At every stage of her career, Gabrielle Union has adorned beautiful hairstyles– from protective styles to edgy bobs. That's why when she announced the launch of her hair care line Flawless by Gabrielle Union in 2017, it seemed like a natural move. The 10-product collection was a hit at Ulta Beauty, and all seemed well. But behind the scenes, Union was dealing with personal struggles. In several recent interviews, the actress and entrepreneur shared that during that time she began experiencing hair loss due to multiple rounds of IVF, and was pressured by her white hair care brand investors to promote a product she wasn't satisfied with.
After taking three years to reimagine the brand, Flawless is officially back and better than ever. This time around, Union teamed up with her longtime hairstylist and friend Larry Sims. Together, the duo worked to create a new and improved line that offered textured-hair friendly formulas at an affordable price point (FYI: everything is $10 or less).
During my most recent wash day, I had the chance to try four of the staple products from the Flawless collection. Ahead, I'm sharing my honest thoughts on how they worked on my curls.
My Flawless By Gabrielle Union Haircare Review
Hydrating Detangling Hair Shampoo
First up, the Hydrating Detangling Hair Shampoo. For me, the perfect shampoo is one that cleanses all of the build-up from my hair and scalp without drying it out. This one did just that. When I applied it to my hair, it created a luxurious lather and as I worked it throughout my hair and scalp, the shampoo made detangling my hair a breeze The shampoo is formulated with a potent blend of oils and butters–including Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Rice Oil Complex, Acai Palm Oil, Moringa Seed Oil, and Brazilian Bacuri Butter–so my hair felt intensely hydrated and super soft after rinsing it out.
Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Hair Conditioner
I followed up with the Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Hair Conditioner. The conditioner has a thick, creamy texture so I knew immediately it was going to envelop my hair in a cloud of moisture. It is infused with tons of hair-loving ingredients like Castor Seed Oil and Acai Palm Oil, and together they work to nourish the hair. Per the instructions, I massaged it into my hair from root to ends for five minutes. When I washed it out, my curls were so juicy and full of moisture. I can honestly say Gabby and Larry did their thing with this conditioner.
Detangling Leave-in Hair Conditioner
Flawless' Detangling Leave-in Hair Conditioner is my favorite product out of the four that I've tried from the line–hands down. After I hopped out the shower and squeezed out excess water from my hair using a cotton t-shirt, I sprayed the leave-in conditioner liberally all over my head. It instantly soaked into my strands and added more moisture into my curls. When my hair fully dried, I was left with curls that were incredibly soft and bouncy. This leave-in conditioner spray also doubles as a great hair refresher. I've loved using this post-wash day to rehydrate my curls and make them pop.
Defining Curl Hair Cream
I finished things off with the Defining Curl Hair Cream. Upon opening the jar, I was immediately greeted by a fresh and subtly sweet scent. I worked the product into each section of my hair, making sure to distribute an even amount to each area. After letting my hair air dry, I noticed that the cream provided my curls with noticeable definition and reduced frizz. My one complaint: the cream left a bit of an oily residue on my hair after use.
The Final Verdict:
I'm a true Gabrielle union stan, so it's been so beautiful to see her relaunch Flawless on her own terms. It's incredibly clear that Union and Sims put so much of their heart, soul, and energy into the brand to ensure that these products were formulated for us.
As with any haircare brand, the products have been met with mixed reviews but I went into my wash day with an open mind. Overall, my first experience with Flawless was largely positive and my curls were definitely popping after trying the products. After giving the brand a try, I am certainly eager to try more from the Flawless range.
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Olivia Hancock is a writer who can constantly be found putting pen to paper or typing away at her keyboard. The transplant ATLien is currently working on her undergraduate degree in Journalism and roots for all things #BlackGirlMagic. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram at @oliviahancock_.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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