Slicked edges and baby hairs have long been a staple of afro and textured hairstyles. Whether you love wearing wigs, weaves or go au-natural, in order to finish a look and give it a little je ne sais quoi, for coily hair wearers, a slicked edge is a must.
Goopy, sticky and shiny edge-control gels can be found in abundance in drugstores and afro-hair shops but when buying an edge-control product the question remains: How do you choose one that’s right for you?
Be it gel formulas and edge-laying options for those embracing their coils or, for those of us who love the ability to jump between chic, low buns, with slicked edges to fashion-forward canerows with laid edges to match, the product options out there are seemingly endless.
So, what's the solution? I find that a great place to start is often right at the root, with your texture and porosity. Depending on how thick your hair is—that is strand-wise rather than length—the texture of the edge control and level of hold you need will vary, as will the formula base. Have finer coils? Then a lightweight water-based gel is your best buy. As with oil-based gels and waxes, the kinker and thicker the better.
If like me you know that managing to maintain perfectly slicked edges that last all day in the face of heat, humidity and the everyday bustle relies heavily on the smooth application of an edge gel, but are struggling to pick just one, fear not. Below I've listed some of my favourite edge control products for the sleekest finish.
Shop my favourite edge gels all textures:
1. Best For Thicker Coils: Ruka Hold Me Down Gel
Two years on from its initial launch and black British brand Ruka still remains the word on many beauty lovers' lips. Their mongongo oil infused edge control is a gummy, no water reversion in sight, option that is perfect for regular wear. Thanks to its skincare-forward formula, it allows for equal parts chic and protected edges.
2. Best For All Coil And Curl Types: Keracare Wax Stick
Although an unconventional choice, for anyone who has sighed deeply when faced with reverted coils thanks to the high water content of your edge control, this is wax is sure to be your new BFF. Plus, this is a favourite for smoothing down lace wig parting for lovers of 'do it all' hair options.
3. Best For Damaged Coils: Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Edge Gel
Maybe you know Mielle from their collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion or more likely due to their now (sold out constantly) rosemary oil. Point of reference aside, their edge option leans on their prized rosemary infusion to create a gel worth moving to the top of the styling pile.
4. Best For Dry And Brittle Coils: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control
Another US hair expat to have finally reached UK shelves (after much begging and twitter pleading) is Carol's Daughter. Famed for their natural ingredients and innovative formulation, a lot the product range is highly regarded, including this edge control made with aloe and honey. Not quite gummy oil based, but not fully slippery water based, it allows for occasional edge styling to be available to even the more sensitive of hairlines.
5. Best For Thinner Curls: Pattern Strong Hold Gel
Pattern, the brainchild of the internet's favourite auntie/actress/hair-trepreneurTracee Ellis Ross, aims to provide options for all and every hair types. My favourite products include with this lightweight edge gel which is made from a formulation of sea moss and chia.
6.Best For All Hair Types: Schwarzkopf Got2b Glued 4 Brows & Edges 2 in 1 Vegan Gel
Got 2Be's Glued spray has no doubt become a queen amongst men in the hair styling department. I first tried this whlist on holiday in Ghana and was instantly wowed by it's staying power and the easy to use wand. In order to describe it best, I often recommend it as the 'beloved can minus the metal'. It really is just that powerful.
Shop more edge laying essentials:
1. Pattern Edge Control
2.Kitsch Multi-Way Sleep Scar
3.Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer
One of the worse feelings post-styling is the removing your scarf to find that the product has dried and now your perfectly crafted edges are more of an oilly mess? Well a cool shot blast from your favourite blowdryer is sure to put an end to this edge styling dilema.