How To Apply Pomade For Your Desired Style

If you’re trying to make the most of your cut, pomade can create moveable style and control, but you need to know how to use it, and when.

“The best way to apply pomade is when the hair is towel dry,” says BSG’s Master Barber, Brandon Barney.

“Having the hair wet won’t allow the pomade to grab hold of the hair while having it completely dry will not allow the pomade to be worked through the whole hair,” says Barney. This is the rule of thumb for general water based, shiny pomades.

The term “pomade” generally refers to the shiny, usually water based pomades. “Traditionally speaking, pomades came from fats and oils to achieve their hold and style,” says Barney. Hence the term “greaser” comes to mind. 

Purchase BSG Pomade here.

Traditional pomade:

Traditionally rendered from fat of animals, it’s now made with either a petroleum-base or bees wax. Ever wonder how “greasers” got their name? Grease from the hotrods, grease in their hair. This is the most drastic method to groom your hair and have it hold till kingdom come. “Since it’s a petroleum-base now (since we’re having the bee shortage, the wax they produce is scarce), it won’t wash out. Oil and water don’t mix. Day one, that’s awesome. Day three, this is still cool, man. Day six and your hair and scalp are starving for fresh (h)air,” says Barney.

“The way I tell people to use petroleum-based pomades “properly” is to only use it on day one. (This’ll be a concoction of sorts). Day one is petroleum. Day three or so when you need to add more, switch to a water-based. That will mix with the petroleum and will make it able to wash out in time,” says Barney.

Best hair to put this is on:

Thick, thick hair. Preferably dark, but blondes work too. If their hair is thick enough, it will look alright. Do not use it for thinning or if you want a “natural” look, says Barney. This is a very pliable, very shiny look. 

Water-based Pomade

You won’t achieve the everlasting hold as a petroleum derived pomades, but your hair and scalp will thank you. “Same concept as the petroleum-based sibling, it’ll give a solid hold but it will wash out easier. Do not wear in humid areas where one tends to sweat, nor if you are working-out and tend to perspire more,” says Barney. The water-based product will become undone and could become goop-y on your scalp.

Best hair for this: Barney says this one is same as petroleum-based people, but who also want to be able to wash it out in the morning. 

Matte Pomade

Traditionally water-based, the main difference is that it will give you a more “natural” look. For those that want the “just out of bed” look yet it somehow looks good for having just woken up. 

Best hair for this: BLONDES!, or people with thin hair. Blonde people, your hair (traditionally) does not look the same when slathered in shiny hair products because your hair reflects light unlike dark hair which absorbs it. So, a good matte pomade would make all the difference. People with thin hair, shine is your enemy. “The more scalp you are showing with your thin hair, the more the shiny pomades (petroleum and water-based) will reflect off your scalp. The natural look of your hair is the matte will help to show off your hair, not your scalp,” says Barney.


Very much like the water-base pomade, but with some fiber textures to add just that to your hair: texture. Best hair for this: Someone who wants the achievement of a water based pomade but who wants to accentuate the texture in their hair if they had some added to their haircut. 

Purchase BSG Pomade here.