What is Pomade? The Basics, Advantages and Proper Application

The recent years have linked pomades to old times, where our grandpas sport extremely greasy and shiny locks. As we’ve mentioned on our previous post, old-school pomades were based out of petroleum jelly and strong fragrance. The good news is, pomades have evolved dramatically for modern men.

So what exactly are pomades? According to Wikipedia, it is a waxy or greasy substance that’s widely used to style hair. While definition seems simple, choosing one is technically confusing, given the many types and ingredients being incorporated by newer brands. Some of them can be rinsed off with tap water in one wash, while others are quite harder to remove.

Now that we are right on the pomade types, let’s get down to the details and explain what exactly they do and whether they are washable or not.

Petroleum Based Pomades


More often than not, these pomades will not wash out with water alone. And oftentimes, you will need to wash your hair more than once in order to completely get rid of it. Depending on the strength of your deep cleansing shampoo, you can remove petroleum based pomades in two washes or so. But you can’t figure the best pomade for you at first use. It will take a few trials and errors before you can come up with a product that works best for you styling preference and hair type. That being said, if washing out a couple of times isn’t your thing, a petroleum based pomade may not be the soundest option. In most cases, they are a pain getting rid of not only on your hair, but also at the palm of your hands.

Water Based Pomades


Since these are water-based, you can instantly remove pomade on your hair with a single rinse using plain water. Yes, you won’t need additional products such as deep cleansing shampoos or oils! The great thing about these pomades is that they are abundant in the current market. For great looking hair, remember to follow up with a nourishing conditioner right after rinsing.

Fine Hair versus Thick Hair

Fine hair can always do away with pomades having light hold. Applying so will only wear the hair down rather than up so always opt for light pomades if you’re born with no-so-thick hair. Just a quick tip: if you’re aiming for more hair volume, try applying a nickel sized amount of your chosen pomade. Work through your locks thoroughly and then blow dry. Doing this will provide you with a firm base to start with. Otherwise, your hair will get weighed down.

The best pomade for thick hair is one with super strong hold. This saves you from using too much pomade. Less is enough to give you a tall pomp just like you’ve always wanted.

Proper Application

Pomades, regardless of the hold they provide, works better when applied on damp hair. By damp, it means that the hair has a bit of wetness in it. When applied onto excessively wet hair, pomade will only break down too much. Damp hair, on the other hand, breaks down the product evenly so you’ll end up with a more refined hairstyle through this method.

However, if you do need to style with dry hair, bear in mind that it will give you a different texture as compared to damp hair. Here, you can achieve a more separated look rather than a slick look. That being said, you will need to run your fingers through several times in order to have it applied evenly on the surface. This is essential as there’s no water to break down your pomade.

Finishing Touches

If you want to add a little bit more of shine, you can glaze your hair up a little bit by using a super shine pomade on your already dried pomade. Doing this gives you the hold you’ve always wanted plus the shine of a wet look, without wetting your hair, of course.

Parting the Hair

Each one of us parts our hair in a very unique manner. To do this, you can use your favorite comb to part your hair right above the temple of your head. You may also use your fingers if you’re craving for messier look. Apply a little more pomade at the line, moving the long hairs up and the short hairs down. Make sure you’ve applied ample amount of pomade to keep the partition intact all throughout the day.

Don’t Forget the Back of your Head

The final yet most important part of styling is polishing the back of your head. Once the front looks good, take a small pinch of your pomade, and then wipe it all from top to bottom. Make sure all surfaces are well covered. Double check to see if your hair is seamless 360 degrees.