The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Pomade

Our resident hairstylist weighs in on how to use the stuff effectively.

We recently sat in the barber chair with our resident expert hair stylist, Ricardo Pagan, for some Pomade styling basics to keep you a head above the other guys. In between the occasional rants about the NBA Pagan offered up some basic dos and don’ts. Have you been doing it wrong this whole time? Let’s see.


Ideally you have found a stylist or barber you like and frequent them regularly. If you’re still just rolling the dice at the chain hair cutteries then you’re missing out on building a rapport with your barber, and most importantly, having a skilled technician who knows your hair, the shape of your skull, and can basically steer you clear of possibly bad life decisions.



Ask your stylist what pomade works best for your hair. For the simple reason that your stylist really should know what product works best for you. Many over the counter hair products target the largest group of “bro” as possible so they can sell more. Venture out of the super market and box stores and invest in quality product that is designed just for you! Trust me. You should trust your barber. They’re the professionals. Not you.


Try more than one product. There is no one-size-fits-all pomade. From Mad Men era wet looks to a matte finish, to a longer, free flowing style, there’s a specific pomade that can fit the job best. Plus, some times the secret sauce is in the mixing of more than one product in to your hair at once.



Put pomade in your hair while it’s still wet. The reason is simple. Pomades are a wax based product, so water will repel it. Most classic dry pomades are made from a paraffin wax, derived from petroleum, and oil and water don’t mix, right? If you’re looking for a wet look there’s a type of pomade product that can suit that. The Water Soluble Pomade from The Iron Society is the perfect example. Bonus: It smells just as great as their other pomade formulas!


Be afraid to use a lot of product. The phrase, “a little bit goes a long way,” doesn’t apply to pomade. Use enough to emulsify in both hands, and then distribute throughout the hair. Whatever you don’t use you can always wash off (or finger through that burly beard of yours).

As Ricky pulled off the striped barber’s cape, he reminded us,

“It’s really in the mixing. It’s finding the perfect mix of a water-based product, and working the dry wax in your palms until warm to the touch. Heat is your friend.”

Speaking of heat, he then went on about the importance of men being more comfortable using a blow dryer when styling their hair. But we’ll talk about that next time.

Ricky Portrait

Ricardo Pagan cuts out of Lucia Benjamin salon in Winter Park, Florida. Book your cut with them today.