From the classic slicked back greaser look to a dashing Elvis-style pompadour – pomade is the secret ingredient to styling and profiling a timeless hairdo.

However, this waxy goodness isn’t only for fixing a bad hair day, it’s also great for sculpting and shaping a sharp facial hair look as well.

Pomade is a hair styling product that resembles a clear waxy paste and can be used for extra hold and texture.

Even the packaging of this product is pretty manly, as it usually comes in a container that resembles a shoe-polish jar – like the kind they used during World War II.

This isn’t really surprising, considering the slicked back and polished hair trends of the post-war era that really helped pomade shine.

However, this nifty little product has never really gone out of style, but rather manufacturers have continued to improve the formula to near perfection.

Hair pomades from other brands

Today, pomade is an extremely versatile product, that can either give you an extremely shiny gelled look with a super hold when applied wet or if that isn’t really your thing you can apply it to dry hair to keep a nice soft texture with just enough hold to pull off your desired look.

From slathering it through your hair to curling through your mustache, pomade is definitely a product that the hair-conscious man should have in stock at all times.

What Benefits Should the Best Pomade Have?

Though this product is somewhat of a scientific marvel – I mean it can make your hair either matte or shiny, stiff or malleable – not all pomades are created equal.

When shopping around for the best pomade, make sure you are on the lookout for one that can provide you with these outstanding benefits:

Long-lasting Hold

The main reason people use pomade is to get some anti-gravity power, so a good pomade can keep your pompadour pomp-y all day long, rather than letting it slump like a sad soufflé.

Depending on the ingredients used in the pomade this waxy paste should be able to provide a good hold all day long.

Texturization Power

Another benefit of pomade is that it acts as a great texturizer. If you have very fine and limp hair, pomade can roughen it up with some extra volume without damaging your hair in the same way that teasing does.

Matte and Shine

Here is the real kicker: the best pomade gives you the power to either get a slick and shiny look or a true matte finish.

For days when you’re feeling a little extra dapper, applying some pomade to wet hair can create an almost gelled look with a hard hold and glossy shine. This is perfect to pull off a greaser hairdo or a fancy ducktail.

On the other hand, if shiny really isn’t your thing, pomade is the perfect styling product for you.

Some people want to be able to style their hair without getting the greasy look that liquid gel usually creates.

Especially if you are trying to style a mustache or beard, using gel can go south pretty quickly.

Instead, applying some pomade to your hair while it is dry allows you to style and shape it easily while maintaining a nice and soft texture that you will want to run your fingers through all day.

Applying pomade in this manner gives you a nice matte finish that doesn’t look greasy or oily whatsoever.

Ease Wash Out

One of the biggest complaints of early formulas was that it would take up to several hair washing to get rid of the product’s residue.

This is because early formulas pomade consisted of ingredients like petroleum jelly and beeswax which create a heavy and very adherent formula.

These formulas still exist and are great for those who want an extra long lasting hold.

However, if you don’t want to go to bed with a stiff head of hair, searching for a formula that is easy to wash out can be a huge plus.

Petroleum and oil based formulas typically won’t wash out with just water and may require a little extra work and product to get rid of.

Water-based pomade, on the other hand, is usually a lot easier to wash out but may not last as long in comparison.

Types of Pomades

When it comes to pomade, there are two main types: water-based and oil-based.

If you’re looking for the classic formula, you’ll want to search for oil-based pomade.

Since the invention of this hair care products, manufacturers have experimented with a ton of different oils trying to find the perfect one to nourish and shape the hair.

Modern oil-based formulas typically consist of beeswax or petroleum jelly and they offer a pretty great old that is water and sweat resistant.

This is because, if you think back to your middle school science class, water and oil don’t mix well – meaning that if there’s a light drizzle outside or your get caught sweating on a hot day your hair will likely stay in perfect shape.

Water based hair pomade

On the flip side, however, trying to wash out oil-based pomade can be somewhat of a feat, but if you’re looking for something that won’t budge, this may just be your perfect product.

While oil-based pomade was mostly popular from the early 20th century through the World War II era and beyond, water-based pomade is a much more modern invention, with the first formula being credited to Layrite in 2001.

Today, several different manufacturers make water-based pomade because of its more delicate formula that dries quicker, can create a more matte finish, and washes out easily.

For a quick comparison of oil based pomade vs water based pomade, check out our following table:

Oil-Based Pomade Water-based Pomade

·         Long-lasting hold

·         Great for a shiny look

·         Sweat and water resistant


·         Easy to wash out

·         Leaves a softer texture

·         More delicate on the hair

·         Great for matte look


·         Hard to wash out

·         Can leave the hair feeling hard


·         Doesn’t last as long

·         Often not sweat-resistant

What Pomade Should You Choose for Your Hair Type?

We believe everyone should be able to test out this great product, so to help you find the formula that will work best for your hair care needs, we have broken down the best pomades by hair type.

Curly Hair: If you’ve got a case of the curls and want a sleek and structured look, oil based pomade may be a better option for you.

Oil based pomade will give you the extra hold and control that you need to make sure that you don’t end up with a couple curlies frizzing out here and there.

In addition, curly hair is usually prone to becoming oily over time, which is why it’s best to stay away from water based pomade products, as these could break down quickly.

Related Article: How to Straighten Your Curly Beard

Thin Hair: In addition to offering shaping control, pomade is also a great product for adding texture and volume to thin hair.

To accomplish this without making your hair look greasy, you may be better off trying a water-based pomade. This type of formula will give you a great matte finish while texturizing your hair and giving it a lightweight buoyancy.

Thick Hair: If you have thick hair, either oil or water based pomade can work well for you.

Some prefer water-based formulas simply because they are easier to wash away, but if you are going for a serious anti-gravity hairdo, oil-based pomade may give you that extra oomph.

Normal Hair: If your hair is simply normal, then you’ve certainly won the hair type lottery.

People with normal hair can use typically use either type of pomade with no problem, depending on the look they are trying to achieve.

Of course, everyone’s hair type is slightly different, and what might work for one person with a certain hair type might not work for another.

For this reason, it sometimes takes a bit of experimentation with different products to find the perfect match for your, but the good thing about pomade is that it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

The Top 5 Pomades

So, you’re ready to delve into the epicness that is pomade, but before you hijack your grandpa’s old stash of hair products, check out these top 5 modern formulas.

1. Smooth Viking Hair Care Pomade – Medium Hold and Supreme Shine

This Smooth Viking pomade is listed as the Amazon’s choice and we can understand why.

Designed for all hair types, this pomade is water-soluble and can either be used on dry hair for a matte finish or on damp hair for extra shine.

This is a perfect option for those who want a low-maintenance clean look that will last all day, whether it be for their hair, mustache or beard.

Smooth Viking Pomade

View Lowest Price on Amazon

Cost $11.35
Size 2 oz
Sweat/waterproof No
Base water
Number of reviews 309
Star rating 4.5


2. Suavecito Pomade Firm Hold 4 oz

Another best seller, the Suavecito firm hold pomade is also water-soluble and can easily be combed into any look for an all-day hold.

This formula is great for those who want an even more structured look, as the product dries quickly and is designed to leave a hard and long-lasting hold.

Suavecito Pomade

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With a little bit of water, you can get maximum shine for a timeless Casanova style.

Cost $12.95
Size 4 oz
Sweat/waterproof No
Base water
Number of reviews 1548
Star rating 4.5


3. Baxter of California Clay Pomade 2 oz.

This innovative formula features a kaolin clay and beeswax base which can give you a strong all-day hold while leaving your hair pliable.

This is a great product for those who are looking for a modern matte finish that can either be used to achieve a smooth sharp look for a messy textured do.

Paraben-free, this formula has received several awards including Men’s Health Grooming Award for the Best Styling Product category and a nomination for the Best Hair Wax by the Details Reader’s Choice Award.

Baxter Clay Pomade

View Lowest Price on Amazon

Cost $22.00
Size 2 oz
Sweat/waterproof Somewhat
Base Clay and beeswax
Number of reviews 566
Star rating 4


4. Axe Clean-Cut Look Pomade (Pack of 3)

More popular with the younger crowd, this Axe Clean Cut Look pomade is another great option for those looking to tame unruly hair.

This pomade is water-soluble, making it easy to work through the hair and wash out when finished.

It claims to offer a medium hold wish a shiny finish and is great for those who want a polished and structured clean cut look as the name suggests.

Axe Pomade

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Considering that you get a pack of three for the price, this product is also a great value for those on a budget who want to experiment with pomade.

Cost $17.76
Size 2.67 oz
Sweat/waterproof No
Base water
Number of reviews 492
Star rating 4.5


5. Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade (Pack of 3)

This iconic formula is the true classic pomade that your grandpa probably remembers from his golden days.

Murray’s has been creating this time-proven formula for over 60 years to high acclaim, and it continues to be one of the leading petroleum oil-based pomades on the market.

This product is great for those who want an unbudging hold and don’t mind a little extra work in the shower to get rid of the product.

Murray’s Superior Hair Pomade

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The original pomade is a true classic that can be used to shape and style your hairdo, beard, or mustache.

Cost $11.53 (pack of 3)
Size 3 oz each
Sweat/waterproof Yes
Base Oil (petroleum)
Number of reviews 126
Star rating 4

Timeless Hair Care

Some barber tricks are simply timeless, and applying a little bit of pomade for extra style and definition is certainly one of them.

Whether you are trying to get a smooth professional part, a rock-and-roll Elvis look, or a classic greaser, pomade can help you get all these looks and more.

For beard and mustache styling, pomade can also serve as the perfect polish, allowing you to curl the ends of your stache for the perfect hipster look, or smooth out some of the unruly curls in your beard.

Offering the perfect alternative to toxic hairsprays and hair-damaging gels, pomade offers the perfect balance of long-lasting hold and smooth texture.

Buy a jar of pomade today from one of our trusted sellers to get the polished look you’ve been craving.

Photos from: reflex_safak /, Dmyrto_Z /, brulove /, photo_oles /, gvictoria /, belchonock /

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