From wash and go's to stylish updos while temperatures climb, or for slicked back ponytails for a polished 9 to 5 look, sleek edges are the cornerstone for many of the most chic natural hair styles. Taming curly, kinky, and coily edges can be a daunting task, but luckily these 10 products are up for the job. Decide what level of hold you're looking for and find the one that will work for you!
**Soft Hold Products
If you prefer a softer, more natural looking hold, these products are for you. Get some extra mileage from them by gently spritzing your edges with water first before applying:
1. Qhemet Biologics Aethiopika Hydrate and Twist Butter - $14.00
Based in olive oil, mango butter, and rice bran oil, this omega and ceramide rich blend provides perfectly soft sleekness while nourishing your edges. Especially great for edges prone to thinning or breakage.
Full of shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, this nourishing taffy provides hold and softness for any style.
**Flexible Hold Products
If you prefer the best of both worlds, these products will work wonders for you. They are versatile enough to slick your hair up for the day, and shake loose for a wild look (with polished edges, of course) at night:
3. Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Edge Control Gel - $8.99
With coconut oil and aloe vera, this edge control gel will provide medium hold and maximum hydration. A must-have for edges sensitive to styling products. Oh, it also won the Best of the Best Awards!
4. Curls Passion Fruit or Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste - $12.00
Honestly, you can't go wrong with these two. Both contain yummy extracts great for natural hair, and provide touchable hold free of stickiness. If your edges are in need of moisture and hold, opt for the Passion Fruit variety that contains glycerin, castor oil, mango, jojoba, and more. To strengthen your edges while adding hold, the Blueberry Bliss option adds keratin, quinoa, and silk amino acids to the mix.
6. Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Perfect Edges - $4.99
Blended with glycerin, castor oil sweet almond, and argan oils, this medium hold edge tamer will provide sleekness, shine, and nourishment to your edges. The added bonus of keratin and protein will help strengthen edges to make sure they're here for the long haul!
**Strong Hold Products
Feel like nothing works to hold your edges in place? Give these 4 mega-sleeking options a try:
7. EcoStyler Gel with Argan Oil - $2.75
Good ol' Eco. If you're looking for a budget friendly, alcohol-free gel to slick back edges, this is the one. It can harden and form a gel cast, so mixing it during application with your favorite oil will help hold back the crunchies.
8. Design Essentials Honey and Shea Edge Tamer - $11.99
Packed with glycerin and castor oil, this edge tamer will hydrate, protect, and hold edges in place for the long haul.
Versatile enough for edges and styling, this gel will provide super sleek edges and hold without hardening and drying alcohols. For maximum slickness, gently spritz edges with water before applying.
10. Obia Natural Hair Curl Enhancing Custard - $15.00
Another curl defining and edge controlling favorite, this thick custard will give your curls and edges desired hold without making them crunchy. Enriched with grape seed, argan, and olive oils, the custard will provide hold, shine, and hydration.
As always, when it comes to your edges, remember:
- MIND your ingredients. Steer clear of drying alcohols, and products with petroleum and mineral oil that will clog your follicles.
- LESS is more.If you can, slick your edges back with your hands instead of a brush. To lock them in place, tie a satin scarf over them while you finish getting ready.
- AVOID tight pulling and style repetition. Leave buns, ponytails, and updos a little loose to avoid too much tugging and pulling. If you can, move them around from time to time to avoid repetitive stress to the same area (high bun, low pony, etc.)
- SLEEP on satin.Pillowcases, scarves, and bonnets all reduce friction between your hair and pillows or sheets. Be sure to protect your edges before tying up hair too!
This article was originally published on June 2014 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.