For many, the perfect coif isn’t complete until you’ve laid your edges. Those wispy hairs at the hairline, better known in some circles as baby hairs, have become such a huge part of hairstyling. In fact, for some people the accented baby hair is the style at times. A simple head wrap can be elevated with the right edge styling.
If you’re a novice at laying your edges and you want to find out about more techniques and styles to try, keep reading, because we’re sharing seven ways to style your baby hair. We’re also giving quick tips on how to do it yourself and the best products to get you there.
How Do You Edge Control Your Hair?
Before we get into the various techniques or styles of baby hair, let’s talk about tools. The way to be super successful at making those baby hairs stay exactly where you placed them is by using the proper tools in combination with the right technique.
Grab a soft bristle brush (the hair is so fine you want to be gentle with it) or an edge brush, extra hold hairspray, and edge control gel or hair gel. We love the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Invisi Gel because it has staying power without the white residue and crunchy after-effect, and the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented for its lightweight hold for any hairstyle.
How you control those edges will depend on the style you desire, so check out these seven popular styles to try it at home.
Not everyone wants an elaborate hairline and we respect that. Still, that doesn’t mean that you want those tiny hairs sticking up everywhere. Baby hair can put a damper on a polished look like a sleek ponytail or slicked back style if you don’t tame them. If you want a natural look with your baby hair, comb those hairs up into the rest of your hair or let them lay straight down in the direction they naturally lean.
How to get the look:
Using your soft bristle brush or edge brush, smooth the baby hair into the rest of your mane or in the direction it naturally lays. If you need the hair to stay down flat against your head add a dime size amount of hair gel while you brush. Otherwise, you can simply finish off your style with a strong hold hairspray.
Exactly what they sound like, swirly edges use those hairline wisps to create a design that looks almost like an abstract scribble, except it has more control. This may be one of the most popular edge styling techniques as it offers so many playful options by simply changing up the size of the swirls, extending them down to the side burns and combining them with other baby hair styles.
How to get the look: Start by combing your baby hair forward and away from the rest of your hair so you can define what you’re working with. Style your hair as usual then start combing your baby hair down with your edge comb while adding gel as necessary. Then, using the tip of your bristles, begin creating swirling patterns along your hairline until you get your desired look.
Editor’s tip: If your hair tends to lift and curl up throughout the day, tie a silk headband around your edges after you’ve styled them. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, then set with hairspray and go on to slay the rest of your day.
Unlike swirls, swooped baby hairs use more hair to create a pattern. Think of a thicker version of an ultra-popular swoosh logo you’ve come to love — that’s sort of what this style looks like. It literally swoops the hair into a cute style that leads into the rest of your mane.
How to get the look: Grab your larger edge comb for this one, and the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel, which is made for hard-to-hold hairstyles. Since this style uses so much hair — let’s be honest, it dips into those grown up hairs a bit — you’ll need products that can step up to the challenge. Use large upward sweeping motions to carve out your swoops with your edge brush. Use your index finger to hold the center of your swoops so they stay in place. Add gel as needed while you style and lock it in with hold spray.
When it comes to spinning, the guys at the barbershop aren’t the only ones who can get in on the fun. Edges can be laid in waves, repeating a pattern of small swishes that are less defined than swoops but more intricate than your natural hairline. It’s a more subtle option for baby hair styling but doesn’t leave your edges any less eye-catching.
How to get the look: After you’ve finished styling the rest of your hair, add some gel to your edges. Using the bristles on your edge brush, slightly scoop the hair into the rest of your mane, sweeping it in straight across layers. Imagine that you want it to mimic the look of ocean wave washing towards the shore. You can also use the narrow end of your edge comb to define one wave from the next and to add some dimension to the roots of your waves.
Often considered a form of swirls, pinwheels are a fun and playful way to take your laid edges to another level. Since the style uses a lot of longer hair, you’ll often see people pulling from hair beyond the hairline to get the look, but since they tend to be thin it’s still quite chic.
How to get the look: First separate your baby hair and any long hairs you’re using from the rest of your hairstyle using the sharp end of your edge brush. Add gel and begin to lay the hair in place. Using the bristled end and your fingers, begin creating pinwheel patterns with the hair down the front of your hairline. Get as creative with this as you want — it’s hairstyling, sky’s the limit. Spritz some hold spray onto your index finger and tap it into the pinwheels to give them a bit of extra staying power.
Editor’s tip: If you can’t get this intricate style on your own don’t worry. These days, you can find temporary tattoo edges that mimic the look of real hair. They go on like water tattoos from your childhood days and come off just as easily.
Any style of baby hair can be embellished with jewels. Right now, pearls and crystals are super on-trend and can elevate any hairstyle, even if you place just a few at your hairline.
How to get the look: After you’ve completed your hairstyle and laid your swoops, swirls, or waves, wait for your gel to dry. Then, start placing your hair jewels at the desired spot using tacky hair glue. Be sure to follow the directions on the hair glue in order to avoid misusing it and resulting in hair damage. There’s nothing worse than ending up with thinning edges as a result of reckless edge styling.
Remember when we said that swirled edges are so popular because they're versatile? Well, they’re so versatile that they can create an entirely different style — heart-shaped edges. Using swirls to create this beloved style is pretty simple and easy to do.
How to get the look: Start by combing your hair forward and down against your head. Then, separate your hairline hairs into sections — this is important since you need to connect parts to one another. Begin creating a swirl with a loop that ends in the center. Then, using hair directly across from that section, start creating a swirl with a loop that faces the previous one. The point is to connect both ends until they come together to form a heart-shaped baby hair style that everyone can fall in love with.
Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Nara Hair Braiding, IG/@narahairbraiding, Photo Design: Crystal Simone