Baby Hair and Afros
Hairlines are at the forefront of our profiles. We should pay particular attention to our edges so that they’re always on fleek and flourishing! Let’s talk about the beauty of black hair and how there has been so much hype over laying your edges down and baby hairs. Though laid edges are satisfying, there should never be stress placed on them to wear certain hairstyles. Hair types and hairlines are hereditary. They can also be altered and styled in many different ways. This is why it is important to fully understand your unique features so you can figure out what is best for you. Some women can easily style their edges minutes before they leave the house, other women have to lay them down overnight, and some have to take even further methods for sleek edges. The point is, no matter what you do for your hairstyles, you want to ensure you are not damaging your irreplaceable baby hairs. Edges are unique and genetic just like our hair type and can change over time depending on their care.
Noticing The Difference
You have to understand a scalp
before doing anything to it. When it comes to your edges, the state of them will determine your regimen. Full or thin, straight or curly, your baby hairs can add a finishing touch to your look. Not all edge styles are the same, as they align with your hairline. The first thing you’ve got to ask yourself: Are my edges full or sparse (if I have any)? Once you find out where you stand, then you can tackle the ways to keep up with your natural hairline. So, where do you stand?
What are they?
Full edges are not synonymous with long-haired edges
. I envy the girls with thick, full hair, especially around their hairlines. I have thick hair, but my edges didn’t get the memo. Those who have strong, healthy follicles around the perimeter of their head can style edges as is with the correct holding gel. Looser hair textures such as type 3 don’t require such a firm gel since they can be styled and ready in about ten to fifteen minutes. Some type 4 naturalistas can also lay their edges down with the right gel and a scarf. Kinkier textures
require solid-like gels for maximum hold. Liquid-based gels work as well, but for the sake of fixed edges, thicker gels work best.
How to style fuller edges
To lay fuller edges, it helps to begin with hair that isn’t dry. Meaning if you’re not styling after washing
, then you can spray some water around your hairline. Apply your desired amount of alcohol-free gel
and style as necessary. Depending on your hair’s behavior and your preference, you can choose between styling toothbrushes, bristle brushes
, fine/rat tail combs, or your fingers! It’s your edges, so whatever works for you. Once you’ve styled your edges how you like, tie them up with a scarf for at least 15 minutes. Whenever you’re ready to go, your edges will be too.
Be on the lookout
The main issue between those with fuller hairlines and edge control are the products. Since the hair is thick, it requires more gel to hold it down. Too much product too often will begin to take a toll on your strands. If you look at the ingredients, most gels are full of synthetic components we can’t even pronounce! I don’t know about you, but I’d like to find as many ways as I can to limit the number of chemicals
that I use in my hair. Hair loss, damage, and weakening can occur from the frequent usage of gels on your edges. You can wear a scarf to help lay down your edges every time you’re at home, not just bedtime. This way, you can ensure your styling
lasts for days to refrain from adding gel or spray every day.
What You Can Do
Have you ever heard of homemade gel? As it is becoming more popular for DIY hair care, check out the benefits of using all-natural products to ensure edges that are nourished and laid. Aloe Vera gel and Flaxseed gel are two popular, organic alternatives to try. Aloe Vera is full of active beneficial nutrients, with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Keratin, the main protein of hair, and Aloe Vera contain components similar to each other. So when you use Aloe Vera gel, it helps to strengthen and nourish your strands while naturally complying with your hair. Flaxseeds are good for hair growth
because they contain loads of vitamin E, they balance pH
levels and oil production, and conditions, soothes, and nourishes your follicles. Just putting them on your edges alone will allow them to remain full and healthy. You can also make your gel by boiling some flax seeds in water. You’re able to either use the natural gel alone or add your ingredients for a thicker gel to help those with full or kinky hair types. To make your homemade gel, you need:
- ¼ cup flaxseed or aloe vera gel
- ¼ cup castor oil
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ⅛ cup honey
- A few drops of the fragrance of your choice (optional)
- ⅛ cup glycerin
As this takes only a few minutes, all you need to do first is mix the oil, honey, and fragrance in one bowl. If you have a preservative, you can add it here, but if not then stick with your ingredients.
Next, mix the glycerin and gum in another bowl (This is to ensure no clumps before combining, so be sure you have a smooth mixture). Glycerin aids in moisture production and flake controller and xanthan gum is sugar that does what’s expected—thickens your product.
After you’ve hydrated the gum with the glycerin and thoroughly blended both your mixes, then combine the two. After combining, continue stirring as you bring in your preferred gel.
Then, when you’ve added all your ingredients together, you can store your edge control in a small jar and keep it in the fridge until you use it. You can save it up to two weeks, but with a preservative, it can last up to six months. This is one way to make a homemade gel
, so if any ingredient listed can be swapped for something better fit for you, then, by all means, customize your product so that it works for you perfectly. This gel has assisted for all hair types, so we can all benefit!
What are they?
There could be many reasons as to why you may be experiencing thin or weak edges or even hair loss. On the one hand, it could be because of your health or genetics
. It’s harder to reverse what comes naturally for you, but that shouldn’t discourage you from maintaining your edges. If you’ve only recently started losing hair, then the other reason could stem from excessive, improper styling. Whether it’s minimal or not, any hair loss should be taken seriously and tended to immediately. The reason so many women are experiencing balding edges is that of their frequent use of chemicals or relaxers, or constant, tight hairstyles. If you’re a woman who needs her hair done all the time, you should explore all your options so that your hair is always being taken care of as well.
How to style with thin edges
I’ve seen women with little to no hairs along their hairline make way by gluing hair pieces down, filling in bald spots with makeup, or wearing wigs and styles with added baby hairs. Now, it’s great to find a way when you thought there was no way, but those should not be your go-to. By reverting to the “cheat” options, you are not helping your hair in the long run, and that is the most crucial part. If you have weak edges, your primary goal should be to grow them. One of the best ways to restore hair damage is to be able to allow your hair to breathe with little to no manipulation. The sacrifices we make for convenience by wearing protective styles
are no help if you don’t do your part. Going about taking care of and styling your edges will be something that is constant since you’ll be maintaining them even outside the bathroom. The first thing is to make sure when you get your hair done that the styles are never too tight. If you blink hard and slow and you feel any tension or tenderness around your hairline, that’s how you know your hairline is at risk.
What You Can Do
So how can you still rock your sparse edges? You can help nourish them by finding natural temple balms, serums, and masks, products made to grow your hairline back. You can also find essential oils, such as Rosemary oil, to replenish the nutrients and strength needed for stronger strands. If you take the time to massage with your hairline for about 30 seconds once or twice a day, then you will hopefully begin to notice growth within a few weeks. Scalp massages are good for the hair because your hair gets a chance to take the product in really and stimulates blood circulation, which helps hair growth. The process of growing hair is not supposed to be comfortable or perfect. Some of us spend so much time focused on slayed looks that we don’t appreciate the beauty of naturalness. Edges don’t have to be gelled down to look good. I’m sure you were probably waiting for me to go into detail about how to still slick down thin edges, but the best way to style them is to let them prosper as they are and let nature take its course. However, if you do choose to use gel more often, try and go for homemade, natural gels so that you can help your hair at the same time. Don’t try and swoop your edges for different designs all the time either. The extra tension you add to your hairline keeps from a full, thick hairline that could appear if you become more gentle with your routine and products. So if you are using a brush, comb, or spoolie, make sure it is clean in addition to tender styling.
No Edges? No Problem!
Did you know that baby hair is the same hairs we had as toddlers? That’s why we call them that, simply because of the texture and behavior. The hair that has developed around our head is not always the same around the front. Some people don’t have any baby hairs at all, as all their hair strands matured. Sometimes we can create baby hairs by just gelling down the hairs in front, but without the proper care, those hairs will begin to recede just as natural hairlines. We want to celebrate the styles created without baby hairs because there are so many ways we black women can slay in ways that benefit us. Whether you lost all your baby hairs, or even choose not to have any, be confident with your hair just as is; what may come easy for some, might be difficult for others. Rock a bald cut, or a shaved style, whatever can help you rock what you got. The dedication to creating sleek edge styles are great, but even some stylists believe that all clients can have the same looks. Wrong! Too many girls and women are beginning to experience early signs of hair loss or alopecia
, all because of stress placed on the hairline. So do yourself a favor and cater to your natural look, because the best finishing touch on any style is confidence.
Focusing on the Long Run
Regardless of the state of your hairline, you want to treat all your hair the same. You want to not only find products that match with your hair texture but techniques that can boost your regimen to help yourself. Taking care of your edges is more than just sleeping with a silk scarf at night. It is minimizing heat and chemical usage, plenty moisturization, hydrating when necessary, weekly treatments, and a healthy body (and soul). After giving your hair all the nutrients and love it needs, you have to protect it as well. Makeup, facial cleansers, and moisturizers should not touch your edges since sometimes the ingredients within those products diminish hair growth. For an even stronger scalp, multivitamins can help you, along with a hearty diet full of fresh fruits, protein, vegetables, and plenty of water. Everything that goes inside your body shows on the outside. Taking care of your edges seems very simple and straightforward since the things to do are things we should be doing anyway. The key here is to make sure you aren’t ruining your progress by continuing the old habits that may have led to some hair loss. So, if you've got full or thin edges, all you have to do is maintain them and give the best TLC you could provide!