The 15 Best Edge Control Products for Natural and Relaxed Hair

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Byrdie / Amelia Manley

Natural hair can be complicated, as can be true for those fine, wispy strands located on the perimeter of your head. Those “baby hairs” or “edges” as they're often referred to can really test your styling prowess whenever you try to pull your hair back in a sleek ponytail or bun—especially on a rainy day when frizz is imminent.

To combat this challenge, haircare brands have expanded their lineups to include products that are specifically made for these stubborn and fragile hairs. More often than not, these products are referred to as edge control, and they are formulated to lay those hairs down and make sure they stay in place.

Whether you live in a tropical or chilly locale, enjoy working out, or just want to have a smoothed-out look, there’s an edge control out there that’s a fit for you.

Keep on reading to discover the best edge control products that’ll give those teeny, tiny hairs life.

Best Overall: SoftSheen-Carson Amla Legend Treasured Temple Edge Tamer

4.4
SoftSheen-Carson Amla Legend Treasured Temple Edge Tamer
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Hydrating

  • Doesn't flake

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

Who else recommends it? StyleCraze also picked the SoftSheen-Carson Edge Tamer.

Utilizing an ingredient that is prized in Indian haircare regimens, the Amla Legend Treasured Temple Edge Tamer is filled with gooseberry (amla) oil. This lightweight pomade can help to smooth down baby hairs with a moderate hold, while also adding a dose of hydration.

Price at time of publish: $15

Active Ingredients: Amla oil | Hold: Medium hold | Size: 2 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget: Cantu Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel

Cantu Extra Hold Gel
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Paraben-free

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Can flake

The Cantu line is a staple in many natural hair regimens across the country thanks to its drugstore availability, friendly price point, and effectiveness. The Cantu Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel is no different with its shea butter and glycerin-packed formula. Edges feel conditioned and properly held down in place thanks to this paraben-free gel.

Price at time of publish: $6

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, castor oil, jojoba oil, and cocoa butter | Hold: Strong | Size: 2.25 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget, Runner-Up: Moco de Gorila Snot Gel

Moco de Gorila Snot Gel
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Doesn't flake

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

Ok, this one doesn’t have the most glamorous name, but it’s a budget-friendly go-to for many naturalistas out there due to its unbelievably strong hold that can sculpt edges into nearly any shape. It’s a thick, non-sticky, and flake-free gel, but note that if you have fine hair, you might want to apply this product sparingly.

Price at time of publish: $3

Hold: Strong | Size: 11.9 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: Creme of Nature Perfect Edges Extra Hold

Creme of Nature Perfect Edges Extra Hold
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Award-winning formula

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

The Creme of Nature Perfect Edges Extra Hold is another drugstore favorite, but what sets it apart from the rest is the many awards it's won from beauty publications. This aptly named gel provides a strong hold for stray strands and imparts shine and nourishment. It is infused with argan oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, keratin amino acids, castor, sweet almond, and rosemary leaf oils.

Price at time of publish: $7

Active Ingredients: Argan oil | Hold: Extra firm | Size: 2.25 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Scent: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Hydrating

  • Seals split ends

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

If you like your hair products to make you smell like a sweet confection, Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother may interest you. It’s a clear and incredibly soft gel that almost feels whipped, and it is packed with honey extract, aloe leaf juice, and rosemary leaf extract. Combined, this gel smoothes edges and can even seal split ends when you haven’t gone in for your trim.

Price at time of publish: $8

Active Ingredients: Honey, aloe, rosemary | Hold: Soft | Size: 2.0 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Multi-Use: Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste

Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • A little goes a long way

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

It’s a vibrant blue gel that smells delectable whenever you tame those free-spirited edges. A little goes a long way with this nourishing and sheen-enhancing paste and its blend of mango and shea butter, argan oil, and blueberry extract. It can also be used when you want to make a defined part in your hair.

Price at time of publish: $11

Active Ingredients: Organic blueberry extract, argan oil | Hold: Medium | Size: 4 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Textured Hair: Design Essentials Sleek Max Edge Control

Design Essentials Sleek Max Edge Control
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Hydrating

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Can flake

The Design Essentials Sleek Max Edge Control is a clear gel that helps to zap frizz and slick down baby hairs with ease. It provides a strong hold, even for the most textured hair, and combines castor oil and glycerin for long-lasting results.

Price at time of publish: $17

Hold: Strong | Size: 2.3 oz. or 3.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Gel: Dr. Miracle’s Edge Holding Gel

Dr. Miracle’s Edge Holding Gel
What We Like
  • Adds shine

  • Hydrating

  • Natural formula

What We Don't Like
  • Feels sticky

Dr. Miracle’s Edge Holding Gel is more than a playful name, it’s a hair product that tames stray strands with minimized frizz. The gel provides a strong hold while delivering shine and hydration. We love that it contains honey, aloe leaf juice, hydrolyzed wheat protein, jojoba seed oil, and more. It’s no wonder why this gel is found in natural hair medicine cabinets around the country.

Price at time of publish: $8

Active Ingredients: Jojoba oil | Hold: Strong | Size: 2.25 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Gel, Runner-Up: Mizani Edge Taming Gel

Mizani Edge Taming Gel
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Strengthens hair

  • Mineral oil- and petrolatum-free

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

If you’re looking for an edge control gel that is non-sticky and free of both mineral oil and petrolatum, the Mizani Edge Taming Gel is for you. It's loaded with a blend of castor oil, jojoba, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin E, and it helps to hydrate, strengthen, and create a protective shield sans buildup.

Price at time of publish: $18

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, vitamin E, natural oil | Hold: Strong | Size: 1.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Classic: ECO Style Olive Oil Styling Gel

ECO Style Olive Oil Styling Gel

Sally Beauty

What We Like
  • Generous amount

  • Hydrating

  • Doesn't flake

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair crunchy

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. The Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel is one of the most popular edge control gels around due to its strong hold and hydrating abilities. It's formulated with great ingredients such as glycerin, water, and olive oil. Even the most stubborn flyaways can be slicked down and defined without flaking.

Price at time of publish: $6 for 32 ounces

Active Ingredients: Olive oil | Hold: Strong | Size: 16 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Hydrating: Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze

Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze
What We Like
  • Doesn't flake

  • Lightweight

  • Hydrating

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

The Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze keeps your hairline in order by flattening down flyaways without tackiness or flakes. This clear pomade provides lightweight moisture and is made with coconut oil and milk, aloe leaf juice, and shea butter. It is also designed to preserve curly textured styles with this paraben-, formaldehyde-, and aluminum-free blend.

Price at time of publish: $9

Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter | Hold: Firm | Size: 6 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Growth: The Mane Choice Growth Stimulating Edge Control

Mane Choice LAID BACK EFFORTLESSLY - Growth Stimulating Edge Control
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Stimulates the scalp

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

If you’re looking for support, growth, and retention while you style your hair, the Mane Choice Laid Back Effortlessly - Growth Stimulating Edge Control will be good for your baby hairs. Its transparent violet gel is loaded with nourishing ingredients that help to stimulate the scalp. It includes castor seed and avocado oil, biotin, vitamin E, horsetail, and lavender leaf extract. Moreover, it's light enough to be used daily.

Price at time of publish: $10

Active Ingredients: Biotin, vitamin E, castor oil, avocado oil | Hold: Strong | Size: 2 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Scalp: Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Edge Gel

4.5
Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Edge Gel
What We Like
  • Stimulates the scalp

  • Hydrating

  • Certified organic ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair crunchy

Smoothing down your edges doesn’t mean you can’t nourish your hair and scalp at the same time. The Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Edge Gel is made to nourish your scalp, and it's is packed with great ingredients like honey, aloe leaf juice, lavender flower wax, ginger, and castor oil.

Price at time of publish: $13

Active Ingredients: Aloe, honey, ginger | Hold: Soft | Size: 4 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Paste: OGX Natural Finish + Aspen Extract Texture Molding Paste

OGX Natural Finish + Aspen Extract Texture Molding Paste
What We Like
  • Creamy texture

  • Hydrating

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

This paste is a creamy texture that doesn’t feel very gel-like, but it gets the job done for your edges and can even go beyond that task. It's great for providing hydrating and has a medium hold. The formula is comprised of castor oil, glycerin, and somewhat unique ingredients like sandalwood and aspen bark extracts. If you like to do roller sets as well, this paste might just be a winner for you.

Price at time of publish: $9

Active Ingredients: Aspen bark extract, sandalwood | Hold: Medium | Size: 3 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best with Olive Oil: Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Super Control Edge Hold Hair Gel

Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Super Control Edge Hold Hair Gel
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Doesn't flake

  • Promotes growth

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

Palmer’s does more than making cocoa butter. In fact, their Olive Oil Formula Super Control Edge Hold Hair Gel can be found in virtually any beauty supply store around the country. It is loaded with antioxidant-rich olive oil, of course, but this vibrantly green gel also features castor oil, aloe leaf juice, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and more.

Price at time of publish: $10

Active Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, vitamin E, botanical scalp complex, Jamaican black castor oil | Hold: Strong | Size: 2.25 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

What to Look for in a Edge Control Product

Water vs. Oil-Based

The two most common types of edge control products are water-based or oil-based. Water-based products tend to be lightweight and are great for styling. Meanwhile, oil-based products are great for providing a strong hold.

Hydrating Ingredients

There's nothing worse than hair that feels stiff and crunchy. Make sure the edge control product you're interested in has hydrating ingredients that will moisturize and nourish your baby hairs. A few ones to look out for include aloe, jojoba oil, castor oil, and glycerin.

Level of Hold

While ultimately the goal is to keep your edges in place, it's important to find an edge control product that won't flake, weigh down, or damage your hair. Consider your hair type; if you have finer hair you may want to go with a product that has a lighter hold.

FAQ
  • Are edge control products different from gel?

    Edge control products are similar to a gel, however, they are specifically formulated to tame the small hairs around your hairline. They're usually thicker than a typical styling gel.

  • Can you use an edge control product everyday?

    In short, no. These hairs are already fragile and laying them can add extra tension that can cause breakage. It's best to protect them overnight if you want to extend your style.

  • How can I protect my edges at night?

    You can preserve your edges overnight by using a satin or silk scarf or bonnet. This will prevent them from rubbing against your pillowcase and potentially breaking from the friction. You could even up the ante by using a silk or satin pillowcase.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The 20 Best Edge Control Products For Natural Hair — 2022. StyleCraze. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/best-edge-control-for-natural-hair/

  2. Gorzynik-Debicka M, Przychodzen P, Cappello F, et al. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant PolyphenolsInt J Mol Sci. 2018;19(3):686. doi:10.3390/ijms19030686

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