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Jack Henry, American Crew, and more: The best pomade for men

Man applying pomade
vladim_ka / Adobe Stock

If you’re new to the world of premium hair styling products, perhaps you’re only familiar with hair gel. Allow us to introduce you to pomade. Sure, gels are great, but they do tend to create a sort of varnish effect that doesn’t leave your hair very touchable. No, an old-fashioned pomade is the only way to go. Generally speaking, the consistency of pomade is pretty light, so you won’t feel like you’re wearing a ton of product on your head. Keep reading to know our picks for the best pomades for men with special shout-outs to our previous Grooming Awards winners.

Jack Henry Clay Pomade
Jack Henry

Best pomade overall: Jack Henry Clay Pomade

Jack Henry, which formulates and packages all of its products in California, grew a cult following for its super clean, sleekly packaged products that work. Count us as one of their ardent followers. We love that their pomade can easily shape almost any hair type and provide a soft, all-day hold without making our hair greasy or crunchy, thanks to ingredients like beeswax, bentonite clay, essential oils, and antioxidants that help get rid of buildup. The pomade, which can be reshaped and is sweat-resistant, works to help stimulate hair growth and moisturizes both your hair and scalp. That’s why it won our 2022 Grooming Awards.

American Crew Pomade
American Crew

Best pomade for curly hair: American Crew Pomade

Controlling curly hair usually requires a stronger hold than a wax or gel can provide. But American Crew’s water-based pomade is a welcome exception to that, thanks to its ultra-hydrating lanolin that can hold curls without losing their shape. And, because it’s water-based, it comes out easily when you shampoo your hair and it doesn’t leave any residue behind. It can be used to help control your hair and is more flexible than gels. You can also use the pomade to create the classic slicked-back look. This pomade has about a medium hold, and it will give your hair some shine.

Fellow Barber Strong Pomade on a light grey backdrop
Fellow Barber

Other pomades we love

Fellow Barber Strong Pomade

It’s been a few years now since Fellow Barber (the trendy barbershop chain that’s built a cult following across the country) created its sleek haircare line, and the results continue to be spectacular. Their signature pomade is a winning product, which offers versatile hold while also being easy to wash off.

Baxter of California Clay Pomade
Baxter of California

Baxter of California Clay Pomade

If you’re looking for a more matte finish, try Baxter of California’s clay pomade, which offers a firm hold along with a pleasant smell.

Murdock London Vintage Pomade
Murdock London

Murdock London Vintage Pomade

Continuing an international lineup, Murdock London is made, naturally, in England, providing a classic slick finish and strong hold. The product incorporates more than a decade of combined learning from barbers from across eight locations around London.

VitaMan Global Pomade

VitaMan Pomade

Get slick style with VitaMan Pomade. The non-greasy formula makes dry, coarse, curly, and even graying hair look its best. The hold never flakes and is great for keeping styles in check with just the right amount of shine. Its water-soluble formula washes out easily and it is pH balanced to suit all hair types. Ingredients include lemon myrtle oil, lanolin wax, and Japan wax (Japanese sumac), with 73% of its ingredients coming from natural sources. 

Suavecito Original Hold Pomade

Suavecito Pomade Original Hold

Suavecito and its Original Pomade started humbly, formulated in a small kitchen by friends and family. They created the product originally just for their own use, packaging it in Ziplock bags. Before long, local barbers caught wind of the pomade, and the rest is history. Featuring an awesome, masculine fragrance, the water-based product keeps hair in place all day and into the night. It’s got a creamy consistency and a fierce grip for slick-backs, pompadours, side-parts, or any other hairstyle. For less shine, apply to dry hair; for more, apply to damp hair.

Murray’s Original Pomade

Murray’s Original Pomade

Nothing like going back to your roots. Murray’s was originally formulated in 1926; today, stylists worldwide praise its versatility and ability to create any style. The product adds texture, shine, and lift while holding the hair in place all day.

The Art of Shaving Gel Pomade
The Art of Shaving

The Art of Shaving Gel Pomade

With more than 20 years of experience, The Art of Shaving has pretty much perfected the, well, art of shaving for guys. It has also deepened its experience in the sculpture of hair, creating this gel pomade that is infused with juniper essential oil to deliver a soft, sculpted look. It provides medium hold and is easy to apply and restyle, with great body and light shine. 

OUAI Matte Pomade on a white backdrop.

OUAI Matte Pomade

We could all use a product or five from OUAI Haircare, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s product line. This matte pomade uses kaolin clay and beeswax to tame unruly ends and deliver a long-lasting hold.

Man with pomade
vladim_ka / Adobe Stock

What’s the best way to use pomade?

If you’ve never used pomade, it helps if you know the best way to use it. It seems simple, just take some pomade and spread it on your hair, right?

Not exactly.

According to national barbershop chain Floyd’s Barbershop, you should always start small when dealing with pomade. You can always add more if you need it, but if you put too much on at first, you can’t get it out, and you’ll have to wash it out and start from scratch.

The next question is if you should apply it to wet or dry hair. That depends on your pomade’s base. If you’re using a water-based pomade, putting it on wet hair can make it dilute, causing it to not hold as well, so dry hair is best. However, if your pomade is a more wax-based product, it’s better to apply it to wet hair so it will coat your hair easier.

Wet or dry, when you apply pomade, rub a small amount in your hands to warm it up (it will work better that way) and then apply it, starting at the roots of your hair. Once it’s all in, use a comb or your fingers to style it and you’re good to go.

John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
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