What are Pomades?
Pomade is similar to other hairstyling products like gel but very different too. It is counted among most usable and safest of all available hairstyling products.
It is exceptional for dry hair and styling short hairstyles. From straight hair to curly ones, this is perfect for all hair types. It is the only styling products that make hair shiny and silky without causing any damage.
It became hugely popular between 1920 and 1950 especially with the emergence of “Greasers” subculture. Combed-back hairstyles of Rock & Roll idols like Elvis Presley and actors like John Travolta influenced youth a lot and these styles became a rage.
To make the frizzy comb-back style, people required some styling product and this product turned out to be the best possible option since it offered maximum hold and shine along with the required greasiness.
The best pomade for thick hair adds gloss, enhances hair texture and retains the desired shape for longest duration. For smooth styles too, it offers magnified textural effect.
Curly hair pomades are not moisturizers but moisture sealants, that is, they seal moisture into the hair to prevent dryness and frizz. The pomades can be applied after moisturizers to retain the moisture.
De-greasers like shampoos are used to wash it away, because these tend to be a bit greasy and waxy (if you are using oil based formula). You may also apply common olive oil and rinse with warm water to remove the grease from your hair. It makes a great substitute to products like hairspray and gels, which damage hair follicles and scalp.
The 3 Different Types of Pomade
Classically, pomades can be split into three categories, based on the grease-wax ratio: strong hold pomades, medium hold pomades, and light hold pomades.
A lot goes into choosing the best pomade for thick hair. The buying process becomes even more complex if you have thick curly hair.
When you’re shopping for the a pomade that will work best for you, you should realize that there are three different kinds that are pretty different from each other.
Best Strong Hold Pomades on the Market
For the sleek types that require a strong hold pomade to hold up their pomp or any perfectly groomed style and you want it to go the distance. Here’s the best selection for you
The distinctive feature of strong hold pomades is that they have a higher wax-grease ratio, thus ideal in providing stronger and longer-lasting holds . These are perfect for men with thicker hair and tall hairstyles due to their ability to hold together the most and longest.
Strong hold pomades are stiff however, making them less malleable than other types. They can also prove stubborn to wash out of your hair. Due to their high wax-grease ratio, they don’t provide as much shine as the medium and light hold pomades.
What hair type is it for? : Due to it’s excellent hold, this pomade is ideal for thick, curly or hard to tame hair.
Smell : Suavecito pomades have a distinctively masculine, yet light scent. Definitely one of this product’s best features
Is it easy to wash off? : Yes! This water-soluble hair pomade has a creamy consistency, making it easy to comb in and easy to wash out.
How long does it last? : Suavecito strong hold pomades have great staying power and can last all day long. If, however ,you do find yourself with flyaways at some point, simply wet your comb with water and work through the weak areas a few times to re-activate the pomade, keeping your pomp intact.
How much shine can I expect? Unfortunately, this product is merely OK when it comes to shine. However you can use it in conjunction with a light hold pomade for the perfect balance of hold and shine.
Smell : Layrite has a light vanilla scent, a very subtle smell that wears off during the day.
Is it easy to wash off? : Yes. This is a water-based pomade which means it’s easy to wash out.
How long does it last? :Layrite pomade has the strongest hold when used on DRY hair. You control the strength of hold by simply drying your hair to the desired amount. The product itself does however not dry in your hair so you can re-style as needed throughout the day.
How much shine can I expect? The shine you get with this pomade depends on how much you dry your hair.
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin to thick hair. May not be best suited for coarse hair.
Smell : This pomade has a light tea tree oil scent.
Is it easy to wash off? : Baxter of California Clay Pomade needs to be washed out thoroughly from hair.
How long does it last? : Lasts through the day without flaking up. For increased, strong, pliable hold and style use more product. A little goes a long way though. When hold starts to wear off simply dampen hands and run through hair for re-hold.
How much shine can I expect? This pomade does not give much shine but lends a natural, matte finish to textured styles.
Medium hold pomades
Medium hold pomades are the way to go if a decent amount of hold and shine is good.
Excellent choice for styles like the medium pompadour. This is because they contain a balanced grease-wax ratio, so provide a regular amount of shine while still being able to hold sufficiently. They work best for hair types that don’t require extra hold or sheen, yet still offer decent levels of both.
Here’s my pick of most effective medium-hold pomades:
What hair type is it for? : Especially good for thick hair.
Smell : This pomade has a pleasant, clean smell.
Is it easy to wash off? : It is not difficult to wash off.
How long does it last? : Lasts through the day. For the heaviest hold apply to blow dried hair. For a medium hold apply to towel dried hair. This pomade does not dry or harden in hair so you can restyle it as needed throughout the day without losing control or shine.
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin to thick hair.
Smell : This pomade has a clean, pleasant, fresh scent.
Is it easy to wash off? : Yes, this pomade is easy to wash off.
How long does it last? : Holds your hair strongly in place all day with the flexibility to restyle.
How much shine can I expect? Dapper Dan Deluxe Pomade offers a moderate shine factor.
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin to thick hair.
Smell : This pomade has a masculine sandalwood and vetiver scent.
Is it easy to wash off? : As this is an oil-based pomade it is not meant to wash out in the very first wash.
How long does it last? : Lockhart’s pomade is perfect for great hold and manageability. It doesn’t harden so you can recomb your hair all day.
How much shine can I expect? Lockhart’s Hair Pomade provides a healthy shine.
Light hold pomades
Light Hold pomades for those that have thinner hair types that simply want a product that won’t weigh down their hair or simply prefer the shine a lighter pomade offers. Here we selected the best light weight pomade brands
Since light hold pomades have a relatively low wax to grease ratio, they are ideal for hair styles that require little hold but lots of shine. They are good for thinner hair and to achieve the neat slick-back look, or a side-parting with tidy pompadour at the top.
Whilst they are great for sheen, they are not as effective for hold as the other weight of pomades. If you really desire the enhanced shine the light hold pomades provide, I would advice using it as a top-coat in conjunction with a medium or strong hold pomade. That way you get a good combination of pomades for hold and shine.
Here are the light hold pomades that I’d recommend
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin to coarse hair.
Smell : This pomade has a gentle masculine scent.
Is it easy to wash off? : This pomade rinses off easily with water.
How long does it last? : Clean Shine pomade lasts all day and can be retouched by adding a bit more.
How much shine can I expect? Clean Shine Pomade provides a separation and shine.
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin to thick hair.Smell : This pomade has a rosemary bergamot scent
Is it easy to wash off? : O Doud’s pomade washes off relatively easily.
How long does it last? : This pomade lasts all day and can even provide hold and moisture on days that you do not apply any pomade.
How much shine can I expect? O Doud’s Pomade leaves hair soft, healthy and shiny
What hair type is it for? : Good for thin hair.
Smell : This pomade has a light coconut scent
Is it easy to wash off? : High Life Light Hold pomade does not wash out! It contains Emu oil to help strengthen and rejuvenate the hair and eliminate greasy feel.
How long does it last? : This pomade lasts all day if you use a good amount.
How much shine can I expect? High Life Light Hold pomade gives a nice, non-oily shine to your hair.
Water Based Pomade
Since you are using a water based pomade, apply some water to dampen your hair a bit and get it ready for the product.
Flaking does not happen under normal use. As long as you are using it as it was made to be used and you follow the directions on the can on how to apply pomade, you won’t have any problems.
They are great for guys that are not looking for the strongest hold, but more of a styling ability. I’d advise you to use a small amount of water based pomades, regardless of how much hair you have, curly or not.
It’s also a good idea to use a rat tail comb to evenly distribute the product into your hair so that you can get your desired look.
Oil based pomades also work surprisingly well for thick curly hair. They are the most conventional pomades for men. They allow you to restyle your hair throughout the day (if you choose) as they don’t dry out.
Similar to petroleum based pomades, oil based greases are tougher to wash out than water based. This could potentially be a good thing: after a light wash using a bit of shampoo there will still be enough for the next day, meaning that you won’t have to reapply it everyday.
You should go for petroleum based pomades if you want a hairstyle like the pompadour and will need a decent amount of strength. They are a bit different from the other two popular types. These are not as easy to wash out though, as they are more heavy-duty than water based pomades. Stay away from pomades that are greasy or heavy, they won’t help.
As you can see by the table at the top, all of the pomades that were selected do a fantastic job. Any of them will be great for you, whether you’re a beginner or experienced pro. Also, all of them are not only the best pomade for waves, although that is what Roller Coaster Waves and Cold Label Wolfing Pomade are usually used for because they do a great job of keeping the hair laid down.
It all comes down to your personal situation. If you have a curly haircut you will most likely not want the same pomade as a person who has a haircut that is straight. Try out one of these out to start and depending on how your experience goes with that one, you will be able to decide if you want to stick with that or try a different one. I recommend Suavecito to start off with.
Make sure you consider your needs. if you’re looking for something that is natural you will have to carefully investigate which pomades fall into that category. Are you putting emphasis on holding power, shine, moisturization? Decide what you want to get out of it and that will make it much easier to decide which is the best pomade for you!
What is Pomade used for?
The main use is in hairstyling. You can easily style your hair in any shape. You can use pomade for styling your beard, moustache or even side burns. Applying pomade ensures a slicker, shinier and darker look.
People also use pomade with sulfur to grow hair. Also, light version of pomade can prove to be a useful substitute of alcohol-laden hairsprays. Hairspray is actually very harmful for your scalp and hair as it take away all the moisture. Hairsprays are harmful for the environment too due to their high alcohol and toxic content.
Pomades are highly versatile; these are compatible with all types of hair/haircuts. From short to long, mid-length to multi-textured, straight to curly, smooth to frizzy and to slick down edges, pomades are suitable for all. Hairstyles like buns, braids, ponytails and twists direly rely upon pomade to retain their shape.
There are however, some types of pomades that have specific usage. For example, moustache wax is just applied on moustache and cannot be used on head.
Usually, afro-textured hair benefits most from pomade as it keeps them moisturized and doesn’t let them get dry easily. To control frizz, you must use a low-hold-level Pomade.
Pomade is also good for thick and coarse hair as it smoothly glides over the hair and can be applied with palms. It gives your hair additional flexibility due to greasiness.
Pomades are extremely hair-structure-friendly and can be used for styling almost all haircuts. The shine, gloss and flexibility that Pomade gives to your hair are matchless.
How to use pomade?
Applying on Wet hair or dry hair?
We would say neither! Use pomade on damp hair instead for optimal results. It is a misconception that your hair needs to be completely dry before you apply pomade. Actually, you should damp your hair enough that it becomes malleable. However, damping is different from wetting; if your hair becomes excessively wet then the pomade won’t work because the hair will reject the natural oils of pomade. Perfectly dampened hair is that stage when your hairs are just five to ten minutes away from being totally dry.
How much should you use?
The inconvenient truth is that there cannot be a specific plan. No one can suggest the perfect quantity of pomade that will work on all kinds and lengths of locks. Pomade quantity varies with your hair type (less if oily and more if dry), hair length and hairstyle. However, what we can tell you with surety is that you must always start with minimal quantity and add more gradually. It is a lot easier to add more pomade than to remove it completely from your head.
Application of Pomade:
Start by scrapping only a small amount of pomade, equal to a teaspoon in quantity. Using your middle and pointer fingers transfer it to your other hand. Now rub your fingers with your palm just like you do to wash hands. Let the grease coat your hands and turn them into fully loaded styling weapons.
Start applying from the bangs; make a partition using both hands and massage the pomade slowly into both sides the way you apply shampoo. Spike it straight-up so that hairs at the roots can be coated so that you are able to distribute pomade evenly throughout the scalp and prevent clumping.
Using a comb or your hands part your hair from above the temple and apply more pomade into the crease to work the shorter hair down and longer hair up. After done with the front part, do coat the back of your head with pomade starting from the top and wiping the hands down.
What about hair loss?
Do not stop using pomade just because you have heard that it can cause hair loss. It is just a myth that hairstyling products cause hair loss. It is the overuse of such products and inappropriate cleaning of the head/scalp that causes it.
If you don’t thoroughly clean your hair/scalp, you will experience hair loss. Always regularly wash your head otherwise dead skin or scalp’s sebum will accumulate in layers and will block or shrink hair follicles leading to hair fall.
If you are already facing hair loss, use shampoos that are formulated to promote healthy scalp/hairs by clearing the coating of sebum or dead skin.
Pomade vs Wax
Traditionally, the main difference between the two styling products was that wax couldn’t offer pomade-like slicker and shinier appearance. In modern times, the difference is becoming more and more ambiguous since various heavy pomades contain beeswax.
Wax offers a matte finish and tends to be thicker than pomade but doesn’t feel sticky. Both are oil-based formulas but pomade’s hold is higher than that of wax. Both also require a de-greasing agent like shampoo to be washed out of hairs. Wax is also applied in similar manner as pomade.
However, if you have dry hair or you need flexible hold always, use pomade instead of wax. Pomade is a much better option as wax because now water-based pomades are also available that are lightweight and washed easily. The slicked back look that pomade offer cannot be attained through wax, while wax is better option for spikes.
Use pomades with matte finish to get a non-greasy look. Pomade has excellent hold and shine and allows reshaping of your hair throughout the day. This cannot be done with wax as it becomes hard after application.
For moderate hold wax is suitable and goes with almost all hairstyles. For oily hair type, wax is better than pomade because pomades are greasy. However, wax isn’t as palliable as pomade but is good for making detailed expression and hairstyle accentuation.
Pomade vs Gel
Gel would give you as strong a hold as pomade but the problem with it is that after some time of application, it makes your hair rock solid. Sometimes, gel may turn into flakes and give away the feel as if you have dandruff.
Gel is suitable for styles that need maximum hold such as spikes but even then, everyday application of gel is not advisable. That is so because when gel gets dry it becomes flaky and its flakes fall on to your scalp, blocking excretion of natural oils.
So, with gels, the issue of facing hair loss problem is probably the highest in comparison to pomade and wax. These flakes are difficult to be washed completely and keep on shedding from the scalp every now and then. The end result is that you will find flakes on your shoulders and collar all the time.
That being said, the positive aspect of gel is that it is easiest to wash out from your hairs. Gels are available in different varieties ranging from light to firm hold. The selection should be made according to your hair type and style. Generally, the rule is that light variety is suitable for finer hair. Nonetheless, gel gives away an unnatural sort of a look whereas pomade’s appearance is much more subtle and natural.