Struggling to Lay Those Edges? Here Are the Best Edge Control Products for 4C Hair

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

Is it really possible to lay my edges without feeling like I’ve applied superglue to my hair? About a decade ago, I didn’t think so. One bad experience with maximum-hold wax was more than enough to turn me off edge control products for several years. But now, I’m on a mission to tame my frizzy edges without risking damage. Which brings me to a crucial question: What is the best edge control for 4c hair?

So far, I’ve only tested a few brands that weren’t very effective at keeping my edges laid, so I enlisted the help of some hair care professionals to help me figure out where I went wrong and, more importantly, which edge control products actually work for coarse, 4C edges.

Here’s How to Grow 4C Hair, According to Natural Hair Experts 


edge control 4c hair 6

What Makes An Edge Control Product Good for 4C Hair?

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when buying edge control is focusing solely on the “maximum hold” factor. As it turns out, the best products not only provide a firm hold, but they also double as a moisturizing agent for those frizzy baby hairs. 

As Olaoluwa tells us, “It's all about finding that balance between hold, nourishment, and style. It should provide a reliable and lasting hold, taming flyaways and frizz effectively, yet strike a balance between firmness and flexibility, ensuring that the hair stays in place without feeling overly stiff or unnatural.” 

The key to finding that balance? Looking for the right ingredients. Gibson says, “Products that have natural moisturizers like coconut oil, olive oil and aloe vera will help keep 4C hair healthy and prevent breakage. Also, products with other humectants like honey can help the hair to attract and maintain moisture.”

Another great way to test your edge control is to see how well it blends with your hair. “A good edge control should seamlessly blend in with various hair textures, while maintaining the integrity of the hair's natural pattern,” adds Olaoluwa.

edge control 4c hair 2

What Ingredients Should You Look For in Edge Control Products?

According to Olaoluwa, Look for edge control products enriched with natural oils like castor oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil. These natural ingredients provide hydration, strengthen the hair, and add a brilliant shine.”

She adds, “My favorite is castor oil, renowned for its hair-strengthening properties, it can fortify edges while promoting growth. Aloe vera and shea butter are also fantastic choices, as they help maintain the hair's moisture balance and promote healthy growth.” Duly noted.

edge control 4c hair 4

Which Ingredients Should You Avoid?

“When browsing the aisles for edge control, steer clear of products that contain harsh alcohols, like ethanol or isopropyl alcohol,” says Olaoluwa. “These can strip your hair of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and breakage. And watch out for heavy silicones that can suffocate your hair and hinder its growth. The goal is to style without sacrificing your hair's well-being.”

Gibson adds, “Avoid Ingredients like polymers, propylene, formaldehyde and artificial fragrances. These ingredients can be harmful to your hair and scalp, and they have been linked to health issues.”

edge control 4c hair 3

What Are Some Tips For Applying Edge Control?

  • First, always read the ingredients as well as the type of hold offered. 
  • Apply your edge control with the proper tools, like an edge brush or toothbrush.
  • For a longer-lasting hold, consider tying a silk or a satin scarf over your hairline and leaving it on for about 15 minutes. This will minimize frizz and keep those edges sleek for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid applying your edge control on top of your makeup. This could leave residue on your hair and potentially lead to flaking.
  • Avoid layering too much product on your edges. This could clog your pores, weigh down your edges and lead to buildup, which you definitely don’t want.

Now, without further ado, here are some of the best edge control products that’ll keep those 4c coils slicked down.

edge control for 4c hair shea moisture

1. SheaMoisture Fortifying Edge Control

  • Active ingredients: Flax seed oil, castor oil, shea butter, peppermint
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

If you want those edges to look sleek and full, try this alcohol-free formula, designed to provide a long-lasting hold without drying out your baby hairs. This edge control is also free of parabens, mineral oil and petrolatum, and thanks to moisture-boosting ingredients like castor oil and shea butter, you can rest assured that your edges will stay nourished.

edge control for 4c hair tgin

2. TGIN Miracle RepaiRx Smooth & Protect Edge Control

  • Active ingredients: Honey, coconut oil, biotin, castor oil
  • Amazon Rating: 4.4 stars

This non-greasy, non-sticky formula is packed with hydrating ingredients that’ll add all the moisture and shine to your edges. It’s infused with biotin to strengthen and protect the hair, and castor oil, which is a powerful moisturizer that can promote growth. The product is designed to provide a long-lasting hold, minus the messy flaking. As one verified purchaser on Amazon shares, “It looks hard in the jar but is softer than it looks and it’s easy to apply. It held my edges down for most of the day, but not all day. I didn't experience any flaking after repeated use, nor did my hair feel greasy or dry from using it.”

edge control for 4c hair flawless
Flawless by GU

3. Flawless by Gabrielle Union Repairing Edge Control

  • Active ingredients: Buriti oil, passionfruit seed oil, acai palm oil, biotin
  • Amazon Rating: 4.1 stars

In case you missed it, Gabrielle Union partnered with hairstylist Larry Sims to launch a haircare line, and it looks like the edge control is a hit, thanks to ingredients like biotin and passionfruit seed oil to encourage growth. Another bonus? A little goes a long way. One satisfied customer says, “I like this gel for the long-lasting hold and for smoothing down my edges, It does not turn hard, sticky or dry my hair out. It works on relaxed and color-treated hair.”

edge control for 4c hair ogx

4. OGX Natural Finish + Aspen Texture Molding Paste

  • Active ingredients: Aspen bark extract, sandalwood, castor oil
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

Aside from taming those flyaways, this molding paste promises to build volume, boost shine and soften your baby hairs—but that’s not all. The product can also be used to keep your coils defined throughout the day. One buyer said, “I was pleasantly surprised at how well OGX Texture Aspen Extract Molding Paste held the curls in my hair. Nothing has ever worked so well for me. I have naturally curly hair but the curls fall flat, frizz out and do not look as beautiful as they do when wet. I used a small amount of the paste, applied it to my damp hair and gave a scrunch to my hair. The curls held up perfectly all day.”

edge control for 4c hair aveda

5. Aveda Control Paste 

  • Active ingredients: Bixa orellana seed extract, castor oil 
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

This vegan, cruelty-free paste works for all hair types and offers a pliable, medium hold for high-textured styles. In other words, this may work best for 4c girls who aren’t necessarily looking for a super strong hold, but still want to achieve a sleek blowout. Among the standout ingredients are bixa orellana seed extract, which makes strands shine, and our favorite growth booster, castor oil. One customer with 4c hair raves, “I [wear my hair] natural and can’t live without this for my edges. It really smooths [down] my edges without leaving buildup or flakes.”

edge control for 4c hair frontal queen
The Frontal Queen

6. The Frontal Queen Baby Hair Control

  • Active ingredients: Vitamin E oil, argan oil, castor oil
  • Amazon Rating: 4.9 stars

This product provides a super strong hold for up to 48 hours, and it's formulated with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E oil and argan oil to keep your edges soft while taming frizz. Per the , this product is also ideal for laying wig edges, and you don't have to worry about residue, flaking or dealing with stiff hair. 

edge control for 4c hair pattern

7. PATTERN Edge Control Gel

  • Active ingredients: Camellia sinensis (tea) leaf extract, cucumber fruit extract, aloe leaf juice
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2 stars

If you've ever wondered how Tracee Ellis Ross achieves her red carpet-worthy hair, it's because of her very own edge control gel, designed to tame your most delicate hairs, prevent breakage and add shine. In one 5-star review, a buyer noted that it’s less sticky, has a fresh scent and holds well in humidity.

edge control for 4c hair design essentials
Design Essentials

8. Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control

  • Active ingredients: Castor oil
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

You can never go wrong with a moisturizing gel that leaves a touchable hold. Not only does it minimize frizz, but it also adds shine and texture to short styles. One buyer says, “This jar of holding gel is small in size but mighty and powerful. Before I put this gel on, my hair was in tight coils around my edges, but once I lay that gel on my edges, it was like a miracle in a jar. It's not that greasy and not hard to wash out of my hair at the end of the week.”

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...