Pomades have been a gentleman’s go-to trick for centuries, styling a myriad of individuals with a taste for sleek and highly considered ‘dos. This barber-shop staple is most identifiable with the glossy, pompadour hairstyle that is reminiscent of the earlier years of the 20th century and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

However, modern experiments have enabled pomades to satisfy a greater breadth of aesthetic choices without surrendering the qualities that have allowed this product to thrive for generations. The petroleum-based options have been largely replaced by water or other constituents, which allows the product to wash out easier and not leave any residue behind on clothing or pillows. 

What separates pomades from hairsprays or gels is its flexibility, largely enabled by the fact that it doesn’t fully dry once applied. It bares a significantly less “crunchy” feeling that remains more breezy and natural, and will not cause the scalp to dry out; unwanted flakes be gone!


A wax-based pomade is largely associated with the slicked-back hairstyle seen on mid-century screen legends such as the iconic Mr. James Dean.

James Dean, Photo Via The Idle Man

This option gives the hair an incomparable shine that greatly accents a more deliberate quiff, ducktail, or pomp. For gentleman in search of a more classic flair, check out Brickwell’s Flexible Hold Pomade, which is benefitted by the addition of lustre-enhancing vitamin E and shea butter, as well as Castor and Neem Seed oil to help nourish the scalp.


Flexible Hold Wax Pomade for Men, $30.00

A cream pomade, which can be used on just about any type of mane, should be considered for those who prefer a less manicured aesthetic. It is specifically engineered to hold more lightly and is relatively low on shine, an excellent choice for tousled looks that evoke a more carefree spirit.

Additionally, a cream pomade will help control frizz, an ideal characteristic to help combat the humidity the upcoming summer season will bring. Baxter of California’s superb offering will perfect any artfully disheveled look throughout the warmer months and beyond.

For those seeking a pomade with a greater hold and natural finish, look no further than products containing clay. Formulated with this versatile earthen material at its core, clay-based pomades will help texturize even the most limp mane, and does not contain any sheen-inducing properties. Jack Black’s Clay Pomade comes chockfull of added natural ingredients to aid in volumizing, softening and nourishing even the coarsest hair, while providing an all-day hold.


Hair products can be notoriously difficult to strip with just one wash, which makes water-based pomades more ideal. While it traditionally holds a little less stiff than its clay and wax counterparts, an individual will be able to reshape their ‘do whenever, keeping it fresh-looking from the boardroom to the bar. Companies, such as Imperial Barber Products, have begun to toy with the composition of water-based pomades to formulate a product that includes a firmer hold but can be easily washed away.

Overall, there are a variety of products you can try to get that perfect ‘do you’re aiming for — Do the right research and you can find one perfect for your hair type, as many of them have different ingredients.