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“After multiple rounds of IVF, it had left like a headband of baldness,” Union told an intimate group of beauty editors during a virtual meeting on Friday. “And after every IVF round, about a dime-sized bald spot would open up on some part of my head. Over time those bald spots started to connect like friends, like ‘Hey, girl!’ It just formed a headband right in the front of my head and around my crown.”
However, the actress turned beauty entrepreneur’s previous partners of her haircare line weren’t willing to “put a pause on the launch” so that she had time to grow her hair back. She explained, “They were just like ‘Wear wigs or get a weave. Who’s going to notice?’ Uhh, everyone!”
Union admitted that “launching a brand called Flawless when you feel anything but just felt disingenuous.” She continued, “I couldn’t be my true self and reveal what was actually happening.”
Three years later, Union’s hairline is now flourishing and she’s ready to reintroduce Flawless by Gabrielle Union as a majority Black-owned and not just a Black-fronted brand. “There’s so much shame and humiliation surrounding hair loss,” she said. “It was awful to try and sell a brand that I was proud of at the time, but not able to share with people my truth. I’m pretty transparent to a default some would say.”
Union literally worked at the kitchen sink alongside her longtime friend and celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims to create a collection of products formulated with ingredients such as biotin, avocado oil, aloe and a rice water complex to nourish, repair, soothe and hydrate diverse textures. She made it a priority to remove silicones, parabens and sulfates — all of the “things she fought against the first time that fell on deaf ears.” Teaming up with an industry professional like Sims also lends well to the educational component that Union stresses is a huge part of her haircare line.
Another major point of difference with Flawless by Gabrielle Union is that she’s providing consumers “luxury products” at an affordable price point, with costs ranging between $4-$10, and an easier means of getting them via Amazon.
Wondering which product from Union’s new and improved haircare line gets the most use in the Union-Wade household? The mom shared that her daughter, Zaya, and son Zaire, rely on a combo of the 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner, Hydrating Curl Refresher Spray and Detangling Leave-In Conditioner to maintain their “natural curls.” She said, “If you go on their [Instagrams], you can see their curls bouncing and looking fresh.”
Sims added that the leave-in is also key to keeping the children’s colored-hair moisturized during the summer while swimming in the family’s “saltwater pool.”
“But the products that have gone missing, which is another sign of people liking the products and them going missing when the kids’s friends come over is the Detangling Leave-In [Conditioner] and then the 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner,” she said. “You see people taking them home in like gift bags.”
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