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.
The 25 Best Edge Control Products to Sleek Down Your Baby Hairs
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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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.