Want to work a spiky 'do like Rihanna? Ready to roll out sporting carefree hair with well-placed definition? All you need is a great cut and one styling product top hairstylists never leave the salon without: A pomade.
First introduced to the hair industry for men who liked their hair slicked on the sides (think 1920s and 1960s), pomades have morphed from their greaser beginnings into sleek, lightweight, waxy formulas that define shape, provide shine, smooth frizz and tame edges.
"Old pomades used to be made primarily out of petroleum jelly or mineral oil and were very heavy," says Dana Gibbs, owner of Dana's Loft in New York City. "Today's formulas have either a soy, paraffin, water or plant base. This gives the user more control and provides more lightweight hold on the hair.
Workable with all hair textures, pomades are one of the few styling products that require a minimum amount to effectively do its job. "They go a long way," continues Gibbs. "You only need to apply a dime-sized amount on dry or wet hair to get the look you want." But not all pomades are created equal.
The outcome and your hair's texture determine which type of pomade is better suited for you. If you want to define bangs or spiky directionals and your hair is medium to thick, then use a more waxy-based formula. If you want to straighten your naturally coarse hair with as little heat as possible, use a small amount of an oil-based formula prior to flat ironing hair. For naturally wavy, curly and fine hair, a water-based formula will provide hold and sheen without weighing down strands. Here we round up the 15 best pomades for every texture and type.