Control on textured hair
When it comes to edges that won't comply, you might be forgiven for thinking your texture – whether its super-resistant strands or the sheer bulkiness of thick hair – makes getting your tresses to lay down a simply impossible task.
With the same textured hair atop their head, courtesy of their raíces africanas, Dominican women have also had to grapple with the reality that textured hair tends to be less tractable than, well, less textured hair.
While an inordinate amount of straining and heavy products might in the end get the edges to concede, such harshness is damaging in the long run. With the premium this Caribbean nation places on lustrous, healthy hair from root to tip, the overstraining approach was definitely not an option.
Instead, Dominican women had to find a way to balance control with good health. What they've discovered has been implemented into every facet of the way Dominicanas style and care for their hair. And if it works for their thick, textured hair it'll work on yours, too!
How to get smooth edges
The secret to getting textured hair to bend and smoothen is to work with the texture. For textured hair to feel at ease, and consent to being smoothed and moulded, three texture-specific essentials have to be in place: moisture, evenness and the right tools.
#1 Good hydration
The platform for smooth edges is well-moisturised hair. Why? Well-moisturised hair is hair at its most flexible, and getting your edges to lay down requires a high degree of flexibility on your hair's part. So make sure you infuse your hair with all the layers of moisture necessary.
#2 Keep it even
Be sure to get deep into the inner layers of your hair, detangling them thoroughly. This will level the hair out overall, making it easier to smoothen, as well as reducing the bulk and shrinkage that can sometimes make some styling options more complicated to achieve.
#3 Select the right stylers and tools
Using a conventional gel to slick your edges runs the risk of drying out your hair, causing stiffness and flaking. What's more, gelling down the edges can also be counterproductive on the most tightly-curled hair; most gels cause shrinkage, and can actually cause shorter hairs to curl away after you've smoothed them in the direction you want them to go. Try the Dominican secret weapon – Brillantina – to get your edges to comply. This rich creamy styler works by silkening and controlling wayward hairs, and dries with a smooth, natural feel.
The ultimate edge-smoothing method...
Now you've got all your tools together, it's time to use them to create sleekness galore!
Start with freshly washed, deep conditioned and moisturised hair. Make sure your hair is well- detangled before you begin. To minimise shrinkage, which can make your hair lie unevenly, wait until your hair is at least 90% dry before you start the smoothing process.
Apply Brillantina to the portion of your hair you would like to smooth. Brush it through with the plastic brush to make sure makes it through to all layers. Tip: if you want high-wattage shine be more generous with your styler. For soft control with a natural sheen, apply a smaller amount.
Follow up with the boar bristle brush to sweep all the hairs into place. If necessary, catch any stray hairs with the firm toothbrush.
Run your fingers over your hair to feel for any missed areas. If you find any, spot-apply a fingerful of Brillantina, and rebrush with the boar bristle and/or toothbrush.
Now, add a final coat of Brillantina to the entire area you want to hold down. This time, smooth the hair in place with your fingers alone.
Last of all, tie on your satin scarf. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Then, remove to reveal your smooth edges!
Preserve your edges
None of this edge-smoothing can be put into practice if you don't scrupulously guard the condition of your edges. Having a full, thriving hairline to smooth back is a prerequisite for sleek, healthy edges, so make sure yours stays in peak condition.
Lavish this fragile section of your hair with special attention whenever you moisturise or condition. It often dries out before the rest of the hair, so always apply your treatments, conditioners and leave ins here first, to ensure it gets the focus it needs. If your edges are weak, nurture them back to fullness by using treatments which strengthen the hair at the root. Dominican conditioners which target the roots include Capilo's Suela & Canela line and Alopecil's Apretadora.
Finally, keep pulled-back styles to a minimum. Not only does pulling hair back too much weaken your edges, but the little broken off hairs it leaves can also contribute to the very unruliness you are trying to control! So vary your styles between loose and restrained, and when you do wear updos, buns or ponytails, remember to keep the tension low.
DHA Hair Care Experts
Dominican Hair Alliance