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15 Pros and Cons of Edge Control (Explained)

Edge control is a hair product that usually comes in a 2-7 ounce jar. It's specifically designed for your edges (the hair that frames your face) and commonly used for touching up an old style or finishing a new look. The goal of an edge control is often a smooth, sleek and frizz-free style that lasts for the entire day.

We hope to dive deeper into edge control's impact on hair, starting with the pros.

1. Nourishes Edges

Your edges are often the shortest, finest, and most fragile hairs on your head. Thankfully, there are so many gentle products for those who choose to style them. Some edge controls have ingredients that moisturize, and strengthen your edges. This means they are often infused with health-promoting ingredients like biotin, aloe, honey, and herbs like mint or rosemary. They can also be enriched with nourishing oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or Jamaican black castor oil (to name a few). Companies intentionally do this so that you are not sacrificing your hair’s health for beauty.

2. Not Just For Edges

Many use edge control to help braids and twists last longer. You can also use edge control on the crown of the head or wherever frizz appears.

3. A Little Goes A Long Way

Edge control tends to be concentrated, so you really only need a little. A fingertip portion should be plenty.

4. Scented

There are so many edge controls that smell absolutely amazing!!

5. Covers Grays

Black or charcoal-colored edge controls can cover gray hairs and hide thinning areas. This edge control does both, but may not have a strong hold.

If you are embracing your grays, you’ll want to steer clear of edge controls that are not color-safe. This means they may accidentally color your hair. For example, a blue edge control can tint your grays blue.

6. Easily Blends

Edge controls are made to naturally blend into whichever hairstyle you choose —without having to apply the product to your entire head. You can apply edge control with your fingers, then use a hairline brush to style the hair and blend the product in.

7. Won’t Revert Hair

There are edge controls for straight and curly styles. If you’re using a water-based edge control, it’s probably best to apply on damp hair. Edge controls for dry or straightened hair will still give you that glossy, wet look, without making your hair revert to its curlier texture. There are also edge controls for both damp or dry hair, like this one.

8. Strong To Pliable Hold

Some prefer a super hard edge control — which can be great for their desired look. There are also edge controls that offer a pliable hold. This means that the hair still has movement without the frizz.

Edge Control Pros Vs Cons List

Now here are the cons...

1. Can Be Greasy or Gummy

Your edge control should feel good in your hair. If it’s too greasy, it can leave stains, drip down your face, or have an undesirable sticky or gummy texture.

2. Dries Edges Out

Some edge controls use alcohol. This can dry out your edges and give the hair that crispy feel.

3. Lint Collectors

As a heavy product, edge control can collect lint (if left in for days or if reapplied and layered day after day).

4. Hard To Wash Out

Some edge controls (like this one) are intentionally designed to be hard to remove. Their customers love them because they're super thick, sticky, long-lasting and weighted consistency is great for laying down certain hair.

If your edge control is made with wax, you can use a little heat (from a blow dryer) to liquify the product. You can also try adding a little oil. The oil binds to the wax and may make it easier to remove.

In addition, you’ll want a good cleanser to thoroughly remove the product. This will minimize product buildup. It’s important to be extra careful, when you are removing edge control. Try not to rub or scrub your edges too hard, because you are dealing with baby hair. Whether your hair is wavy, curly, or coily, the hairs on your hairline can be super fragile.

You can check to see if the edge control is water-based. Water-based edge controls also add shine and moisture, but are easier to wash out than their counterparts.

5. Flaky

Some brands may flake. Even if it’s a flake-free formula, be sure to apply your edge control on clean hair. Meaning after a fresh wash when there is no other product. Flakes can result from mixing products that do not agree or from build-up from old product that’s on the hair. Some edge controls can last for days. Meaning, you apply the edge control, and the hair continues to lay down.

6. Allergic Reactions

Since edge control product goes on the hair line, it most likely comes into contact with the skin on your face. Be mindful of the ingredients (even if they are natural). Try an elbow test by putting a little product in the crease of your elbow, to test it out and make sure that it’s a good fit for you.

7. Leaves Residue

If your edge control leaves a bit of residue, it may mean that too much product is being used. Instead of using more product, try a scarf or hair band. Some edge controls like this one come with a band, but you can also use a silk/satin scarf you already own. With a little bit of product and a few minutes with the edge control tied down, it can make all the difference.

What Is The Difference Between Edge Control And Gel?

Edge control is specifically designed for the hairline of the face. It's intentionally thicker than gel, so that you can style these fine hairs with as little product as possible. On the other hand, gel often comes in larger quantities because it's used all over the head. Despite these differences, you can totally use your go-to gel as an edge control.

Are Their Oil-Based Edge Controls ?

The first ingredient in most edge controls is water. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) cosmetics should list ingredients in descending order by amount. This means that water is the most prevalent ingredient even if the product feels oily.

If you're looking for an oil-based edge control, we love this product. It's a multi-purpose paste that can be used to support dry skin and to fade stretch marks; which is why you may not find it if you search for edge controls. Its only ingredient is castor seed oil, but it has a sticky and super thick consistency that definitely lays down the hairs that frame the face. Since there are no added fragrances, it smells earthy -- instead of fruity or sweet. You can read good and bad reviews from customers here. In the end, it's the best natural edge control we've tried that also nourishes your edges.

We hope this was helpful! Until next time…

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