Hair Pomades

In recent years there has been an increased awareness in men’s grooming. One of the tools that men are using to achieve their desired look is hair pomade. Hair pomades are some of the most versatile of all hair styling products. They differ from gels and hairspray in that they allow you to restyle your hair throughout the day while providing a variety of holds and differing levels of shine depending upon the make-up of the product. One of the premier attributes of pomade is that it has different uses depending on the type of hair you have.

The history of pomade usage can be dated back to the Roman Era when soap was used to control the hair. During the 1800’s bear fat was typically the main ingredient in hair dressings. Thankfully, by the early 20th century bear fat was replaced by other ingredients such as petroleum jelly, lanolin, lard, and beeswax. Early film stars popularized the use of pomade with their shiny, well-groomed styles. Companies soon capitalized on this craze and there was the introduction of products like Dax Pomade, Brylcreem, Murray’s Pomade, Royal Crown Hair Dressing and others. During the 1950’s pomades maintained their popularity with celebrities like Elvis using products to sport styles such as the pompadour, ducktail, and jelly roll. Pomade users in this era were often referred to as “greasers.” Pomade usage declined after the 1960’s, but has recently made a comeback as men started using modern versions of pomade to achieve their desired style.

Today there is a wide range of products claiming to be pomades. Traditional pomades that are made of petrolatum, waxes, and natural oils are still in demand for their holding ability, the shiny appearance they can offer and the restyling ability they provide to the hair. These products are designed to not be easily removed from the hair, but are kept at manageable levels by regular shampooing. Consumers looking for styling products that are easier to remove from the hair have turned to water based pomades. These pomades, which can be easier to work with, typically do not give the same versatility and strength of hold offered by traditional petro and wax based products. Many products such as hair gels, styling creams, putties, pastes, glues, and clays market themselves as pomades. These products come in various textures and consistencies and provide a variety of levels of hold and finishes. Messy styles with dry or matte finishes are common uses for these products. No matter what type of style you are trying to achieve there is likely a pomade that will work for you.

As mentioned earlier, pomades have different uses for different textures of hair. For people with Afro textured hair, traditional pomades have been used for decades due to their moisturizing properties. These products seal and protect this type of hair, allowing it to grow with less breakage. Pomades have also been used to help with hair straightening and to develop waves in the hair. They have been a mainstay in the ethnic beauty industry for many years. Many of the pioneering companies in the ethnic hair care industry and the products they developed are still in business today, which is a testament to the effectiveness of their petro based products.

The future for pomade use appears to be promising. In fact, the whole men’s grooming category has been one of the fastest growing in recent years. Hair styles that feature a slick, groomed look are currently popular not only in the U.S., but in Europe and abroad. Because of this demand, many companies are developing and offering an entire range of products strictly for men. Some of the products being marketed are shampoos, shaving creams, soaps, beard, moustache, and hair styling products. It is safe to say that any retail store that neglects this category of products is missing out on an opportunity for growth.




Todd Simmons is the Sales Manager at Imperial Dax. He has been in this position since January 2015, and was a manufacturers’ rep prior to that, since 1997.

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