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As I mentioned, Pomade is growing in popularity and people are starting to understand not all pomades were created equal. With that, I’d like to take a minute, cut through the fluff and offer an olive branch that may help you make the decision on what type of pomade is right for you, even if it’s not ours.
First things first, What IS Pomade?
In short, Pomade is a product used for styling classic styles. Unlike gel/hairspray/mousse (who actually uses this anymore?) it’s infused with a wax base to give your hair holding power without the crunch like the above mentioned products.
So, what makes a “Good Pomade” & what makes a “Bad Pomade”?
Honestly, it varies from person to person, fragrance choices and hair type. The one thing I will say is this, Pomade is a lot like Beer. It originally found its resurgence through small companies like ours. Ourselves and others were making a quality product and it caught on. Once this happened the big guys caught on (L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, Axe, American Crew, etc.) and started making their own. Most of these products are made using “Castor Oil” and not a real wax base (beeswax). These are basically re-formulated hair gels, nothing more, nothing less, which is why most don’t last the whole day.
What Different Types of Pomade are there?
For the sake of keeping things clear, I will stick to the two main Pomade types; Oil and Water Based.
- Oil Based Pomade – The older of the two types, the main ingredient to this product is oil. Developed over 50+ years ago, it consists of a mix of natural/synthetic oil blended with a wax. The positives of this products consist of a very high shine, easily restyled and usually cheaper. The negatives for this products are that they are hard to wash out, have a relatively “Looser” hold and can cause skin problems for people with sensitive skin.
- Water Based Pomade – Relatively newer to the Pomade scene are “Water Based” pomades. The main ingredient of this product is exactly what you’d think; water. These were fabricated to solve the one main issue of oil based pomades; the ability to easily wash them out at the end of the day. Of the two, this is definitely the more popular product. The pros of this product are that it’s easily removed, usually made from safer ingredients and does not cause skin issues like the oil based products. The cons are that it can sometimes be more expensive, it hardens slightly more than oil based products and is slightly more difficult to restyle throughout the day.
Where should You Buy Pomade?
This product should be bought at a professional barber or online direct from a manufacturer. I may be a bit bias but I consider this product a bit to0 specialized to be bought at Target, the Grocery or local Drug store. If those are the places you’re shopping, i'll revisit my beer analogy; to get the good stuff you have to do a bit of research and usually buy small. I highly recommend talking to your barber about products they like (they’ll usually suggest what they carry) but another good place to start are reviews. These products have a pretty big following and with guys like The Pomp, you should be able to locate a quality product.
In the end, people prefer different types of pomades for different reasons. We recommend trying out a few types and picking your favorite. Buy small, buy direct. Happy Grooming!