Hair Pomade: How to Style Men’s Curly Hair

Hair pomade like American Crew or Murrays is a hairstyling product that is useful to create sleek hair. Hair pomade is useful for just about all curly hair types and it can be used with many hairstyles!

How to style your curly hair with pomade

Hair pomade is a hairstyling product that is gaining popularity as of the late 2000s. Hair pomade is a viscous goo that resembles hair wax; hair pomade used to be greasier and less viscous than hair wax although these days, due to the wide range of varieties within each hair-product type, it is difficult to tell which is which if it weren’t for the actual label specifying whether a product was a pomade or hair wax.

Hair pomade resembling that of the American Crew pomade for men.

Hair pomade history

Pomade was originally (back some +100 years ago) made of mashed apples and bear fat although, some decades later, the common product formula for hair pomade had these two interesting ingredients replaced by regular lard (from pigs) and petroleum jelly. These days, hair pomade is made entirely out of synthetic ingredients that mimic the functionality of its predecessors: to give the hair shine and slick. Incidentally, it was the use of mashed apples to make the more-rudimentary pomades that gave this hairstyling product it’s name: “pomata” is Italian for “ointment” (usually for a cosmetic-type ointment) and the prefix “pom-” from “pomata” was derived from the Latin (from which Italian belongs to) “pomum”, with “pomum” meaning “apple”. The things you learn, am I right?

Key features of hair pomade as a product

Pomade gives the hair that oldschool “sleek hair” look by adding shine and slick to the hair, which, when the hair is combed with pomade, provides a greasy look that is not factually greasy (i.e. not made with grease). Pomade is not great for holding gravity-defying hairstyles in position, so only use pomade to shape hairstyles that are free to flow or that aren’t to be restricted to just one position.

Pomade is the famous hairstyling product of the rockabillies and their Pompadours and, while quite a few were crazy enough to use engine oil to style their hair, the majority used hair pomade so as to get that out-of-the-garage greasy style. Ergo, the term “greaser” was coined to refer to bike-riding youths in the ’50s. Hair pomade was also popular among the conservative crowd too to slick their hair back or to the side, and any time you saw a man with a suit or a colorful shirt and his hair neatly slicked, you knew he had used hair pomade on his hair (many times, excessively).

Elvis Presley with his hair styled with pomade like the American Crew pomade.

You, sir, are using hair pomade. I learned how to tell the hints of a pomade abuser in that weird Manly Curls blog internet thingy thang.

How to style curly hair with hair pomade

To use hair pomade, scoop a fingertip amount, rub your palms together to get the pomade spread evenly on your fingers and then work your fingers through your curly hair to get the hair coated in pomade. Ensure to only coat ¾ of the hair’s length, avoiding the coating of the scalp. Once your hair is coated in pomade, use either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to give direction to the curly locks and then put your hair into your chosen hairstyle.

Hair pomade for curly hair

Pomade is a great hairstyling product for straight and curly hair; pomade works best for curly hair Types I-IV although it will also work for Type V curly hair (aka kinky hair or afro-textured hair). Pomade works best on short hair and medium-length hair; it should be avoided with long hair.

Best men’s hair pomade

There is a wide range of hair pomades in the market although I have never been 100% happy with any for my own curls, but then I have beastly curly hair that prompted me to write a bestselling book on this follicular topic to aid our fellow curly haired men in their quest of dominating their curvy locks. There are, however, some brands of hair pomade that deliver are American Crew hair pomade, Murrays hair pomade and Paul Mitchell hair pomade.

Hair pomade for sleek hair!

Overall, hair pomade is an excellent hairstyling product to create sleek hair and for men’s hairstyles that are either free flowing or have a slicked element to it. Pomade suits all curly hair types, with special emphasis on Types I to Type IV curly hair, and it should be avoided with long hair. So there, get yourself some hair pomade and go bonkers with it!

All the best.

Banner for the Barbershop Forums, a male grooming and men's hairstyles community.

Men's Hair Forum is a mens hairstyles, haircuts, shaving and male grooming community.


Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

More Posts

1 comment for “Hair Pomade: How to Style Men’s Curly Hair

  1. Alex
    September 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    If I have wavy hair can I use a wide tooth comb like the ones that you recommend to create a slicked back hairstyle?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *