Gabrielle Union has played some of the most beloved characters on screens both big and small with classics like Bring It On and Being Mary Jane, and during the past year the actor and trailblazer shook up the beauty space with her hair-care line, Flawless.
An advocate for diversity and representation in Hollywood, Union remembers growing up and longing for the bone-straight hair she saw in magazines. “When I was eight, I begged my mom to get a relaxer,” she tells Glamour. “I wanted hair that swished and moved and all of that. I wanted my hair to be straight, presentable, and pretty.” Today she likes to experiment—from blowouts full of body to gorgeous fros—and wanted to develop products that would not only encourage Black women to play with our looks but protect and strengthen our hair while we’re at it, as hair health is of the utmost importance to Union.
The actor created Flawless with longtime hairstylist Larry Sims to celebrate and nurture every beautiful kink and curl whether it’s in its natural form or heat styled. Some of the star ingredients include Brazilian bacuri butter, coconut oil, biotin, Amazonian pequi oil, and Himalayan moringa oil, which work together to repair and hydrate all natural hair textures.
For hair inspiration, “I pay a great deal of attention to black women on the street and on social media,” she says. “The new trend in DIY hairstyling is fascinating, creating such a unique and innovative community of stylists, and I am here for all of the creativity.”
When she isn’t breaking down natural-hair-care tips as part of Sally Beauty’s new DIY University, Union is taking time for herself, to make sure her mind and body feel the love too. Below, she shares her Wash Day Diary, for days when she wants to let her curls be “free and healthy.”
I begin with cleansing my hair with a generous amount of Flawless By Gabrielle Union Hydrating Detangling Shampoo. I love its scent. The Brazilian bacuri butter and acai palm oil smells so good and makes my shampoo wash invigorating.
After two washes, I apply the Flawless 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner in my hair to condition and bring back moisture. Moisture is key for my natural hair. It does the trick in three minutes, but I generally keep it on a bit longer. I always want to do everything to protect my hair from breakage. When I want to give my hair some extra TLC, especially in between my protective styles, I apply the Flawless Repairing Deep Conditioning Masque treatment. It’s infused with a biotin and rice oil complex to rebuild and restore strength while repairing damage. I generally sit with it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then I rinse out and follow up with the Flawless conditioner.
Once it is all rinsed out, I’m now ready for styling, but before we start the look, I spray the Flawless Leave-In Detangling Conditioner all over my hair. The bacuri butter and coconut oil takes me to a tropical place, but most importantly, it does three things all in one to my hair: detangles, hydrates, and softens.
Finally, depending on my desired look, I set my hair under the dryer, then air-dry or blow-dry my hair using the Flawless Smoothing Blow Dry Cream. A tip I learned from my friend, business partner, and stylist, Larry Sims, anytime the hair and scalp are exposed to heat or the sun, use the Flawless Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray to protect hair from damage. So I make sure it’s always part of my routine.
My favorite styling tools are the Ion Carbon Rat Tail Comb, Evolve Triple Styler Edge Brush, GymWrap. I’m a natural-hair girl, and they all do a great job of ensuring minimal or no breakage when styling my hair. And of course, they are Black-owned businesses, so I must support. For headwear, Grace Eleyae makes the best turban and headbands in literally every print. Smartly designed, the silk lining gives my hair needed extra protection.