Being Mary JaneCelebrity endorsed product lines are nothing new. These days it seems like standard practice for a top cosmetics company to work with a Hollywood A-lister as the face of their product. So when actress Gabrielle Union announced that she would be launching Flawless by Gabrielle Union, a line of natural hair care products, I was neither surprised nor impressed. However, something about her approach to promoting the line changed my mind on the matter. Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, and Drew Barrymore are all A-list actors who stepped into the business world of beauty. Union took the same approach, but it means so much more because she is her customer. Flawless caters to women who want to embrace their natural hair pattern. And since the line’s announcement, you can tell that Union is in love with her curls! From fashion week in Paris, to courtside at an NBA game, Union is seen sporting natural styles like the everyday natural. After seeing Gabby show off her length and texture in almost every IG post, I began digging. I wanted to know why this product line should get my coins and I think I found a few reasons. Keep reading for the scoop!
Black Hollywood and Their Glam SquadsGabrielle Union’s line differs from the typical starlet product endorsement in more ways than ownership. The concept of the star creating hair care products is such a far cry from her on-screen persona, Mary Jane. In one episode, Mary Jane explored the mental distress of hair that plagues a woman. I was that girl, so I understood the episode and the fear of sporting my natural hair at work. However, I did not know that Union began the process of growing her natural hair in her mid-twenties. After years of using relaxer, the actress sat down with WWD and divulged her insecurities with the perming process. The actress even admitted that her need for straight hair got so intense. Sometimes she would sit with the perm for extended periods of time thinking it would leave her hair silkier. Only to exit the salon with lesions and burns on her scalp because she kept it on too long. Gabrielle Union also dished about her struggles with her tresses after deciding to go natural. After realizing that no one on the set of her projects knew what to do with her hair, the actress reiterated Hollywood’s worst kept secret when it comes to its beauty professionals. The majority of them do not do black hair very well. Their technique of mixing alcohol-based products with whatever hot tools they had on set showed Gabby what not to do, and she has been taking notes! That is why "Flawless" is not your typical celebrity product line. In fact, Union says she wanted to launch a product that incorporated both her face to sell it combined with her story and her gained knowledge. As a woman who has used sew-ins, wigs, and ponytails as protective styles to complete her look, she has mastered a way for her to keep real hair healthy and growing underneath. So she wanted her family, friends, and fellow naturals to benefit from all of that experience. An experience that we all would deem credible.
Macadamia, LLC.Credibility in the beauty industry is a big thing. As former spokesperson for Neutrogena, Union knows what it's like to work for a big brand. Nonetheless, as a spokesperson, she had no say in the products that were affecting people like her. Although Neutrogena was ahead of its time in its efforts to fund different research, it was not something that was as close to Union’s heart. However, she was able to see what powerhouse, Kerry Washington, was able to bring to the brand as not only a spokesperson but a creative director for the Neutrogena brand and using the same strategies to start "Flawless". Washington possessed more leverage with Neutrogena because her career took a more mainstream turn than Union’s. Nevertheless, Union still wanted her voice heard in the products that she endorsed publicly. The only way she knew how to make that happen would be to have some stake in the brand and make herself an owner. Thankfully, Union did her research before jumping into the hair care industry. She paired up with the top bosses at Macadamia Beauty LLC, the creators of Macadamia Natural Oil to help her with her new line. The Macadamia creators are no strangers to the hair business. Their signature teal and gold products have graced the stands of many stores across all beauty aisles. The brand is known for taking a multicultural approach to the otherwise segmented market of hair care. The CEO of Macadamia Beauty is also the CEO role with Gabrielle’s "Flawless". Even though Flawless is a separate entity from Macadamia Beauty, you can’t help but think that the knowledge used to create the brand will undoubtedly spill over into "Flawless" which is a plus for Union and her consumer.
Flawless: The Product LineThe Flawless line is composed of 10 different products divided into two main categories: Care and Treatment Products and Styling Products. According to the Flawless Hair website, the care and treatment products are composed of Argan, Avocado and Marula oils combined in ways to cleanse the hair and transform it instantly. It is also reported to be safe for color-treated hair; relaxed hair, weaves, wigs, and human hair extensions.
Flawless Care & Treatment Products
Moisture Shampoo:This shampoo hydrates the hair while cleansing it with its sulfate free and safe color mixture of ingredients. It is available in two sizes with the 8.45oz being $19 and 25oz being $20. When paired with the Moisturizing Conditioner which promises to detangle and soften dry hair with the same intense hydration as its shampoo counterpart, the two give your hair an immediate hydration boost. The moisturizing conditioner is available in two sizes as well, with the 8.45oz being $19 and 25oz being $20.
Key Ingredients include:
- Argan Oil to repairs damage and restore shine and softness
- Marula Oil to hydrates and repair dry hair
- Avocado Oil to provide maximum conditioning, help strengthen hair against breakage, and bind split ends together.
- Pea Protein to increase hydration and elasticity, helping to prevent hair breakage.
- Apricot Oil for improved luster and moisturization.
The Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner:This is perfect for both processed and transitioning tresses. The description says it should be used to repair brittle and damaged hair. The product can be used to tame frizz and conceal split ends on color-treated hair; relaxed hair, weaves, wigs, and human hair extensions. A smoothing shampoo this versatile perfect for your extensions and your leave out. It is sold in the same sizes for the same price as the Moisturizing Shampoo. It also contains the same essential ingredients as the moisture products in the Flawless line, but it does include an additional element:
- Cuticle Smoothing Agent: combats lifted cuticles and help to smooth split ends, even after multiple washes.
The Oil Treatment:This treatment is more of a trend-based product. Traditionally black women and women of the African diaspora were groomed to grease their scalp weekly. But over the last ten years, naturals have been known to substitute grease products for oil and oil-based products to nourish their scalp. Priced at $25 for 3.3oz the Flawless oil treatment combines pea protein, argan, marula, avocado, macadamia, and coconut oils to create this one product. The two newcomers to the ingredients list include:
- Macadamia Oil: is rich in fatty acids to help nourish the hair.
- Coconut Oil: strengthens the hair strand.
Flawless Styling ProductsThe best thing about the Flawless line is its inclusivity. A lot of the current natural hair care lines target women who are only executing natural styles. But it seems like the Flawless team put together an array of products to cater to women who enjoy both natural and heat styles. The styling products work for those who are applying heat to their hair and need an extra boost of protection.
The Blow Dry Cream:This cream offers protection from heat up to 450 degrees. The amount of heat that you can use with this product it is impressive because you retain most heat damage after 300 degrees Fahrenheit. It offers a solution to frizz and its key ingredients of pea protein, argan, marula, and avocado oil seal the hair with moisture. I would recommend throwing this into your bag if you have a date at the blow dry bar during lunch or the Dominican hair salon after work. The blow dry cream also provides the slip needed for the round brush to glide through your hair effortlessly. You can purchase the blow dry cream at $19 for 6.7 oz.
The Shine Spray:This spray is a crowd favorite! Not only does Gabby’s husband, Dwayne Wade overuse the shine spray, but Allure magazine awarded the product “The Best of Beauty”. You can use the spritz to revive dull hair, refresh your braid style, or hydrate your dry scalp. Grab 3.3oz of this spray for $19!
Heat Protection Spray:A little different than the blow dry cream, this spray is used to protect your tresses against hot irons up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit! The heat protection spray can be used on blow-dried hair and will not leave a residue on your flat iron. It's suggested that you first coat your damp hair with the blow dry cream, blow dry your strands, then spray the heat protection spray. You can get 4.2oz of this spray for $19. Don’t let the title of the Edge Control Gel fool you! You can use it on everything, including your edges! Hold your fly-aways down, create a heat-free roller-set, or lock your twists with this gel. The best thing about the edge control gel is that the key ingredients enable the product to dry crunch free. A little goes a long way with the edge control; you can purchase 4oz for $19.
The Beauty AisleFlawless by Gabrielle Union is currently available online. More importantly, it is on the shelves of beauty retailer, Ulta. It validates the amount of work that Gabrielle Union did on her own and through her collaboration with Macadamia. It also validates her natural hair journey by giving her a bigger platform to help people through products that speak directly to her story. On the business end, it enables Ulta to use Union's story to attract more women like her. That is was makes Flawless by Gabrielle Union different than the average celebrity product endorser. She connects with her customer. I remember the first time I realized Target carried the entire range of Carol's Daughter beauty products. However, with companies like Flawless by Gabrielle Union representing the natural haired girl, retailers can finally cater to me.
All in AllBefore the moment mentioned above, I would have to purchase oils from the grocery store and mix it with Helman’s Mayonnaise when I wanted a deep moisturizing conditioner. Apple cider vinegar became my cleanser of choice and while I still have my natural hair care routine, having pre-made options available has made my hair journey easier. Truthfully, it has also helped me in my quest towards self-acceptance by prompting me to manage and love seeing my hair in its natural state. How about you? Will you be trying out any of the products in the Gabrielle Union Flawless Haircare line? Leave a comment below to let us know which ones!
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