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What Is Edge Control & Do I Need It?

What Is Edge Control & Do I Need It?

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Do you know what feels fabulous? Completing your slicked back hairstyle by laying perfectly smooth edges. They’re simple, crisp & instantly transform your look from glam to full-glam.

But how do you achieve the ultimate edges—the ones that last all day & add just the right amount of shine?

When it comes to learning how to style baby hairs, the answer is: edge control.

In this guide, we’ll give you the scoop on everything edge control, including what it’s used for & details that’ll help you decide if you need baby hair styling products to amp up your natural hair game based on your hair type.

What Is Edge Control?

When people hear the words “edge control” for the first time, they might (understandably) assume that it’s something you do to control those delicate curly hairs that frame your hairline (a.k.a. baby hairs).

However, edge control for hair isn’t actually something you do—it’s something you use. After all, your beautiful mini curls don’t really need to be “controlled” or “tamed” in the traditional senses of the words.

More specifically, edge control gel is a type of hair care product you use to keep your beautiful baby hairs smoothed down, allowing you to achieve perfectly sleek edges. If you’re feeling particularly spicy & creative, you can also use edge gel to help you turn those baby hairs into an artistic masterpiece that frames your face.

As you may know from the plethora of edge control hair products in the hair care aisle, edge control is not a one-size-fits-all styling product. Each one offers varying textures, consistencies & degrees of hold depending on your preference.

There’s an edge control that’ll seemingly superglue those stubborn baby hairs to your head, another that provides a softer, more malleable hold & others for everything in between.

Benefits of Edge Control

If you’ve thought about adding edge control to your natural haircare routine, there are plenty of perks you (& your hairstyle) will love, including:

  • Keeping flyaways at bay
  • Providing long-lasting hold
  • Giving your hair an extra shine factor
  • Nourishing your hairline (if you choose products with hydrating ingredients)

Plus, if you add our edge brush to the mix, the benefits only grow in size (giving you the ultimate duo: an edge control brush with gel). In addition to smoothing out those short baby hairs, an edge control tool allows you to expertly:

  • Style your edges with masterful swivels & swoops
  • Use the dual ends to swirl, comb or brush your edges to achieve the epitome of edge perfection

What Should You Look For in Edge Control Products?

There are edge controls & then there are edge controls. Some begin to flake after only a few hours, while others may dry out your textured hair & cause breakage—a big no-no for your natural coils & curls.

When you’re scouting out edge control options, it’s helpful to know which ones will be kind to your natural baby hairs & which won’t share that sentiment.

Here’s a helpful checklist to review before you begin hunting for the perfect edge control product:

  • Avoid products with alcohol – Although many edge control options include alcohol to help the styling product dry faster, it can also overdry those delicate baby hairs.
  • Look for products that have “safe” ingredients – Search for curly hair products that are free of parabens, silicones, phthalates & formaldehyde.
  • Find a product that includes hydrating properties – Ingredients that aim to help your hair typically include glycerin, olive oil & coconut oil. Their ability to hydrate can strengthen your hair & even make it less prone to breakage.

What’s the Difference Between Edge Control & Hair Gel?

If you’re going for that polished finish but you want to remain au natural to execute your look, edge control might be the product you never knew you needed (& will be oh-so-happy you found).

But what about hair gel? Doesn’t it do the same job?

Hair gel can certainly help you pull off a variety of breathtaking edge hair styles, but it doesn’t serve the same purpose as edge control.

An edge control’s texture is similar to a pomade. Gels, on the other hand, are more liquid-based & tend to be ideal for creating sophisticated slicked back protective styles or helping you embrace your natural springy curls. 

A few of the most commonly used styling gel types include:

  • Curl gel – our gel for curly hair is an excellent go-to option when you want to create curls with a bombshell bounce. Simply apply it to your wet hair & let it dry naturally for dazzling & ultra-defined curls.
  • Strong hold gel – If you need a gel that can really commit to a sleek look, PATTERN’s Strong Hold Gel is the way to go. It provides a long-lasting hold without breaking your hair—baby hair included. As a bonus, it’s also the perfect backup edge control. If you’re in a pinch, you can use it to keep any unruly edges perfectly styled, while also adding a healthy layer of hydration.

Create The Edges Of Your Dreams With PATTERN

There’s a time & place to appreciate your natural baby hairs & let them fly free (& you should—they’re effortlessly exquisite, after all).

Of course, there’s also an occasion to show off your edge game. Whether you’re dressing up your style or simply want to add a touch of sleek sophistication to your look, a well-laid edge can turn almost any hairstyle into a sleek style.

Consider PATTERN your mentor for all things hair-related. We’ve created a line of curly hair tools & curly hair stylers to provide your unique hair texture with the most hydrating ingredients so you can embrace your otherworldly curls. Finish off your style with our Styling Cream for curly hair & Edge Control, which helps you shape your any unruly edges while providing a subtle pop of shine.

Experience the beauty of well-crafted smooth edges for yourself thanks to PATTERN hair styling products.


  1. Joan Morais. Edge Control. https://joanmorais.com/edge-control/
  2. Self. 5 Edge Control Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Baby Hairs.  https://www.self.com/story/edge-control-gel-mistakes
  3. News 24. What to Look For in an Edge Control Gel. https://www.news24.com/truelove/hair/what-to-look-for-in-an-edge-control-gel-20210524

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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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