Whether you’re rocking braids, a top knot or a high pony, laying down your edges can upgrade any look. In fact, it’s become quite the art form—just check out Alicia Keys, FKA Twigs and Josephine Baker aka the OG edges icon) for reference. With the right products, you can easily recreate their looks—creating simple swirls and loops with your baby hairs can be done with a good hair tool and edge control.
What to Look for In A Edge Control
It’s important to look for ingredients like castor, argan and olive oil. The moisturizing components will keep edges sleek, flake-free and nourished. And you’ll want to avoid products with too much alcohol, as they tend to dry out your hair.
An edge control can come in the form of a gel, paste or wax. The one you should choose depends on what works best for your hair type. A water-based edge control is lightweight and soft, while an oil-based option will have a stronger hold. But we get it if walking straight into the hair care aisle seems overwhelming, so we compiled the 25 best edge controls to sleek down those flyaways and keep your edges looking snatched.
1. Eco Styler
This is the OG edge control that can be found in every natural hair gal’s beauty cabinet. It doesn’t only come in a huge tub (16oz for a regular, FYI) to last you a long time, it also comes with important benefits like a strong hold and frizz-smoothing capabilities thanks to its key ingredient—argan oil. Oh, and it has over 11,000+ 5-star reviews.
2. African Pride Olive Miracle Super Hold and Smooth Edges
Best for Protective Styles
This olive and tea tree oil combo works to sleek edges down and keep flyaways at bay. The best part? You can also apply the gel onto your protective styles (aka braids, locs and twists) to keep them hydrated, frizz-free and shiny.
3. Style Factor Edge Booster Strong Hold Styling Gel
Best Scent Range
Here we have an oil-based edge control that keeps a strong hold and shine. The gel comes in not one, but 14 different scents such as Sweet Peach, Coconut Banana and Blueberry.
4. Ampro Shine ‘N Jam Extra Hold Conditioning Gel
Best for Braid Styles
Honey is known for keeping hair moisturized and nourished, so adding it into a gel is a hydration bonus. The gel helps smooth down edges and braided hairstyles for extra hold.
5. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges Extra Hold
The argan oil-based edge control keeps its promise of firm and long-lasting coverage. It’s also been praised for tackling even the most difficult of baby hairs.
6. Ebin New York 24 Hour Edge Tamer
Don’t let the product name fool you. Over 1,500+ reviewers can attest to the 24-hour hold this edge tamer delivers, especially for Brazilian, virgin or natural hair. One reviewer raves, “I purchase this all the time. EXCELLENT EDGE TAMER... holds my hair in place perfectly LITERALLY for up to two days (I wrap my hair at night). No frizz at all.”
7. Cantu Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel
There’s no need to drop a lot of $$$ when there’s a drugstore fave that can get the job done (and even better!). This gel smooths down your edges and the shea butter component makes for a long-lasting, sleek look.
8. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control
Best for Dry, Dull Hair
If you have dry, dull or brittle hair, reach for this edge control to keep edges soft and moisturized. The smell alone (a blend of aloe, shea butter and sweet almond oil combo) is enough to add it to your cart.
9. Design Essentials Sleek Max Strength Edge Control
Best for All Hair Types
Whether your hair is straight, curly or natural, all types can rely on this product to lay down your baby hairs and get long-lasting hold.
10. The Mane Choice Growth Stimulating Edge Control
Best for Hair Growth
When you have biotin, vitamin E, castor oil and avocado oil in the mix, you’re bound to have a nourishing product. The gel packs a shiny finish and promotes healthy hair growth.
11. Hicks Edges Pomade
This pomade works to lay down edges easily without any flakes or white streaks. “I absolutely love this gel, it holds better than any gel I have tried and I have tried many,” said one Amazon reviewer. “I have very coarse hair, but it lays my edges down so well they look relaxed. It also doesn't flake up like most gels. Try it, you will not regret it.”
12. Moco de Gorila Snot Gel
Best Firm Hold
OK, with a name like that, you have to be curious to try it out. The hair gel leaves a firm hold with only a small amount. Plus, it has a peachy scent, if that’s your thing.
13. Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze
Best for Curly Hair
This lightweight gel is great for slicking down edges, improving moisture and keeping hair shiny all day. The coconut oil, shea butter and aloe blend is a curly gal’s edge control dream.
14. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste
Best for Frizzy Hair
The scent alone (aka the organic blueberry extract, mango and shea butter mix) is enough to want to apply it on your baby hairs. The paste can slick down edges and define any flyaways or frizz.
15. Murray’s Edge Wax Extreme Hold
Best for Coily Hair
The gel’s 100 percent Australian beeswax has made this a favorite with over 1,100 5-star reviews, especially for people with 4a to 4b curls. “This is the best edge control for my hair because it’s not greasy, it holds my hair very well and it smells good. A friend of mine recommended it to me and honestly I'm done with gel and jam,” said one Amazon reviewer.
16. OGX Natural Finish + Aspen Texture Molding Paste
If you’re looking to upgrade your casual edges look, reach for a paste that can help create all the swirls and spirals you’re after. The blend works to mold your baby hairs and turn them into a masterpiece.
17. Tancho Tique Stick
Best for Fine Hair
If gels, paste and creams don’t work for you, this edge stick might do the trick. The beeswax and castor oil combo is a natural alternative for adding texture and styling your edges.
18. Avlon KeraCare Edge Tamer
Best for Relaxed Hair
People with relaxed hair can rely on this gel to tame edges. “Wonderful product. Used this for my edges as my edges are now natural (I have coarse hair) and lays it down as though my edges are relaxed!” said one reviewer. “I have tried other products (literally just about every edge control product) and none holds a candle next to this item.”
19. Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel
Best Strong Hold
FYI, the grip is no joke. This gel makes good on its promise to not leave a single hair out of place. The 10,000+ 5-star reviews can attest to the edge control that holds like glue for all hair types—even wigs.
20. Instant Control Edge & Braid Gel
Don’t worry about white residue—your baby hairs can rest easy knowing no flakes will come through thanks to the coconut and castor oil mix in this gel.
21. Dr. Miracle’s Style Edge Holding Gel
Best for Natural Hair
Jojoba oil is the star ingredient in this gel, adding shine and a hold that will keep your edges in place.
22. Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Edge Control
Best for Soft Texture
This edge control features a honey, aloe and ginger blend to nourish and moisturize your hair. A little goes a long way in smoothing and softening edges without too much of a hold.
23. Mizani Edge Taming Gel
Best for Luxury
Whether you have curls, coils or wavy hair, this gel will keep your baby hairs sleek. The jojoba and argan oils add moisture and strength to any flyaways.
24. She Is Bomb Collection Edge Control
This product dries quickly to rapidly secure your look, and a small amount will last you all day. No need to worry about a hard texture or flakes, which is a major bonus.
25. Just for Me Curl Peace Kids Soothing Ponytail and Edge Control
Best for Kids
The flaxseed, avocado and castor oil combo will leave a firm hold, even when your kiddo is playing around all day.
So, How Do You Lay Down Edges?
You’ve picked out a product, but you’re still not sure exactly how to sleek down your baby hairs. We tapped celebrity hairstylist Robin D. Groover to give us the step-by-step on how to style and lay down your edges right at home.
1. Style your hair any way you want. Is it a ponytail, sleek bun or a protective style kind of day? After styling your hair, you can begin to lay your edges.
2. Take a hold of your desired baby hair. “[You can] choose baby hairs from the natural hairline for a more natural look. [But] for a more designer look, choose baby hairs from past the natural hairline,” said Groover. How to find your baby hairs? It’s usually shorter than an inch. “Once the look is identified, brush the hair forward in a natural fall toward the front. Similar to how you would brush down a bang,” she explained.
3. Start with a small amount of edge control. You don’t want to start out with too much and end up with a clunky mess on your head. Apply a pea-sized amount before adding any more of the product onto your edges.
4. Begin brushing down your baby hairs. Groover recommends brushing down using your finger first before grabbing a tool. (Note: There are different tools you can use to brush down your edges. A regular edge brush, eyebrow brush and even a toothbrush can do the trick.) “Brush the baby hairs flat and outline the desired look with a comb. The tracing motion, by outlining the edges, gives artistic swirls and waves,” Groover explained. “Follow the natural motion or create a designer look to frame the face.”
Shop tools: Leinuosen Rat Tail Comb ($5); HYOUJIN Rat Tail Comb ($5); Red by Kiss Ultimate Edge Brush ($5); Kitsch Pro Dual Edge Brush and Comb ($6); PATTEN Edge Tool ($12); Baby Tress Edge Styler ($15)
5. Admire your work and cover it with a silk scarf. You did it! Now, it’s time to let it dry, remain flat and stay in place. Just cover your hairline with a silk scarf and continue with the rest of your routine. Leave it on for a few minutes before carefully removing the scarf and marveling at your new look.
Things to Keep in Mind
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your baby hairs, especially by adding gems and jewels to make them really pop. Just remember that your edges are very delicate and can look different depending on your hair type. “It is important to always remember that baby hairs should be styled according to the natural curl pattern and swirl of the follicle. Using an edge control is always a great option, as it will give you maximum hold,” said Groover.
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