Gabrielle Union 
By Madamenoire
Gabrielle Union is undergoing a major transition career and image wise. In the past year, we’ve seen the actress become an activist and author, speaking out on sexual assault and race matters and publishing her first novel, We’re Going to Need More Wine. The 45-year-old also became an entrepreneur, debuting a line of hair care products under the brand name Flawless. And on that front we also saw Gabby makeover her own mane, ditching the straight styles she’s known for in favor of rocking more natural textures and, in some instances, her own hair.

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 By Mary Wolff

Choosing your next hairstyle can be tricky. You obviously want something that is stylish and easy to care for, but you probably also want a look that will last a few weeks. When it comes to these 5 inexpensive ways to freshen your hairstyle, make your look go the extra mile without spending a lot of money.

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1. Add a Gloss

One of the easiest ways to change things up is to add a gloss to your hair. This is usually more affordable than a full-on color job and can add new life to your hair. Most last for only a few shampoos so they are also non-committal for those not sure if they will like it. Best of all, you don’t even need a trip to the salon! There are products that let you add gloss to your strands in the comfort of your own home such as John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze.

2. Get a Trim

This is a great way to freshen up your hair while keeping it healthy and happy. Whether you choose to do a blunt cut style trim, dusting, or step into the salon for a layered trim, cutting your hair is an inexpensive way to give things a new vibe.

3. Add an Accessory

When you are just tired of your hair in general, a great way to bring back the fun is with a stylish hair accessory. From sleek headbands and flower clip ins to elegant head wraps, there are a ton of affordable hair accessories to help set a new style for your hair.

4. Create Bangs

If you have ever wondered how you would look with bangs, but are too scared to take the plunge, create them without ever using the scissors! This look is easy to do and can make you feel like you have a whole new style. Here is a quick tutorial on how to achieve this look, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOOrNzTsjDw

5. Add a Few Highlights

If a full color job is a little too pricey at the moment, adding a few highlights is a more budget-friendly solution that can make your hair feel different and fresh. When choosing this option to freshen up your locks, aim for a few face framing highlights to really create a new look.


Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why? (tell us your natural hair journey)
 I had naturally curly hair throughout my entire life! I didn't start WEARING it till my second year of high school. It was definitely a 'maturity' thing. I grew into wearing it natural because I began to like it a lot and wanting to step out the box.

Had you always embraced your texture?



 In high school, I was going through 'blonde Beyonce' phases. I still would straighten it a lot. I started doing my own hair and learning about it. I didn't have a computer, no YouTube or tumblr or anything. My curls were not even CLOSE to how healthy and fabulous they are today. At the time I was battling to bring out the true essence of my curls. Nothing but trial and error, and wanting my curly hair to be or look some way it's NOT. The natural stepping stones to falling in love and embracing your true texture! And yes, I became a product junkie. Took me years to break out of that! Its all out my system now. Bleaching, heat, experimenting, impulsive product buying, I'm pretty much a pro now!

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you?  What was your response to them? 
 I remember my mom and sister always encouraged me to wear my hair curly growing up, they would say it's beautiful and that I didn't know what I have. I use to look at them so crazy, I literally thought they didn't know what they were talking about. It didn't help that no one knew how to style it, so I didn't give it a chance. I just remember it being wild, super wavy/3b curls. It was very long with no shape. I didn't know much about salons and layering then. So my mom would get the grease and press it for me. I always wanted it straight. I can just faintly remember how my curl texture was when I was younger. When I started wearing my curly hair I was 15 years old everyone loved it, some haters envied it, but it definitely made it easy for me to feel comfortable w/ the natural state of my hair. It was pretty, even my first love digged it. My best friends thought it was fun and exotic, compliments kept rolling in, especially when I bleached the majority of it, it definitely made me stand out. I know this sounds dramatic, but when I did that my life somewhat changed and my confidence shot up. I was stepping out the box and I felt unstoppable. My mom was just letting me do what I wanted w/ my hair


Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
 I have fine textured hair and thick density. I'm not sure of the porosity of my hair, I think it's high, it depends on the product though, and since its fine I like light moisturizing cremes for it because it can get weighed down. My hair does catch frizz from high humidity which can be annoying. So I want to say it's high.

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? favorite products! Deets!
 My staple products to use is Mane and Tail Conditioner as a leave-in -I been using that since I was a baby. Also Moroccan moisturizing conditioner, Bouncy Creme, and Aquage curl gel. Those are professional products that do it for me. I like many deep moisturizing conditioners. I barely shampoo, so I use anything lying around, I prefer moisturizing clarifying shampoo though. My current 'seal-in' is Pantene shine serum w/ argan and Moroccan healing oil for the ends and mid-shaft of my hair. I use a paddle brush to evenly distribute product and smooth out my curls, then follow-up with a wide toothed comb to separate to my curls, give it some body. This all done WET.


How do you maintain your hair at night?
 Most people I think do the "pineapple" overnight but after trial and error I feel it makes my curls look a bit 'wirey'. I realized my hair was always trained to be tied loosely in the back overnight. Even when my hair is straight I simply tie it in a low and very loose ponytail then pop my bonnet on. When it's curly, I lightly put all my hair into a loose bun in the center back of my head and pop my bonnet on. In the morning after I take out the scrunchy, and shake my hair, everything is back in tact!

How do you maintain healthy length?
 To maintain length I condition my hair once or twice a week. I shampoo once every two-three weeks. When my curls start getting 'old' I still would let it rock out. Or I may just put in a slick updo and use Groganics creme, and Jamaican healing oil to help stimulate growth. I leave that in for a day or two. I'm constantly doing something to my hair. I deep condition once every week. Trims help. I'm currently getting out of the awkward stages of growing out my layers due to a short curly cut I got almost a year ago. I've just been sticking to trimming every six months. My overnight routine helps because I'm not putting much tension on my hair. And 95% of the time my hair is curly, so no worries w/ heat damage. My hair is growing out a lot, due to maintaining the length I already have, and trimming off the bad.


What's the best thing about being curly?
 The amazing thing about being curly is that I don't have to do much w/ my hair and even on a 'bad day' I still can get a way with it. I feel very unique. I personally think of it being as special and different as our fingerprints. It's YOURS; one of a kind and no one can say it's 'wrong', natural or curly, it is our 'God given crowns'! It's very ironic, you do find yourself putting a lot of effort and time into taking care of your natural hair and figuring it out, it's simply putting pride into yourself. But the result is beyond worth it. 

Where can folks find you on the web?
Tumblr: @tommia 

Instagram: @tommia_


After a while, every DIY recipe starts to look the same. Avocados, bananas, mayonnaise, olive oil, and eggs all begin to sound a bit trite.Everyone has a whipped shea butter tutorial that only differs by oil variations but not with Duchess Gabrielle. Gabrielle creates this luxurious homemade hair cream with ingredients that had me running to Google. This cream is infused with 11 different herbs! Where they do that at? The various butters, oils, and gels allow this creamy goodness to double as a sealant and styler. Check out the recipe below and watch the video below for a tutorial.

*Ingredients
  • ¼ cup aloe vera juice
  • 3 oz coconut oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp Gabrielle’s dry hair blend (marshmallow root, mullein leaf, elder flower, burdock root, stinging nettle, lavender, comfrey leaf, flower, sage, parsley, chamomile, and calendula)
  • 3 Tbsp emulsifying wax
  • 1/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp flaxseeds
  • 2 oz illipe butter
  • ½ tsp lavender
  • 1 tsp Liquid Germall Plus
  • 3 Lotioncrafter BTMS
  • ¼ cup marshmallow root
  • ½ tsp orange sweet oil
  • ½ tsp rosemary oil
  • 2 oz shea butter
  • 1/3 cup unrefined avocado oil
  • 3 cups water
*Tools
  • Bowl
  • Blender
  • Glass or plastic storage jar
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rice strainer
  • Saran wrap
  • Double boiler pot
  • Wooden spoon
*Directions

GEL PHASE
  1. Put the dry hair blend into the rice strainer and pour steaming hot water over the blend. Allow the tea to steep for an hour.
  2. Boil the flaxseeds in water and reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the gel solution into a bowl and add the aloe vera juice.
  4. Pour the tea from the dry hair blend into the gel solution and stir in the Liquid Germall Plus.
  5. Cover this mix with saran wrap and place to the side.
BUTTER PHASE
  1. Cut the coconut oil, shea butter, and illipe butter into smaller section. This helps the butters to melt faster in the next step.
  2. Place the shea butter and illipe butter in the double boiler until completely melted. Then, turn off the stove and add the coconut oil until it is completely melted.
LIQUID OIL PHASE
  1. Pour unrefined avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil into a bowl.
  2. Transfer the melted butters into the bowl with the avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Return the oil mix to the double boiler.
  4. Add the emulsifying wax and the Lotioncrafter BTMS.
  5. Remove the mixture from the stove and return to a bowl.
  6. Stir in the orange sweet, lavender, and rosemary oils.
  7. Allow the oil mixture to cool to room temperature.
  8. Pour the gel solution into a blender and slowly add the liquid mixture. Once the blender begins to choke, the emulsification process is complete. In order to avoid disintegrating the mixture, do not over blend. The blend should have a creamy consistency.
  9. Fill the glass or plastic storage container with the final cream mixture.
  10. Store the cream in a cool place and let it sit overnight before using.This DIY is definitely for the crafty natural and will leave your hair moisturized for days on end. 

This one is clearly for the advanced mixtress!  
What do you think? Will you give it a try?! 
by Shelli of Hairscapades

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of months now to highlight, share and co-sign on a trick that I read on CurlyNikki long ago, but only started employing more recently. There are several viable and effective options for detangling naturally curly hair: dry with oil, slightly damp with oil and/or conditioner, wet and saturated with conditioner, fingers, wide-tooth comb, Denman, etc. I’m not going to go into the various techniques here, but if you want to learn more, check out this detailed post on CurlyNikki: Detangling Methods for Natural Hair.


So, back to the point of this post. Over the last year and a half, I have mostly finger detangled my hair dry during my pre-poo routine. However, for the majority of my twelve years natural, I only detangled when it was completely wet and saturated with conditioner. Every now and again, I revisit the wet method and this weekend was one such occasion. I didn’t pre-poo, because I was doing a henna/indigo treatment and wanted to apply it to dry hair. So, my detangling process didn’t start until the henna/indigo conditioner rinse.

Let me tell you, putting my head under the shower stream once my hair is wet and saturated with conditioner really helps dissolve the tangles! In the past, I would wet my hair, add tons of conditioner, maybe add a little more water and go at it with the wide tooth comb. I generally only went back under the water stream when it was time to rinse. But the last few times I’ve wet detangled, I repeatedly put my head under the shower stream when I hit snags, adding more conditioner as needed. The water running down the conditioner-covered strands really seems to help melt the tangles down and out of my hair with a little assistance from my “nimble” fingers.

So, if you’ve never tried this and find yourself conditioned up, but needing a little help with a nasty snarl, turn to your new friend, the shower stream. You may be pleasantly surprised by how helpful “she” is!!
Is the shower stream your friend?

CN Says:
I concur. I'm always pleasantly surprised at how easily the water stream dissolves my knots. Try it!