At least once a week I’m asked about edges—how to care for them, how to style them, how to grow them back, what products to use for them, the list of concerns goes on. And the moment edges come up in any conversation, I hear groans and confessions of hair sins unimaginable from anyone in the vicinity of the question. Obviously a hot topic, but one that doesn't need to be filled with so much dread. Edges can be easy! And they're already so small that everything you can do to and for them is actually very manageable.
What are edges? In slang terminology, they are those short little “baby" hairs not quite ready for adulting that go all the way around your hairline. They are one of the most fragile parts of your hair, so they need more care than the stronger strands on the rest of your head. They also play a big part in framing your face and thus your hairstyles. Most importantly though, you should care about knowing what edges are so you can use the phrase “snatching edges” when a very good thing happens and catches you by surprise—i.e. when Beyoncé dropped that surprise album and snatched all our edges. She'll probably do it again soon enough, so in the meantime, prepare like this:
Get snatched, but not too snatched
Wearing a super sleek bun or ponytail for an extended period of time can wreak havoc on your edges. The continuous pulling on the naturally weaker part of your hair is no good. Let the rule of thumb be that if the style is giving you a headache, it's probably pulling too hard. To still get that tight look for a bun, instead try wrapping your ponytail holder one less time than you normally would, and then using bobby pins to secure the hair that isn’t looking as taut as you want it. Less pulling, less headaches, and intact edges.
Sleep on a satin pillowcase
Honestly, this story shouldn’t be the first time you’re reading about the benefits of sleeping on a satin pillowcase. It goes way beyond protecting your edges: Better skin! More moisturized and less frizzy hair! Also, just much more luscious! Cotton can be abrasive and rob your hair of moisture. Something smoother will keep your edges from being all over the place in the morning.
Go easy on the taming
The best thing about edges are the options. See FKA Twigs, Chilli, Zendaya, and Rihanna. From swirls to swoops to s-curls, there are so many fun ways to style your edges to change your look. Most opt for a boar bristle brush—reliable, smoothing, chic if it's a Mason Pearson—but go easy on it. Rough handling and over-brushing can weaken already fragile edges and cause breakage. Instead, try using your good ol’ fingers, a spoolie, or a soft toothbrush to style. If you really love your boar bristle brush (I can't travel without mine) at least give a softer bristle a go. You'll also want to perfect your own taming concoction that does most of the work for you. My favorites are Curls Passionfruit Control Paste and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. Curls Control Paste for the moldable hold, shine, and delectable scent; and Eco Styler Olive Gel for its no-holds-barred hold.
Most importantly, let them live!
Feel like you can’t even benefit from this post because you don’t even have edges to play with? Fear not, there are ways to grow them back . One high-success method is investing in some Jamaican Black Castor Oil (my never-fail brand is Sunny Isle), taking a small amount on your fingertips and massaging the oil into your edges and around your hairline nightly. Try not to over-handle them while they're trying to grow. They'll do fine on their own. And we could all benefit from doing a little less every now and then, right?