When transitioning to natural hair and growing out chemical relaxers, there are many things to consider: what products to use and how to best use them, how to minimize damage to your natural hair, how to make your curls still look cute, and above all, how to maintain those edges.
Transitioning your hair is a process that takes time, patience, and care. There will definitely be a few awkward weeks where your hair is finding its natural texture, pattern, and rhythm. Unfortunately, this process means there will be a few not-so-great hair days in your future.
While you can smooth your strands into braids or other protective styles while your hair is growing out, the one part of your hair you can’t hide is your edges. This impacts everyone differently but typically when transitioning to an au natural style, your edges will be more damaged and dry and subsequently more difficult to control. To get healthy, soft, and smooth edges when transitioning to your natural hair, there are a few must-dos to follow. The best way to care is a combination of using a high-quality formula, like our African Pride Olive Miracle Super Hold cream, and taking a few extra hair care precautions. We’re diving into our best edge control tips and tricks below.
What Are Edges?
Edges are those soft, wispy hairs that frame your hairline and face are sometimes referred to as ‘baby hairs’ and for good reason, Edges need to be completely babied to thrive.
These tiny strands of hair are actually the most fragile thing in your head. Between wearing tight protective styles, harsh weather, chemical relaxers, or using a rough touch when washing or styling, your edges are almost always susceptible to breakage.
How Does Transitioning Effect Edges?
If you’ve ever tried to transition before you know that maintaining smooth edges is a huge concern when growing out relaxers. Though it may be tempting, never continue to relax your edges. It’s better to give your entire head a fresh start.
When you’re transitioning, your hair is finding its natural pattern and texture which can take some time. During this process your edges will likely stick straight up and never lay flat against your head. Similarly, they will likely be extra dry or damaged from months (or years) of relaxing them.
This means not only do you need to help nourish them to regrow, you need to find ways to style them that won’t contribute to any more damage. Below, we’re covering some of the best products for transitioning your edges (that won’t cause more damage and dryness) plus some edge control tips and tricks.
The Best Products For Transitioning Edges
Styling your edges is an important part of any hairstyle and it’s important they are sleek and tidy. However, handling your edges too much can contribute to breakage and thinning. Note that constant brushing, combing, rubbing, and pulling will cause excessive and possible irreparable damage to your hairline.
Before you style your edges or put your natural hair into a protective hairstyle, make sure you’ve given hair the proper time to care and recover.
When it comes to proper edge care, let’s start by discussing the worst products for transitioning edges. What you want to avoid when transitioning your edges (and in general) are alcohol-based hair gels.
Though these might slick your edges down exactly the way you want them, the alcohol and/or mineral oil formulas will cause increased dryness, brittleness, and potential damage. Instead you want to look for nourishing, moisturizing formulas that are water-based. Here are a few options for the best edge control products when transitioning to natural hair.
Olive Miracle Super Smooth & Hold Edges
Our top pick! African Pride’s Olive Miracle Super Hold pomade combines tea tree oil and extra virgin olive oil to give a nourishing, flake-free hold to your edges. Made with the best natural oils and extracts, this formula will nourish hair while keeping it shiny and smooth.
Pro tip: be sure to use your hands instead of a comb.
Moisture Miracle Leave-In Conditioner
Made with coconut milk and honey, this lightweight leave-in conditioner formula is a perfect way to keep your edges soft, smooth, and moisturized. The best part? You can use this on dry hair to keep edges nourished in-between wash days.
Spray generously onto edges (and don’t forget those baby strands on the nape of your neck) and gently smooth down with your fingers. For maximum moisture, spray on before bed, gently rub product into your edges and cover your head overnight with a silk scarf.
We love this lush combination of natural oils that includes: Castor oil for hair growth, Grapeseed oil for strengthening, Argan oil for repair and shine, Coconut oil for deep conditioning, and Olive oil for sealed in hydration. With dry or wet hair simply massage a few drops into your edges and let the magic begin.
Shea Miracle Silky Edges
Maintain your hairline’s strength and moisture with our Anti-Frizz Conditioning Gel. Formulated without harsh ingredients and instead a restorative blend of African shea butter and herbal oil extracts, this edge conditioner is non-flaking, non-greasy, and non-sticky.
African Pride Edge Control & Care Tips
In addition to styling your edges with the right formulas, there are a few natural edge care tips to ensure your edges are healthy and hydrated plus, promote their growth. When it comes to caring for transitioning hair the best approach is to treat your hair like you would treat a child’s natural hair. This means no harsh chemicals, ingredients, or hot tools and lots of nourishing formulas and practices that protect your delicate curls and coils.
Think of edge care the same way you think about healthy eating or exercise, it’s about regularly incorporating lifestyle and hair care changes to your normal routine. We promise it’s worth it in the long run to see stronger, healthier edges.
Protect Your Edges At Night
The easiest thing you can do to protect your edges is something you should definitely already be doing: covering your hair at night. If you’re using a regular bonnet, it might be making matters worse.
Instead, opt for a silk scarf or a bonnet with a headband attached so that it fully covers your edges and top of your forehead. This secures your full hairline so that your edges are fully protected from breakage while you sleep.
No matter what protective cover you use at night, make sure it’s a silk or satin material. This isn’t just to be fancy, silk and satin help your coils and curls remain hydrated and protected whereas cotton absorbs oil and moisture from your hair. For extra edge protection, double up with a pillowcase of the same material to prevent any breakage from friction as you may toss and turn.
Show Your Scalp Love
Anything you might do to help your hair grow will help your edges grow healthy too. A great way to care for your scalp and stimulate growth is to give it a comforting oil massage every few weeks.
We recommend using African Pride 5 Essential Oils blend as it can help reactivate hair follicles to support growth and prevent breakage. It also utilizes Vitamin E, a thickening agent, that repairs hair follicles to help reduce damage.
Simply applying the oil will protect and strengthen the hair, but actually massaging it into your edges will stimulate blood circulation and encourage growth. The increased circulation also helps more nutrients reach the hair follicles on the hairline.
Gently massage a small amount of the oil blend into the scalp and hairline to moisturize, strengthen, and repair edges. Since stress can also contribute to hair loss, close your eyes and take some deep breaths as you’re massaging.
You can also do the same thing with conditioner. On wash day avoid shampooing your edges too much and instead apply conditioner directly to edges and gently massage the nourishing formula into them.
Use Moisturizing Formulas
Natural, textured hair is unique. As such, it requires extra specialized formulas. Curly and coily hair is prone to dryness at the best of times, meaning your edges are even more brittle and delicate. This makes using moisturizing formulas an integral part of your overall hair health.
A simple way to tell if a product has enough moisture to quench your natural curls is whether it’s water-based. You can spot a water-based product by looking at the label and seeing water as the first ingredient, similarly you want to avoid harsh products with sulfates, alcohol or petrolatum.
That’s why we love our Olive Miracle Super Hold to style and smooth edges, control frizz, and tame flyaways all while nourishing them at the same time. With aqua as the foundation, this non-greasy formula combines an array of moisturizing oils like: Soybean, Jojoba, Olive, Avocado, Coconut, and Tea Tree.
Armed with the right products and practice, your edges will become more manageable, smooth and healthy. However, keep in mind that it might take a few weeks to see proper results. Transitioning your hair is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady is the name of the game.
Even if your edges grow back strong, if you stop doing all the good things you did to revive them they’ll just become damaged and brittle again. For the best edges of your life, it’s important to incorporate these lifestyle changes into your daily natural hair care routine.