How to Use Pomade

By Rich Krafting


For most men’s hairstyles, some type of hair product is required for volume, hold or texture. This can be intimidating to guys who are new to using anything other than hair gel, but other types of products are almost as easy to use and look so much better.

Here is everything you need to know about how to use pomade.

1. What is Pomade

Many hair products for men are called pomade but what is it exactly?


Suavecito Pomade

Originally, pomades were the oil-based products that created slick and shiny looks you’ve seen in Grease and Mad Men. Today, pomade is a general term for men’s hair products. There are a wide variety of formulas with different finishes, hold and ingredients that work for all different hair types and styles.

2. Types of Pomades

When looking for a pomade, the right formula for you depends on hair type and hair style. Thicker hair and higher volume styles will need more hold while finer hair and looser styles can use low to medium hold. For the current texture trend, look for pomades with clay or wax that will create separation.

There are a ton of products out there and more everyday so check out this list of best pomades or talk to your barber about what they recommend for you.

3. Wet, Dry or Damp Hair

For most pomades, hair should be damp, close to dry, but not dry or wet. Too much water dilutes the product and hold while dry hair makes it harder to evenly distribute the pomade.


ADH Brand

That being said, some formulas should be applied to dry hair. Just check the instructions on your product of choice. Some formulas will also have a shinier finish when applied to damp hair and more matte finish when applied to dry. Guys with curly or wavy hair should always apply product to damp hair.

4. How to Apply Pomade

Most pomades will be hard and need to be warmed up before use. Start by scraping a pea-sized amount out of the jar, place it on one palm, and rub them together until the product is warmed up. It is always better to start with just a little bit of product because you can always add more but don’t want to put in too much.

With both hands, start by rubbing the product into the roots of hair like you are working in shampoo. Then pull fingers up to the ends and repeat until the pomade is evenly distributed. If you are going for a combed look, repeat with a comb.

Now work hair into the desired hairstyle. For slick backs or side parts, comb hair in one direction. For spikes, pull hair straight up with pinched fingers. For textured styles, pinch small sections of hair together.


Andrew Does Hair

Most water-based products can be touched up throughout the day. Just wet fingers to re-style the look.

5. Blow Dryer + Pomade

Hair products are not the only way to create amazing men’s hairstyles that stay in place all day. A foundation of heat will add volume and hold that pomade can’t alone. If you blow dry hair, apply the product to damp hair, blow it dry and finish with a shot of cool air. If more product is required, work a tiny bit in at then end.

This should get you started with using pomade but reading the words is never enough. Next time you see your stylist or barber, get product recommendations and styling tips. Then keep practicing at home. It takes a while to get it down but with the right haircut and pomade, you will be looking your best in no time.

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Our Top-Recommended Pomades

Most Versatile

Reuzel Fiber Pomade

Smooth, easy to work with, super hold, and yet has an ultra-light (not sticky or tacky) and natural feel in your hair.

Get This Pomade

Best Clay

Baxter of California Clay Pomade

Paraben-free (matte finish), medium pliable hold but feels super light in your hair. An excellent all-around texturizing pomade.

Get This Pomade

Medium Hold

Layrite Original Pomade

A long-time favorite, this pomade has a medium hold and a near-matte, low-shine look.

Get This Pomade

Firm Hold

Hanz de Fuko Claymation

Firm yet pliable hold, semi-matte finish. Keeps your hair in check with a natural look and feel.

Get This Pomade