Gabrielle Union is all about expressing yourself—your truest self. That goes for everyone and anyone, including her children.
When it comes to Black hair, specifically, the actress-producer and beauty/fashion mogul is making sure she instills self-love in her children, especially her two youngest, Zaya (currently 13 years old) and Kaavia (currently 20 months) in terms of the way they express themselves.
“Your hair is a part of you and it’s an extension of you, but it has to start with self-love and pride in your Blackness and Afrocentric features, whether that be your hair, your nose, your lips or your body,” she recently told People.
Union assures fans she and husband Dwyane Wade are “are constantly reaffirming our kids, especially now, when there are so many external forces that are anti-Black. It is always pride and live your best life and live your best Black life. And let your curls do what they do.”
This reassurance is especially important in the social media age because, as a public figure, Union often experiences heavy criticism with every move, including how she chooses to showcase her child’s hair.
“I’ll see comments and people are like, ‘Why is her hair never done?’ And I’m like, ‘She is a year and a half.’ I don’t want to give her a complex about what is an acceptable style,” Union noted.
Union knows what it’s like to feel less confident as a child, sharing that she wanted to simply “fit in” when she was 8 years old, knowing her hair was different and that she didn’t want to be othered. However, she wants her children to celebrate their uniqueness and reaffirms their freedom to do so. For Union, she ultimately just wants their hair to thrive in a healthy way.
“Some days Kav will hand you her brush and she’ll want a little afro puff. And some days she just wants to wake up and go,” Union noted. “And Zaya went from pink hair to blonde. If you want to switch it up every day, great. What you do with your hair is your own personal choice. For me, the focus is on healthy hair, not on what you do with it.”
Union consistently keeps that same energy with her business as well, having recently announced an upcoming relaunch of a haircare line that she co-created with her longtime hairstylist Larry Sims called Flawless. In announcing the launch, Union said she wanted to “fully encourage self-expression and authentic ownership of personal style.”