Edge control makes me nervous.
I’ve been remaining quiet as I don’t want to be dragged for this unpopular opinion, but I just don’t think that our edges need to be controlled. I see it as yet another product that capitalises on the insecurities of black women without any concern for our health.
The Afrocenchix journey began because Joycelyn and I bonded over our shared experience of hair loss and receding hairlines in our teens. Luckily, we managed to reverse the changes and launch Afrocenchix in the process. But we did it to help others bring back their edges, not to control them...
My mum started relaxing my hair when I was 3 and I stuck to the creamy crack until I met Joycelyn at 18. She actually relaxed my hair for me a few times, then she looked at the eczema on my neck, the scabs, burns and scars on my scalp and said she wasn’t doing it anymore. I couldn’t afford to go to the salon so that was that! It took me a while to love my natural hair. I’d always been insecure about it. This was made worse by suffering from balding when I was in primary school.
At 8 years old I was worried about my hair falling out. Various aunties were bringing me lotions and potions for my very obvious bald patches. My hair was a hot mess. Joycelyn had similar stories, and we found that our customers did too. These experiences motivated us to make it better for the next generation.
Joycelyn and I pledged to only ever make products that promote optimum health and wellbeing. Edge controls, for us, don’t fit into that promise.
Why do our edges need to be ‘controlled’? We see it as an extension of the impossible Eurocentric beauty ideal. We want women to feel in control of their edges, not to be controlled by them.
The recent Gorilla Glue drama shows what happens when pressure is put on women to look a certain way. In my mind, edge controls can get in the bin with skin bleach.
We’re here to encourage and support people to embrace their natural looks and stop risking their health to chase impossible beauty standards.
Joycelyn and I have been there, we lived the relaxer, bad weaves and copious amount of hair jam lifestyle! We’re both much happier now with embracing our natural beauty and switching up our styles with products that are kind to our scalps and the planet.
So are we anti edge control? Well... Our lovely customers have been asking for a gel and we want to give them one. But we likely won’t do an edge control. We’ve been working on a natural gel for years, and we started official prototyping in 2019, but had to put it on hold due to the pandemic. We’re all for freedom and flexibility in styling as long as it’s also safe.
Styling tip: If you want styled edges, you can achieve this by spraying on a little Sheen, using Smooth to ‘smooth’ the hair down, then tying a silk or satin scarf or durag for 15 mins or so – both of these products are water based so they help to reset the hydrogen bonds in the hair.
This is something you may want to do for certain styles, like a sleek bun but it isn’t a necessity. I for one hope that our community can move on from the risky ideal of everyday perfectly laid edges! From a health perspective, gorilla snot isn’t much better than gorilla glue.