Edges refer to the baby hair around your forehead and hairline. Getting those edges on fleek can elevate your natural hair game to a whole new level. These hairs look adorable but they’re too short and fine to integrate into most hairstyles, so they stand out unless you learn how to lay your edges.
You can slick baby hairs into curls or designs to give your hairstyle a completely different look. Black women have had an off-and-on relationship with hair edges over the years, but this beautiful look has a timeless quality.
Many women are embracing their gorgeous natural hair and learning how to lay edges. If you want to know how to do edges on natural hair, read on for five fantastically simple steps to get this fabulous style for yourself.
What Are Edges?
Edges are the soft baby hairs around your face. They can look like flyaways unless you use edge control products to slick them down. But you don’t have to comb them flat—you can lay edges to elevate your style and completely transform your look.
Black women started making laid edges stylish in the 1990s, thanks to stars like TLC’s Chilli and LaToya Jackson. However, the practice began way back in the 1920s with Josephine Baker mastering perfect edge control to contour her face and compliment her short natural hair. Other jazz singers picked up the trend, which continued through the Civil Rights Movement.
Before long, society interpreted the slick look of laid edges as unprofessional. Black women started surgically removing baby hairs so they wouldn’t have the soft curly hair framing their faces.
Many people have complicated feelings about laying edges, but there are approaches for any hair texture and style, so it’s worth experimenting. Grab your preferred hair tool and read on to learn about perfect edge control to elevate your hair by laying edges.
5 Steps To Get Smooth Edges on Natural Hair
When you see Black women rocking textured hair with perfect edge control, you might think that you can’t replicate the style yourself. However, you can follow the five following steps to learn how to boss your natural hair and lay your edges.
Many African American women who grew up with their parents use toothbrushes for slicking baby hairs. They got the job done, so you might choose to use one to this day. Some stylists swear by boar bristle brushes, which are hard enough to move the hair into place without scratching your skin.
It’s best to avoid incredibly firm bristles, which can cause more breakage for such delicate hairs. But you can also use special tools to get your desired look. You can also use edge stylers that handle multiple tasks, such as:
- Bristles to lay edges
- Combs to separate hair edges
- Point to refine your part
If you’re going for a messy chic look, you don’t even need an edge brush for your hair. Using your fingers to flatten the baby hairs onto your skin will give you a carefree finish to match your overall hairstyle and aesthetic.
Micro flat irons can help you apply heat to baby hairs that aren’t cooperating. It works like any other flat iron, so keep it on low heat since you hold it so close to your skin. Micro flat irons have a tourmaline plate to protect your hair from heat damage, but you should still use your preferred heat protectant on your edges.
Women with natural hair should note that even heating products with the tourmaline protective plate can damage their strands. Heat changes the keratin in hair and can cause weaker hair and more breakage.
While you can use edge control products, which you’ll learn about next, you can also use natural alternatives. Castor oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and peppermint oil promote healthy hair growth and slick your edges into place. These products moisturize your hair and scalp so you won’t look greasy or flaky.
Edges are usually baby hairs that are growing in, but sometimes might be short due to breakage. In that case, you want to choose the right edge control products to keep your locks healthy. Since the hairs are so fine, you need a certain degree of hold to get the right style.
Always use products that are healthy for your hair. You don’t want to get glue stuck in your hair, which could damage your hair and scalp.
You also should avoid products that make your skin flake or add a buildup to your hair. Baby hair is delicate, so you want to treat it gently.
Moreover, consider your hair type when you buy edge control products. Coarse natural hair will need a stronger hold than soft curly hair. Organic products with natural ingredients are best to promote healthy hair and prevent greasy buildup with use. Natural oils provide shine, while honey is a refreshing antioxidant for your skin.
If you have really short baby hairs, you can use edge tamer to slick them into place. It resembles hair gel but isn’t as fluid. That texture gives it the strength to smooth down short hair that normally resists other products.
Whatever products you end up using, make sure you wash them out every day. Even if you’re not washing your hair, rinse the product from your edges. That approach prevents buildup and keeps your edges clean and delicate since the product can dry them out over time.
A pin tail comb is ideal to start styling. One end looks like a standard fine-tooth comb, while the other is a pick that lets you easily part your hair and refine your edges.
Use it to separate your baby hairs from the rest of the hair on your head. You can always comb out more hair to create a distinct style if your baby hairs are too fine to show up on its own.
Add the gel or oil to your hair. You can use your finger to get a small amount or dip the bristles of your toothbrush or preferred edge tool into the product. Apply it evenly across all your edges so they’ll stay in place.
Use the edge brush to flatten and style your edges in your desired design. You can swoop or swirl them to get a specific look. You can use your finger to hold the roots flat while you style the ends of your baby hairs.
The brush bristles help guide the shape of your edges, while the pick end of the pin tail comb can refine the style and design to get the perfect finish.
Hairspray is an effective option for keeping your edges in place just as you use it for the rest of your hair. Since your edges are so fine, don’t spray the product directly on them. This method would leave sticky hairspray on your forehead, and the force of the spray could mess up the design you just perfected.
Instead, spray a little bit of hairspray on your finger. Dab it on the edges to seal them into place. You can also apply it to the edge brush you’re using to style your edges.
However, this step is optional, and it might be unnecessary depending on what edge control products you use in the previous step.
If you don’t want to use hairspray because it could cause buildup, you can wet your hair before you style your edges. Applying products and gels to damp hair helps it settle into place.
Your hair will dry from the water at the same time as it dries from the product, ensuring a long-lasting hold.
Similarly, a leave-in conditioner can seal in moisture and help the edge gel work better.
When you have your edges looking exactly right, carefully wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf. This method keeps your edges flat while the product dries in your hair. Silk and satin are the softest fabrics, ensuring they won’t break or damage your hair. So, you’ll feel comfortable without worrying about frizz or friction developing.
Tie a scarf around your head whether you follow the hairspray step or skip it and only use edge products. Either way, you want to keep your edges in place with a gentle fabric.
Ideally, you should leave the silk or satin scarf tied on for at least 10 minutes. It will set your style to last all day, whether you use hairspray or entirely rely on an edge control product.
Edges can completely transform a hairstyle, but slicking baby hairs doesn’t require a lot of work. If you use the right comb and brush, you’ll have no problems with your textured hair and laying edges.
So, now you know how to get smooth edges on your natural hair. Know what styling tools you need, what products work best, and different methods to do the edges and get your ideal look. Start laying edges in innovative, eye-catching ways to give yourself a new fabulous look.