The scruffy, rumpled, bed head of the early 2000’s is officially out, paving the way for that good old fashioned gentleman slicked-back look to make its way yet again to the forefront. The men of today are switching up this dated hairstyle to give it a more modern edge yet at the same time still keep that vintage class. It doesn’t work for every mens though. Certain hair textures and cuts don’t really work with it, so you need mens pomade to do something about it.
Regardless, it’s a damn good look which goes very well with other currently popular hair trends like the undercut and the high fade. If you’re into that sort of thing, then there are a couple of trade secrets you need to know about getting slick and keeping slick. The first is to go for a subdued style. Avoid getting too slick else you’ll end up looking like a wet mop. Aim for Don Draper or Beckham not Alfalfa. Secondly, keep it clean. Clean lines and crisp comb-overs are the foundations of this look. Lastly and most importantly, find the right product.
I can’t stress this enough how the right product is vital to maintaining the slick for hours and hours into the day. Gels provide extra strong hold but they end up looking too stiff and unnatural (like a Ken doll). Hair mousse gives you thick healthy hair but doesn’t have enough hold. To achieve the perfect slicked-back look, you’d want something that holds like a gel but finishes like hair mousse. Pomade gives you both.
What exactly is pomade?
Pomade is arguably the ideal men’s hair styling product. It’s very versatile and flexible. You can alter your hairstyle simply by adjusting the amount of product you use. Applying it to wet or dry hair also yields different results. Pomade gives you just about the same hold as hair gels but with more pliability. This means you can actually restyle your hair after you’ve put it on, unlike with hair gel that forms your hair into stiff peaks and stays that way. Pomade can either have a matte or shiny finish. It also maintains moisture but without looking greasy.
What is pomade made of?
The original pomade formulation, like the oil, petroleum or wax-based pomades incorporates beeswax and other fat-containing substances which give the hair that wet-shine finish that lasts for a very long while. This is also what gives it a strong hold which makes pomade difficult to wash off especially if you use a lot of it. Water-based pomades have been made available. They have a softer hold and wash out easily unlike their wax-based counterparts. Pomades are not usually marketed as pomade rather as styling clay, glue, putty or paste. Pomades also come at varying holds, finish and textures depending on the manufacturer.
Which product bests suits me?
What makes pomade the ideal choice of product is the fact that it works well with most hair types, except for the oily hair. If you already have oily hair then pomade is not for you. You are in danger of looking like an oil slick and risk running into problems associated with overly oily hair.
Pomade manufacturers have specialized formulations which cater to a wide array of hold, textures and finish that best suits their consumers’ desires. The choice of which pomade formulation you should go for depends largely on two things: the look you are aiming for and the amount of hold you need to maintain the look.
Your desired look is influenced by a lot of things. But ultimately you’d opt for a style that works best with your hair and of course a style which best suits your overall appearance. Here are some mens pomade hairstyles you might want to go for. The Slicked Back, Side Part, Side Swept, Businessman, Ivy League, Crew Cut, Undercut, High Fade and Modern Pompadour.
The kind of hold you need depends on the thickness and texture of your hair. Water-based pomades are good for fine hair to slightly wavy hair. It’s good for most hair lengths, too. If you have curlier or textured hair or thick hair however, more hold might be needed so opt for wax-based pomades.
What is the best pomade for men available in the market?
There are loads of choices out there to be honest. Since the slick look is coming back, tons of products have been created especially for that purpose. If you’re new to the whole scene or just looking to switch out your old product for a newer and better one, here are my top five recommendations for the best pomade products for mens hair:
Layrite Deluxe Pomade is a water-based product which has slightly less hold than other super hold formulations. It has a relatively strong hold with a shiny finish. It still works very well with slicked back dos and even spiky looks but still has a too mild hold for full pompadours. Since it is water-based, the pomade washes out very easily. Layrite Deluxe pomades have a mild vanilla scent so it’s very pleasant to use. For a stiffer hold, apply to dry hair because wet hair dilutes the product and lessens its effectivity. Layrite also has other popular formulations other than the original
Layrite also has other popular formulations other than the original like: Layrite Super Shine Hair Cream, Layrite Natural Matte Cream, Layrite Super Hold Pomade and Layrite Cement Hair Clay. The variety of choices is perfect for achieving different hairstyles. It may not be the absolute best among its competitors but it is among the most affordable. Overall, it’s a decent enough pomade which comes in 1.5 ounces or 4-ounce packaging which helps you get that slick and neat look down.
American Crew also makes water-based pomades which are advertised to give high-shine finish with a strong hold. American Crew has been around for a while and their product has survived this whole time because of its excellent quality. It has maintained its status as one of the leading producers of pomade for men. What I love about American Crew pomade is that despite being water-based, you still get the same high shine finish as with its wax-based counterparts. Additionally, it has a medium hold which works well enough with most of the pomade hairstyles including the pompadour.
And it smells terrific! Apart from their pomade, American Crew also produces Curl Control serums which complement the effects of their pomade. The pomade is available in three-ounce jars which cost $18-19 a pop. It isn’t the cheapest brand (more than twice the cost of the original Layrite Deluxe Pomade) but it isn’t exactly that expensive either.
Suavecito Pomade single-handedly revolutionized the barber culture. That’s one of the reasons why their pomade products still hold much popularity among men and hairstyle trends today. They don’t just advocate the classic slick backs but also more modern every day looks. Suavecito Firme Hold pomades are water-based pomades which have little shine finish but have a strong medium hold. They’re perfect for everyday looks or for more natural looking coifs since it doesn’t give off much of shine. Still it works well enough for slicked back styles and volume.
Think Elvis Presley. Suavecito pomades cost a little less than Layrite pomades so they’re more affordable than most products. Suavecito has a variety of other products available you might want to look into, too.
Uppercut Deluxe is an Australian brand pomade manufacturer. Their pomades have either a medium or strong hold with medium shine finish. This pomade was specially formulated by barbers who were highly influenced by the 1950’s slicked back looks of the old fashioned gentleman era. At first glance, Uppercut Deluxe products give you this ultra-manly vibe.
Grooming never looked so tough. It has a hefty $20 price tag almost which makes it one of the most expensive brands available. It works best for classic looks. But despite its manly appearance, it has a very mild scent, even milder than the Suavecito pomades which are decidedly masculine smelling.
Imperial Barber Products Classic by Imperial Barbers has to be the most expensive pomade on the list but with good reason. This is because it is the strongest holding water-based pomades available in the market. But just because it has a stiff finish does not mean it isn’t pliable. Running damp hands or passing a wet comb through your hair allows you to manipulate your hair into a different style.
It has a low finish so it’s good for everyday hair styling but may not hold well for more formal affairs (if extra shine is your thing, anyway). It works with nearly all hair types and is good at both holding up a pompadour and taming wild curls.
How do you use pomade?
Pomade is perfect for everyday looks – to achieve slick-backs and other styles for formal occasions, adopt natural coifs your hair doesn’t normally do, or go for eccentric dos for more stylish looks. Some people still find pomades too stiff and opt for hair mousse instead. Though slick looks are very handsome and stylish, keep them subtle. Not every situation calls for it. On the other hand, pomade is good for undercut styles and high fades to keep the look constantly clean and crisp or for unruly hair that needs to be tamed on a daily basis. Each manufacturer has their own set of instructions on how to apply their product to your hair to achieve the desired look. But they all have several things in common.
First, you have to decide which pomade product you are going to use. The hold strength and finish are usually indicated on the pomade packaging. Pick one which will work for the desired look you want to achieve and the type of hold or finish you need for your hair. Before you get to styling your hair though, first make sure that it has been properly washed and cleaned. Afterward, towel dries your hair. Leaving it slightly damp will give you better-working properties. Remember, the damper your hair the more it may dilute your pomade (especially water-based ones). The amount of product you use affects the hold and finish of your hairstyle. Usually, a dimes-sized amount of hair clay/putty/glue/paste is required. Work the clay with your fingertips then gently apply to hair. Make sure you take out all the tangles. Then, style as you please using your hands, combs or brushes. It also helps to run a wet comb through your hair to tame curls and achieve the slick back or side part hairstyles.
When to use hair gels, pomades, and/or hair mousse?
If you require stiffness throughout the day, then hair gels are the way to go. They also provide maximum shine. Their downside is that they can get too stiff and often flake when they become too dry yet ironically have an almost greasy look about them. Gels are used when you need your hair to stay put. They work best for short hairstyles that need a bit of height.
Pomades are perfect all around. They provide relatively the same hold as gels but do not dry out your hair or flake after it stiffens. It also allows you to style your hair despite reaching the desired hold. They’re perfect for clean looks like the slick back, the side part and other hairstyles which require a bit of height and volume, like the modern pompadours.
You can opt to use hair mousse if all you want is to have healthy looking and thick hair. They have very little hold so you can’t work many styles. It’s perfect for day to day hair wear and good for those who do not like too much product in their hair.
Where can I buy pomade?
There are so many pomade products available online you simply have to look. You can also find pomades resellers for imported goods online. Some drugstores and beauty shops also carry mens pomade products. For more information on the products listed above, please give their websites a visit. Also you can read our review about best pomade for men that can be used as reference to find best hair pomade online.