Adventures in edge control…

3 Nov

On May 2, 2011 I said, “Sistas will act a plumb fool about our edges, won’t we?!?! I’m not even gonna lie to you, natural (i.e. un-relaxed) edges prefer to be wild & free… the way God intended, but fortunately for us, the cosmetic powers that be have made all sorts of gels & pomades that can encourage your hairline to “behave” more civilized. How do I use it? I scoop out a small smear of product & rub it across my hairline, then I brush it back & tie it down. I leave it tied for a few minutes while I finish getting ready. When I take it off… VOILA! Slick edges!

My favorites are Shea Butter ($4), Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade ($5+ shipping) & EcoStyler Olive Oil Styling Gel ($4). Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade ($4) is a carry-over from my permie days… It’s BAD for you b/c it has mineral oil & a bunch of other synthetic ingredients in it. But I’m being honest with you & putting it on my list b/c I actually use it & it works *hangs head in shame for leading you astray*… Oh & don’t be like me & buy sixteen products that do the same thing, just PICK ONE.”

Some time during the month of June I lost -YES, LOST- my jar of Motions pomade.

I go out of town a lot & one day I noticed that it wasn’t in my suitcase. *kanye shrug* I just figured that it was the universe’s way of pushing me towards Oyin BSP & Shea Butter, so I embraced the change & used them. A few weeks later I started breaking out along my hairline whenever I used Oyin BSP or Shea Butter. I guess the heat caused the oils from these products to slide down onto my face, or something like that. After that I switched to EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel. It worked like a charm, especially because I wore my hair curly almost every week this summer.

At the end of July, I straightened my hair in preparation for my final chop. It was cute at first, but by day 2 my edges were fuzzy. I prefer not to use gel when I wear my hair straight b/c gel causes it to curl. A trip to the BSS was in order…

First I purchased this 6 ounce jar of African Pride Dream Kids Olive Miracle Smooth Edges Anti-Frizzy Conditioning Gel. It was a complete waste of my three-and-a-half dollars! It smells great, but it did absolutely nothing to lay down my edges. Maybe it’s better suited for twisting or hair braiding, IDK!

Next I bought this 6 ounce jar of Elasta QP Glaze for about $4. This is one of my cousin Tabitha’s staple hair products. She uses it to sculpt & smooth her (relaxed) pixie cut. Her hair always looks smooth & neat, so I thought it would work for me… WRONG! It’s too heavy for daily use on “swinging hair” but it works ok my snatchback days. On to the next one…

I shouldn’t even mention this one, since it doesn’t belong to me, but I found this jar of Wave Nouveau Smooth Edges Gel one weekend at my mama’s house. It worked pretty well, but I didn’t have the heart to steal it from her (LOL), so I put it back in the drawer. When I went to my local BSS to purchase my own jar I found that their product had been… umm… compromised. That’s the best term I can think of to describe the condition of the product on the shelf. It was all runny & liquified. It was either too old or had been left out in the heat. Either way, I didn’t want it. #GROSS!

Then a friend & fellow curly,  Raven recommended Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel. I paid about $5 for this 2.25 ounce jar. It has a bizarre texture, but it works well & smells heavenly. NOTE: use it sparingly! When you use too much it has that gel-ly effect & causes straightened hair to curl up. In my product rating system I’d give it about 4 stars. I don’t use it daily, but it’s definitley part of my rotation.

When I finally decided to “come back home” I couldn’t find a jar of Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade anywhere. 😦  I discovered that they reformulated the product during my hiatus. Fortunatley for me, it was available on Amazon. I paid about $6 (tax & shipping included) for this 3.5 ounce jar. I like the new formula; the old one had a funny smell. It feels good to be home. 🙂

   Insight into my hair adventures: During my transition to natural, I tried to embrace Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl Method. I started co-washing & tried to restrict (or at least limit) the “cones”, as well as petroleum-derived ingredients from my hair routine. The results? Cute hair on day 1, but frizz would take over by day 3. Not to mention the product build up & unruly edges. *whomp whomp* It turns out that I need more clarification than a weekly co-wash can provide. So now I alternate between co-washing & shampooing. And the infamous cones? They help smooth the cuticle of my hair shaft (i.e. less frizz), so they’re a welcome addition to Giovanni’s “diet”. And once I began to make alterations to the CG method, I decided that maybe mineral oil wasn’t so bad after all… especially when it keeps my edges under control (hence the return to MSEP). The bottom line is that I’m a natural girl who uses a lot of unnatural products to get my wig together. But that’s ok. Different strokes for different folks. I love trying out new hair products, but if it ain’t broke…


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