We Spoke to a Black Hair Stylist and She Got Real About How to Lay Your Edges

Plus the best styles for healthier hair

Winnie Harlow in a wig Tutu created for her in 2016 (Photo: Getty Images)

If you don’t know Esther Tutu‘s name, we’re here with a PSA. The hairstylist is behind some of the chicest looks you’ve seen on your fave celebs, like top models Winnie Harlow and Chanel Iman, as well as breakout chart-topper Kali Uchis.

Toronto-born Tutu grew up doing hair for her friends and family, and as her career blossomed, she matched her big-time skills some those big-time clients. “People recommended me to [Harlow, Iman and Uchis], through social media and word of mouth,” says Tutu. “Once you build a positive relationship, you have people to support you.”

Booked and busy, Tutu’s salon Hair by E-stylez has become an appointment-only operation that strives to make women look their best no matter how they choose to wear their hair. Whether it’s braids, sleek updos, weaves or wigs, Tutu does it all. And the one thing she always finishes her looks with? Seriously slayed edges.

ICYMI, edges are the little hairs around your hairline, sometimes known as baby hairs. “Edges are the foundation of everything,” says Tutu. “No matter what hairstyle you do, if you don’t have the edges for it, achieving the look becomes very hard.” Clearly, it’s important to know how to work your edges, and Tutu has some key tips on how to lay those baby hairs.

How to care for your edges

“I don’t think there are many styling products in this world that aren’t going to cause some damage to your hair, but it’s about how you apply it and how many times you apply it. I usually recommend an edge control product, but make sure you wipe it out every couple of days and then reapply it if you want that same sleek look all week. Tie down your hair every time you put it in, too. When you tie it down, the head tie or wrap absorbs excess oil and allows your edges to dry nicely. Oiling them with something natural on a regular basis is good, too.”

How to handle edges that are in bad shape

“I’m really big on trying to save everybody’s edges. I don’t think a lot of people care about the health of their hair, they just want to achieve a look. But when people come and sit in my chair and they want a certain style, I’ll find an alternative that’s going to be better for their hair. For example, instead of doing a weave, I’ll sometimes go for a wig so there’s no tension on the edges. If you really want to have a weave, leave out the edges so they’re not braided. It’s also key to change the direction in which you braid the hair to avoid pulling.

The best hairstyles for bold edges

“For styling edges, I usually use a toothbrush, my fingers and a tail comb. My favourite styles are a weave with leave out (ie. hair that is left out to blend in), and cornrows and ponytails are where I would definitely express those edges. I typically choose simple hairstyles and edges on these styles give them a dramatic look—but the overall result will still look very pretty. I typically style the edges based on the person’s hairline, the shape of their face and what they prefer. Everyone’s face is shaped different and styling edges the same way for every person won’t have the same effect.”

Why edges have become more popular

“People have realized the versatility baby hair can give you. You’re not stuck with one style. With all the hype on social media, it’s really drawn attention to making sure you slay your hair. You can see people’s personality through hair, and through the way people lay their baby hair. It’s beautiful to see what people can create with their baby hair.”


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