Many women have a love-hate relationship with their edges. On good hair days, your edges frame your face and finish off any polished look. On not-so-good hair days, the little hairs that stand at attention along your hairline are the bane of your existence.
We’re determined to make sure women love every part of their hair—including their edges. The key to managing your edges is knowing how to care for them properly. If you can identify the habits that are wreaking havoc on your hairline and create a healthy hair care routine, you’re on the right track. Below are some answers to questions you’ve been dying to know forever—including, is it possible to regrow your edges?
What are the edges of hair?
Also called baby hairs, edges are the finer, shorter hairs that make up your hairline. There’s a rich Black culture behind styling edges as a creative outlet, but almost everyone has these baby hairs in some form regardless of their hair texture.
How To Properly Care For Your Edges
The key to great edges is healthy hair, and we all know the foundation of healthy hair is a proper hair care routine. No one-size-fits-all healthy hair routine exists because the best one will be tailored to your specific hair type and concerns. While the particular products you line your vanity with may vary from person to person, every healthy hair routine should include a few basics like shampoo, conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and hair treatment.
If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend Mizani’s Moisture Fusion Moisture Rich Shampoo followed by the brand’s Moisture Fusion Intense Moisture Mask. Cleansing is a vital first step in every hair routine because it removes build-up from your edges, including hair products, makeup, and skin care residue.
After your hair is cleansed, conditioned, and rinsed, it’s time to give your edges a little TLC. We recommend misting your hairline with a leave-in conditioner like Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner, sleeping on a silk pillowcase to reduce friction, and taking a break from styles that pull at your hairline.
Which bad habits damage your edges?
We already know that styles like taut braids and incredibly tight ponytails create tension and pulling that can be very damaging to your edges. However, your go-to styles aren’t the only habits potentially wreaking havoc on your hairline.
One of the first things stylists ask clients dealing with breakage around their hairline is how hot they’re setting their styling tools. They’re often setting their tools to temperatures that are entirely too high for their hair. This excessive heat can cause damage and breakage. The easiest way to minimize the effects of heat damage to your edges is to lower the temperature on your hot tools and always use a heat protection product. We can’t get enough of Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Netsu Design Blow Dry Cream, which protects hair from heat up to 446 Fahrenheit and allows you to shape and reshape your edges without applying more product.
Lack of moisture.
Another surprising cause of weakened edges is moisture. Dry locks can lead to breakage, so make sure your hair care routine includes a moisturizing conditioner. On the other hand, too much moisture can have a similar result. If your strands are so soft they’ve begun to break off, your hair might benefit from a strengthening protein treatment. Your stylist will be the ultimate resource for any in-salon services, but your hair will still thank you for doing some upkeep at home. Redken’s Extreme CAT Anti-Damage Protein Reconstructing Rinse-Off Hair Treatment provides intense conditioning and reconstruction to weakened hair that’s prone to breakage.
Lastly, it’s no secret that product build-up can lead to all kinds of hair woes. Unfortunately, our edges are often the part of our hair that gets slathered in the most product. If you rely on gels, pomades, or edge control products to keep your baby hairs under control, invest in a clarifying shampoo to help thoroughly cleanse your hair of product buildup. We love Mizani Moisture Fusion Clarifying Shampoo.
Are edges just baby hairs?
Edges can be baby hairs, but they can sometimes be confused for breakage around the hairline. If you often use heat or wear locks in tight, pulled-back styles, those rogue hairs can actually be hairs that have broken off.
Can you regrow your edges?
Whether or not you can regrow your edges depends on how you “lost” them in the first place. If your edges are suffering from major breakage, restoring your hairline to its former glory with a little patience is possible. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your hair grows on average half an inch per month. If you steer clear of damaging heat temperatures and taut hairstyles and maintain a healthy hair care routine, you could see results in just a few months.
On the other hand, if your hair edges are thinning but your strands don’t seem to be dealing with breakage, it’s probably time to see a professional. If your hairline just won’t grow or you’re losing hair at an alarming rate, reach out to a specialist. A licensed trichologist specializes in the structure, function, and diseases associated with the human hair and scalp. They can help get to the root of the problem and let you know whether or not you can regrow your edges.
While your edges are on the mend, there are a few cheap and easy ways to mimic their appearance. All kinds of products can give your hairline a fuller appearance, including powders and hair color sprays. To ensure your hairline looks flawless (and not like you colored it in with marker), you’ll want to make certain your chosen product is an exact color match. Feel free to mix colors until you find one that suits you perfectly.
Now that you know how to care for your hair edges, it’s time to style them to perfection. Keep reading for ten ways to style your edges now.
10 Ways To Style Your Hair Edges
Gold Embellished Edges
Who said gold embellishments were just for makeup? If you love the look of shimmering gold highlighter, you’ll love this golden take on hair edges. After styling your hair, lightly sprinkle gold foil throughout your hairline. Once you’ve applied the gold foil, set your look with a firm hold hairspray like Redken Triple Pure 32 Neutral Fragrance Hairspray.
Carefree Long Edges
Styling edges can often require precise work and patience, but if you’re into laid-back hairstyles, you can still get in on the baby hair fun. Simply throw your hair into a messy bun and let your edges hang free.
It’s frustrating when those baby hairs don’t quite reach the base of your ponytail. You can make them work to your advantage if they're super long by styling them into purposeful tendrils. Use a clay pomade, like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Nendo Definer Matte Clay, to gently pinch the face-framing pieces together for a piece-y look that stays in place.
Baby Hairs and Braids
Baby hairs pair perfectly with any hairstyle, but we love how they look when styled with box braids. Next time you head to the salon for a head full of braids, ask your stylist to leave your baby hairs free and style them with a bit of edge control, like Mizani Edge Trimming Hair Gel.
Knotless Box Braids
As if you needed more proof that edges and braids are a great match–this variation of box braids causes less tension on the scalp thanks to their lack of a traditional knot at the base.
It doesn’t get more classic than S-wave hair edges. To create this look, all you’ll need is an edge-control product and a fine-tooth comb. Apply the edge control to your baby hairs and smooth it through. Then, use the fine-tooth comb to style S-waves along your hairline. Allow your edge control to completely dry, and you’re good to go!
If you love the look of S-wave edges but want a little more hair to play with, slicked-down long edges are for you. Using the same technique above, style your long edges into your desired shape, getting creative with purposeful messy swoops and curls. Top the look off with an on-trend chunky headband to direct focus to your creative hairline.
If you prefer more contrived hair edges, you’ll love these meticulously-crafted coils near the temples. A chic hat and double-slicked-back buns put these artful baby hairs front and center.
We normally push wet hair off our forehead, but letting wispy baby hairs hang out uninterrupted near our hairline adds to the ocean goddess vibe of wet-look hair.
To get these saturated waves:
- Apply a quarter-sized amount of a heat-protectant mousse like Pureology Style + Protect Weightless Volume Mousse all over to damp hair.
- Use a diffuser attachment to maintain your texture as you dry your hair.
- Once dry, run a dime-sized amount of oil like Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil through the hair to boost shine.
Most curly girls rely on the “pineapple” (a loosely gathered bun that protects curls) hairstyle overnight, but the look shouldn’t be confined to the bedroom. Play up the bouncy texture of both your hair and your coily sideburns with Matrix’s A Curl Can Dream Moisturizing Cream For Curly And Coily Hair. The formula hydrates and defines your curl pattern without flaking.
Head to Hair.com to find all the salon-grade products that your edges need to truly thrive.