How to Get a Smooth Hairline

Getting a smooth hairline is one of the most common struggles that women with curly, kinky, or frizzy hair deal with on a daily basis.

When I use the term hairline, I am referring to what may also be called “edges” or “baby hair” or hair that exists around the forehead or at the nape of the neck.

When hair is curly, kinky, or frizzy, these areas tend to be difficult to manage and to keep as smooth as other areas of your hair.

Whether your hair style is straight or curly, having a smooth hairline can help you to have a more polished look.

This post will give you a few ideas on how you can go about getting and keeping a smooth hairline. Along with getting a smooth hairline is actually taking care of your hairline so that you do not damage it as you are trying to manage it.

Gel & Scarf Trick

A common method for getting a smooth hairline is to use gel to smooth down the hair and then keep on a scarf until it is dry.

How exactly does this work? Whether your hair is being worn straight or curly, you can add a thick gel (preferably clear as brown gels tend to leave discoloration on your skin) to our edges and smooth with either your fingers or a brush.

The amount of gel you use will depend upon the coarseness, thickness, and desired style.

Once you’ve sculpted your edges to the smoothness that you desire, put on a silk scarf to “set” the edges for at least 15 minutes. Remove the scarf, and the gel should have dried along with drying your hair line into a smooth look.

Depending on the gel you use, your hairline may feel a little hard.

If you do not enjoy the hardness of certain gels, look for a gel that is not as thick or heavy. Or try a moisturizing gel. My favorite gel is ORS Twist and Lock gel because it is moisturizing and it does not get hard.

Other gels I’d recommend are S-Curl Gel and Fantasia Frizz Buster gel. I do not recommend Fantasia with Sparklites gel as it gets extremely hard and may dry out your hair.

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Another alternative to gel is to use a pomade. Pomades work really well for those with relaxed hair who need to smooth their edges when it’s almost time for a touch-up.

Since pomades can tend to be a little greasy, you must go light on using them.

Sometimes they also build up (as does gel) so you may not want to use it several days in a row. Save it for just a few days before you re-wash your hair.

A really good and all natural pomade is Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade.

Pomades have other drawbacks. Sometimes the greasiness can rub off on clothing or if you take a nap (your pillow). Pomades also may cause a bit of reversion due to their water content.

If your hair is relaxed, you may end up with a slightly wavy but yet smooth hairline instead of a completely smooth hairline. (This can also occur with gel.)

Having natural hair, pomades probably won’t do very much for you. In my experience, they’ll hold down the hair for a little while but sooner than later, the hair starts to fuzz back up.

Wax Sticks

Wax sticks are a wonderful way to get a smooth hairline! Many product lines are making wax sticks and I think everyone with curly, frizzy, or kinky hair should have one.

Wax sticks are basically that – a stick of wax…in a tube. They are very thick and hardly contain any water. Thus they are perfect for smoothing frizzy edges when wearing straight hair (whether relaxed or pressed or flat ironed).

There are a couple of ways to use a wax stick.

One way is to take the actual wax stick and apply it directly to your edges to smooth them down. Then take a brush and brush the hair to break up any clumped wax bits. You can also apply a scarf to further enhance the smoothness.

With a wax stick, you do not need very much. It is a very “tacky” product and a little goes a long way. Applying the wax stick directly to the hair has several drawbacks.

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For one, it can cause an overapplication of product which may be hard to remove.
Secondly, because the wax stick is so thick, it tends to grab on to your hair and pull it. You may notice when you work with the wax stick, you accidentally pull out some of your hair. You will see it sitting on top of the wax stick.
Thus, I do not recommend this way of using the wax stick. You must take excellent care of your hair line while making it beautiful!

My preferred method of using a wax stick is a tooth brush! Take an old toothbrush (or a new one specifically for this purpose) and run it across the wax stick, then take the tooth brush and apply the product to your hair line.

You will get a smooth hairline with very little product and without losing any hair. Additionally, there won’t be as much build up.

With this method, you can use the wax stick for several days in a row before you notice any build.

A major advantage of the wax stick is that it tends to last more than one day unlike pomades and gels.

Remember this method for when you roller set your hair. Roller setting sometimes makes it difficult to have straight, smooth edges.

Once you’ve finished drying your roller set and styling it, take your tooth brush and wax stick to smooth your fuzzy edges.

Add your scarf and go to bed (or keep on for 15-30 minutes) and the next morning, you’ll have smooth edges to go along with your smooth hair! And it will last several days.

I recommend the following wax sticks: Tancho Stick which can be found online for about $10. Other good wax sticks are: Keracare Wax Stick, Aveda Wax Stick.

Hair Creams

Another method to getting smooth hairline is to use a very thick hair cream.

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Using a thick hair cream can work just like a gel except that it is healthier for your hair.

Using a hair cream will provide excellent moisture and manageability to your hair unlike hair gel which could potentially cause dryness, crunchiness and breakage.

To use a hair cream, prepare your hair in the same way as you’d prepare it to use gel or any other product.

Apply a thick hair cream generously and brush hair into the style. Using a hair cream on a wet hair will help seal in moisture to your hair and allow you to mold it into smoothness that will remain once it’s dry.

This method works really well for those with curly hair and trying to wear a smooth updo, bun, or ponytail.

If you find the cream isn’t quite enough, add a tad bit of moisturizing gel (ORS Twist and Lock) on top before adding your scarf to set the style.

If your hair is relaxed or you’re wearing it straight, just apply a little bit of the cream along your edges and brush to style. Add your scarf to let it set. Soft smooth edges will result! I use this method ALL the time!

My preferred heavy cream is Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter. You can try any thick hair lotion or cream. I do advise against using a product with mineral oil.


I hope these various methods will help you achieve the goal of a silky, smooth hairline. No matter what method you choose, make sure you take adequate care of your hair line.

Keep it moisturized and don’t overly brush it or manipulate it. Remember to use a boar’s bristle brush on your hair and not a nylon brush.

You can also try using a seamless fine tooth comb and just your hands to smooth your hair. Once you get down a few of these methods of smoothing, you’ll know how to keep a smooth hairline for days on end!

Image: New Hair Institute Medical Group.