How To Use Pomade On All Hair Types

By : Odele

Pomade is one of the most versatile hair styling products (right up there with gel). A go-to for shaping, smoothing and holding hair in place, you can use it to create all kinds of looks—from ultra-sleek buns to neat braids, sculpted pixies and tousled waves. It's even great for taming beards and mustaches.

The type of pomade you choose can make or break your style, and the same goes for how you apply it. Here’s a guide to choosing and using pomade correctly—plus everything to know about our multitalented Cream Pomade, because you’re going to want to try this stuff.

How to choose a pomade

To figure out which pomade is right for you, start by checking the base ingredient.

Oil-based vs water-based pomade

Most pomades are oil-based or water-based, which means they use either oil or water as a main ingredient.

Oil-based pomades leave a shiny finish and the strongest hold. If you want a high-shine look and don’t mind a little greasiness, oil-based could be a good match. The downside is that they can be tough to wash out of your hair, so if you go this route, you’ll want to use clarifying shampoo to prevent oily buildup from clogging your scalp and weighing down strands.

Water-based pomades provide a matte finish and a more flexible hold. They’re also easy to wash out of your hair. If you’re looking for something lightweight and low-maintenance to shape and smooth your mane, water-based pomade is a great option.

Speaking of… our water-based Cream Pomade is a matte, medium-hold pomade made from vegan ingredients (no beeswax!). It’s long-lasting, super workable and flexible—thanks to many months of research and testing we carried out to perfect the formula. We get rave reviews from all hair types on the ease of use, luxe texture and natural-looking results.

Shop Cream Pomade

How to use pomade

Before styling with pomade, your hair should be:

  • clean (this helps the pomade stick to your hair better)
  • detangled (so snags don’t cramp your style)
  • dry or slightly damp (wet hair won’t hold shape as well)

Here are our top tips for pomade styling success, whether your hair is short, long, coily, straight or on your face.

Sculpt short hair

Start by emulsifying a dime-sized dab of the pomade between your fingertips. Once it’s warmed up, work it through your hair, focusing on the ends to create shape and texture. Use your fingers or a comb to separate and direct sections of hair until you’ve sculpted your ideal style.

Polish unruly ends

Reach for a water-based pomade to touch up dry, frizzy ends—like the ones in your ponytail, at the tips of your braids or peeking out from your claw clip. Use your fingertips to gently smooth the product through your ends, focusing on the most unruly sections. And voila—watch them transform from dry and unruly to healthy-looking and smooth.

Add volume

For volume, apply pomade right at your roots, focusing on the areas where you need a lift. Then, use your fingers or a comb to tease your roots, lifting and shaping to create volume. The pomade will help hold it all in place so your lifted locks last all day.

With this method, go extra light on product—using too much can have the opposite effect and weigh your hair down. Use a water-based formula to avoid greasy roots.

Create piecey waves

If you have medium-to-long straight hair, pomade can help you coax out piecey texture. To nail that effortlessly tousled look, emulsify a small amount of product between your fingertips. Work from mid-shaft to ends in small sections to create wavy texture. Twist to create additional soft separation.

Smooth flyaways

Rub a small amount into the palms of your hands, then smooth onto your hairline. Comb through with a brush to slick back strands—there shouldn’t be a rogue hair in sight.

Groom your beard

Use pomade to smooth stragglers and style your facial hair as you see fit.

The Drop

Pomade does it all—from smoothing frizz and teasing out texture to boosting (and holding) lift. For an easy-to-use, buildup-free balm that plays well with all hair textures, check out our Cream Pomade. The water-based formula leaves a flexible, matte finish for a beautifully clean and natural look.

The Shop

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