What is Pomade and How Does it Benefit Your Hair?

What is Pomade and How Does it Benefit Your Hair?

Pomade is a men’s hairstyling product that provides long-lasting hold and shine. Typically water-based or oil-based, pomade has a soft, waxy consistency that’s easy to work with. You can create a broad range of styles with hair pomade, from classic pompadours and slickbacks to messy waves and neat braids. Whether your hair is short, long, straight, or curly, pomade can groom it into a lasting, head-turning style.  


What is Pomade Made Of?

Most commonly, pomade has a base of water or petroleum jelly, with added oils and waxes. These ingredients help to lock your hairstyle in place and give it a glossy finish. Some pomades also contain nourishing oils to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage.   

Pomade has been used on hair for centuries and was originally made from lard or bear fat. Thankfully, by the 20th century, formulas had evolved with new ingredients! Pomade eventually became less gunky, easier to work with, and much better for the hair. It hit peak popularity between the 1920s and the 1960s, especially among young American guys who wanted to create the fashionable hairstyles of the time. For example, pomade was integral to the WWII-era slicked-back look and to Elvis’ famous, high-gloss quiff.

As hair trends changed in the following decades, products such as gel and wax overtook pomade in the popularity stakes. That is until the 2010s, when the pompadour became the hairstyle to be seen with – and the best way to create it was with pomade.

More than a decade on and pomade is still hot news. So what is hair pomade like today? You’ll love that pomade still delivers outstanding hold, shine, and versatility, allowing you to faithfully recreate those classic styles and invent new ones.

Modern pomade formulas come in two main types, each with their own unique advantages:

Water-based pomade is made with (you guessed it) water, along with ingredients such as castor oil, linalool, or glycerin. This type of pomade is ideal for beginners, as it offers strong hold but also allows for restyling throughout the day. Water-based pomade washes out easily, although it may make your scalp feel dry.

Oil-based pomade is made with petroleum jelly, and sometimes contains other waxes such as beeswax, coconut oil, or lanolin. This type of pomade offers a stronger, longer-lasting hold; it’s actually designed to build up in your hair over time. With oil-based pomade, your style will stay put all day. However, your hair may feel greasy and be difficult to get clean.

Different hair pomades offer different levels of hold and shine, so you have a wealth of choice when it comes to styling. The best pomade depends on your hair type and length, as well as the style and finish you want to achieve.

What Does Pomade Do?

Pomade puts endless styling possibilities at your fingertips. It controls, shapes, and holds your hair in one, so you look well-groomed without too much effort. Pomade is used on damp hair to mold it into shape – unlike wax, which is used on dry hair to finish and define your style. Unlike gel, pomade leaves your hair soft and manageable, not stiff and crunchy.

Here’s what pomade does, in a nutshell:

  • Controls unruly hair
  • Molds your hair into shape
  • Holds your style in place
  • Adds shine and definition
  • Gives a natural-looking finish

The Benefits of Pomade

Pomade is a multitasking styling product with several key benefits for your hair. If hold, shine, and softness are your goals, then pomade has got you covered.

Primarily, hair pomade delivers long-lasting hold, which is great if you’re the “set it and forget it” type when it comes to hairstyling. It locks your style in place but doesn’t make your hair sticky or hard. Additionally, pomade gets unruly hair under control without weighing it down. Hair looks neat, volumized, and full of vitality.   

Among the major benefits of pomade is the healthy-looking finish it gives your hair. Pomade turns up the shine while infusing your strands with moisture. That’s particularly helpful for thick, coarse, kinky, and Afro hair textures. Choose a nourishing formula, like L3VEL3™ Hair Styling Pomade, and you’ll protect your hair against damage as you show off your style.

How to Use Pomade

If you’re new to using hair pomade, perfecting your style might take a little practice. You’ll soon find, though, that pomade is easy to work with and incredibly versatile. In other words, once you’ve nailed the basics, you can adapt your technique to suit your needs.

To get you started, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to use hair pomade:

  1. Pomade is activated by water, so it’s best applied to damp, towel-dried hair
  2. A general rule is to start with a pea-sized amount and increase if necessary
  3. Warm the pomade between your fingertips by rubbing them together in circles
  4. Apply it to the roots first and gently massage it in with your fingertips
  5. Distribute the pomade through the lengths of your hair using your palms
  6. Use a comb to distribute any excess and shape your hair into your preferred style
  7. If you want to, finish by blow-drying your hair for enhanced hold, lift, and texture

Pomade Hairstyles You Can Create

With pomade, you can express yourself with virtually any hairstyle! Pomade can give your hair a sleekly groomed finish or whip it up into a volumized style. It works great on most hair types, including straight, wavy, curly, kinky, and Afro-textured hair. It’s perfect for short hair and can be used on mid-length and long hair too.

Here are just a few of our favorite pomade hairstyles:

  • Classic pompadours, quiffs, and ducktails
  • Edgy faux hawks and undercut combovers
  • Glossy slickbacks and precise side parts
  • Tidy, frizz-free cornrows and braids
  • Casual bedhead styles on longer hair
  • Defined curls and neat, shiny waves

Which style will you create? With hair pomade, you can step out with flawlessly groomed hair and a style that’s as individual as you are.

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