Pomade basics… 102!

Howdy folks! How are we doing today? Having a good day? Good hair day?

Right, so my last post focussed on the basics of pomades, and the difference between water-based and wax based pomades. You can read up on that here. I figure the next stop on this introductory trail is the difference in holds, and the types of hair they’re best for. Because all of us have different hair, and it’s important for you guys to know the different types of pomades and what the different ingredients do when styling. Also, I have a specific type of hair, so what works in my hair won’t work in someone else’s…

( Most of this post will reference wax-based pomades, rather than water-based. I don’t use WB very much, because I personally have trouble styling with them- they fight my hair and it ends up not looking half as smooth as with wax based. Having said that, I’ve just found a fantastic WB that allows me to do just that. More on that later…)

First of all, my hair type… I have fine, Irish hair. I have a fair amount of it, which always lead me to believe I had thick hair, but I don’t. My hair itself is fine, which means that I can’t use the same products as someone with thick, curly hair. My hair used to be really curly, but as I’ve gotten older it’s started to straighten. Now, it’s more a gentle wave, if anything. Which can cause it’s own problems, and dictates how my hair styles, but that’s another issue! But I’m quite lucky in the pomade world. I can use lots of stuff and get good results- some better than others. When it comes to classifying pomades and figuring which ones to get, I tend to sort by hold. You have light, medium and heavy. Recently I’ve noticed a bunch of homebrewers making ‘super heavies’ but I haven’t tried any yet, and probably won’t! And this classification is purely MY classification- some of what I call mediums are labelled as ‘light’ by the makers, etc. So be aware of that when thinking about what kinds of pomades to try out!

Light pomade:

Ok, so let’s start with the light pomades. These tend to have petroleum or petrolatum as their top ingredient, and as a consequence are light and greasy, usually. They are usually very shiny, easy to apply, and don’t offer that much hold, although they do have enough for me to comb a modest pomp or keep an executive contour in line. If you have thick hair, forget about it. Some of the lights that I have in my arsenal and daily rotation are Dixie Peach, Murrays Hair-Glo, Dax Super Neat and Tres Flores


Light pomades


Lots of people use light pomades as ‘toppers’, which means as a top coat to add shine and scent to a heavier holding pomade. Because as you go ‘up’ in hold, traditionally you go ‘down’ in shine. This is because petrolatum gives shine, but doesn’t really give hold. That comes from wax, which doesn’t really have much shine. 

Medium pomade:

Mediums are just that… the middle ground between hold and shine. They tend to have a higher wax content than light pomades, and will have a decent amount of sheen. People with thicker hair might get away with using mediums on their own, but may need to move into the heavier pomade arena. Mediums are my go-to’s for full on styling. My favourite pomades are mediums. For high shine mediums I go for Sweet Georgia Brown (Blue), Murrays Super Light and Dax Neat Waves. Otherwise, some of my favourites are Green Fairy, Pompage, Bees Knees and Dax Green and Gold



Heavy pomade:

Heavy pomade is something I don’t have the best knowledge of- just being honest! I have used a few and they’ve just been too heavy for my fine hair. I don’t even have hot weather to worry about with light and mediums (heat can compromise the hold) to make me try them. I have tried a few, and while I can tell some of them have been great, they just didn’t work for me. The wax content in heavies are usually high, and often mix different types of waxes (beeswax, microcrystalline, soy). Of the heavies I’ve tried, I’d recommend Pompking and Dax Wave and Groom. I wish I could have a medium with the smell of Dax Wave and Groom, it reminds me of my childhood, someone in my family must have used it!!!


I reckon that’s enough to be getting on with. As always, if anyone has any questions, ask away, I’ll do my best to answer them. Next time I’ll probably go into styling and using pomade to get different results…

Stay dapper, peeps!



5 thoughts on “Pomade basics… 102!

  1. Thanks for your post! I’m growing out a little pomp of my own, despite thick curls. I am headed to Dublin this week, I’m hoping to get my hair cut while there, and was hoping you could recommend a barber? I’m not totally butch. I mostly play on the cross-dressing lines, and currently have a half fauxhawk half pomp (curly and still growing out). My barber at home does a great job (and lets me into his “men’s only salon”), but I’m on the road for 6 more months, and would love some help! Thanks!!

    • Hi there!

      There’s 2 places I’d recommend in Dublin- Finnegans Green Rooster on Fleet St and any of the Sams Barbers (Dame Court and on The Quays.) I personally go to Finnegans, they’re slightly cheaper. Be aware though they’re trained in barbering not salon type cutting so you’re looking at clippers, scissors over comb, that kind of thing. (I just tell all women who ask me that, some get a bit of a shock when the buzz cutters come out!) Let me know how you get on! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Getting pomade out of your hair. | Dapper, Irish & Butch
    • Hi! That was the Layrite Super Shine. However, I wouldn’t recommend that anymore. There are lots of what’s known as “unorthodox waterbased” pomades out there now that work much better. My favourites at the moment come from Nostalgic Pomades, Lockharts and Shear Revival.

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