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How to Use Pomade

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At first, applying pomade doesn’t seem like something that needs much explanation. Apply the product to your hair and you’re out the door, right? Not exactly.

If you don’t want your hair to become a sad, floppy mess halfway through the day, then you need to learn how to use pomade the right way. While some of it is indeed common sense, there are a few important tips we’re going to dish out to help you achieve next level hair.

Here are three things you need to know about using pomade.

  • Pomade is a lightweight styling product that can be used to shape hair into a variety of looks
  • To use pomade correctly, choose a product that will deliver the right amount of shine and hold
  • A little pomade goes a long way

What Is Pomade?

Pomade is a lightweight cream or gel that can be used to shape your hair into a variety of unique styles–from playfully tousled to slicked-back and neat. They can be broken down into two types: Water-based and oil-based pomades.

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Water-based pomades are water soluble, which makes them easy to wash out in the shower, whereas oil-based pomades are made from oils such as lanolin and petroleum. Although oil-based pomades provide greater hold throughout the day, their comedogenic ingredients often trigger acne breakouts and can be a huge chore to wash out.

How to Use Pomade: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to tame your hair and style it to perfection? Follow these six steps to learn how to use pomade like a true professional.

Step 1: Choose Your Pomade

Similar to how you choose skin care products according to your skin type, you need to pick out hair care products that are formulated for your hair type. When it comes to choosing a pomade, you’ll also want to consider how much hold and shine you want.

If you want your hair to have a slight bounce to it when you move, look for a pomade with a low to medium hold. Prefer a natural look compared to a shiny style? Pick a pomade with a low shine (aka, a matte finish).

Step 2: Hop in the Shower

Take a warm shower and go through your usual hair wash routine. How often you decide to wash your hair will depend on your skin type. For instance, if you have an oily scalp, you may need to wash your hair as often as once a day.

Once you’re out of the shower, gently pat your hair dry. Ideally, your hair should be slightly damp when you apply the pomade.

Wait for your hair to airdry about 75 percent before applying the product. Now is a good time to go through your skin care routine while you’re waiting for your hair to airdry.

Step 3: Emulsify the Product

Once your hair is slightly damp, take your pomade and scoop about a dime-sized amount of the product onto your finger. Too much product will weigh your hair down, while too little won’t give you the desired hairstyle.

bearded man combing hair

Transfer the pomade on your fingertip to the middle of your palm on the opposite hand. Now, rub the pomade between your hands until it’s emulsified, or thoroughly mixed. You’ll know when the pomade is emulsified when only a faint shine is left in the palms of your hands.

Step 4: Apply the Pomade

Next, rub your fingers through your hair, starting with the roots and working out towards the tips. Make sure that you spread it uniformly to achieve even shine and hold throughout.

Depending on the pomade you’re using, you may feel a little tug and pull as you’re working the product through your hair. Unless your hair is falling out in huge clumps, it’s nothing to worry about. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s perfectly normal for a person to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day.

Step 5: Comb it Through

To ensure even coverage, take a comb and run it through your hair. Make sure you get the front, the back and the sides.

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You can use your comb to create dozens of hairstyles, from 1950s pompadours to sleek combovers and more modern styles. If you prefer a more tousled look, take your fingers and roughen up your freshly-combed hair a bit until you achieve the desired results.

Step 6: Style with Your Blow-dryer

Lastly, it’s time to blow-dry your hair to help set the style. Along with setting the style of your hair, using a blow-dryer will also add some much-needed volume to give hair a fuller-looking appearance.

shirtless man drying hair

To add volume to your hair, you need to use a small, round curling brush. Turn on the blow-dryer to medium heat and aim it up at the front of your styled hair. Take your curling brush and brush the front section of your hair, pulling it upwards away from your head.

Once you’ve achieved the desired volume, turn the blow-dryer to the coolest temperature setting. The cold air will set the final style while adding a hint of natural shine to your hair.

Final Tips

Remember: You can always add more product to your hair if you didn’t apply enough in the beginning. Removing excess pomade from your hair is far more difficult.

Other than that, learning how to use pomade isn’t rocket science. As you go, you’ll figure out a few tips and tricks that are specific to your hair type and style as you go.


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