Feb 21, 2013

DISCUSSION: What's our obsession with SMOOTH edges?

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As I sit at my desk I'm looking at several samples that companies have sent for the NIN team for review. There are two products that promise "smooth edges" no matter what your natural texture. I sit back and think, what's the natural hair movement's obsession with smooth edges?

I have to admit, I was addicted to the smooth edge phenomenon when I first natural.  So much so, that I would to put relaxer on my edges. I know! I know!! Only, my close friends knew about my secret relaxer addiction. After awhile, I realized that my hair was growing nicely (even my edges) and I no longer needed to relax them. I was finally ALL THE WAY natural. Oh yeah, I found one of those products (ORS Olive Oil Edge Control) that laid down my edges without the help of my chemical advocate.

But why, why was I so addicted to smooth edges?! I know I'm not the only one. Do a quick search on YouTube and there are more than 900 videos on the topic - 900!! No matter what the texture, everyone is obsessed with laying down those edges. I Have some guesses:

  • Maybe we are still addicted to how our relaxed hair used to look. 
  • Some think that smooth edges still gives us that 'good hair' notion of life. I know we like to act like to we are so far removed from the 'good hair' thoughts and theories but I think the eternal quest for smooth edges keeps us close to the thought. 
  • The notion that your hair can still be conquered is seen when other people can congratulate you on your smooth edge game. 
  • Smooth edges also let's others know that your 'natural' is kept up, not unkempt.

Now,  I know I'm not about to walk around with a less than stellar edge game, but sometimes I let my hair do it's thing to give my edges a rest. We know that pulling edges to tight can cause some traction alopecia or breakage. In addition, using various gels and edge definers can dry your hair out. So, what's the deal - if we know we can cause damage, why are we still obsessed with smooth edges?

Let's discuss in the comments section.
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