Amongst a certain subset of grooming savvy gents, the word ‘pomade’ sparks images of slicked back follicles a la the world of Mad Men or The Wild One.  The term refers historically to various paraffin or wax-based styling products: known for dispensing the high shine and medium hold that is integral to classic mid-century styles like the pomp or side part.

Still, in the current cultural vernacular, the term has less to do with a given style or recipe; and instead describes all manner of products which channel OG pomade’s glorious softness and pliability. Whether you’re a ‘heavy hold natural look’ kinda guy or a Type-A persona who likes his hair as sharp as his shoes, we’ve broken down five of the best pomades of 2019 to help you reach follicular enlightenment.

1
American Crew pomade

For a formulation that hews close to the pomades of yesteryear but provides an added element of control, look no further than American Crew. The brand’s flagship styling product is ideal for men with medium-length hair, helping to create classic slicked back looks that are all about high shine and purity of form. A dash of lanolin in the list of ingredients means you can revamp your hairstyle throughout the day (up to a point), and makes this pomade ideal for tackling flyaways or cowlicks. Suitable for high shine medium hold hairstyles.

HK$127 (85g) from Lookfantastic online

2
Baxter of California cream pomade

Though Baxter of California’s award-winning cream formula satisfies the nominal parameters of a ‘pomade’, it’s better to think of it as a hair mask. Great for priming freshly washed hair — ahead of building a harder more refined style — or as a fast track to artfully tousled bed head, this pomade is a useful addition to any grooming arsenal. Baxter describe this pomade as having a ‘natural finish’, though you can apply it to damp hair for a slightly higher sheen. Suitable for a variety of short to medium length hairstyles.

HK$203 (60ml) from Lookfantastic online.

3
Le Labo styling concrete

Reminescent in weight and texture to a clay, Le Labo’s styling concrete is a unisex product that is the unique result of modern methods merged with an old school sensibility. It imbues medium length hairstyles with a strong hold that never feels wet or greasy, and only needs to be applied at the beginning of the day in order to achieved desired results (presuming that entails a rock solid quiff). Like all Le Labo products, this concrete is formulated using a cruelty-free plant formula: ideal for vegans and wearers who are allergic to artificial colourants. Suitable for high shine high hold hairstyles.

HK$260 (60g) from Le Labo’s IFC store

4
Patricks M2 Matte Finish

If you’re looking for a flexible, easy-wearing pomade that’s designed for daily use, we think the M2 fits that bill. Among the earliest products to be developed by Patricks — the Amero-Aussie grooming label currently taking the world by storm — this is a flexible formula that’s conducive to crafting a range of contemporary and classic hairstyles. The hydro-activated formula can easily be restyled on the go — simply apply a few drops of water — and is packed with Patricks’ signature hair recovery compound, which utilises active ingredients like Capixyl and Saw Palmetto in order to nourish the wearer’s scalp. Suitable for medium hold medium shine hairstyles.

HK$495 (75g) from Lane Crawford

5
Uppercut Deluxe pomade

Since the late 2000s, Australian grooming brand Uppercut has been a favourite of professional barbers everywhere — and for good reason. Inspired by the barbering culture of America in the 50s, Uppercut specialises in highly effective, no-nonsense products, formulated by those who cut hair for a living. The brand’s deluxe pomade has something of a cult following: blending the jelly-like pliability of gel with a comforting (but muted) fragrance of citrus and coconut. To achieve the ideal balance of shine and hold, it’s best to apply this formulation to medium length hair. Suitable for high shine medium hold hairstyles.

HK$169 (100ml) from Gentle’s Hair HK

Randy Lai
Watches Editor
Having worked in the Australian digital media landscape for over 5 years, Randy has extensive experience in men's specialist categories such as classic clothing, watches and spirits. He is partial to mid-century chronographs and a nice chianti.