As inconsequential because it may appear to some folks, hair is usually a central a part of your id — to the purpose {that a} haircut, whether or not a delicate trim or one thing extra drastic, can change not solely how your hair seems to be but in addition how you are feeling about your self. While a brand new reduce is thrilling for some, for others, it may well trigger a whole lot of dread as they watch the scissors slice into their hair, irrespective of how little is being reduce off. Gabrielle Union is aware of this all too nicely. In the previous, when she used to have her hair trimmed, “I would feel like I was trimming away my beauty,” she tells Allure on a Zoom name. “I was trimming away my femininity, and I had a real love-hate relationship with length, texture, color, and styles.”

It took years of remedy and touring for Union to quell that nervousness and develop a extra optimistic relationship together with her hair. “There is no one way to be feminine. I’m fly as fuck with short hair, long hair, [or] no hair,” she says. Because of this private work, her large chop in 2021 — the results of her merely wanting one thing new — did not evoke the identical degree of tension that even a minor haircut as soon as would have. 

It’s that flexibility with hairstyles and wonder usually that she admires in her 14-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade, who has dyed her hair pink and blue and performed round with quite a few protecting types. “It’s such a huge source of pride for me and the rest of the family that Zaya is so comfortable being whoever she is in the moment,” Union says to her daughter, who’s sitting beside her throughout our interview.

Despite feeling like her id is tied to her hair, Wade wasn’t dissuaded from doing a giant chop, which she says makes her “feel a little different and more empowered,” in April. Though she loves her buzz reduce, field braids maintain an much more particular place in her coronary heart. “I just feel like a diva [when] I have hair to flip,” she says about braids. But prolonged hair is not important to her; it is simply good to have the choice.