8 Modern Pomades That Will Keep Your Slick Cuts in Style

IMAGE Paul Del Rosario

Forget greasy notions about your grandpa’s pomade. Modern versions come in all (and better) flavors, covering a broad spectrum of hold, shine, and even scents. Oil-based pomades usually have similar consistencies. “These are recommended for those who want to achieve pompadours and slick styles, since most of them have strong holds with high shine,” says Rafael Tan of old-school grooming hub and pomade source Back Alley Barbershop. Water-based versions have different textures, from thick gel to light cream, which allows you to choose from easy to strong holds and matte to shiny finishes. But in whatever form, they are the preferred product for today’s coolest cuts. Says Rafael, “Our customers who would like to enhance their undercut or tapered hairstyles usually choose pomades to achieve a polished look and keep their cut maintained throughout the day.”

Baxter Clay Pomade From Los Angeles. Clay and beeswax provide strong hold with a matte finish. Best for thick, straight hair. Herb scent.

Hanz de Fuko Quicksand From San Francisco. The wax and shampoo hybrid results in more volume and texture. Contains something called Diatomaceous Earth, which not only gives the product a grainy feel, but also absorbs oil in the hair, making it a good dry shampoo. Organic scent.

Slick Tight Pomade From Manila. One of the first players in the local, oil-based pomade scene, this product was brewed for thick and tight hairstyles. Mint scent.

Imperial Classic From Los Angeles. A gel-like texture offers strong hold with low shine. Great for pompadours and slick-back cuts. Can be restyled by adding water. Fruity scent.


Hairbond Distorter From London. Thick, clay putty easily molds hair to any style with a medium hold and matte finish. Can also be restyled throughout the day. Best for thick, straight hair. Herb scent.

Slicky Ricky's Pomade From Manila. This local oil-based pomade provides a smooth look to pompadours and slick-backs. Fruity scent.

JS Sloane Heavyweight Brilliantine From New York. A flexible gel-like consistency achieves any style. It gives hair definition with a light, glossy appearance. Fruity scent.

Blind Barber 90 Proof From New York. The cream-like consistency provides strong hold and matte finish. Contains hops. That proof is similar to alcohol (a 60-proof version with less hold is available). Natural scent.


And now, how to apply.  Scoop out a centavo-size glop with your index finger. Rub it on your palms and in between your fingers. Using your fingers, apply the pomade from the back of your head down to the front. Wipe your palms on the tops of your hair. Finish as desired.

Back Alley Barbershop, Bautista corner Sanchez Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City.


This story was originally published in the May 2015 issue of Esquire.

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