You’ve almost done styling your hair, but there’s one final step that’ll set off your look and make it complete. Do you know what it is?
Laying your edges
Your edges are your “baby hairs.” They’re the hairs around your face that are finer, thinner, and shorter. For many women, it’s breakage that doesn’t quite fit into the hairstyle they’re doing, and they can look a bit out of place or awkward if they’re not included in the style. This is where laying your edges comes in. While this style isn’t necessary, styling your edges into a design can allow you to frame your face and add a special “accessory.”
So, let’s talk about how to lay your edges and give your hair this special effect. As any woman with natural hair will tell you, there are quite a few techniques out there, and each has their own tried and true method they follow.
Different Ways You Can Lay Your Edges
Laying your edges is a great way to combat frizz because it creates a more aesthetic hairstyle. There are several different ways that your edges can be laid. Some people create little loops. Others like spirals, curls, or swoops. The sky is the limit. Whatever you can dream up or imagine is really what you can do. You can be as creative as you what when it comes to your edges.
What’s the Process of Laying Your Edges?
1. Gather your materials
Before you begin laying your edges, you’ll need to grab your materials. See below for our list of recommended products. In general, we recommend either oil, butter, or gel to help your edges lay. Additionally, you’ll need to choose your styling tool of choice. For generations, those with natural hair have used toothbrushes to slick down any tiny baby hairs that didn’t make it into the style. In fact, you may remember sitting between your mama’s knees as she did this when you were a child.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect finishing tool, you don’t have to look much further than the bathroom. A brand-new toothbrush has been a long-time hack in the natural hair community. However, if this isn’t your style, you can also purchase an edge styler. Today, there are 3-in-1 styling tools available that allow you to come out your hair and slick them down. Whether you want to spring for the budget or premium option is up to you. Just make sure you use a comb that won’t damage those delicate hairs and moisten your hair with both water and product before beginning.
2. Slick and separate your edges
Before you can lay your edges, they must be separated from the rest of your hair and slicked down. Comb out these hairs and slick them down in the direction that you’d like to style them. As noted above, avoid using a comb that will damage these fine, delicate hairs, and use product/water to make the hair hydrated.
3. Swoop and create shapes using the natural boar bristles
The next step is the true “styling.” When people lay their edges, they have the ability to create fun styles and designs with them. You can “swoop” them and create natural shapes with your hairlines. We recommend using a small boar bristle brush (or a toothbrush) for this part of the styling). Your edge control product of choice will also come in handy while you’re molding the hair. Whether you want a lighter or heavier edge control will simply depend on the texture of your hair. Often, with soft curly hair, less edge control is needed while coarser curlier hair requires heavier edge control.
4. Define your edges using a pointed tip
For the final touches, take the pointed tip of your preferred hair tool (such as a pintail comb or rat tail comb) and go over the molding to define the shape you created. You can also add a bit more product just to make sure everything is neat and clean. Remember, when it comes to your edges, the devil is in the details!
5. Use hairspray (if desired)
You can skip this final step depending on your hair type. It’s entirely optional and its necessity often depends on the type of style you’re striving for. However, hair spray can provide a little additional molding or hold. You can either apply it to your hair directly or to the styling tool to calm flyaways and keep your edges intact for the entire day.
6. Wrap your head
Some women with natural hair can get all their edges laid, but they can’t get them to stay. To get them to stay in place until they’re completely dry, you can wrap a silk or satin scarf around your edges and secure it firmly in place. You just need to leave it on for around 20 minutes to ensure your edges will sufficiently dry. Most women will do this while they apply their makeup, get dressed, or do things around the house. You can also consider starting this process overnight so you wake up with soft and sleek edges.
What Products Should You Have on Hand?Any great hairstyle requires a quality hair product. While laying your edges, you’ll want to use a product that can help weigh your hair down. There are quite a few that can work, and chances are, you’ll already have one in your bathroom cabinet that can work. If not, we’ll suggest some below that you may want to try out.
Jamaican black castor oil: This oil has the consistency of molasses and does a stellar job of weighing down your hair. This means you probably won’t want to use it for all-over moisture, but it’s ideal when you need to apply a modest amount to your edges to lay them flat. Additionally, JBCO aids hair growth, so if your edges are struggling, then this will help them recover. Try out this Jamaican Black Castor Oil Original for your edges.
Shea or cocoa butter: If you’re looking to avoid drying or flaking, a simple hair butter can do the trick. It’ll moisturize your hair while holding it in place. Try this Shea-Coco Natural Hair Style Cream which is popular for curls and edges alike.
Gel: Gel made specifically for natural hair can be the perfect solution for laying edges. This Green Apple & Aloe Nutrition Miracle Hold Gel is ideal for edges, braids, locs, pony-puffs, twists, and ponytails. It can be used on damp or dry hair to lay edges with a boar bristle brush.
Edge growth: If your edges are particularly fragile, try an edge growth product like the Hairline Help 2-in-1 Plus Bamboo and Biotin Edge Grow. You can use this product twice daily for you thinning hairline or bald spots. Simply rub into the area, brush to smooth the hair, and then style as usual.
Top Tips for Laying Edges
Are you having trouble learning how to lay your edges? See if the tips below will help you master this art.
I can’t keep my edges down: Try applying a little bit of edge control onto the skin where you want the baby hairs to stick. By doing this, the gel will act as an adhesive, and your hair will stick to the desired area. Just use the back of your brush to press down the hair to set the style firmly in place. Another way to solve this same problem is to set your edges with a silk or satin scarf. By wrapping them for 20 or so minutes, you allow them to get used to their new position where they’ll stay all day long.
I just can’t seem to manipulate my hair: Try starting off the process with damp hair (spritz it with water) and then add your desired styling product. Your curls need moisture. Dry harder is always harder to style, and your edges are the most fragile hairs on your head! Don’t skip the spray…ever!
I can’t find the right styling product: This one may take time. Many women with natural hair swear by gel for laying their edges. This is gel gives them great hold, and it’s easier to work with. We recommend the Green Apple & Aloe Nutrition Miracle Hold Gel. However, the downside of gel can be the way it dries and crunches. Not everyone loves that. Start out with a gel and move on to a butter or oil if you don’t love its effects.
- I feel like my hair is weighed down: You may be using a product that’s too heavy for your curls! This is really common for women with fine hair or curls that are less dense. If this is your hair type, then you may be weighing down your hair with your selected styling product. In these cases, hair milks and butters can be excellent options for sleeking your edges back. They’re lighter but still offer the much-needed hydration.
There you have it! The step-by-step guide on how to lay your edges as well as our favorite products to help you do so. Laying your edges will take your hairstyle to the next level and get you tons of compliments. Master this art today!
For more tips and tricks on natural hair care, visit Taliah Waajid. We’re helping women love their natural hair. Read more of our blogs about How to Create a Healthy Hair Regimen and Keep Your Natural Hair Hydrated this Winter.
PRODUCT TALKED ABOUT IN THIS BLOG
WRITE FOR US
Think you've got a fresh perspective that will challenge our readers to engage and educate themselves on how to attain a healthier self, hair and skin included? We're always looking for authors who can deliver quality articles and blog posts. Thousands of men and women will read your work, and you will level up in the process.