The Grooming Manual
Finding the right hair product - and applying it correctly - matters. There are a lot of options for guys - and one of the most classic is pomade. They come in many varieties and offer the chance to get exactly the look you want.
That said, not all pomades were created equal. Here’s how to choose the right one for your particular goals and hairstyle.
Consider the Hairstyle You’re Going For
For a Matte Look
Don’t want shiny hair? Reach for a pomade that provides a matte look - which means your hair will absorb light instead of reflecting it.
Our Styling Clay Pomade offers a matte finish and a strong but pliable hold. So you can get a lot of style without any shine. It also conditions the hair, tames frizz, and encourages hair growth, which means your hair look better and stronger as you use it.
To achieve the best look with clay pomade, apply it with dry hands and remember that a little product goes a long way.
Another option is our Shaping Paste Pomade. Its low shine, flexible hold is great for a matte hairstyle. It's especially beneficial for moisturizing your hair and preventing frizz.
For Slick Hair
For a slick, high-gloss finish that complements a pompadour or quiff hairstyle, you should go with a gel pomade. Our Classic Firm Hold Gel Pomade is water-soluble formula with good-for-your-hair ingredients like argan oil and vitamin E. Use it for a strong hold and polished shine without damaging your hair or drying it out.
For even more shine, apply your gel pomade to damp hair. As a general rule of thumb, the wetter your hair is when you apply your product, the more shine it’ll give off.
And if your hair starts to lose its sheen or style throughout the day, simply wet your fingertips and rework the hair for a nice mid-afternoon reset.
For Wavy Hair
If you have wavy hair that's short, medium-length, or long, consider a wax pomade like our Flexible Hold Wax Pomade. Made with beeswax, vitamin E, and castor oil, it provides a medium, flexible hold while still allowing for some natural hair movement and re-styling.
Alternatively, you can style your wavy hair with our Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Think about how your hair looks and feels after you get out of the ocean - textured and lifted with defined curls and not a lot of frizz. That’s the effect you get with a sea salt spray. In other words, a post-swim perfect hair day without the sunburn or sand.
For a Lifted ‘Do
If you want volume, lift, or a more complex style a firm hold is best. That way you won’t have to reapply multiple times just to keep your hair in place.
Still, you’ve got options. For a simpler matte style that doesn’t even look like you’re using any hair product, we recommend:
Styling Clay Pomade - Bentonite clay provides a strong, pliable hold and a naturally clean, matte look.
Shaping Paste Pomade - Builds definition and texture without a lot of shine using red algae extract, hyaluronic acid, and lanolin.
Strong Hold Texturizing Pomade - Adds a low shine finish with argan oil and kaolin with a high (but still pliable) hold.
For a Classic, Medium-Length Cut
Do you rock a classic hairstyle like a fade or a standard medium-length cut? If so, you can use any pomade to add some texture, hold, and style to your look.
If you’re new to using pomade or want to be able to use yours with a variety of different styles, go with our Flexible Hold Wax Pomade. Just a small dab will provide a natural shine finish that you can style however you want throughout the day. It adds just enough shine to work with all hair types and styles.
How to Use Your Pomade Correctly
Once you’ve determined which pomade is best for your hair, it’s time to nail the style.
- Pomade is best applied to recently washed hair. This will remove old product, prevent buildup, and make styling easier. Try our Daily Strengthening Shampoo or Relieving Dandruff Shampoo for clean - not dehydrated - hair.
- Next, determine how much “shine” you want your hair to give off. The wetter your hair is when you apply your pomade, the more shine it will have. If you apply your pomade to dry hair, don’t scrub with a towel to get it dry. Instead, avoid damaging hair by gently patting it with a towel and then allowing it to air dry.
- Apply your pomade with dry hands (or slightly damp if you're going for a wet look) and start with the sides and back of your head. Only use a little pomade on this step as too much pomade can give a gluey, flakey look.
- Dab a little more pomade on your hands and start styling the top of your hair. Use your finger tips for the best results. Start at the base of your scalp and work your way up to the top of your hair stands. Too much pomade on the tips of your hair causes a weighed down look you want to avoid.
- If your hairstyle loses its structure as the day goes on, just dampen your fingers with a little water and rework your hair back to its original look. If water doesn’t work, use a small amount of pomade to reset the style.
- You don’t necessarily need to totally remove all the pomade from your hair at the end of the day. You can opt to rinse out your hair instead of washing it with shampoo. Leaving a little bit of product in your hair (especially one made with beneficial ingredients for your hair and scalp) is better than over-washing.
Invest in a High-Quality Pomade
You deserve to look your best - so don’t cheap out on the discount pomade on drugstore shelves that’s packed with hair-damaging ingredients. Here’s why you want to avoid most discount pomades:
- They make your hair look plastic: Petroleum by-products found in many pomades work by coating your hair shafts. However, these ingredients can create an excessively shiny, over-plasticized look. Look instead for a pomade that uses natural clays, waxes, and oils to both hydrate and style your hair.
- They provide a weak hold: Cheap pomades aren't usually designed to last all day. So they can leave you with a floppy, out of shape hair style after just a few hours. Worse, the ingredients may weaken your hair itself, making it thinner, damaged, and frazzled with repeated use.
- They irritate your skin: Many ingredients - including alcohol, silicones, and sulfates - can cause skin issues, including clogged pores, scalp irritation, and acne.
They dry out your hair: Some harsh ingredients in low-quality hair styling products can smother the hair shaft, suffocate your hair follicles, and leave you with both your hair and scalp dehydrated. With time this could permanently damage your hair follicles.
Other Hair Styling Product Options for Men
You may want to use other products along with a hair pomade to achieve the right hold and shine - and it’s important for you to understand what’s out there and how they work before you actually start using them. This is far from an exhaustive list, but you can use it as a general guide for comparing and selecting the best hair styling products for you.
Most hair gels are high hold and high shine. That means they’ll keep your hair rigidly in place, allowing for little to no movement (although you can sometimes find lower hold gels).
If you want to be able to wash your product out easily, gel can work for you. It’s water-soluble, so it comes right out with a simple rinse - something that can’t be said of wax-based pomades.
The bad side is that most gels have a high alcohol content. Alcohol is not a product you want on your hair or your skin; it can both dehydrate and irritate the scalp. So if you do go for a gel, make sure that you look for one with the lowest alcohol content possible.
Hair wax is similar to pomade in many ways, and many pomades are wax-based. While pomade can be either water or oil based, hair wax is exclusively oil based. Depending on the product you choose, it can offer a firm or medium hold and can be found in both shine and matte finishes.
Some guys use hairspray to lock their look into place. But keep in mind that hairspray can contribute to acne and other skin problems if you’re not careful during application. How?
When you apply hair spray, some inevitably lands on your face - especially your forehead. Over time, that collects and can clog your pores. If you don’t follow a good skincare routine that cleans out your pores, that could lead to oily buildup, bacteria growth, and blemishes around your hair line.
Don’t Neglect the Rest of Your Hair Care Routine
Achieving a good hairstyle isn’t just about the pomade you use - it’s also about the health of your hair and scalp. The good news here? Staying on top of your hair and scalp health doesn’t require massive change. Just a few tweaks to your routine can make a huge difference:
- Wash: Opt for a natural shampoo with nourishing, moisturizing ingredients - like our Daily Strengthening Shampoo or Relieving Dandruff Shampoo. They’ll leave your hair hydrated and healthy, not dry and limp like most shampoos. Also, don’t over-wash your hair, as shampooing too frequently will strip away your natural oils. For most guys, washing every other day is best.
- Condition: Yes, using hair conditioner is important for men, even if you don’t have long hair. Our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner nourishes and hydrates your hair and scalp, leading to stronger, healthier hair. It will also prevent flakes and other common hair problems. Use conditioner about 3 times a week (after washing) for the best results.
And there you have it - the complete guide to finding the best pomade and upping your routine for your best hair yet. Ready to get started? Try one of our 4 naturally formulated pomades.