Have you ever wanted to dip your toes in the world of pomades, but are confused with all the different types of pomades out there? In this article, we will cover the 3 main types of pomade, discuss their pros and cons, and recommend some products for you to try out
Oil Based Pomades (“OB”)
Oil Based Pomades are the OG of pomades. They are traditionally made with some kind of grease, such as petroleum or lanolin. OB pomades usually retain their shine throughout the day. They do not dry and harden up so you can restyle your hair as desired. The disadvantage is since they are oil based, they tend to be difficult to wash out. Some users of OB pomades actually prefer the build up of product in the hair, because you will need to use less product the next day.
Personally, I have never used OB pomades, except once where I made my own pomade using beeswax, coconut oil, and other essential oils. With the introduction of unorthodox water-based pomades, which we will cover in a moment, I don’t find the need to go to oil based pomades.
If you are in the market for an OB pomade, the Lockhart’s line of OB pomades has a pretty good reputation, especially their Goon Grease, which offers a heavy hold and high sheen. That’s where I would start if I were to try an OB pomade.
Orthodox Water-Based (Gel-Type) Pomade (WB)
WB pomades are also known as gel-type pomades because they behave very similar to hair gel once it is applied to the hair. WB pomades dry and hardens up once applied to your hair, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference. The good news is that since the product hardens, you do not need to worry about it losing its hold during the day. The disadvantage of hardening is you cannot restyle your hair without reactivating the product with water. Reactivating the product with water, however, will cause it to lose some hold. Also, all WB pomades will dry out, the most shine you will get from a Gel-Type pomade is a medium shine. Being water soluble, WB pomades are easy to wash off with just water alone.
Here are some WB pomades that I recommend:
Don’t let the easy initial breakdown fool you, this pomade is as strong as it can get. If it can withstand the hot and humid weather in Malaysia where the brand is based, it can surely withstand anything else. Great floral scent.
Buy on Gonzo’s official site: http://www.gonzo.com.my
A cheap pomade with a strong hold and easy breakdown. I’m not a particular fan of the scent, but if performance is all you’re looking for, then this is a great bang-for-buck option.
Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MoUE1D
Prospectors Iron Ore pomade
I love the scent of this pomade so much that I will sometimes open the tin just to take a sniff of the product. The hold strength is top notch. The breakdown/consistency is relatively thicker compared to Gonzo.
Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MdiVbv
Unorthodox Water Based Pomade (UWB)
The recent introduction of UWB pomades by the has really revolutionized the pomade world. On one hand, they offer do not harden up like gel-type pomades, yet they are easy to wash out because they are water-based. They are similar to hair waxes when looking at their consistency and texture, but have a slickness to them. Another advantage is that originating from the homebrew community, most if not all of the ingredients are organic. Some The only slight downside I could think of is that they are still a bit harder to wash off compared to gel-type pomades.
Here are some UWB pomades that I recommend:
Firsthand Supply Water Based Pomade
This is my favorite hair styling product so far. It great slickness and strong hold, is reworkable and has a low/natural shine to it. It works wonders on my hair, as it will basically do anything I tell it to do. The scent is quite strong and will linger in your hair throughout the day, which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether you like the scent.
Buy on official site: https://www.firsthandsupply.com/
Shear Revival Crystal Lake
This is another product with a smell so good that I will just open the jar just to take a sniff of the product. It has a medium hold and medium/high shine. I found it incredibly hard to scoop out (perhaps I had a faulty batch?), I need to use my nails to scrape the product out. It is also quite greasy, it takes a few washes to even get the grease off your hands after applying the product to your hair. It will definitely take shampoo to wash out.
Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2P8m0aM
Which pomade is for you?
OB pomades are great for those who want a true original pomade experience. WB pomades offer a low maintenance, hassle-free experience. It is perfect for workday mornings when you need to get out of the door in a hurry. UWB pomades are a great all-rounder, giving you the best of both worlds of both OB and WB pomades without the downsides of each type.
At the end of the day, which type of pomade you choose depends on your personal preferences. Besides, who says you have to choose only one? Why not try out different pomades and see which one works best on your hair?