Finding the best pomade for men can be tricky when there are few honest reviews and tons of brands to choose from. Plus, there are so many factors to consider when buying a men’s pomade, such as oil-based versus water-based products, quality, shine, hold strength, scent, and price. But getting everything you want in a pomade shouldn’t be expensive or difficult, which is why we’re going to make buying a good pomade easier than ever before.
Below, we will compare the pros and cons of oil and water-based pomades and why we strongly recommend you choose a water-soluble brand. Then we will review the top pomades on the market to help you get the right styling product for your hair. So whether you’re searching for the best pomade for thin, thick or curly hair, our guide can assist you.
Why Use A Pomade For Your Hair
Before we review the different pomade brands, it’s important to compare pomade vs gel vs wax when determining which is best for your hairstyle. Generally speaking, hair pomades offer more shine for that slick look, which is why it is ideal for men with slicked back hair, pompadours, side parts, quiffs, and comb overs. However, if you want a more natural, textured finish, we highly recommend you pick a hair wax.
Another benefit is that pomades allow your hair to be restyled throughout the day because they don’t dry out or get stiff like gels. The added moisture also helps avoid flaking for a clean look as well as conditions your hair to keep it healthy. This is why finding a brand or product dedicated to quality, all-natural ingredients is essential to ensuring the health of your hair and scalp.
Different Types of Pomade – Water vs Oil Based Products
Pomades come in two kinds – water-based and oil-based. At their most basic level, the difference between oil and water-soluble pomades is that water-based offers a little less shine, more versatility, and a stiffer finish. On the other hand, oil-based pomades are essentially grease, meaning they are slick, shiny, and can provide a stronger hold. However, it is very important to note that oil-based products are notoriously difficult to wash out and can even cause acne if you have sensitive skin on your scalp.
Considering the pros and cons of these different types of pomades, we highly recommend buying a water-based pomade, which incidentally, is the trend in the grooming industry anyway.
Best Pomades 2018
As we researched the best pomades for men, we took a holistic approach to reviewing each brand. In fact, regardless of your hair type, these are the best pomades for thick, thin, curly, wavy or straight hair. Check out these pomade reviews to find the best water-based pomade for your hair styling needs.
|Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold||4 oz||Strong||Check Price|
|Layrite Deluxe Original Pomade||4 oz||Strong||Check Price|
|Imperial Barber Classic Pomade||6 oz||Strong||Check Price|
|American Crew Pomade||3 oz||Medium||Check Price|
|Suavecito Pomade Original Hold||4 oz||Medium||Check Price|
|Baxter of California Clay Pomade||2 oz||Strong||Check Price|
|Uppercut Deluxe Pomade||3.5 oz||Medium||Check Price|
With a wide variety of men’s pomades available, let’s take a look at these top-rated products more closely to help you find the right combination of hold and shine for your haircut.
American Crew Pomade
American Crew’s pomade offers medium hold and high shine for excellent control and easy styling all day long without any stiffness. This American Crew Pomade smells absolutely great with a high quality scent that is subtle. Finally, as a water-based pomade, it shampoos out easily. Overall, American Crew produces some of the most popular pomades on the market.
However, due to the medium hold strength of this product, it works best for guys with short and long hairstyles and thin to somewhat thick hair. Not highly recommended for men with very thick, curly, or wavy hair unless you prefer a somewhat loose, messy look and a strong shine.
- Medium Hold High Shine
- Flexible Alternative to Styling Gels
- Shampoos Out Easily Without Residue
Editor’s Note: American Crew does offer a number of other styling products that vary from low to high hold and shine, so if you love the idea of an American Crew pomade but just need a different level of either, check out their Forming Cream or Fiber Wax!
The Layrite Original offers a strong hold and medium shine, which is ideal for short hairstyles and fine or normal hair. With a mild vanilla scent, the versatile Layrite Original pomade is great for styling crew cuts, fades, faux hawks, quiffs, pompadours and side parts. Overall, this Layrite pomade is an excellent choice for anyone looking for strength and control.
However, if you’re looking for something with a little more strength to style your mohawk, high pomp or spiked hair, Layrite also produces a Super Hold pomade. With the same vanilla scent, the Super Hold can keep your thick curly or wavy hair in place all day, yet still wash out with water.
- Easy to apply and distribute through hair
- Grips hair so you can shape into most any style
- Medium to low shine
Suavecito is one of the most popular hair pomades, coming in both Original and Strong Hold. As a water-based pomade, it offers a surprisingly strong hold that is still workable, soft, and shiny. Suavecito’s pomade creates a high-quality finish, but won’t leave your hair feeling hard or heavy. It can be used for short and longer hairstyles ranging from thin to thick hair for a classic, modern, or old-school, wet look.
The pomade itself has a sweet yet manly and seductive scent that is one of its best attributes. Imagine a cologne or great smelling deodorant. Once applied to your hair, the pomade becomes easier to work with and can give your hair some texture.
- STRONG HOLD. This is a great pomade for hairstyles...
- WATER SOLUBLE. This pomade washes out easily with...
- COMBS WITH EASE. Style your hair without...
Imperial Barber Pomade
Imperial Barber offers many different lines of hair pomades, giving you the option of low, medium, strong and super strong holds as well as matte to high shine. When applied to dry hair, Imperial’s formula seems to be the strongest water-based pomade of the brands we’ve reviewed, yet still washes out just as easily. However, you can always loosen the hold by applying with or adding water as you style or comb your hair. Similar to the other pomades on our list, you can also always add water and restyle your hair anytime during the day.
Depending on which strength and shine level you buy, Imperial’s pomade is great for styling and texturing long or short hairstyles, including pompadours, crew cuts, slick backs, side parts, and messy fringes. In regards to the scent, it has a great clean and fresh smell with a hint of watermelon. Overall, Imperial Barber has created one of the best pomades for men’s hair. Everything about this pomade brand screams high-quality.
- Industrial strength hold
- Applies smoothly and evenly
Old Spice Pomade
Old Spice’s Spiffy Pomade gives you a moderate or medium hold with a matte finish. This pomade is the most affordable of the group on both a per container and ounce basis. The soft, light texture makes it easy to apply, style, and comb your hair, even if you accidentally apply too much. However, you may have to use more of the product for the desired effect, especially if you have thick hair. And the matte finish means this water-based pomade was not meant for slick hairstyles.
Overall, Old Spice’s pomade is great for short hair with loose or messy hairstyles that need some hold without any hardness. The smell is phenomenal, probably the best of all the pomades reviewed, and lasts a few hours, yet isn’t overpowering. If you’re looking for a cheap pomade that’s easy to work with on a daily basis, Old Spice’s Spiffy is worth trying – it could become your favorite.
- Old Spice Men's Hair Pomade helps tame and shape...
- This hair pomade provides medium hold and a matte...
- Gives every hair type or cut a smooth, clean cut...
Buy The Best Pomade
With so many quality pomades for guys of all hair types, you really can’t go wrong with any of the top brands we’ve highlighted above. After all, the best pomade is ultimately the one that works best with you hair, offering the shine, hold and scent you like.
Check out our new guide on the best hair products for men.