Gabrielle union, actress, businesswoman, author, and multi-hyphenate activist, is known for many things, but hair care isn’t usually at the top of the list. The actress in the cult classic films “Bring It On” went natural earlier this year by showing off her short ‘Her Do’ on Instagram. Since then, she’s been rocking her locks and sharing natural hair care tips and tricks, including using products from her newest launch: Gabrielle Union’s Flawless Hair Care line.
what’s flawless about gabrielle union?
gabrielle union created the perfect line with celebrity hairstylist larry sims.
The line consists of 13 products ranging from shampoo and conditioner to hair oil and heat protectant. i put the key options to the test in a standard daily wash routine to see how they compared to my usual options for cleansing and styling my shoulder length 3c/4a curly textured natural hair. These fabulous five include: Hydrating Detangling Shampoo, Repairing Deep Conditioning Masque, Detangling Leave-in Conditioner, Restorative Exotic Oil Treatment, and Curl Defining Cream.
what do gabrielle union flawless hair products claim?
flawless by gabrielle union states that the products are free from sulfates, parabens and silicones.
gabrielle union and celebrity hairstylist larry sims wanted to create an affordable hair care line (everything is $9.99) that didn’t compromise on ingredients. this also meant leaving out controversial ingredients, such as sulfates, parabens, and silicones. I was intrigued by these “high quality” ingredients (rice oil complex, lilac leaf extract, and Brazilian bucari butter, as I had never seen them in any of my other bottles of hair products, so I went to the perfect website to see exactly what they claim to do:
Rice Oil Complex: The brand claims that the inclusion of this ingredient increases the hair’s ability to absorb moisture and adds softness and shine.
Lilac Leaf Extract: This ingredient is used to restore shine, repair and protect damaged hair, and reduce scalp irritation.
Brazilian Bucari Butter: Like the rice oil complex, this ingredient claims to add shine and increase hair’s ability to absorb moisture to soften and condition strands.
While these ingredients sound fancy, they seem to accomplish the same thing as commonly used ingredients like jojoba oil and biotin, which promote shiny, healthy hair.
Also, in the ingredient realm, I flipped the bottles over to read more about the essential ingredients, and in the last five at the bottom of the label is “fragrance.” For those who are sensitive to fragrances, this can be an instant turn-off. Even if you didn’t read the label carefully, you’ll still smell the scent (which I imagine some will think is strong) as soon as you remove the lid and protective coverings. Unlike your typical smell of coconut, mango, or fruity hair products, these products have a sweet, perfume-like aroma that almost reminds me of going through a bath and body works or the perfume counter at macy’s. This is something to consider if you have sensitive skin or are sensitive or allergic to fragrances in general. I did like the scent though, and it stayed on my hair for at least two days after using it.
union and sims also wanted the product line to be versatile enough to accommodate all hair types and styling options. Whether you have wavy or curly locks, braids, or a weave, there is a product in the line that can meet your needs. You can even find a selection of products grouped by wavy, curly, kinky, and “protective” on the site to see which products they recommend you use for your specific hair type or desired result.
what’s it like to wear gabrielle union’s flawless hair products?
Of the five products I tried, the standouts were the Moisturizing Detangling Hair Shampoo and the Repairing Deep Conditioning Mask, both of which quenched my curls and left them defined, soft, and smelling good. the other three products are where things got a little tricky and ultimately won’t make it on my shortlist. Here’s how I used them, in order, to wash and style my hair, and what I thought of each step along the way.
1. flawless by gabrielle union moisturizing detangling hair shampoo
gabrielle union flawless moisturizing detangling hair shampoo cleansed hair while moisturizing.
this is my favorite product by far! I like to wash and brush my hair in the shower, so i grabbed this shampoo and my felicia leatherwood detangling brush and did just that. The shampoo is opaque and has a thick creamy consistency which I was happy about as I have found that shampoos with similar formulas give me the most moisturizing washes. (my current go-to: camille rose naturals sweet ginger rinse-out shampoo). The shampoo immediately hugged my strands and it seemed like the tangles just melted away!
Most shampoos dry my hair out and I have to deep condition it to get that moisture back, but Flawless Shampoo was different: My hair felt hydrated, it was easy to detangle, and my curls were instantly bouncy and defined. It really surprised me because I have one or two tried and true products out of the myriad of others I’ve tried over the years that actually moisturize, cleanse, and detangle as they claim. I will be adding this shampoo to my arsenal of favorites. my rating: 10/10
get gabrielle union flawless moisturizing and detangling hair shampoo on amazon for $9.99
2. Gabrielle Union Flawless Repair Conditioning Mask
gabrielle union flawless flawless conditioning repair mask was a great companion to my detangling brush.
After shampooing, I worked into the Flawless Repair Deep Conditioning Masque and again, was very impressed with how it made my curls pop with definition. It was also easy for me to comb through the clumps and make sure the product was evenly distributed with my detangling brush. the consistency is super slimy, to the point where the jar was tipped over and none of the product spilled out. This is usually good for thicker dry hair like mine because the product is able to completely encapsulate the hair strands. I found the conditioning mask to be the most fragrant in the line, which I didn’t mind, but some did. This has also earned a place on my shower shelf, next to the cantu txtr strengthening and restoring hydration mask that i have been using. my rating: 10/10 get gabrielle union flawless repair deep conditioning mask on amazon for $9.99
3. Gabrielle Union Flawless Leave-In Hair Conditioner
gabrielle union flawless leave-in detangling hair conditioner has a thinner texture than i’m used to.
When I finished cleaning and conditioning my hair, I switched to the detangling leave-in conditioner. I follow the l.o.c. method of using a liquid or leave-in, an oil, and a cream to seal in moisture and style my hair. This product was already at a disadvantage, because I’m not the biggest fan of leave-in sprays. there’s no way to gauge how much product you’re actually spraying on your hair, so it’s easy to weigh down your curls as a result. This particular spray was not impressive: it sprays a thin liquid, which I think did nothing for my thick, curly hair. i prefer creamier leave-in conditioners like camille rose leave-in conditioner with coconut water, which i’m convinced gives more glide, and i can measure my use in the palm of my hand before applying. Regardless, I brushed my hair out without rinsing and moved on to styling. my rating: 3/10
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4. Gabrielle Union Flawless Restorative Exotic Hair Oil Treatment
gabrielle union flawless restorative exotic hair oil treatment adds shine to your hair.
trying to continue with the l.o.c. method, i then used the restorative exotic hair oil treatment, which also smells a lot like the fragrance used in this line. i am a big fan of hair oils because i deal with a dry scalp that i need to diligently moisturize. I also like to seal the ends of my hair to keep them strong and prevent split ends and breakage as much as possible. This oil claims to help with dry hair and protect it from heat damage, but it is quite watery compared to the camille rose buritti hair oil and repair nectar that i am used to.
I applied this product several times to my scalp and hair strands. while it does leave a nice shine, i can do without it. If I wanted to, I would use this oil to separate my curls to help reduce frizz and reap the benefits of adding a bit of shine and a nice fragrance to my final style. But it’s better for that: It’s much more effective as a finishing or styling oil than an oil treatment designed to hydrate the scalp, seal split ends, and promote hair growth. my rating: 5/10
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5. Gabrielle Union Flawless Curls Hair Cream.
gabrielle union flawless curls hair cream was the last step in my routine.
Finally, I moved on to styling my hair in my signature hairstyle, which includes using rollers for a curly look. The Defining Curl Cream has a thick consistency like some other curl creams I own and like (i.e. Camille Rose Naturals Moroccan Pear Conditioning Cream and Hair Grow Treatment), but I used it sparingly to avoid unpleasant surprises in the ponytail -end of my hair routine, like my curls feel heavy and heavy. when using products with a thicker texture and then using rollers to set it, I’ve found that the wrong product or too much of a good thing can weigh my hair down, resulting in a longer drying time and less chance of hair falling out. i will end up with the soft and fluffy curls i am looking for.
I liked the feel of the flawless curl cream on my hands, and it left my hair shiny and smelling really good. my curls were voluminous but elongated, and i liked how my final style turned out. The only downside was that the product made the ends of my hair a bit sticky, but you can remedy that by applying even less product.
I tried using the curl cream again to refresh my flexi-rod set at the end of the week. I would not recommend it for this as using the product a second time to refresh my style made me too weighed down. my rating: 6/10
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are gabrielle union flawless hair products worth it?
Not all of Gabrielle Union’s flawless products were hits for me, but the ones that were are must-haves.
As we all know, many of the products we try may work well for us and not for others and vice versa. If you are looking for a new shampoo and deep conditioner, I can attest that this line has great moisturizing and detangling options that live up to the claims on the bottles. Styling cream is also a good option for people with thick, curly hair who are looking for a thick product to coat their locks. The oil may work for you if you have wavy hair and enjoy lightweight oils that add shine to a wavy or bang style. Just like the oil, the rinse might work for someone with thinner, straighter hair (like a 1 to 2c in the hair types chart).
overall i think gabrielle union and the impeccable team did a great job with this line. I like how they included several different types of products in the launch to reach all of their clients, no matter where they are on their natural hair journey. And you don’t have much to lose by opting to try one or two products, as all products are reasonably priced at $10 each.
impeccable buy from gabrielle union on amazon
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