The Best Clay Pomades For All Hair Types

By Rich Krafting


If you want hair to look like it hasn’t been styled, this is the product for you. A clay pomade creates a strong but flexible hold with a matte finish. Here’s how to use clay products and what hair styles and types it is best for.

What Is Clay Pomade

Clay is a common addition to beauty products because of its ultra fine grain size and ability to absorb liquids. There are two types of clay that are used for hair: kaolin and bentonite. Here’s how they differ.

Bentonite clay is named for Fort Benton, Wyoming, the largest producer in the United States. It is made from volcanic ash and can absorb 300-700% more than its mass in water. This means it’s excellent for beefing up fine hair, taming frizz, and absorbing oil.

Kaolin clay has an even finer grain and absorbs 65% of its mass in water. That means it adds some volume and texture dries but won’t fill out hair as much as bentonite.

Why Use Clay Pomade

Clay pomade gives a natural look with a touchable finish that stays in place. It can easily re-styled so don’t be afraid to play with your hair.

Whether it’s kaolin or bentonite, clay pomade has some unique properties:

  • Flexible, re-workable hold
  • Adds texture and volume
  • Helps hair appear fuller
  • Matte finish
Best clay pomade Claymation
Cut by Sergei Ukrainchenko Styled with Hanz de Fuko Claymation

This loose look shows how clay pomade does all of the above and more. It works all hair types but is especially good for fine hair, waves and curls, oily hair, and medium-long locks.

How To Use Clay Pomade

Like all pomades, scoop a pea-sized portion of clay out and rub it between between your palms until it softens up. Work it into hair, from roots to tips. Finish by scrunching hair with fingers to evenly distribute the product. Style hair with fingers or use a comb for finer details.

Always start out with a tiny amount of product and add more as required. A little bit of clay pomade goes a long way so start small.

Pomades made with clay tend to be thicker than other formulas. It can be easier to start with wet fingers or work it into towel-dried wet hair. This will add a little bit shine.

To re-style hair, work a little bit of water into hair with and comb it into place.

Best Clay Pomades

1. Best Water-Based Clay Pomade – Slick Gorilla Lightwork Styling Clay

2. Strongest Hold Clay Pomade – Hanz de Fuko Claymation

3. Best All Natural Clay Pomade – Seven Potions Hair Styling Clay

4. Best Smelling Clay Pomade – Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade

1. Best Water-Based Clay Pomade

This water-based pomade has light to medium strength hold that washes out easily. Made with kaolin clay, Slick Gorilla Lightwork adds hold and texture without weighing hair down. That makes it a great choice for fine or thin hair types as well as wavy or curly hair.

It is also paraben-free, vegan, and made in UK.

Slick Gorilla Lightwork Styling Clay

• Light-medium hold, low shine
• Best for thinning and fine hair

2. Strongest Hold Clay Pomade

The strongest hold clay pomade isn’t going to be water based. This cult favorite product uses petrolatum and beeswax for maximum, all day hold plus some conditioning.

Hanz de Fuko’s best-selling hair product, Claymation, uses mostly bentonite clay with some kaolin for maximum humidity and oil absorption. If you need a little bit more hold, finish with hair spray.

Hanz de Fuko Claymation

• Maximum hold that lasts all day
• Unscented

3. Best All Natural Clay Pomade

If hair product has ever irritated your skin, this is for you. Seven Potions Clay combines beeswax, a variety of oils, and clay into an easy to apply matte pomade with a light smell. This formula uses mostly kaolin with some bentonite clay.

Seven Potions Hair Styling Clay

• Medium hold, matte finish

• Best for sensitive skin, curly hair

4. Best Smelling Clay Pomade

Reuzel, pronounced roo-‘zul, is a barber-based brand from the Netherlands. Their experience and passion for men’s hair led them to create a line of pomades that work well and are easy to use.

There is never a complete agreement on smells but this vanilla mint is pleasant to most noses. The water-based formula adds beeswax and kaolin clay for touchable medium hold that washes out easily. Use to add texture and separation to retro and modern men’s hairstyles.

Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade

• Medium hold, matte finish

• Vanilla-mint scent

Hairstyles For Clay Pomade

Clay-based pomades work for all hair types – it just depends on what style you’re going for. It excels in natural-looking styles, adding texture, and shaping medium-length and longer hair.

Here are just a few hairstyles you can get with clay pomade.

1. Textured Hairstyles For Men

Textured hairstyles for men with clay pomade
Hair by Ruezel Styled with Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade

Call it messy, call it texture, whatever it is this looks good. Now that longer hair at the sides and back are more popular, product is essential for keeping hair in place all over. Work some clay pomade through dry hair and pinch together small sections of hair to get this cool textured separation.

2. Natural Look For Short Hair

Best hair products for fine blonde hair clay pomade
Matty Parks

Light-colored and fine hair can be weighed down or look greasy with shiny pomades. Here’s how Seven Potions Clay (plus sea-salt spray) lift hair up without any evidence of hair product.

3. Flexible Hold

Clay pomade for a flexible hold
Image: Hanz de Fuko Styled with Hanz de Fuko Claymation

Even if this center part, twisted fringe style isn’t for you, it showcases Claymation’s strong and flexible hold with a natural finish. To get this hint of shine, apply pomade to damp hair.

4. Medium Hair Styles

Loose hairstyles for medium length hair men
Hair by Ruezel Styled with Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade

Clay hair products makes this loose medium length hairstyle look effortless. It’s a version of the 90s bangs that are back in a big way. The natural finish makes it look like you woke up this way and re-workable hold means the style only gets better when you push hair back throughout the day.

5. The Wet Look

How to use clay pomade for the wet look
Slick Gorilla

Get this wet look by styling wet hair with Slick Gorilla Lightwork Styling Clay

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