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 best suited for men with slicked back hair, pompadour hairstyles, side parts, quiffs, and undercuts.
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.
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.
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|
|Layrite Deluxe Original Pomade||4 oz||Strong|
|Imperial Barber Classic Pomade||6 oz||Strong|
|American Crew Pomade||3 oz||Medium|
|Suavecito Pomade Original Hold||4 oz||Medium|
|Baxter of California Clay Pomade||2 oz||Strong|
|Uppercut Deluxe Pomade||3.5 oz||Medium|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.