What is hair pomade?


Whats in a name? 

“a scented ointment to make the hair smooth and shiny.” 

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of pomade.

Put simply, a Pomade is a men’s hair product with a consistency between a wax and a gel.

Pomades usually fall into 2 different categories; water based and oil based.

1) A water based pomade tends to be stronger in hold, and will wash out very easily like a gel.

2)An oil based pomade will look and feel greasier and be more difficult to wash out. The advantage of an oil based pomade is the high level of shine that can be achieved.

The word “Pomade” originates from 16th century France. Pomades were originally made from predominantly apples and other similar fruits, berries, figs and dates. Pomade comes from the Latin word “Pomum” (French for apple or fruit) The word pomade was afterwards created and used for the hair product we know today.

During the 18th and 19th century ingredients such as beer fat, petroleum and lard were introduced.

Throughout the last century some of the biggest style icons in the world have embraced the use of pomades, the most famous being Elvis Presley with his classic pompadour in the mid 50’s.

Others include James Dean, Jonny Depp and John Travolta who all kept the use of pomades a regular feature in the fashion press.

In the last few years pomades have had a huge surge in popularity, with 75-80% of modern gents asking for a slicker, sharper, shorter at the sides, more polished look. A graceful nod back to the timeless styles worn by style icons decades ago.

Pomade can be used on a variety of different styles but is usually better for medium/longer smooth finished looks. Pomade can be used in the hair before and after blow-drying. If applied before the blow-dry you will achieve a much better hold. This method is perfect for stubborn hair that can be tricky to blow-dry into the desired style.


If you’d like bespoke advice on this style or indeed anything related, tag @officialclosedonmonday in a recent photograph of yourself on Instagram and we will do our best to assist you.


A version of this article first appeared in an article with Reiss Fashion, you can see that article here along with other great tips from the Reiss team. 


Thanks for reading 


The Closed on Monday team