The laundry list of men’s hair product reads like this: hair wax, mousse, creams, gel and these days, even clay. All that gunk however can in no way compare to the almighty pomade, as those of us who’ve been frequenting barbershops would attest. If you haven’t though, know this: it holds your hair in place without the restrictive straitjacket of gel or wax. So where can a respectable, updated gentleman like yourself buy pomade in Singapore, and what should you look out for?
One tip: Do your research. Before you can even think of walking into a spot and randomly picking up a product, know what you’re looking for.
Pomade these days comes in two versions: oil or water-based. If you’re after that slicked back shiny look, the oil-based types will serve you well. These products were the poster child of cool back in the 50s when barbershops came into prominence. Today, it’s mostly made of petroleum jelly which make it the best bet for those with either a thick crop of hair or locks that veer on the curly side.
One drawback? It can be hard to wash off, so be sure to get a good shampoo meant to get the stuff out.
The water-based ones on the other hand come off in a breeze – easier in fact than some types of hair wax and clay. These are the modern bretheren to the oil-based pomades but don’t quite hold as long and are suited better for those with thin and straight hair.
Now you’ve got the basics down, here’s a cheatsheet for where to buy pomade in Singapore.
Spa Esprit’s only foray into men’s grooming sees its barbershop carrying a housebrand pomade in two versions: matte ($40) and sheen ($28). Both are water soluble, made in Singapore for the brand and does exactly as the box says – one for a dry look and the other for a slight gloss. If you’re in the Tiong Bahru area but looking for the oil-based ones though fret not as the spot also carries heavy hold Shiner Gold for those whose mop needs extra taming.
We need a hero, 57 Eng Hoon Street, +65 6222 5590.
This CBD barbershop is the only place in Singapore that carries award-winning Californian pomade brand Byrd (pictured). There are three types here of different make; the light pomade is water-based, matte is a mix between beeswax and water while the classic is for those who prefer a formula that’s heavy duty and oil-based. All three have an element in common: they’re meant for the man with an active lifestyle — perfect for days when you want to keep your quiff intact while you hit the gym hard.
Sultans of Shave, #02-01 11 North Canal Road, +65 6222 0201.
If you’ve wandered into British heritage barbership Truefitt & Hill to look for your preferred type of pomade, forget it. This barbershop is a brand unto itself and carries only one type: it’s own. The pomade ($44) though is water soluble with a flexible hold with a low to medium shine level. It’s also said to have been found at what’s left of the Titanic shipwreck — that’s right, at the bottom of the ocean. If you’re in the area, be sure to pick up one of its great-smelling shampoos that you can bet top dollar would be just the thing to rinse off all that product.
Truefitt & Hill Singapore, 9 Ann Siang Road, +65 6223 5263.
This geylang road barbershop is arguably the last word when it comes to pomade stockists in Singapore. After all, the eclectic shophouse space is home to nearly 200 different types ranging from the much sought after Butter Grease ($19) to the UK-made Daimon Barber brand. Those looking for travel-sized pomades are in luck as it stocks over 16 different labels including from 1920s brand Murray’s. If the brick and mortar store is too out of the way for you, fret not as its entire range is available online.
The Panic Room, 311A Geylang Road, +65 8228 9063.