Pomades have a buttery or greasy consistency when touched; it can be waxy or water-based. This hair product can give your hair a greasy, slick appearance without drying it out. It can maintain its consistency and may last longer than other hair products, which can take you to a minimum of ten washes to completely remove it from your hair.
Originally, it was made of bear fat or lard, pomades of today are made using lanolin, beeswax or petroleum jelly, although many of the newer brands of pomade are primarily water-based and contain small amounts of wax substances. Water-based pomades are much easier to wash out but are not as versatile or strong as traditional petroleum-based pomades. If you have ever wondered how some men get that chiselled, sculpted look of the pompadour or the quiff, you can be sure that they use a pomade.
In the time of the Romans, pomades made of soap were used by some of the tribes in Europe. During the 19th century, the primary ingredient of pomades was bear fat. And then, in the early 20th century, bear fat was replaced by lard, beeswax or petroleum jelly. During this time period, young American men used pomade to part their hair on one side, in the middle, or to comb it straight back, probably in an effort to emulate movie stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Rudolph Valentino. Pomade was also used to style mustaches, beards, and sideburns. Around the end of, and after WW II, the military crew cut became highly popular.
After reviewing all the top pomades for thick hair available, we’ve selected our top 7 picks in the comparison table below. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect model for your needs.
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Kenra Platinum Texturizing Taffy (our top pick)
People have often confused pomade with hair wax. The difference was that the pomade gave the hair a slicker, shinier appearance, while wax did not. Nowadays, this difference is becoming somewhat vague as many modern types of pomade contain wax substances like beeswax. It is also worth noting that people use the terms pomade and wax interchangeably. Unlike gels and hairsprays, pomades will not dry and can last much longer.
As we have already said, pomade is made using lard, lanolin, petroleum jelly or beeswax. These ingredients offer several benefits.
Lard is obtained from the adipose tissues of pigs. More commonly used in cooking, it also has utility in the cosmetics industry, particularly in pomade in the first half of the 20th century.
Also referred to as wool wax or wool grease, Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted by microscopic skin glands of wool-bearing animals. Its function in nature is to basically protect wool and skin from the effects of climate and the environment. Hence, Lanolin and its many by-products are used extensively in products intended for the protection, management, and beautification of human skin and hair.
Originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties, consumers began to use petroleum jelly for cosmetic purposes as well. Its moisturizing property made it a popular ingredient in pomade in the early 20th century.
The use of beeswax in skin care and cosmetics has become quite popular. According to one German study, it is superior to similar barrier creams, such as petroleum jelly, when used correctly. Also a good moisturizing agent, even better than petroleum jelly, in fact, beeswax is used in many brands of pomade and moustache wax, making the hair look sleek and shiny.
Here are some other things to think about when looking for the right pomade for your hair:
The first question you may be faced with is whether you should use a petroleum-based pomade or a water-based one. In most cases, petroleum-based products do not wash out with only water. You will have to use a high-detergent shampoo, olive oil or a dishwashing liquid, and it will still take more than one wash to remove completely! Water-based pomades are easier to wash out and don’t need any help doing so. This is especially comforting for people with thick hair.
Generally speaking, petroleum-based pomades are relatively cheaper than water-based ones. A 100g or 100ml jar of petroleum-based pomade will last around two months, almost twice as long as the same amount of a water-based pomade. This is because one use of petroleum-based pomade will last through almost a dozen washes, while water-based pomade has to be used everyday.
Petroleum-based pomades have been known to cause acne on the forehead just below the hairline. This is because of the thick texture of the pomade; it blocks pores, preventing the release of sebum (oil) from your hair follicles, causing the development of whiteheads and blackheads. The best remedy to this problem is to switch to a water-based pomade.
However, if you can’t bring yourself to give up the exquisite shine and strong hold of your petroleum-based pomade, there are a few things you can do to avoid pomade acne. You can minimize the pomade’s contact with your skin by applying it to the ends of your hair, and only behind the hairline.
Remember to wash your face after applying it, and also after any rigorous physical activity and again at night. It would be better to wash it out of your hair every night, to prevent your pomade-covered hair from getting in your face while you sleep. And most importantly, remember to avoid touching your hair and then touching your face. This is a particularly difficult habit of picking up, as we usually do these things without thinking, but if you are truly committed to your rockabilly look, then it’s worth the effort.
Infused with natural ingredients like kaolin clay and beeswax for flexibility and texture, this award winning styling clay provides a matte finish with a strong, pliable hold. It separates, defines and molds your hair, keeping it in place all day long.
A pea-sized amount rubbed briskly between your hands, and then roughly into your hair, will last you all day. It effectively keeps your hair up all day even after wearing a hat or a helmet. If it does happen to fail during the day, all you have to do is dampen your hands and run it through your hair to return it to the original style. It smells great and is easy to wash out of both your hair and your hands.
Some users of this pomade complain that it leaves a sandy or chalky residue in the hair, leaves visible white specks and doesn’t hold the hair in place for more than a few minutes. However, this may be because this particular product is not suited to their hair type. Baxter of California Clay Pomade appears to be popular with the reviewers who specified that they had thick hair.
This is a water-based pomade that holds like a wax but washes out like a gel. It was originally developed to replace the wax that was popular among greasers in the So Cal rockabilly scene. It keeps even the curliest and thickest hair in place and looking good all day.
This pleasant smelling pomade provides a great hold all day without being stiff, allowing you to re-style your hair whenever you need to. It is a good choice for men who have thick, long hair, and is excellent for men who like the pompadour and the side-part. Being a water-based pomade, you can be sure that it washes out easily in the shower.
Critics of this product are disappointed with the weakness of the hold. Even a large amount of this pomade does not hold the hair up, or even to the side, for more than a few minutes; it just gives the hair a greasy look. This may be due to knock-offs and fakes, or bad batches being sold without any kind of quality control. We would recommend that you buy this product directly from the company, or from an authentic beauty supply store.
Made in Japan, this product is a hard wax that is meant to hold your hair up, either in spikes or in a long Mohawk, with its excellent holding power. The texture of this product is soft, blending easily and evenly throughout the hair. It is very pliable so that after you apply it, you can re-style it as many times as you want to. It contains a smoothing polymer, which provides the hair with a non-sticky, light and natural finish.
Gatsby Moving Rubber Spiky Edge is good at keeping your hair in style all day and all night – meaning that when you wake up, all you have to do is make a few adjustments to get your hair back to your desired style. It does not leave any kind of oily or sticky residue on the hands after using. It is not at all damaging to your hair; in fact, it leaves your hair feeling super-soft after removal of the wax.
The only problem people have with this hair wax is that it is hard to wash off of the hands after applying it to the hair. Washing the hands with warm water and liquid soap easily solves this problem.
This product is a flexible hold panthenol-based hair working wax, that is easily mouldable for creating a variety of hair style and look that will definitely last longer. It is made from a water-based solution that can provide suppleness to your hair and a bit of shine. You can also achieve a sleeker and a matte texture to your hair when applied.
Maneuver Work Wax is very flexible, allowing you to change hairstyles as often as every hour! It stays put even through a rigorous physical activity like dancing or working in construction. It works on dry hair as well as it does on damp hair and does not leave it feeling crusty or hard. It has a pleasant smell and washes out very easily.
Detractors of this product complain of the weakness of the hold. They say it doesn’t last more than an hour or two and causes the hair to droop early in the day. This is possibly due to improper use or fake products that are commonplace in the market.
This scented pomade is water-soluble, has a very rich texture and can provide a solid grip for supreme styling flexibility. For those who prefer the wet look, all it takes is a little water during application. You can also achieve a very stiff hair texture with Suavecito Firme Hold Pomade when it dries out on your hair which can be washed with ample amount of water.
Very similar to Layrite, Suavecito is perfect for long, thick hair. A very small amount is enough to style your hair to perfection and have it smelling great. It spreads evenly through the hair and does not leave any kind of flaky, oily or sticky residue. This pomade is perfect for any hairstyle including pompadour, quaff, spikes and many others. It also provides excellent hold for mustaches.
Some reviewers claim that Suavecito has a very weak hold, but again, this seems to be due to improper research. This pomade is meant for men with thick hair. It will probably not be effective for any other hair type. There are also some complaints about the aroma being overwhelming, but this appears to be due to overuse. It takes a very small amount of wax to do the job of holding up your hair all day.
This pliable formula creates separation and texture with a soft, movable feel, superior memory, and control, and is excellent for flexible styling without stiffness. This product is recognized for consistently reliable performance and universal appeal.
It works better with shorter hair and does not require much to get the desired effect. It is good for spikes, Mohawks, and faux-hawks. It has a light, kind of fruity smell, which is not overpowering, and it does not make your hair look oily or wet at all. It is very easy to use and goes a long way in adding to the appearance of fullness and volume, leaving the hair with a healthy looking matte finish.
Critics of this product complain that it makes their hair sticky and gooey, and doesn’t hold it up in the desired style. This appears to be because of thin, frizzy hair. Again, this product is meant for people with thicker hair, so proper research should be done before making a purchase.
This water-based pomade goes in thick but doesn’t rip the hair out. It was designed for people with thick, wavy hair, and it sets up hard but becomes very easy to comb with a slightly greasy feel. It has a coconut scent with a nice shine and attention to detail.
The hold of this pomade is superior to most other water-based pomades and will keep your hair in place all day long and more. It also seems to tame and soften our hair at the same time. It does not have a greasy texture to it nor do you get that “clumpy” feeling that other pomades tend to have. Customers with thick, wavy hair say that Shiner Gold keeps their hair straight and slicked back all day long.
This pomade is not as stiff as greasy petroleum-based ones but is very easy to wash off, which is an excellent trade-off. It provides a strong hold for the duration of a day so that you can sleep comfortably without any pomade blocking your pores.
As we have already talked about, the ingredients of pomade have several properties that are good for the skin and hair. Lard and Lanolin are basically meant to protect their respective animals from the ravages of the environment, so they make an excellent ingredient in cosmetic products. Petroleum jelly is a topical ointment that has healing and moisturizing properties, making it perfect for products that are meant for the skin or the hair. And beeswax is even better than petroleum jelly when used correctly.
Just always remember to do your homework before buying pomade. You want to make sure you know the differences between petroleum-based and water-based. Petroleum-based offers a stronger hold but does not wash out as easily as water-based pomades. However, water-based pomades are more expensive than petroleum-based ones, because the latter does not need to be applied everyday. Also remember that petroleum-based pomades are capable of causing acne, so either stick to water-based pomades or apply your petroleum-based one with care.
If you still don’t know where to start, you can always try out Kenra’s Platinum Texturizing Taffy, and see what you like about it to make a more informed choice. Its light, fruity smell, and matte finish are sure to provide your thick, wavy hair with a look of sophistication that no other hair product can match.