A beginner’s guide to pomade
By Peter Tran, Contributor
Pomade is a waxy, greasy, or gel-like hair product that comes in many different forms and variations. You might be thinking, “Then I’ll just use gel, or wax. Same thing!” Well, Slick, pomade has a range that goes way beyond just fitting the crunchy confines of that gel your mom bought you. Plus, it’s slicker than the deodorant-like hair wax you bought from the drugstore—no worries, we were all naive once. Your hair is unique—it can do things other people’s hair can’t—so don’t use the same one-size-fits-all product everyone else is using! Treat yourself to a little pomade. You might be saying to yourself, “It’s not me, I’ll probably look silly. I don’t even know what pomade is or where to start!” No worries! Think of this as your own personal beginners guide to pomade.
Okay, so you decided to pick a pomade, but these Squares are using fancy terms like “orthodox”, “slickness”, “matte”, and you haven’t a clue what any of them mean. Well—in greaser speak—orthodox means that the product will harden and stay in place like a gel would, unmoving. Unorthodox means—you guessed it—non-hardening and what you probably would imagine when you think of pomade to begin with. Unorthodox pomades allow for you to fix your hair up throughout the day with a comb or hand. Slickness pertains to the product’s ability to grip and stick with the rest of your hairs. As for matte, it means the opposite of shine, and gives more of a natural no-product look with a nice texture.
With that newfound knowledge, the choices become a lot easier with only two types of pomade to choose from: Water-based and oil-based.
Water-based pomades generally act more like your typical gel, but some are able to be restyled throughout the day with a little water and combing. These are great for clean-cut looks or when you don’t want the wind to soil your day. Recently however, pomade-makers has been mixing it up and pumping out amazing new water-based pomades that are unorthodox, able to move freely, and restyle like oil-based pomades. Water-bases wash out with ease because, well, they’re water based.
Oil-based pomades are your traditional pomades, just like our grandparents wore—return their calls, you monster! These pomades are versatile, and are capable of giving you different looks. These generally take a few washes to get entirely out of your hair. “Why would I want product to still be in my hair! That’s disgusting!” You may be asking, Well, the only thing nasty here is that attitude, because having build-up in your hair means you have a base to work with the next day when applying! This means better styling and shaping. It also means that you’re using less product per application, so it’s a win-win!
Pomade is a tool used to get that clean, messy, or stylized look that fits you just right. However, good hair is not achieved with product alone. Practice goes a long way. Remember not to add too much product; you don’t want a stick of butter in your hair, as it means less volume. Try to work your pomade through slightly damp hair for easier application. Applying bone dry is a no-go. Apply the pomade and work with your hair, not against it. Find your cowlicks and crowns, use them for volume.
After all that flow is slicked and combed, get out there and be confident in who you are. After all, confidence is the sexiest trait one can have.