Hair pomade is the go-to hair styling product for the modern gentleman. A timeless classic from the barber shop era of days gone by, pomade’s popularity has seen a resurgence in recent times due to it’s versatility, ability to control the most waviest and curliest of hair types and its modern formula which is often water based and washes out easily.
Traditionally pomade was a mixture of oil, petroleum and wax, and while this formula is still in use today, water based pomades are certainly gathering a following of their own. Yes, these are both pomades however, both have their own advantages. Let me explain.
Traditional oil based pomade is still the best hairstyling product for hold and rework ability, yes thats right you can whip out your pocket comb at lunch time and restyle your hair with no issues. The downside to this formula is the weight and clean up. These products are a heavy product in your hair and will often take a few washes to completely remove any residue. You can buy special shampoo that will aid in removing these traditional pomades and I’ve even heard of people mixing dishwashing liquid into normal shampoo to break down the oil and wax – sounds strange, but it works. Despite these setbacks, these heavier based pomades simply cannot be beat for hold and shine. If you’re after some massive height in your ‘do’ then sometimes you’ve gotta make the sacrifice.
Modern water based pomades will yield similar styling and hold results but will wash straight out unlike traditional pomades. Easy to apply and don’t leave your hair greasy, the petroleum and oil is replaced with a water base and wax formula, creating a product that is easy to apply, has strong hold, loads of shine and washes out in one wash. These pomades are the best choice for an all round product, giving you the style and functionality of a traditional product but with a modern ease of use update.
Now for the BIG question, which pomade is right for my hair?
With the vast choice of pomades on the market it can be difficult to know which one to go for. To help gentleman, we have sourced an expert’s advice from a fellow pomade-loving gentleman – JC Hillhouse from The Dapper Society. JC Hillhouse has reviewed almost every pomade on the market and has greased up more times than he’s had breakfast.
So J.C which is the best pomade for my hair? And what is the best type of pomade?
Well, that depends on you. Yeah you may have a certain hair type, but pomades work differently for each person. The best thing you can do is buy a few cheaply priced pomades of various holds from super light to super heavy and try each one out to see what works best for you personally. Once you find the type(s) that work best then go from there.
As far as the “best” pomade. That 100% differs from person to person and hair type to hair type. So essentially there is no “best” pomade out there.
Typically heavier pomades are good for thick, curly, bushy, and longer hair. These pomades are great for quiffs, wedges, tall pomps, and sharp straight slick backs.
Medium pomades are good for thick, wavy, fluffy, and medium-long hair. These pomades are great for pomps, contours, Ivy League’s, different flat top styles, and slick backs.
Light pomades are great for thin or thick hair, straight or wavy hair, and short-long hair. They work great for contours, Ivy League’s, slick backs, and short pomps. They can also be great in combination with medium or heavy pomades as a topper for shine and/or more manageability.
At the end of the day though, it really is up to you, your hair, and your preferences. I would recommend buying a couple of each hold from really really light, all the way up to super heavy pomades. Then try them all out and see which hold works best for you and your hair. Then try out more pomades in that hold range. Many sites like the bearded stag will say what hold is is and put them in light, medium, or heavy categories. You can also tell a lot about the pomade just by looking at the surface if you have a local shop around you that carries them.
Good luck and keep it greasy!