How to lay your edges

3 Steps To Laying Your Edges Without Damaging

How to lay your edges

I admit it. I’m a fan of laid edges. I like my edges to be LAID hunty. Laid. But I’m not a fan of buildup, flakes… and breakage. (If you have experienced breakage or hair loss around your edges, here are some tips for regrowth.) I’ve hated gel since the finger waves of the 90s. You remember them. People would rock them for weeks:  dried, flaky, crispy, and damaged. Can you sense my disdain? So whether I’m rocking a puff, an updo, or a twist out, I rely on safe methods for taming edges. With that said, here are the steps I follow to tame my edges:

Read: 4 Best Edge Control Products

Spritz Hair With Water

The first step in laid edges is water. I always spritz my hair lightly with water first.  The key is to slightly dampen the hair, but not make it too wet.  Remember: natural hair forms to whatever shape it dries into. So if you start with slightly dampened hair, it will form into a sleeker style.

Use a Hair Butter, Hair Milk, or “Alcohol-Free” Gel

Many people believe that the only way to get sleek edges is to use gel.  Although gel will provide the most hold, you can also try other products as well.  If you choose to  use gel, try an “[bad] alcohol-free gel” that won’t dry your hair. (Good, fatty alcohols —  stearyl, cetyl, cetearyl, laurel, myristyl,  behenyl — provide moisture. But avoid drying alcohols like ethanol, propanol, propyl, isopropyl, and isobutane.) Ecostyler Gel is a favorite among women with natural hair.

As an alternative to gel, I use hair butter. After spritzing my hair with water, I found that using a hair butter provides lots of hold without buildup.  My butter of choice for my edges is Jane Carter Nourish and Shine. Although the jar only holds 4 oz., a little goes a long way. My jars always last a couple of months. Another option, for women with finer textured hair, is hair milk.  To hold my one-year old’s hair, I use hair milk.

Tie Your Head Until it Dries

Once you spritz your hair and use your product of choice, the final step is to tie your edges down with a silk or satin scarf until it dries.  If you only slightly dampened your hair, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes for them to dry. Because I am a busy mom, I usually do my hair first then get the girls ready. Then, I either take off my head tie before I leave the house — or before I get out the car at work.

Buy Satin Headscarf

With these three steps, you can smooth your edges without damaging them. It is important to note that you should remember not to pull your hair too tight, nor should you wear the same style the same way over a period of time. Even with appropriate products, the tension will cause traction alopecia.

What are your tips for laying your edges?


8 thoughts on “3 Steps To Laying Your Edges Without Damaging

  1. Jay

    …After spritzing with water, I like to seal with a tiny bit of olive oil.

    I often take a shortcut: while washing my face, I’ll allow the edges to get wet, run olive oil over my face and edges till milky and wipe away excess with a dry towel until both skin ad hair feel dry to the touch but smooth, if your skin is sensitive to oils skip this.

    Then use a toothbrush (yes, I said toothbrush! 🙂 I like the compact ones they give away on planes or the ones made for kids best personally because they’re smaller) to lay your edges down as desired before tying it down with a silk or satin wrap.

    If you’re in a hurry you may even use a blow dryer over the scarf then undo…but as the writer mentioned it shouldn’t take long to dry on its own anyway and it’s always better to avoid heat whenever possible…

    These are additional steps I take that work for me everytime and maybe they will work for someone else…

    Great tips, thank you and I absolutely LOVE the olive oil ecostyler gel: no flakes, stiffness or gumminess and I do not need to use much even though my hair apparently falls in the 4 category. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. Dee

      YES. Use the soft n free gel. It doesn’t gel dry or flakey and it stays on all day. Just make ur hair wet form a pattern with ur fingers and the gel and tie down with a scarf. You’ll be surprised. My edges are short too and this works all the time.


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