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I Tried Gabrielle Union's Flawless Hair Collection & My Curls Popped Severely

My curls have spoken.

I Tried It

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.

Olivia Hancock/xoNecole

The Final Verdict:

Olivia Hancock/xoNecole

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.

Olivia Hancock/xoNecole

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.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Olivia Hancock for xoNecole

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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