Laying Down Edges – How to???
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From L to R: am pro styl, eco styler, and aloe vera gels

 

Taming hair is not only a challenge for women with kinky coily hair.  Women of all hair types have moments of the untamed coif.  There are multiple gels and mousses available to address that issue.  Specific to girls with curls, however, is the challenge of laying down edges.  The edge is the part of the hair which frames your face surrounding the temple and forehead.  Depending on the type of day, mood or function, frizzy edges are not always the look of choice.

Edges unleashed during a routine wash.

Personally, I don’t mind my edges roughing it every now and then.  I feel it gives me a sense of authentic and chic grunge which is an occasional style of preference.  However, there are times, more often than not, when I like a very sleek and polished look to my tresses.  Achieving this look is not always the simplest task.  If you are old school, you may recall your mother using vaseline and water and that prickly brush that hurt like you know what.  Thank goodness times have changed…well for some!  More common ways to get the slick look is using styling gels.  Before I apply any styling gel, I make sure to moisten the area, apply a light oil (usually evoo), and wrap a scarf around the area for a minimum of 45 minutes.  For the most part, I wear scarf overnight for an extremely sleek look.

Sleek look for the office.

My favorite gels are am pro styl, eco styler, or aloe vera.  I keep each of these products in my hair cabinet and use depending on what type of hold I need.

Am pro styl is a gel that is familiar to any woman who uses or has used a stylist. It is a dark brown gel that provides a very secure hold to your edges.  I prefer to use this gel when I want to ensure that my edges are smooth all day or when I’m heading out on a date night (extra sleekness).  It’s also a decent hold when the weather is humid.  The down side is that it always leaves my coils feeling heavy with product residue.  So by the next day, the brown crust hangs onto the strands of my hair, which is a no no for my 4A-B hair.  If I don’t rinse immediately, the weight of the gel ends up breaking my edges.

 

Still sleek but not the same hold.

Eco Styler gel has fastly become one of my favorites.  Although the hold is not as firm as am pro styl gel, it provides a secure hold for most activities.  I also like that it is clear in color so there is no visible brown residue during the course of wear or even the next day.  Eco Styler, like other gel products, has many types to choose from. My eco styler of choice is Eco Styler Extra Firm Styling Gel identified by the yellow jar with an added benefit of increased PVP.  PVP or polyvinylpyrrolidone enables use of the gel with with thermal styling tools without the fear of sticking to curling irons or making the hair stiff. Polyvinylpyrrolidone is found in a variety of industries due to its unique physical and chemical properties.  An interesting fact is that  PVP was the main ingredient in the first really successful hairsprays in the early 1950s (more on PVP).  Eco Styler also includes glycerin to moisturize and reduce the likelihood of breakage.

 

Aloe Vera Gel is what I use most often, but the hold is the least firm of the three gels.

 

Finally, there is aloe vera gel which is my go to gel for the simple fact that it does not harden.  While I enjoy the sleek look from time to time, I am also conscious of retaining and protecting my edges.  With that in mind I can use AVG as often as I like and not worry about left over dry residue and breakage.  AVG seems to contain the most natural products of the three. The label reads that it DOES NOT CONTAIN artificial colors, parabens, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde donors, or petroleum by-products. No animal testing or by-products. This product contains 97% certified organic ingredients including elements that promote an attractive and healthy appearance while moisturizing the skin.

So in your quest to conquer those edges, know this: You can’t go wrong, as long as you know your hair!  My hair is very thick and can withstand a gel beating from time to time.  That is why I choose to alternate my gels of choice.  However, if your hair is thin or fine, then you may want to avoid am pro styl gel as often as possible.  If you are unsure, check youtube for product reviews or buy them all and test them out for yourself.

 

 

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