How to Pick The Right Pomade For Your Hair Type

So, you decided that you need a pomade, and now you probably think that all you have to do is visit your local beauty supply store, pick up any product with that name from the shelf, right?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you couldn’t be more wrong. You can’t just slap anything on your hair and expect to get the look that you want – here’s how to choose:

If you’re looking for the right product that will complement your hair, make your hairstyle really pop, read on.

The average beauty store has around 600 products dedicated to hair care, and it’s easy to get confused in the sea of gels, creams, mousses and serums. But, confusion is not your only problem, you should know what you’re buying, why you need it, and what your hair type is before you make a decision.

Below is a how-to guide that will help you to determine what a pomade is, what it is used for, the different kinds of pomades, as well as your hair type, and which pomades are best for it.

So, What’s A pomade?

Just another one in the sea of hair styling products? No.

It is a way for you to style your hair without worrying if you done it right from the first try. It offers multiple possibilities, and that’s why it became so popular with men worldwide.

When it was first made in the eighteenth century, pomade consisted mainly of lard or bear fat, and it had a simple purpose to give hair shine and control it.

After that, it was made from mineral oil. Luckily, we’re way beyond that now. Pomade is now made of lanolin, petroleum jelly, beeswax – high-quality ingredients that won’t dry your hair out.

On the other hand, it is rather difficult to remove because it is so waxy, so if you decide to use it regularly, you should know that you’ll need to wash your hair several times before you remove it completely – I discovered that the best thing for this is a shampoo made for oily hair.

What Do You Use Pomade For?

Pomades are nothing like hair gels or sprays. They don’t make your hair crunchy, stiff or dry. They allow you to style your hair at any given moment – best for hairstyles like a quiff, pompadour or ducktail.

You can use a pomade to style your hair, beard or moustaches, and in turn, it will provide a shiny, slick look, and make your hair seem darker, while remaining smooth. So, if you’re after a slightly polished, tamed look, you should go for this product.

Different Types Of Pomades?

Yes, read on to find out about the different types of hair pomades:


Petroleum based pomades will not wash out with water alone, they are a pain to remove from your hands, and you will have to wash your hair several times in order to remove them. However, a petroleum based pomades will provide high hold and medium shine.

If you don’t remove the product completely, the build-up can damage your hair and scalp.


Inexpensive variant made from grease, equally hard to wash out as petroleum based ones. But, your hair will be firmly in place throughout the day, and it will not be glossy. Unfortunately, these pomades come with a drawback – they will leave your hair looking unhealthy because they strip natural oils from it.


I have to say, these are my favourite, since they deliver similar firmness and shine like the previous two types, but they wash easily with water alone. They offer medium hold and shine, and, just like with previous two, you can restyle your hair at any time during the day.

Basically, if you think washing your hair several times after a pomade is too much of a bother, you should go for a water-based pomade. But, again, it also depends on your hair type.

How To Determine My Hair Type?

This is rather simple, there are three categories – fine, medium and coarse, and you determine your type like this:

Pick out a strand of hair, and place it flat on a table. If the strand is barely visible, and you’re having trouble to feel it between your fingers, you have fine hair (or thin, if you like it better). If the strand is thick and it has texture, you have coarse hair (also known as thick). And lastly, if your hair is somewhere in between, thick but not no texture, then it’s medium.

Which Pomade Is Best For My Hair?

Before you buy a pomade, read the ingredients list, and the instructions on the back of the product, it might make your purchase easier.

Fine Hair

The best pomade would be a water based one, as lightweight as possible, since you don’t really want something to weigh your manly mane down. You can have a lot of hair, but if it is thin, it’s best to use lighter products.

Medium Hair

Medium hair gives you a freedom of choice. If you don’t mind stylish runaway strands, and you want your hair to be mildly held, choose water based pomades, but if you need your hair to be firmly set in place, it’s best to go with oil or petroleum based pomades.

Coarse Hair

Since it is naturally dense, you’ll want something with a decent hold to keep everything where it should be – best choice for you is a petroleum-based pomade. Also, since coarse hair tends to be slightly oilier, avoid oil based pomades, and make sure you wash out the product completely to avoid buildup. This is especially important if your hair is oily, because buildup can cause acne, and having that condition under your hair is really not a pleasant experience.

Final tip: Before you apply a pomade, it’s best to prepare your hair with pre-styling products. This will help keep your hair protected from damages, moisturised, and most important – these products will add texture to it.