5 DIY Edge Control Recipes For Curly Hair

Written by Ramona Sinha

Who doesn’t love a soft, curly Afro look with perfectly laid edges? While we admit that a somewhat messy hairdo also looks pretty cool, there is something edgy about those baby hairs slicked down neatly, adorning the forehead.

The market is flooded with edge control products. However, if you want to avoid the chemicals in commercial edge control gels, you can easily DIY them at home. Scroll down and check out 5 easy DIY recipes and tips for better edge control.

What Is Edge Control?

Edge control products are used to control and lay down the baby hair or “edges.” They are a staple in Latin and Afro communities and available as pomades, creams, and gels. You will get water-based gels for oily and fine hair and oil-based edge control products for thick, coarse, dry, and damaged hair.

However, commercial edge control products contain many chemicals and preservatives that may damage the delicate baby hair strands. That is why we shared easy DIY edge control recipes in the next section.

5 Effective DIY Edge Control Recipes

1. Aloe Vera And Shea Butter Gel

Aloe vera gel is an excellent natural moisturizer often used in hair care products. It is rich in vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, and E and contains four fatty acids. Aloe vera has antiseptic properties (1). These properties may keep the hairline healthy. Plant oils like shea butter improve the gel’s consistency and make it suitable for kinky and coily hair.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon of shea butter


  1. Blend the aloe vera gel and shea butter until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Dab a little gel on your edges.
  3. Style your hair with a spoolie brush.

2. Agar-Agar Edge Control Gel

Agar-agar, a natural substance derived from seaweeds, is a perfect thickener for a homemade edge control recipe. The aloe vera gel makes the recipe nourishing for the hair.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of agar-agar flakes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel


  1. Add the agar-agar flakes to water and stir. Leave it for 5 minutes.
  2. Boil the flakes. Stir continuously to dissolve them.
  3. Blend the agar-agar gel and aloe vera gel.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight glass jar.
  5. Apply a small amount of the gel to the edges.
  6. Use a spoolie brush to lay the hair in patterns.

3. Mango Butter And Castor Oil Balm

Mango butter is a common ingredient in DIY hair care recipes, owing to its rich texture and pleasant fragrance. Castor oil is believed to promote hair growth and prevent hair breakage.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of mango butter
  • 1 tablespoon of castor oil
  • An electric whipper


  1. Warm the mango butter and castor oil and mix well.
  2. Once it cools down, beat the mixture with an electric whipper until smooth and creamy.
  3. Apply a tiny amount to the hair edges and style them.

4. Flaxseed Edge Control Gel

Flaxseed is commonly used in DIY recipes for its perfect gel-like consistency. It provides excellent hold and moisturizes the strands. Castor oil is touted to promote hair growth and prevent hair breakage.  This edge control gel is ideal for normal to oily hair.

You Will Need

  • 1/4 cup of flaxseeds
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of castor oil
  • A strainer or cheesecloth


  1. Boil the flaxseeds in a pot. Keep stirring.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes until it thickens.
  3. Let the gel cool for around 4-5 minutes.
  4. Strain the seeds to extract the gel.
  5. Blend the flaxseed gel and castor oil until smooth.
  6. Apply a tiny glob of gel to your edges and style them with a spoolie brush.

5. Moisturizing Edge Control For Dry Hair

This moisturizing edge control gel contains jojoba oil that has deep moisturizing properties (2). Together with the flaxseed gel, it can effectively tame dry and frizzy hair.

You Will Need

  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
  • 3-4 drops of lavender, sandalwood, or rosemary essential oil for fragrance (optional)
  • A fine-mesh sieve
  • A whisk or spoon


  1. Boil the flaxseeds for 7-8 minutes, stirring continuously as the gel thickens.
  2. Let it cool for around 4-5 minutes.
  3. Strain the gel through a fine-mesh sieve while it is warm.
  4. Mix it with jojoba and the essential oils (if using).
  5. Whisk until you get a smooth and creamy mixture.
  6. Use the gel to smoothen and style your edges.

While using the right edge control product is the first step to achieve a perfectly slicked look, there are a few more things in mind. Take a look.

Tips For Effective Edge Control

  • Use A Small Brush

Use a small brush or a spoolie brush to slick the strands. Smaller brushes are best for arranging the hair in intricate patterns. You may also use an eyebrow makeup applicator brush.

  • Avoid Products With High Oil Content And Alcohol

While many edge control products are oil-based, avoid those with high oil content. Too much oil may clog the pores on the hairline and leave an oily residue. Use a water-based edge control or one with lower oil content. Also, avoid products with alcohol as they may dry out your hair.

  • Wear A Scarf While The Edges Set

Wear a scarf or headband after applying the edge control product. Wait for 10-20 minutes to allow the edges to set, and then remove the covering. This ensures the edges stay put all day long.

  • Remove The Product Before Sleeping

Leaving the product in your hair overnight may cause buildup and clog the follicles and skin pores, causing breakouts and hair fall.

  • Dampen Your Hair Before Applying Edge Control 

Spritz water on your edges before applying edge control. Damp hair is easy to set and gives a slicker look. However, ensure that the hair is not wet, or the product will slip off the strands.

Closing Thoughts

Effective edge control is a key part of styling natural and kinky hair. Try the recipes mentioned in the article, and we are sure you will never reach out for those synthetic edge control products anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients in DIY edge control products?

DIY edge control products contain natural oils and plant butters.

What can I use instead of edge control products?

You can use conditioner, hair gel, or even oil instead of edge control products.

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  1. Aloe Vera: A Short Review
  2. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.