Laying down your edges, slicking your baby hairs, whatever you want to call it- it can give a nice look to a sleek ponytail, double buns, a puff or a protective style like Senegalese twists or box braids.
While most people know how to lay down their edges and do a great job of it, many people have been asking me about my methods and what edge control I use. If you're interested in how I lay down my baby hairs and saving a few bucks on edge control, keep reading.
For those of you who have never seen my baby hairs slicked down and are skeptical of what you're about to read, my baby hairs are naturally curly but here are a few pictures of them laid down.
My baby hairs are very curly when in their natural state and I have a lot of baby hair. I know this because my baby hairs are significantly shorter and thinner than the rest of my hair and curl up rather than down when my hair is wet. What most people need to understand, is your baby hairs will not look like someone else's. The same concept with curls and coils in hair. Some people have more baby hairs, curlier baby hairs, etc. The key to know how to lay down your baby hairs however, is understanding your own.
Baby hairs are often thin and wispy. They usually are not very long in length. A good way to locate your baby hairs if you aren't entirely sure is to: 1. Wash your hair and look for the pieces of hair at your hairline that lay flat or curl and are short and thin or 2. Pull your hair into a tight bun or ponytail and look for the wispy hairs at your hairline that are too short to be slicked into the bun or ponytail (they often stick up slightly).
Once you've found your baby hairs, you should understand the way they fall on your head naturally. Like in my pictures, there is one spot where my baby hairs are laid in different directions, that is the way they lay naturally. If you try to force your baby hairs to lay down in a way that is unnatural, such as swooping them all to the left or right, I have found that it either looks ridiculous or it does not lay flat and comes undone.
So what do you need to lay down your baby hairs? Well it depends on what method you prefer to use:
- A Scarf
- Edge Control/Gel + Toothbrush/Brush
The easiest method to lay your baby hairs down is a scarf. Simply tie a scarf around your edges before bed or for a few hours. This will lay down your baby hairs in a simple and easy way. This method also works wonderfully to keep baby hairs that are already laid, well... laid.
The next method is what I use to lay my baby hairs in the pictures above and probably the most popular amongst people who lay down their baby hairs: Edge control/Gel and a Toothbrush or Brush. Before I get into the how to of this method, You do not need to buy an expensive edge control to lay down your edges. Yes, there are some wonderful edge controls, but personally I don't know how I feel about spending $20-$30 on edge control. I use Eco Styler Gel and a $2 toothbrush from CVS and they work wonderfully. The key to making this method work is to find the perfect amount of gel to use. If you use too little your baby hairs won't lay flat or look slick, if you use to much they'll look glued to your head. Because of this I only dip the tip of my toothbrush into the Eco Styler Gel, and I coat the entire side of my baby hairs that I'm focusing on, before shaping it to curl or swirl or wave or whatever I plan on doing. You can shape your baby hairs by using your finger to hold down the hairs you don't want to move.
The final method is simply water. Most people still use the toothbrush for this step but it's solely up to you. I find that with this method my edges don't lay as flat and often curl up because curly hair is activated by water. However, if this is the method you would like to use, follow the same steps for the edge control or gel, but use water instead.
Important things to remember:
- When deep conditioning hair, don't forget your baby hairs! They are thin and easily damaged so you want to make sure they remain healthy.
- Treat your baby hairs like you treat the rest of your hair. If you wouldn't gel your hair down every day, you shouldn't gel your baby hairs down every day either. Let them breathe, wear them in their natural state every few days.
- If you're trying to understand where your baby hairs end and your regular hair starts, laying down a regular piece of hair with your baby hairs will either look strange, be extremely long, is not easily manipulated like baby hairs or exposes scalp.
- Too much gel or edge control can cause flaking in the baby hairs. A spritz of water either on your fingers or directly onto baby hairs can remove flaking.
- If you use a heavy duty edge control, spritz baby hairs with water after use to remove sticky residue. Product buildup in baby hairs can cause breakage and make hairs harder to lay down the next time around.