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A Guide on How to Do Edges
June 01, 2022 5 min read
By Toia Barry
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “edges on fleek” before, right? Well, if you haven’t or you don’t know what it means, edges, also known as baby hairs. But what are baby hairs? Baby hairs are the short hairs that are along the hairline of textured hair.
Hairstyles for thin edges have become an art form amongst Black and Brown women.
The most popular natural hairstyles are paired with slicked-down edges to take the look to the next level. Now that you know why having them looking good is such a flex, we’re here to help you achieve them. It requires the right natural hair products, tools, and skills, but don’t worry, you’ll be a pro in no time. We will discuss where they originated, and we’ll guide you on the perfect edge control gel to use and how to get them laid and looking good!
The History of Edges
The beginnings of “laying edges” began in the 1920s, pioneered by artist Josephine Baker, known for her swooped sideburns and swirled hair to complement her flapper cut. Fast forward to the late ‘80s and early ‘90’s the baby hairstyles that we know of and wear today were everywhere. It was a staple amongst Black women on red carpets and runways, and eventually, Black women everywhere.
What You’ll Need
Before you begin to learn how to lay edges down, the first step is to find the right curly hair styling products and supplies. These items are key to achieving the complete look, while maintaining the health of your edges:
The Right Edge Control
Edges can be swooped, swirled, and shaped using an edge control product and a small brush. As with learning how to do your edges, the edge control product you use is the most important piece of the puzzle. You won’t want to use anything that will cause flaking or heavy buildup. Your edges are the most delicate part of your crown, so they should be treated as such.
Find the product you’re going to use for styling your edges based on your hair type and texture. Remember, not all edge control products are created equally. For example, to avoid damaged edges, a 4c hair has a coarse texture, and fragile edges, so you will want to use a product that has a stronger hold but isn’t too harsh.
Try these Mielle Organics’ edge gel products:
Our Honey & Ginger Edge Gel is the ultimate natural hair-styling gel for looks and lengths. This edge gel promotes overall hair health and works great for those who have thinning edges. It does not flake and isn’t gummy or greasy. This organic product contains aloe, honey, and ginger root, to give your hair the nutrients it’s been looking for. Honey is a natural antioxidant to help moisturize your scalp.
The Rosemary Mint Strengthening Edge Gel will have your laid edges feeling healthy. This edge gel provides shine and hydration while supporting healthy edges. The Rosemary Mint Collection products are infused with biotin and natural ingredients like coconut and babassu seed oil. Your edges will hold throughout the day, without becoming dry or flaky.
Lastly, the Pomegranate and Honey Edge Gel is the perfect product for any hairstyle. It will lay your edges and make any ponytail or updo look sleek. This edge gel is super long-lasting and will leave your hair smelling amazing!
An Edge Brush
You can find an edge and comb brush at your local beauty supply store, or you can just use a plain old toothbrush. We recommend that whatever you use, have semi-firm bristles so that you can get a better application. You don’t want to use a brush with bristles that are too hard because it might cause more tension and breakage.
How to Lay Your Edges
Now that you have the right products, you are ready to slick your edges down to complete your look. We’re sharing a 4-step guide to give your hair that extra touch:
- Start by using a rat tail comb to pick out the baby hairs along your forehead from the rest of your hair.
- Next, use your finger or brush to distribute and apply the gel.
- Using the brush’s bristles, smooth the hair in the direction you want to achieve the swirl or swoop you’re going for. Try holding the top of your edges down as you're brushing them, to hold the hair in place.
- Once you have achieved your desired look, wrap your hair using a silk scarf for at least 10 minutes, leaving the product to dry and flatten your edges.
Here are some insider tips and tricks to achieving healthy and beautiful edges for any look:
Wet Your Edges
Work on damp edges by using a spray bottle to apply water onto your brush or the front of your hairline before applying the product. This will allow the product to settle into your hair and help your edges stay slicked down.
Moisturize Your Edges
Constantly manipulating our hair can cause it to become dry. Use a light cream or a leave-in before applying an edge gel to your hair. This will seal in the moisture and prevent breakage.
Always Tie Your Hair Down
It’s important to lay your edges down after you have brushed them. Use any silk or satin scarf or an edge-laying scarf to lay down your hair. Silk or satin is best to avoid friction and frizz. This is going to keep your edges flat, frizz-free and preserve them throughout the day. Keep the scarf on for about 10-20 minutes to set your style.
Naturalistas, stay away from blow dryers and flat irons when styling your edges. Applying heat to the most fragile part of our hair, the edges, can cause breakage and damage.
Don’t Overuse Product
To maintain healthy edges, never continue to put on product multiple days in a row without rinsing or cleansing the edges. Product buildup can cause our hair to dry out and break off over time.
Avoid Harsh Products
If you’re learning how to get edges back, this is a critical tip. Avoid maximum hold gels that contain a lot of alcohol. Avoid drying alcohols like ethanol, propanol, and isopropyl. Look for fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol that provide hydrating benefits for the hair.
Perfecting Your Edges
Laying your edges is like the cherry on top of the ice cream, perfect to complete any hairstyle. Laying your edges can give you a more sleek look and can help you express your creativity. Be sure to moisturize your edges and always wrap them in a scarf to get hydrated, shiny, and edges that will stay laid through the day!
- Essence.Baby Tress and Black Girls Texting Talk Edge Styling And Appropriation. https://www.essence.com/hair/is-baby-hair-grooming-on-the-edge-of-appropriation/
- Crwnmag. How We Do: Edges — The Origins of Baby Hair x Baby Tress. https://www.crwnmag.com/blog/2019/6/baby-hair#:~:text=Decades%20later%2C%20Chola%20culture%20that,become%20in%20Black%20hair%20history.
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