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Styling hair doesn’t have to be a difficult or unpleasantly crunchy process. When you have the best hair pomade, you can achieve pretty much any look you want effortlessly.
In recent years, a lot of guys have discovered the benefits of hair pomade, which is easy to use and easy to remove. For guys who want to achieve a particular look but don’t want to spend too much time in front of the mirror, hair pomade is a great option.
If you’re considering trying it out, we’ve got everything you need to know right here, plus a selection of the best hair pomade for men below.
First, what is hair pomade?
The word is slapped all over so many different kinds of hair products because pomades can be made from multiple different bases, such as water, wax, jelly, clay and cream. Those bases then give the pomades different qualities. Some offer a strong hold, while others can spread more easily and offer a looser hold. If you like a good shine to your hair, there are hair pomades for you. If the memory of shiny gel hair is too terrible to relive, natural or matte finish pomades got you covered.
But generally, a hair pomade will come in a smallish jar as a balm ranging from stiff and waxy to soft and creamy and from strong hold to light hold. Thankfully, the majority of pomades display the base, the strength of hold and hair finish right on their containers, making the process a lot simpler.
OK, but what hair pomades work best for what kinds of hair?
There’s no right answer, and most people can make what they buy work as long as it’s in the ballpark, but here are a few thoughts to consider when you’re figuring out what to buy.
- If you have thick hair, there’s a good chance you’ll be better served by a pomade with strong hold because you’ve got a lot of hair to lockdown.
- If you have really fine hair, a water-based pomade might be best to ensure the pomade has no trouble getting as much of your strands as possible.
- Do you want a nice shine or not? If you want shine, make sure to pick a pomade that says shine or shine finish on it. If not, choose one that says matte finish or natural finish.
- Often though not always, wax- and clay-based pomades will offer stronger holds and be more difficult to spread throughout while water-based and cream-based pomades can vary more widely. Because of the variety, the most important thing to do is read what the container says and, if you’re a go-getter, check out the ingredients because at the end of the day, there are no rules.
Once you’ve got the best hair pomade for the look you want, it’s just a matter of applying it properly. But there’s nothing to be intimidated about. It’s a pretty straightforward process.
How to apply the best hair pomade
- First, wash and dry your hands if you’re not already working with clean hands.
- Ideally using one finger, take a dime-sized amount of product and spread onto your upper palm. Rub it between your hands and fingers, softening the product and spreading it around as evenly as you can.
- Once the product is sufficiently workable in your hands, starting from the bottom and working up, run your hands through your hair and work the product into the areas you want the most control and begin to style your hair.
- Add more product if necessary and repeat until you’ve got the look you want.
- If you want to lock in your hold better, run a warm hair dryer over it. Just make sure the fan isn’t blowing too hard lest you displace the hair you’re trying to lockdown.
- Pomade can be used on both wet and dry hair. We find working with slightly damp hair to be the easiest, like when you get out of the shower and run a towel through your hair. But you should try both and see what works for you.
That’s just about all there is to hair pomade. To help you get started on finding the best hair pomade for you, we rounded up a few of our favorites below. You’ll find a variety of options suitable for all hair types and styles and any one of them would definitely up your hairstyling game.
1. Jack Black Clay Pomade
For one of the best hair pomades, we like the Jack Black Clay Pomade. A matte finish looks good on every dude, the pomade offers plenty of hold for all but the thickest hair without getting crunchy or greasy and you can use it for a smooth combed look or to add more texture. Simply put, we think this pomade would work well for most guys to achieve the look they want.
2. Suavecito Original Hold Pomade
We’ve been using and covering all kinds of hair products for years, and yet the Suavecito Original Hold Pomade still remains one of the most popular and best-reviewed hair products for guys out there. We think many of the hair pomades we’ve covered below would work well for most men, but none have come even close to attaining the long-lived popularity of this medium hold, moderate shine pomade. Spy editors have long appreciated this hair product, which has also earned more than 8,500 five-star reviews from Amazon customers. Basically, we’re supremely confident that Suavecito won’t let you or your hair down.
3. Layrite Original Pomade
We trust the people, and the people love Layrite Original Pomade. This water-based pomade offers medium shine and medium hold and comes with a gel-like consistency, minus the crunchy aftermath. If you’re looking for your first pomade, the Layrite Original Pomade is novice-friendly and makes for an excellent start to your hairstyling journey.
4. Baxter of California Liquid Styling Paste
It was difficult to not choose Baxter of California for every pick here because it offers a kind of pomade for every kind of hair. In the end, we landed on two favorites, starting with the brand’s new Liquid Styling Paste.
What makes this product great is how easy it is to use. The more liquid consistency makes the product way easier to spread and work into your hair, significantly cutting down on styling time and the risk of clumping. With a semi-matte finish and medium hold, this product is also highly versatile and great for most hair too.
5. Baxter of California Cream Pomade for Men
BEST FOR LIGHT HOLD
For our second favorite pomade from Baxter of California, we love the brand’s Cream Pomade. It’s perfect for a natural-looking light, messy hold so you can style your hair without weighing it down or totally locking it into place. Frizzy, wavy or curly haired men, this is the best hair pomade you’ve been looking for.
6. Redken Brews Cream Pomade
BEST FOR MEDIUM HOLD
There are a ton of great medium hold pomades out there, but we dig the Redken Brews Cream Pomade. It’s highly versatile and will add a nice level of control to your hair with minimal effort courtesy of the spreadable creamy consistency. Sure, the hold won’t hold fast all day, but because the pomade is lightweight, you can easily run your hands through your hair to make adjustments on the fly.
7. Layrite Superhold Pomade
BEST FOR STRONG HOLD
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you need an easy-to-use pomade that delivers a lasting strong hold, look no further than the Layrite Superhold Pomade. Perfect for thick, curly and coarse hair, this pomade lives up to its promise of a super hold. Let’s put it this way: A Black woman sounded off in the reviews to say this pomade got her afro-style hair under control. If the pomade can tamp down the kinks of afro-style hair, your hair almost certainly stands no chance to resist its control.
8. Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade
NUCLEAR CONTROL OPTION
I borrowed this category title from an Amazon review that absolutely hit the nail on the head. I tried Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade once in high school so let me tell you firsthand: This is almost certainly not the pomade for 95% of you because the level of hold here is extreme. But if you’ve tried everything and still can’t get your hair to stay the way you want, break the glass and pull out the Murray’s. You haven’t met an extreme control and hold until you’ve tried Murray’s, and if it can’t get your hair styled the way you want, pack it in and shave it all off because you are out of luck.
9. American Crew Pomade
American Crew products have been go-to staples for young men for years because they just work. The American Crew Pomade offers a medium to strong hold for most hair types and a high shine for the perfect glossy, coiffed look. Plus it’s on the cheaper side of pomades in terms of absolute price, so if you don’t know where to begin, why not begin with the hair product that was so many men’s first hair product?
10. Fatboy Hair Sea Salt Pomade
BEST SEA SALT POMADE
When the weather gets warm, it’s time to break out the salty beach bum hair with the Fatboy Hair Sea Salt Pomade. This lightweight creamy pomade is incredibly easy to spread through your hair but when it dries, you’ll have the messy, texturized hair look of a guy who just spent the last few hours catching some sunlight, cracking a few beers and playing paddle ball in the sea air.