Gabrielle Union on Her Amazing Natural Hair at the CFDAs: ‘I Feel Dope’

Gabrielle Union at the CFDA Fashion Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)
Gabrielle Union at the CFDA Fashion Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gabrielle Union made a major splash at the CFDA Fashion Awards — and managed to upstage her own ultraglam sequined Rodarte jacket.

The star and producer of Being Mary Jane and creator of the Flawless hair-care line let her textured tresses fly free at the fashion fete on Monday. And the result was all kinds of dazzling, with a total late-’70s, early-’80s vibe.

“I’m feeling a lot more free. I don’t know if it was getting my own hair line, which for some weird reason gave me permission,” Union tells Yahoo Beauty. “Or my summer goal of having style without using heat. I just want to swim and go and have a lot more freedom. It was finding a hairstyle that allowed me to not use heat products and just roll with it.”

Union is never one to play it safe, or be quiet and polite. And she says her confidence has infused every part of her life.

“My hair, my body, the outfit — everything in my life is an extension of what’s happening inside. I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I am owning my dope woman-ness,” she says. “I feel dope.”

The key, she says, is living for now. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

“There’s been a chunk of my life where I would wake up angry and be angry at work and go home angry. It was draining me,” she says. “I tried to reshift my thinking. I addressed the actual real issue and gave myself permission to live in the moment and not try to get through the moment. Everything has shifted and changed.”

Gabrielle Union (Photo: Getty Images)
Gabrielle Union (Photo: Getty Images)

The actress has long celebrated natural hair and been open about her “hair journey.” In one Facebook post, she shared that at age 25, she stopped with the relaxers and let her hair grow out. And she showed off her enviable locks while shutting down haters who accused her of having a weave.


Union says her primary focus now is on having healthy hair. And she’s not here to judge anyone for their ’do, whether they choose wigs or what Mother Nature gave them.

“It’s about women having choices to do with their hair whatever the hell they want to do,” she explains. “There’s still a pressure to assimilate into Eurocentric beauty ideals. If you want to straighten your hair or wear extensions or rock your natural hair — women are embracing their choices with zero apology. It’s your choice. As long as you’re happy, that’s the perfect choice for you.”

Read more from Yahoo Beauty + Style:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyle and @YahooBeauty.