Gabrielle Union’s Extra-Long Cornrows Are The Chicest Spring Style

Compeltely flawless.

Gabrielle Union topknot

She looks incredible all year long, but there’s no denying the extra magic seen in Gabrielle Union’s spring and summer hairstyles — especially her protective looks. When the weather starts to warm up, the star inevitably breaks out the twists, topknots, and braids that keep her hair both free from damage and completely on-trend. Spring didn’t officially start until March 19, but it’s been balmy in the Lone Star State for a while now. Fittingly, Union’s long cornrows at Austin’s South By Southwest film festival helped her usher in the season just a little bit early.

Union was spotted on the red carpet on March 16 for the global premiere of rom-dram The Idea Of You, which is actually produced by her own production company and stars her friend Anne Hathaway. In a plunging black sleeveless jacket, formal Bermuda shorts, and a matching pair of pumps, Union looks especially sharp — and it’s only underscored by the waist-sweeping braids that cascade all the way past her top’s belted, nipped waist. It’s the springtime version of business-chic formalwear, and her hair is the perfect complement. The straight-back braiding style puts the focus on her fresh, luminous skin, with nearly two dozen scalp plaits arranged with a laser-precise spacing and tons of glossy shine.

Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty Images
Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty Images

While it was difficult to truly grasp how long and luxe her braids are on the actual red carpet, the length can fully be appreciated when Union met up with her longtime buddy Hathaway inside the premiere. In shots of the pair hugging and catching up, the extra-long plaits make a serious statement, their ends falling somewhere around her hips.

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

It’s was a very long, action-packed week for Union, who somehow managed to jam her birthday celebrations, SXSW, the NAACP Image Awards, and quality time with her family into just a handful of days. Remarkably, she also came up with completely different hairstyles for each outing, of which were perfectly tailored to her outfits and the individual event themes. It’s unclear exactly which celebrity stylist or braider Union worked with for her appearance in Austin, but together, they’re certainly setting the beauty bar high for spring 2024.