4C hair has a special place in the naturalista world. Although most people dread it because of its reputation of being ‘too stubborn’ or ‘too difficult to handle’, they also admire it a lot – and envy the naturalistas who rock it well – because it is just so beautiful! That full, black, bobbing Afro!
In a way, 4C hair can be said to be the poster girl of the natural hair ad. Most of the striking images of natural hair that we see in the media are of 4C hair. Its reputation as the kinkiest Afro-textured hair means that a lot of attention has been spent on exploring it and encouraging people who have it. Because of this, there is an abundance of popular styles in which it can be rocked.
But styling 4C hair is no easy task. If you have, or know someone who has, 4C hair, you’ll be able to guess this from the many hours of standing in front of the mirror it usually takes to achieve a neat, good-looking style. What with all the frizz and frays, achieving a sleek look with your 4C hair requires more than the regular wide-tooth comb, bobby pins, and leave-in conditioners.
Every naturalista knows that good edge control is like a magic spell. Edge control is a thick, pomade-textured product that is spread on baby hairs (laying edges) to keep them from frizzing. This allows you to be able to wear your hair in different styles, and also helps you achieve a sleek look.
Laying your edges has its work too. It requires technique, expertise, and care. But every naturalista with 4C hair knows that the real battle is trying to find an edge control that doesn’t revert hairs quickly, or wash off, or dry up, or even turn white on your head!
The reason why it is so hard to find the right edge control for 4C hairs, of course, has to do with the general discrimination against Afro-textured hair, especially the 4C type. There is a lot of ignorance about it, and hair product makers capitalize on this ignorance. So products that are best suited to straight, white hair, are marketed to people with Afro-textured hair as just the perfect fit.
But natural hair, especially 4C hair, is texturally different from wavy caucasian hairs, which are the standards. So naturally, the edge control that would work well for the easily tamed wavy hair, would barely be able to hold a naturalista’s 4C hair together.
As a naturalista with 4C hair, you should be looking out for texture, consistency, and easy spreadability when choosing an edge control. Finally finding an edge control that works best for your hair may feel like cracking a secret code. The relief is great! We know. That is why we have compiled this list of great edge controls for 4C hair for you. Hopefully, you’ll find the one for you here!
Without wasting any more time:
10 Best Edge Controls for 4C Hair
Arcani Coil Care Enthroned Edges is a black-owned product, and of course, trust black people to get it right about the best products for their hair. Naturalistas have testified that it is sweat-proof, dries quickly, and stays in place even after running your fingers across the hair. This was why it is the focus of the #RubChallenge trend on Instagram.
You may have heard of this one before. The Ebin 24-hour Edge Tamer is one popular edge control in the naturalista community. This is because it has been a favorite for a long time amongst celebrities and professional hair stylists. Like its name, it keeps your baby hair slicked down for 24 good hours. But in addition to this, it is the perfect edge control against humidity. It also doesn’t leave any white residue!
The Design Essential Sleek MAX Edge Control is specifically designed to give you the maximum sleek edge. It is strong, long-lasting, and manageable to use. It is also effective on both dry and wet hairs, giving immense shine to the hair. It is formulated to be both moisturizing and defining, and tames flyaways.
This is a special one because, as its name suggests, it is infused with lavender oil, which is great to stimulate hair growth. But that is just one of its benefits. It is also the best smelling edge control – because of the lavender. It is smooth, moisturizing, and makes the hair shine.
The Black Panther Strong Edge and Braid Control Pomade is one of the best edge controls out there for 4C hair. It does exactly what you want it to do. Its edge hold is very strong, so it is a great choice for box braids. It also has a great fruity smell, and does not dry or cake. It comes highly recommended for 4C hair.
Yeah, we know, the name does not sound like something you want to touch, let alone put on your hair. But this Gorilla Snot is one edge control that is beloved and indispensable to 4C naturalistas! It puts all the baby hairs to sleep! It is strong and lasts long, and does not flake.
This is another popular and beloved edge control. You can find it in almost any hair product store. The edge control is made with wheat protein, which protects the hairline and prevents breakage. It dries without hardening, doesn’t flake, and gives the hair a wonderful shine.
This edge control contains natural ingredients such as argan oil, shea butter, and pure honey. It is great because it gives your hair all the moisture it needs. It also lasts for 24 hours and shines nicely.
If you have dreadlocks, then you definitely want to go for this particular edge control. It is also infused with castor oil and coconut oil, which are great for your hair. It holds strongly, and you don’t have to worry about frizzes.
As its name suggests, this edge control is great because not only does it hold your baby hair down strongly, it is also very great to stimulate hair growth. It keeps your hair moisturized and hydrated, does not flake, and keeps your hair a nice shine all through the day!
Now that you know which edge controls to use, it is time to learn how to lay your edges, girl!
How to lay your edges to get maximum sleekness even for coarse 4C hair
Laying edges is a rite of passage. It is one of those things you must do to achieve the look you want with your hair. But slicking down your baby hairs (which is what laying edges is called amongst hair initiates) is no easy job. Especially if you happen to have 4C hair. Naturalistas with 4C hair can relate to the frustration of being all dressed to go out, but spending hours in front of the mirror because your baby hairs just won’t stay! Or if they eventually do stay, no sooner had you stepped out of the house than the frizz up all over again and revert back to curly. You look haggard, and it seems like you don’t know what you’re doing with your edges.
Don’t fret. You are not alone. Laying edges requires skill, and perfecting it is usually a trial-by-error process. To ease up some of the burdens, we have put together some tips for you on how to lay your 4C edges to get maximum sleekness. They are as follows:
- Get the right tools and products:
Every self-respecting naturalista knows that laying your edges without the right tools and products is a defeated task. You need the right edge control and brushes. Prominent hairstylist Vernon François advises using a very small brush, or an eyebrow makeup applicator. He also advises not touching your edges until they are dry.
- Be VERY patient
To achieve a perfect sleek, you need a LOT of patience. We cannot stress this enough. Laying your edges is not a task that can be rushed in 5 minutes before you catch the train at 4. You need to calm down, settle down, breathe, and go slowly. Otherwise, all your effort to rush through the process will be frustrating, and you will end up arriving at your date all frizzy.
- Avoid high oil or high alcohol edge controls
To get a good sleek, when choosing edge control, avoid ones high in oil and alcohol. According to celebrity hairstylist Sandrine Diah, oil edge controls revert baby hairs to curly, and one high in alcohol dries out the hairs.
- Mix with gels when necessary
Sometimes you may need to apply gels in addition to your edge control, to achieve a sleek look. Slicking back the hair with gel makes it tight and ready for edge control.
- Wear a silk scarf to hold in place
After successfully applying your products and laying your edges, wrapping a silk scarf carefully around it will help keep it in place. A silk scarf is recommended instead of cotton, because cotton will soak up all the oil. Unwrap carefully after about twenty minutes and go out rocking your fabulous hair!
Rocking your 4C hair is a matter of respecting it enough to learn about it, having the right tools, and then the right products. The right edge control is like a life hack, and can do wonders for your hair. Armed with this information, you can go about in the world looking your very best with your beautiful 4C hair!