Gabrielle Union on relaunching her haircare line: ‘hair loss is debilitating, humiliating’


Gabrielle Union’s hair care line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union, has received an upgrade and is relaunching exclusively on Amazon on August 3, 2020 with better ingredients and affordable price points. The line was originally launched in 2017, but Gabrielle rebooted it as she’s “dedicated to developing the perfect blend of high quality, affordable products for all types of textured hair to promote flawless beauty through choice and diversity.”

Flawless is launching with 12 new products for styling and treatment such as a co-wash and curl refreshing spray. I am sure WOC with textured hair that cost upward of hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year to maintain will appreciate the $4 – $10 price point.

When it came time to launch the line nearly two and a half years ago, timing was not on Union’s side. Though the actress had created a collection that was a true labor of love, “multiple rounds” of IVF had left her with “massive” bald spots on front of her head.

“I felt like such a fraud selling products,” Union recalls. “I literally didn’t have hair. But, our investors were pushing us to launch, so I was put in a position where I had to wear wigs and clip-ins. It felt so inauthentic to me. For all those women who’ve dealt with hair loss or balding, it’s debilitating and humiliating, and there’s a lot of shame involved.”

Union powered through, but as her brand tried to find its footing, the actress started to see cracks beneath the surface.

“We were targeting way too broad of an audience when we should have been specifically targeting our Black, textured hair audience. We were not Black-owned – and it showed,” she says.

Union also felt that “the prices were way too high, and the products were not available in all communities.”

Innovation was another issue. “We needed to lean into newer technology.”

Says Union, “We had to humble ourselves and say, ‘Are we doing okay? Yes. But this can be done better.’”

[From People]

I appreciate Union’s honesty when discussing how IVF left her balding. I have had the traumatic experience of losing chunks of hair and balding at the crown due to stress. And trying to find affordable clean products specifically for my hair texture was extremely frustrating.

Bringing the product to Amazon makes it accessible to most communities to get their hands on and focusing primarily on the diversity of black hair care is a plus. I am sure that black women and WOC with kinky coily hair will break the internet on launch day. I look forward to trying out the products, especially moisturizing my coils with the Curl Defining Cream made from Brazilian bacuri butter and castor seed oil and the Restoring Exotic Oil. I have mostly wavy coily hair that’s fine so having a product that won’t weigh my hair down is exciting. All in all, the products seem to be exactly what is needed in the kinky, coily marketplace and I look forward to getting my hands on as many as possible.

Note by Celebitchy: This isn’t a paid ad! We just liked these products.

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34 Responses to “Gabrielle Union on relaunching her haircare line: ‘hair loss is debilitating, humiliating’”

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  1. Piratewench says:

    As someone who is actually debilitated, it’s kind of ridiculous for her to say hair loss is debilitating.
    Nobody is wondering whether they can walk up and down the street today due to hairloss, nobody is unable to take care of themselves due to hair loss, nobody has to stop working due to hair loss etc.

    Humiliating, ok. I mean I don’t think people should feel humiliated but I understand it’s how they may feel when facing hair loss. They probably also feel sad, frustrated etc.
    But debilitating means you can’t perform the normal function of your day due to something. Hair loss ain’t it.

    • detritus says:

      I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure it fair.

      The stress and emotional load that comes with not being able to perform ‘beauty’, especially for a woman whose platform is based on that, is incredibly stressful.

      We put a lot of pressure on women to be constantly presentable, and I think that plays a large part of it. Added in, the emotional issues of feeling like you are a fraud, that sort of thing, anxiety, stress, can be debilitating.

      • Piratewench says:

        Hmmmm ok I see that. So maybe I’m being very literal because I’m physically debilitated and that’s what that means to me.
        So emotionally debilitated may be what the idea is when she says this.

      • Kimmie says:

        Just wanted to chime in and say this is the most positive conversation I’ve seen on the internet in a while. You both have renewed my hope in humanity and showed that respectful discourse is still possible.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        @Detritus and @Piratewench had a really lovely & respectful exchange. Just wanted to say I appreciated that. Polite commenters like you two, Atti, Bluemoonhorse & many others are why this is one of the few online spaces I post comments in. 🥂I wish we could sit on the patio and debate whether we prefer a classic margarita cocktail or a Tommy’s margarita.
        🦄✨

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      Depression is debilitating.

    • Nell Graham says:

      Considering she would be unable to work without help in the form of various wigs or hair extension, yes, I would consider that debilitating. A portion of her suffering surely was that her hair loss was emotionally crippling and made her professional life much more complicated.

      I really don’t think it’s appropriate to re-center this conversation on yourself. Financially debilitating, emotionally debilitating…numerous things can be debilitating. And frankly some empathy would go a long way. The gatekeeping on a word is a bit much.

      • Piratewench says:

        Al right Nell relax. I didn’t write her a letter. This is a gossip site and I am saying I didn’t think the word debilitating is appropriate when hair loss doesn’t cause any physical debility.
        People chimed in and I actually think it’s correct what they are saying. I always think of debility as physical but people have pointed out that there are more ways to apply the word. So there you go.
        Stop conversation gate-keeping lol. I learned something and it’s all good because this is a gossip site not a piece of legislation.

    • Nell Graham says:

      Piratewench you literally said it was ridiculous she describes hair loss as debilitating. I found your comment selfish and unkind. You are welcome to leave comments in any conversation….just don’t be surprised when people call you on “ridiculous” ones.

      • Atti says:

        A nice discussion was happening, and even complimented by an onlooker. Then of course someone has to jump in and be mean about it….

    • Ella says:

      I’m “actually debilitated” too, but I think you’re being too literal about the term. “Debilitating” doesn’t necessarily mean “you can’t perform the normal function of your day due to something.” The way we use the term in modern English, it can simply mean the opposite of “energized.”

    • Mash says:

      @pirate lets not do the oppression Olympics.

      I’ve suffered hair loss and as a black woman of the natural hair community (our hair and history of it is a very heavy subject) it was debilitating but that still doesn’t take away from people with actual disabilities or debilitating illness it was just Gabrielle Union’s personal experience and mine the same. You can’t take away from someone’s feelings were experienced and how they interpreted it out because it doesn’t match yours

      Gatekeeping much

  2. Astrid says:

    I never gave hair loss much thought when I saw men going bald and never understood the angst. Recently, mine started falling out big time with menopause and its a terrible feeling. I didn’t appreciate how good I had it all those years.

    • Allergy says:

      Astrid, Stinging Nettle Root made my hair grow back after hormonal hair loss. After giving birth my hair thinned on the temples a lot. I finally have it grown back, but I also had to stop coloring. I have hair that tends to be brittle.

    • Prayer Warrior says:

      I have recently discovered a silver-dollar sized bald spot on one side at the top of my head. It hides under a cowlick sometimes, but I no longer wear my hair in certain styles without feeling very self-conscious. I think it’s stress, but I’ve decided to stop colouring, and take much better care of the hair on my head…though I’ll still pluck all the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin. Losing hair where I want it and growing hair where I don’t…aging ain’t for the weak of heart (Phyllis Diller, I think)

  3. tig says:

    As Dwayne Wade was all tweeting support for Nick Cannon’s ugly words yesterday, she can go take a flying leap

  4. Anna says:

    I have an autoimmune disorder. I’ve had chronic irreversible 100% hair loss since the age of 19.. I struggle with feeling broken every day, trying my darnest to feel whole again and not let other people’s perception of me to demoralise me.. But then I read something like this and cant help but think that everybody whos ever told me that it’s “just hair” and that Im not a freak, secretely thinks like this woman and sees me as “humiliated and debilitated” for life.

    • Piratewench says:

      I don’t! I don’t think anyone should feel humiliated due to hair loss or any other aspect of their body. Especially things that can’t be controlled. I see anyone who is dealing with a difficulty as stronger for it.

      And baldness is a human beauty also. Nobody should be humiliated for having a body with aspects that don’t fit the very shallow “norms” of our society.

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    I thought I could handle losing my hair from chemo. I had chopped my hair off and had a short fro, but I cried when clumps came out. It was emotionally debilitating. I had a difficult time wearing wigs because I was constantly in a state of unease. I thought everyone could tell. Ayanna Pressley spoke about the loss of her hair to alopecia. You hope you aren’t vain, but hair is big part of women’s beauty, so to lose it hurts.

  6. Ash says:

    I very very recently started seeing bald spots appear on my head and while I’ve got an appointment with a derm, she can’t see me for two weeks. It looks exactly like alopecia though.

    I hate it and I’ve cried and I hate myself for crying over it during a frigging pandemic.

    That said, if anyone else here has been through something similar, I’d love to hear what products have worked for you for any aspect of the process, whether it be helping your hair grow back quicker or covering up the patches now. I have fine, straight hair, for what it’s worth.

    • Allergy says:

      Dr. Eric Berg has a few hair loss clips on YouTube. Hope you find something that helps!

    • Prayer Warrior says:

      It never occurred to me my sliver dollar sized bald spot could be alopecia. I’m gonna check out the youtube recommended by Allergy (thanks!) and @Ash, thanks for your comment I’ll make an appointment w/my doctor. I just looked in the mirror and it’s looking about the size of my jam jar…it’s even bigger than the last time I checked on it. Also fine, straight hair, but my saving grace was that I (used to) have a lot of it…
      @PirateWrench…”Nobody should be humiliated for having a body with aspects that don’t fit the very shallow “norms” of our society.” I wish we did live in a world where this sentiment was true…But we don’t …I found out about the silver dollar sized spot because 2 young women were joking and whispering about it on the bus and I happened to overhear them. I’ve been wearing a lot of hats……

  7. Princess Caroline says:

    I’m commiserating with her so hard on the hair loss front. I became very, very ill last year for about 3-4 months. Doctors never figured out what was going on with me. As soon as I started to recover I was laid off from work for the entire summer and also my hair started shedding like crazy. I would cry everytime I took a shower bc I was so afraid that I was going bald. Thankfully it started filling back in immediately but I can still tell a difference a year later

  8. Green Desert says:

    Thanks for covering this! We discussed black hair on a Meghan thread the other day. Our relationship to our hair can be complicated. There’s a standard of beauty set by society that is difficult to live up to; few hairstylists learn how to style black hair; good products can be expensive. I have become a huge Gabrielle fan through the years and she continues to show her work here. I’m excited to check out the products.

  9. Mee says:

    Taraji also has good products at Target

  10. Bella says:

    I have alopecia and people who don’t have it, do not get the level of stress it causes. I try not to think about it and if I ever talk it with friends I end up getting angry as the comments are ridiculous. My favorite is–well, I don’t see anything, or it’s not that bad. I have to wear wigs and it is what is and I don’t like it.

  11. Clickety Click says:

    Interesting topic. Brought up a few things for me. For example it would never occur to me to feel bad about some aspects of my life or myself until I heard other people saying that they’re things I should feel bad about. Then I try to counter those thoughts by telling myself that I shouldn’t feel bad about these things just because other people say they’re things I should feel bad about. Like the time a friend of mine asked me if I felt bad about being short and I was like no, am I supposed to feel bad about that? Then it started becoming a thing for me just because someone suggested that it could be.