Best Pomades To Give Your Hair An Elvis-Worthy Sheen

24 January 2020
Grooming, Hair style, Hair care, Pomades
From American Crew to Neville, these are the best pomades for men

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When it comes to trying out a new styling product, the possibilities are endless, from sea salt spray to hair gel and all that's in between.

Hair pomades are known for their strong hold and ultimate versatility and have been used by the likes of James Dean and Elvis Presley. Pomades were originally made with mashed apples as well as animal fats, but by the beginning of the 20th century petroleum jelly, lanolin, beeswax and even lard was being used. Since, they've been a go-to for men looking to perfect side-partings, slicked-back 'dos and generally get a shinier barnet that maintains its hold without the stickiness or brittle nature of gel.

In the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? the character Ulysses Everett McGill (played by George Clooney) had an affinity for a brand of pomade known as Dapper Dan, sparking a modern interest in hair pomade. Then, of course, Mad Men hit our screens in 2007, sparking a want and need for slicked back, sharp and shiny side-partings.

So what's the difference between hair wax and pomade? The former typically leaves your hair with a more texturised and matte finish, while the latter, which is usually heavier, leaves a sheen. After a shiny quiff to rival Mark Ronson? Pomade is for you. Below are the best.

Hanz De Fuko

A lightweight pomade with medium hold for styles that stay, this Hanz De Fuko take on the classic pomade is crafted using organic extracts and is water-based, meaning it's not as heavy as other pomades and won't leave as much of a shine. $24 at

Malin + Goetz

Meadowfoam seed, cannabis sativa seed and soybean oils make up this pomade, which leaves your hair with the perfect amount of shine, zero grease and plenty of hold. $26 at


Not only will this English-made pomade keep your strands in place, it also works to provide your hair with beneficial nutrients. Maca extract helps to promote thicker hair and antioxidant-rich horsetail extract strengthens your follicles, while lupine peptides add shine and reduce brittleness. $18 at

American Crew

Apparently, American Crew pomade was used on the set of Mad Men to achieve Donald Draper's perfect sheen. Water-based, it provides you with a medium-hold finish that can be restyled throughout the day. $18 at

Redken Brews

Suitable for any hair type (although we advise against use on tight curls), this pomade from Redken Brews will leave you with a polished and slicked back 'do, with a natural-looking shine. $17 at


Crafted from kaolin clay and strengthening sapote butter, this wax pomade is silicone-free, paraben-free and mineral oil-free. $14 at

House 99

Not only has House 99's Shaping Pomade got David Beckham's seal of approval, but it's made using superfood extracts of spirulina and quinoa, meaning it's also super good for your hair's health. $20 at

Via British GQ