The Quiet Musings

A short introduction to pomade

- February 12th, 2017 -

Photo of Crystal Lake and Cellar Door pomades by Shear Revival

A couple of years ago I decided to cut my hair short. Really short. I went from shoulder length hair to a sidepart with undercut sides with a tight fade. The first thing I learned within a month of having short hair is that waxes, gels, etc. you buy at the drugstore are the worst for your hair. Most of them contain alcohol which dries your hair fast, they are full of parabens and almost no ingredients that help keep your hair healthy.

I started researching how to style my hair, which products do what and what brands there are out there. First I stumbled upon Bumblebee’s and Hanz De Fuko (which is seriously overrated) products, but that wasn’t good enough for me. Along the way I discovered pomade. It was the same year that old school barbers became popular again. I started reading reviews, watching reviews on YouTube and trying out different pomade.

For two years now I get my hair cut every 4 to 5 weeks. I have a selection of homebrewed and small business pomade from unorthodox water based, non-petroleum oil based to clay pomade.

One thing these homebrewed or small business pomade have in common is that they are made in small batches, homebrewers make theirs at home and others invest in having it made in a lab. Homebrewed pomade are made in batches, hand pored and are constantly being reworked to make them better and give them different scent. As you can imagine, with all these factors, buying and using pomade becomes a hobby, for some even an addiction. One that can get expensive.

How to find the best pomade for your hair

First it is important to know what kind of hair you have and which styles go with your hair. It’s good to have the same hairstylist or barber, a good one. Some people want to save money on their haircut and expect an awesome haircut. I learned the hard way that if you want a great haircut, the first step is paying for a good hairstylist or barber. And try to go to the same one every time. The longest relationship I have currently is with my hairstylist, she has been cutting my hair for more than eight years.

Take time to read and watch pomade reviews. The old adage is that there are no dumb questions, well since internet became an integral part of our lives, that adage has been proven wrong. Read and watch. Reviewers don’t know your hair they can’t tell you what is best for you. You have to be willing to spend money and buy different kind of pomade until you find what you like and works best for your hair and the style you want.

Pomade flavours

There are several kinds of pomade in different strength; light, medium, firm and heavy.

  1. The first and most old skool pomade are petroleum oil based pomade. Generally used for a slicked back look.
  2. Water based gel-hybrid pomade. This pomade works like a gel and hardens your hair, most of them have a matte finish once it’s dry.
  3. Two years ago a new kind of pomade was invented that emulates petroleum-based pomade without the greasy feeling and difficulty to wash out. The unorthodox water based pomade. Which is a creamy white substance which varies in how they perform per brewer.
  4. Non petroleum oil based pomade. For a non greasy slick back look, generally contains ingredients that keep your hair healthy.
  5. Fiber pomade, which is a pomade with fiber in it. I have never used this kind of pomade before.
  6. Clay pomade which is also kind of new on the market. Right now clay is my favourite go to pomade.

After two years of using pomade and having a hairstyle that works for me. I have settled on using unorthodox water based pomade and clay pomade. Oil based clay pomade like the limited edition (no longer for sale), Cellar Door, is my current go to pomade along with Crystal Lake. Both by Shear Revival. After using up all my O’Douds pomade, Shear Revival is what I’m using and The Daimon Barber No. 4 Clay now and then.

photo of clay pomade
Cellar Door – Clay pomade collab between Shear Revival X The Pomp. Photo credit: The Pomp

I’m always on the look out for new pomade to try. Unfortunately unorthodox water based pomade expire after a year. Hence I don’t buy many of them at the same time. I’ve seen many people complain about their water based pomade getting spores. That never happened to mine. Store them in a dry place, make sure your hands and nails are clean when scooping it and they should last a year with no problem. Once the smell is off you know it’s time for a new one.

As a bonus, some of the homebrewers like O’Douds and Shear Revival have more ethical produced and sometimes vegan products like soap, shampoo, conditioners, deodorants and even tattoo balms. It’s more expensive, especially if you have to use international shipping, but for me it’s worth the money.

There are online pomade resellers with cheaper shipping costs but mostly I buy directly from the brewers to support them and to get their latest batch.

Pomade related links:

The Pomp – renowned pomade reviewer. I check out his blog and video to learn about new pomade and their quality. His hair is completely different from mine so I don’t use his style as an example.

Carter, youTube reviewer – His hair is more like mine, thick and curly/wavy. If I want to know if a pomade is strong enough for my hair I check out his reviews.

Moquer – An online pomade shop for The Netherlands and Belgium. The past year they started adding homebrewers which saves you on international shipping.

Pomade Club – Large selection of pomade with world-wide shipping.