Best edge control for braids (for a neat look)

Did you know that braids were used in the past to distinguish between members of different African communities? I thought you should know! One of the reasons braids are popular is because, with proper maintenance, they tend to last for a couple of weeks. I personally try to make sure that my edges look neat all the time. I had to look for the best edge control for braids when I became a fan of this protective hairstyle.

Braids are usually my go-to hairstyle, to be honest. They are the easiest hairstyle to pull off.

A lot of ladies transitioning from relaxed to natural hair wear braids as their protective style of choice.

Here are my top three picks for the best edge control for braids:

  1. Black Panther Strong – Edge and Braid Control Pomade
  2. Hicks Total Transformations Edge Styling Gel
  3. Mizani Styling Edge Taming Gel

Best edge control for braids – comparison table

BrandImageDetails
Black Panther Strong - Edge and Braid Control Pomade. Doesn’t flake
. It's not greasy
. Smoothes and defines edges
Hicks Total Transformations Edge Styling Gel. A little goes a long way
. Lightweight
. Softens and adds shine
Mizani Styling Edge Taming Gel. Provides a strong hold
. It's not sticky
. Doesn't flake
Avlon Keracare Edge Tamer. Has a lasting hold
. A little goes a long way
. Good for both natural and relaxed hair
Design Essentials Sleek MAX Edge Control. Has a great hold
. Works well on wet or dry hair
. Leaves edges with a good shine
Instant Control Edge & Braid Gel for Maximum Hold. Lasting hold
. Great on coarse hair
. Shorter drying time
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze. Provides a firm hold
. Doesn't leave build-up
. Washes out easily
Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste. Great for twist outs
. Doesn't dry out hair
. Tames frizz
Ampro Shine 'N Jam Hair Conditioning Gel. Provides a perfect hold
. Moisturizes the hair
. A little goes a long way
Okay On The Go Polished Edges. Smoothes edges well
. Leaves edges looking neat
. Helps with growth of edges
Eco Styler Moroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel. Lightweight
. Not too greasy
. Tends to flake
The Mane Choice Edge Control. Lasting hold
. It's not sticky
. A little goes a long way

 

Best edge control for braids

This review has been a long time coming. I think I’ve used more than a dozen edge control products in the market.

After getting my braids done, I have to find a way to lay my edges because I don’t allow stylists to braid the baby hair. This is how traction alopecia begins!

I have experimented with a bunch of different products over the years. Some worked well, some didn’t.

Below is a review of some of the edge control products I’ve tried out. 

 

Black Panther Strong – Edge and Braid Control Pomade

best edge control for braids

This pomade holds a special place in my heart. Of all the edge control products I’ve experimented with, this pomade was the outright winner.

It holds down my 4c edges better than any other product I’ve tried out in the past.

To avoid a repeat case of traction alopecia, I give my hairdresser strict instructions to leave my edges out whenever I get my hair braided.

This pomade is perfect for daily edge control when I’m wearing braids.

It also smoothes my baby hairs, thanks to the aloe vera contained in it. Aloe vera is an awesome natural conditioner that leaves my edges shiny and smooth.

This product also has castor oil boosts growth too.

Castor oil is beneficial to my hair because it has ricinoleic acid that helps improve the circulation of blood on the scalp.

The pomade also contains jojoba oil which helps in moisturizing the scalp.

Jojoba oil has been used by many people for many many years to help strengthen hair.

This oil is sought after due to its treasure trove of minerals and vitamins including Vitamins B, C, and E. The minerals are copper and zinc.

All of these ingredients benefit my hair immensely. 

Moreover, this pomade contains sunflower oil that is a known natural hair moisturizer which also has a couple of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Guaranteed 24-hour hold
  • Doesn’t flake
  • It’s not greasy
  • Smoothes and defines edges
  • Can be used by both men and women
  • Ideal for African American and Hispanic hair

 

Hicks Total Transformations Edge Styling Gel

best edge control for braids

My cousin highly recommended this product when I got a tapered cut back in 2015.

I also used it as an edge control fix when I got my hair braided a few months later.

This gel is quite moisturizing and thus doesn’t dry out your hair.

It also smoothes your edges and doesn’t form a flaky crust.

When you use it as an edge control for braids, it holds the edges firmly in place, leaving you with a polished look.

It leaves the edges looking all glossy and well-hydrated.

Compared to a number of edge control products that I’d tried out, I was happy to find out that this gel is not sticky at all and rinses out easily.

For the best results, apply just a small amount of the gel around the edges.

Always make sure that the edges are dry and free from product before applying this gel.

This ensures that you do not experience any flaking after the gel dries.

Using your fingertips or a brush, smooth in the gel until the product is dry and the edges are held in place.

Pros

  • Holds down edges really well
  • A little goes a long way
  • Lightweight
  • It isn’t sticky
  • Doesn’t flake
  • Smoothes edges
  • Softens and adds shine
  • Leaves edges looking healthier than before
  • Ideal for thick, curly hair

Cons

  • You won’t get the desired results if you use the gel on wet edges.

 

Mizani Styling Edge Taming Gel

best edge control for braids

This is one of the first edge control products that I tried out since I’ve always been a big fan of Mizani.

I’m glad to report that I wasn’t disappointed. It has a long-lasting hold and leaves your edges tamed and well-defined.

The styling gel contains a blend of anti-oxidant vitamin E and ceramides that strengthens the hair and creates a protective shield on the hair cuticle.

This helps to protect the hair against breakage.

It also contains an infusion of sunflower, argan, and jojoba oil that nourishes the hair by replenishing essential moisture.

The product does not contain mineral oils or petrolatum that contribute to the appearance of build-up that makes the hair just look bad and lackluster.

Pros

  • Delivers a strong hold
  • It’s not sticky
  • Smoothes and defines edges
  • It doesn’t flake
  • A little goes a long way
  • Free from mineral oil and petrolatum

Cons

  • If a lot of product is used, it can leave a white residue when it dries.

 

Avlon Keracare Edge Tamer

best edge control for braids

This edge tamer from KeraCare is one of the superior products I’ve used when laying my edges, especially when wearing braids.

It does a great job of straightening my 4c edges that can be quite unruly.

I was relieved when I first started using it because it didn’t leave any white residue after drying.

The product lasts for quite a long time because you only need to use a little to smooth the edges and get them straightened out.

Another great advantage of using this product is that helps to soften the edges. 

One of the ingredients contained in this edge tamer is lemon peel extract.

Lemons are good for hair because of their properties that include regulating the hair and scalp pH.

The product also contains camellia leaf extract which helps to stimulate the growth of the hair follicle.

Apple fruit extract – another ingredient contained in this edge tamer – has vital antioxidants that help in fighting inflammation.

The apple extract contains vitamin E, B2, A and C, as well as calcium. 

Pros

  • Has a lasting hold
  • Doesn’t flake
  • A little goes a long way
  • Good for both natural and relaxed hair
  • It’s not greasy
  • Smoothes edges 
  • Prevent ends from reverting

Cons

  • Be careful not to use a lot of product. It can leave a white residue if too much is used.

 

Design Essentials Sleek MAX Edge Control

best edge control for braids

You can never go wrong with this product if you are looking for a reliable edge control for braids.

On opening it, the smell had me hooked even before I used it on my edges.

I confirmed the manufacturer’s claim that it’s a great product for maximum hold.

It has a lasting hold and does not melt after a short time – unlike a few edge tamers in the market.

It’s also economical because the product lasts for quite a long time.

I used a little for my edges because I realized using a lot of it leaves a whitish, ashy look after it dries off.

It’s also not greasy and doesn’t leave you with flaky edges.

The gel works well on both natural and relaxed hair.

Pros

  • Has a great hold
  • It doesn’t flake
  • A little goes a long way
  • Works well on wet or dry hair
  • Moisturizes and smooths hair edges
  • Leaves edges with a good shine
  • Works great on both natural and relaxed hair

Cons

  • If you use a lot of product, it can leave a white residue

 

Instant Control Edge & Braid Gel for Maximum Hold

best edge control for braids

When my friend recommended this edge control product a while back, I had taken a break from experimenting, but something about it called out to me.

I guess it’s because it’s formulated for naturally curly hair. So I thought to myself: Why not?

The first thing I noticed upon opening the container was its mild smell.

I detest products with a strong smell that can attract unwanted and unnecessary attention.

The Instant Control Edge truly lays down all my edges, not one pops back up after I lay them down.

I had to add a little oil after using it because it appears a little ashy after application.

To avoid flaking, do not mix this gel with or apply over other products.

This product contains a few key ingredients that I know are beneficial to my hair.

It has coconut oil which helps to moisturize my scalp. Coconut oil contains vitamin E – a natural antioxidant that supports a healthy scalp and assists in maintaining hair growth.

This gel also has castor oil that I truly love for it helps balance the pH levels on my scalp – keeping it healthy.

To attain the best results, use this product on clean hair.

Pros

  • Has a great and lasting hold
  • Works great on coarse hair textures
  • It doesn’t melt away after application
  • A little goes a long way
  • Is removed easily by rinsing with water
  • Has a shorter drying time
  • Doesn’t dry out your hair
  • It’s great for thinning edges because it makes your hair look a little bit fuller

Cons

  • In some cases, it can appear ashy after application

 

Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze

best edge control for braids

Any product that has shea butter is instantly interesting to me.

Shea butter has played such a vital role in my hair journey so I’m always gravitating towards products that use it as a primary ingredient.

So… this edge glaze contains shea butter in it that helps soften the hair which reduces the chances of getting frustrated while laying your edges.

It also helps prevent my hair from drying out and becoming brittle.

This edge control has a lightweight formula that doesn’t leave any residue behind after use.

It provides a firm hold that leaves your braids looking neat and chic.

The product is made using coconut milk as another ingredient that helps strengthen hair.

This is because it contains lauric acid that penetrates the hair strands, making them stronger.

It is also busting with Vitamins (B1, B3, B5, B6, A, and C) and antioxidants too.

Pros

  • It provides a firm hold
  • Doesn’t leave build-up
  • It doesn’t dry out hair
  • Moisturizes edges, leaving them soft
  • Gives the edges a shiny look
  • Washes out easily
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • If you use too much product, it’ll leave you with white residue.

 

Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste

best edge control for braids

What I learned about this particular product is its best used on wet hair for a soft hold.

Otherwise, if you are going for a strong hold, you should use it on dry hair.

When I used it, I’d always spritz some water on my edges before application.

My colleague, however, uses it on dry hair and she says it provides a firm, long-lasting hold.

The key ingredient in this paste is blueberry fruit extract.

This extract is a natural ingredient that helps stimulate hair growth.

It is also rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins like Vitamin C, E, B, and A.

Hair growth is stimulated by increasing the rate of oxygenation and circulation of blood on the scalp.

The paste also contains mango seed butter which is extracted from the kernel (inner soft part) of mango seeds.

It benefits the hair by acting as a conditioner to nourish and protect the locks.

The product is free from parabens, sulfates, silicones, and artificial oils.

Pros

  • Has a long-lasting hold
  • It doesn’t flake
  • Isn’t sticky
  • Moisturizes the edges
  • Leaves the edges looking shiny
  • Great for twist outs
  • Doesn’t dry out hair
  • Tames frizz

Cons

  • Can leave your edges looking greasy if you use too much product.

 

Ampro Shine ‘N Jam Hair Conditioning Gel, Silk Edges

best edge control for braids

This product is enriched with olive oil and silk protein and olive oil to keep your hair looking healthy.

Its non-greasy formula helps to slick down your edges and provides a perfect hold.

This gel leaves your edges looking shiny and doesn’t allow the hair to harden.

One of the ingredients in this product is hydrogenated lanolin.

Lanolin is a hair care product that has been used for such a long time and is produced by sheep (sheep sebum).

Lanolin, unlike oils, contains esters of fatty acids, alcohols, and cholesterols.

These esters are ideal for helping hair hold moisture and not dry out easily.

It also helps the scalp hold moisture- helping it not to dry out.

This edge control has another important ingredient – olive oil.

The benefits of olive oil on hair cannot be emphasized enough.

Olive oil is important because it helps to moisturize hair leaving it feeling soft and strengthening it in the process.

It contains vitamin E which aids in blood circulation on the scalp.

Pros

  • Provides a perfect hold
  • Smoothes your edges well
  • Moisturizes the hair
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • It doesn’t last all-day
  • Leaves a whitish residue after drying

 

Okay On The Go Polished Edges with Black Jamaican Castor Oil

best edge control for braids

Now here is one product I was grateful to come across.

It provided an impressively strong hold for my 4C natural edges (which can be rather difficult) when I first applied it.

However, after a few hours, my edges had curled up. You have to touch up the edges in the course of the day.

I think the only reason I included it on this list is that it moisturizes the edges really well and leaves them looking shiny.

This can be attributed to the ingredients that are contained in this edge control.

If you are like me, you probably have to go through the ingredients in a product even if it has the most attractive packaging on earth.

I have come to learn that what matters most is what is contained in the product I’m applying to my hair.

The first ingredient that drew my attention to the product is the Jamaican black castor oil which is one of those special hair ingredients.

I enjoy using it on my hair because it comes with an array of benefits to it including moisturizing, strengthening, thickening, and promoting hair growth.

In this case, the Jamaican black castor oil helped to provide shine and moisture to my edges. 

That alone was reason enough to give it a shot, plus the fact that the product is paraben-free!

The other ingredient that caught my attention was soy protein.

What I love about this protein source is the fact that it helps strengthen hair.

It also improves the texture of the edges.

Pros

  • It smoothes the edges really well
  • Leaves your edges looking neat and shiny
  • It helps with the growth of edges

Cons

  • It doesn’t hold all-day 

 

Eco Styler Moroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel

best edge control for braids

Everyone who has ever dealt with edges and natural hair has heard of this product from ECOCO.

This edge control was the very first one I used back when I knew nothing about how to lay my edges.

I wasn’t so sure about including this product on this list but the thing is that a lot of ladies in the natural hair community swear by it.

From my personal experience, although this gel will tame my edges at first, I’d have to touch up my edges two or three times in the course of the day.

I know a few ladies who say that for them, the gel smoothes their edges quite well and lasts the whole day without any need for a touch-up.

When it comes to the ingredients, this gel is formulated with oils extracted from kernels of the Argan tree in Morocco.

This helps to moisturize the hair, therefore providing elasticity to the locks and adding some luster. 

The gel also contains fatty acids and vitamin E which help to provide nourishment that strengthens hair.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Not too greasy

Cons

  • This product tends to flake
  • Doesn’t hold well if you have dense or thick hair

 

The Mane Choice Laid Back Effortlessly Growth Stimulating Edge Control

best edge control for braids

As I was experimenting with different edge control products, I came across this gel that contains all of the healthy hair essentials.

Not only does it provide supreme hold, but it also straightens the edges while leaving them with a radiant shine.

One key advantage of this product is that it helps to support natural growth and retention.

It also helps to revive edges that had begun thinning.

One of the ingredients contained in this product is vitamin E oil which helps to maintain healthy hair by providing a layer of protection from harmful elements.

Vitamin E also contains antioxidants that ensure the scalp remains healthy.

The second ingredient I took note of was avocado oil.

This is a light oil that is ideal for moisturizing hair.

It contains oleic acid that is easily absorbed by the hair strands.

Pros

  • Helps promote the growth of edges
  • Has a long-lasting hold
  • Best for unruly edges
  • A little goes a long way
  • It’s not sticky

Cons

  • If too much product is used, a white residue appears after the product dries.

 

How to apply edge control with braids

I start by wearing my braids in a high bun or whichever style I’m in comfortable with on that day.

I then get my pomade/gel/paste (depending on the one I’m currently ‘experimenting with) which I will use to smoothen my edges.

There are so many different brands available. I had to experiment with plenty before finding the ones that work best on my hair.

Go for brands that have a superior hold and those that have added ingredients that are beneficial to the hair.

I like using the 2-in-1 Edge Control and Hair Brush to lay down my edges.

The first thing I do is spray a little water on my edges followed by the product.

I learned early on to apply only a small amount of product to my edges.

Too much product takes ages to dry and can easily flake.

It is also a nightmare to work with.

After applying my product, I brush my edges using the edge brush to ensure the hair is looking nice and soft.

Usually, I’ll start by brushing the hair towards my eyebrows.

I’ll then use the edge brush to brush my edges in the direction I want.

I like brushing them towards my braids.

This part is the most time consuming and it took a lot of practice to get it just right.

On the first day, I watched a YouTube video and felt confident I could do it too.

The lady made it look so easy. It wasn’t as easy as it looked!

 

I take a little olive oil and dab it on my edges after I’m done.

Olive oil helps reduce the chances of flaking. You can use any hair oil you have.

After this, I tie a silk scarf carefully for 5 minutes to allow my edges to dry (if I have enough time to spare).

 

Things to keep in mind when using edge control

There are a few things that you need to put into consideration when you are using edge control.

These include:

Different products

I have learned that just because my friend sings praises on a certain brand of edge control, that doesn’t mean it will be a perfect fit for me.

Different brands work for different textures of hair.

There are those made for soft hair and those for tough curly hair and others for everything in between.

 

Time

Learning to lay my edges required every ounce of patience I could muster.

It is not wise to try and do it when in a hurry – especially if you lack experience.

I ensure I have 10-20 minutes to spare.

This helps me work while relaxed and get it right the first time.

I then wrap my edges and wait a few minutes for them to dry before I step out.

 

Spritz the edges with some water

I first do my edges before applying make-up because I like spritzing a little water on them before applying my gel/pomade/paste.

The water helps it stick better.

Remember it’s spritzing, not pouring.

Too much water makes the gel appear whitish.

 

Moisturize

I can’t emphasize the importance of moisturizing hair often.

I always get mine nicely moisturized before getting my braids done.

I’ve come to learn that most edge control products work better when my hair is moisturized than when it’s not.

 

Use a blow dryer

I at times have to improvise to dry my freshly-done edges.

Some morning I wake up late and I have to fly through everything to get going!

It happens often than I care to admit!

I get my blow dryer and set it on cold.

Most new versions have this additional setting on them.

The cold air helps my edges dry faster without using heat which can be damaging.

 

Combining products

It is possible to use two products at the same time.

For instance, you can use a pomade together with a gel for better results.

The trick is to use both in small quantities because too much product leaves the hair looking ashy which is not attractive at all.

I prefer to use a product that is kinder to my hair and doesn’t leave it dry and crunchy.

 

Different hair textures

I have coarse 4c hair while my best friend has fine 3b hair.

Many years ago I used to admire her hair when I didn’t know how to work with my natural hair.

I learned the importance of understanding my hair type and that is when I discovered a range of products that work perfectly well for my hair.

Every type of hair has products that are made specifically for it.

 

Conclusion

All the products listed in this review are ideal for different textures of hair.

I had to try out different products to find what works best for my edges.

Once I’ve had my braids on for some time and they’re beginning to look frizzy, the next step is to get my edge control and lay my edges neatly.

I’ve been asked a few times why I haven’t featured Gorilla Snot gel on this list.

The thing is that I have my own reservations when it comes to this particular product – though it’s great for edge control.

I’ve written an honest review of the product: Gorilla Snot gel for curly hair

Have a look and find out why I’m hesitant to use it.

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