkett Smith and Yaya Dacosta both commented on the pic soon after it was posted, praising the actress’ hair.
Image zoom Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images
While this isn’t a look we see Union wearing often, it’s not the only occasion where she’s chopped her natural hair. Back in June 2018, celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims created a gorgeous, blown-out bob for the actress, which she said was the first time she ever cut her own hair that short.
Seeing as Union loves to play with her hair, she’ll probably have a new flawless look to share soon. But we wouldn’t mind if she kept showing off her latest pixie a little while longer — we need to see all the angles.