UPDATED: Jan. 6, 2021 —
Hairstylist Natasha Taylor, who goes by @Hairtobedifferent on Instagram, is known for her curly and curvy baby hairs and she gives her clients the same baby-haired treatment. No matter what their texture is, she has been able to sculpt their tresses in impressive ways.
MUST READ: Top 50 Natural Hair Products For Black Hair
I caught up with the baby hair expert who shared her technique and the products she uses depending on your hair type. “To achieve the perfect baby hairs, you have to use edge control that works for your hair type,” she revealed in a DM chat. “For me, it was trial and error until I found the right one. I have like 4a-4b hair type and I found that Ebin’s firm hold edge control works best for me.”
Natasha also swears by Ebin’s 24 Hour Edge Tamer – Extreme Firm Hold. If you’ve never heard of this baby hair baby-making machine, it’s been raved about in the folds of magazines and by just about anyone who has tried its salon-grade formula. In fact, one reviewer called it the “GOAT” of edge controls.
Ever want to try those colorful jars of Edge Booster on the shelf by the register at a beauty supply store but wondered if it would work for you? According to Natasha, it might work for you if your hair falls in the 3 sections of the hair chart. “If someone has hair in the 3 range of the chart, they can use another type that may not be as “firm” like Edge Booster, Shine & Jam, Creme of Nature or Olive Oil brands.”
But for more textured hair you’ll need products like “Ebin, Murray’s, Mane choice, OGX Honey Hold, Got 2 B Gel,” she added. And if all else fails, “regular gels will work good,” too.
But what truly makes a good edge control? “A good edge control is one that nourishes the hair while also providing superior hold,” says African Pride’s Brand Educator Robin Groover. “Gels that are drying can be harmful, while gels formulated with protein and other quality ingredients will help to strengthen the strands.
Just remember: don’t overdo it with edge control. “Using too much product results in hairline build up and thinning,” says Groover. “Avoid over usage by smoothing edges in place and then applying the product. This will allow for less manipulation, resulting in less breakage and damage. The hairline is a fragile, delicate fabric.”
Groover also suggests, tying down the hair with a silk scarf for extra holding power especially when applying lace front wigs.
Keep scrolling to find the best edge controls for natural hair:
1. EBIN NEW YORK 24 HOUR EDGE TAMER – EXTREME FIRM HOLDSource:Ebin New York
Ebin’s edge tamer ($3.49, ebinnewyork.com) promises a firm 24-hour hold without the flaky mess. But more than that, the brand crafted edge gels that can deliver something for everyone. The extreme firm hold is best for dense, coily hair, the mega hold is great for wavy, curly hair and the ultra super hold is perfect for relaxed, fine, or wavy hair.
We’re a bit obsessed with the extreme firm hold, but you can choose what works best for you, or better yet, combine them. Plus, try their bristle edge brush for those wayward edges.
2. STYLE FACTOR EDGE BOOSTER STRONG HOLD STYLING GELSource:Style Factor
This heavy-duty, alcohol-free styling gel plays no games. Style Factor’s Edge Booster ($19.88, amazon.com) is quickly becoming a favorite for its eye-catching jars, shine power, and holding power. It’s a little pricy, but it’s also the strongest on the market, which means it’s great for braids, locs and twists.
We have to admit that the pink container looks rather cute on our bathroom counter, which is incredibly welcomed amongst a sea of standard edge controls.
3. SHINE ‘N JAM CONDITIONING GEL | EXTRA HOLDSource:AmproGel
Before edge control was a big deal, Shine & Jam’s ($3.49, amprogel.com) classic gel provided a moldable hold without the hard and flaky appearance of certain gels. It became a staple in the beauty cabinet of Black women everywhere and go-to product for its budget-friendly price.
These days, there are many edge control gels, but this still remains a top contender. Through sweat, rain, snow, and dips in the pool, this gel will not let your edges down. One reviewer said, “This product is great for braiders that are looking for a product to perfect their parting while providing moisture and hold!” We aren’t professional braiders, but if the hair pros swear by it, we do too.
4. CREME OF NATURE ARGAN OIL PERFECT EDGESSource:Creme of Nature
Fresh-looking edges without flakes and white residue? Sign us up. Creme of Nature’s #1 selling edge control ($4.42, walmart.com) enlists argan oil as it’s top ingredient, which makes it an easy pick among women who want to lay their edges but are also looking for something that will condition their hair—not leave it crusty and dry.
Unlike most edge controls, Perfect Edges also provides 24-hour extra firm hold, while continuing to control flyaways and hold down edges. It’s great for relaxed and natural hair.
5. ORS OLIVE OIL EDGE CONTROL HAIR GELSource:Amazon.com
We were first introduced to edge control when Olive Oil dropped this revolutionary product. ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel ($5.49, target.com) changed the game by giving us a gel that was specific for our edges. The beloved product provides a strong hold with a sleek shine. The alcohol-free formula works to promote healthy hair and fight breakage. Users report that the formula feels light, smells delightful and gentle enough for kids, too.
6. MURRAY’S EDGEWAX EXTREME HOLDSource:Amazon.com
We know Murray’s makes hair pomade, but did you know they have edge control too? Murray’s Edgewax Extreme Hold gel ($6, murrayspomade.com) is tried and true. However, you have to be careful with hair waxes because they are hard to remove. And because this gel is so potent, all you need is a dome size amount for each section—a little truly goes a long way. We’re also huge fans of this one because it’s made of Australian beeswax, and as one user puts it, “it’s life-changing in every way.”
For best results, wash between usage to minimize buildup.
7. ULTRA GLUED STYLING GELSource:Schwarzkopf.com
Hold? More like freeze. Göt2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel ($4.59, target.com) doesn’t play when it comes to laying down whatever it touches. This gel also has star power: during an IGTV, Ashley Graham shared that she uses the gel to brush up her brows and keep them “high and lifted”–a tip she got from makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. Most importantly, we love it for securing lace fronts without leaving a tacky film.
Simply stated: it’s the perfect beauty fix when the hair struggle is real.
8. OGX HONEY HOLD MEGA GLUESource:OGXbeauty.com
Any gel with name glue in it sounds like it will provide great hold and we’re all for it. OGX’s Honey Hold Mega Glue ($7.89, amazon.com) packs a lot of punch and is infused with honey and amber extract, so it will moisturize your edges, too.
The gel also does exactly what it claims: provides an indestructible hold with the sweet scent of honey. But, be warned—it’s a bit sticky and tacky and your fingers will get messy while applying it. Be prepared to get a little messy, but it’s so worth it.
9. THE MANE CHOICE LAID BACK EFFORTLESSLY EDGE CONTROLSource:The Mane Choice
Courtney Adeleye built her hair empire from a home-based hobby into a multimillion-dollar business in just two years’ time. Adeleye’s edge control, which actually moisturizes your curls too, is the result of her hard work.
The Mane Choice gives us hold (and major hair health) with their Laid Back Effortlessly edge control ($9.99, themanechoice.com) that serves as a growth stimulator as well. It packs all the healthy hair essentials for the girl who is just as concerned with preserving her edges as she is with smoothing them down and having shine. One reviewer claims, “I’m convinced this makes your edges grow; this is my staple edge control and it has NEVER failed me!”
Another reviewer says, “This is the only edge control that lays my edges without making them white or flaky. Once I lay them with my scarf they stay the entire day. If I need a bit of extra hold I pair it with their gel.”
We couldn’t agree more!