Gabrielle Union's Ornate Oscars 2024 Updo Is the "Perfect Snatched Bun"

With hairstylist Larry Sims, Union used Flawless by Gabrielle Union to look, well, flawless.

Gabrielle Union attends the 2024 oscars with an updo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gabrielle Union always looks incredible when she hits the red carpet, and the 96th Annual Academy Awards weren't an exception. The actress, author, and entrepreneur attended the 2024 Oscars red carpet wearing a gorgeous outfit and one of her best beauty moments yet: a slicked-back bun styled by celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims.

Sims has also worked with the likes of Janet Jackson, Victoria Beckham, Laverne Cox, and other legendary stars. The look he created tonight for Union lived up to his prestigious résumé.

The sleek, minimalist style complemented Union's form-fitting ensemble from Carolina Herrera, which consisted of a silver embellished mini dress and skirt. What's more, Sims created Union's look using the Flawless by Gabrielle Union haircare line, demonstrating the efficacy of the star's curl-focused brand.

Gabrielle Union at the 2024 Oscars

Gabrielle Union arrived on the 2024 Oscars red carpet with a high braided top knot.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For tonight's look, Sims washed Union's hair with the Flawless by Gabrielle Union Hydrating Detangling Shampoo and 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner. Then, he prepared her hair for heat treatment using the brand's Flawless Shine Enhancing Spray.

Once her hair was prepped, Sims got to work on her updo. "I used the Kristin Ess Soft Volume Blow Dry Brush to give Gabrielle a smooth blowout and scalp massage at the same time," he tells Marie Claire exclusively. "I then used my Kristin Ess 3 In One Flat Iron to straighten her hair."

The stylist couldn't use just any tools on her hair. "Details are everything to me as a stylist—the Kristin Ess Defining and Detailing Mini Flat Iron allowed me to perfect those hard-to-reach areas," he explains. "Next, I applied a generous amount of the Flawless Styling Glaze around her hairline and blended the glaze with my Kristin Ess Brush for the perfect snatched bun at the back of her head."

Gabrielle Union at the 2024 Oscars

From every angle, Union's bun was smooth and shiny.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sims' strategy gave Union's hair tremendous shine and visible softness, but the star of the show was the ornate nature of her tight bun, which Sims knotted for a unique, elongated silhouette.

"I attached a 22-inch wrap-around textured ponytail to Gabrielle's bun and secured it with hair pins," he explains. "After her pony was secure, I twisted it clockwise into a rope at the base of the pony and double-knotted it to create a coiled figure-8 finish." Then, he finished the look with another Flawless product—the brand's Exotic Oil Drops, which he says gave her "a luminous finish."

Indeed, the high-shine, pared-back look lit up the red carpet tonight, serving as the best advertisement possible for Union's effective, affordable brand. Below, everything you need to replicate the look.

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Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, fashion, culture, and politics both at Marie Claire and for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.