She’s a Natural! Gabrielle Union’s Cropped Curls Make Waves on Instagram

Photo: Gregg DeGuire (Getty Images)

Fun fact: This past weekend, I hightailed it to the Chicago salon I’ve been frequenting for over 20 years, marched right up to the owner (my longtime stylist), and dramatically proclaimed, “I can’t take another day!” while pulling at my hair. Coveted lengths be damned, I was planning to park myself in his chair on a busy Saturday until he cut off the remaining inches of keratin-straightened hair I’ve been awkwardly growing out for the last year and change.

He thankfully obliged (as if he had a choice), and I’m now enjoying a moppy, slightly coppery, surprisingly still-medium-length head of my natural curls—which feel lighter, more fun, and dare I say, even a bit younger. More on that later, but my renewed sense of liberation was affirmed last night, when I saw images Gabrielle Union posted to Instagram, showing off her own cropped natural curls.

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Not that we’re unaccustomed to Union giving us dramatic hair changes; from shorn and sleek to long and braided, the actress regularly switches it up, often using wigs, extensions and even color as her tools. Neither are we unfamiliar with her natural curls (as seen in our header photo, taken in September). Union, who has her own haircare line called Flawless, also loves to play with her texture.

But as Coco Chanel famously quipped, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” While Union’s life looks pretty great (and ridiculously busy) these days, the boldness of her cropped and curly look not only put the spotlight on her gorgeous face but garnered rave reviews—and an outpouring of black girl magical praise.

“Soooooooo cute!!!,” commented Regina King, while short-hair aficionado LeToya Luckett proclaimed the look “AMAZING!!!!! 😍🙌🏾.” “Dayummm shawty! 😍” said Chicago Med’s Yaya DaCosta (well known for her major hair moments), and supermodel Winnie Harlow was also a fan, exclaiming “MAMACITA 🔥😍🤤” And the ever-cool Ava DuVernay gave her assessment of the look with a simple “👑” emoji.

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While Union never stays in one look for very long, I think it’s safe to say we hope this one makes more frequent appearances in the rotation. It’s a natural beauty.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.