Slicked-back hair is one of the fastest and easiest hairstyles you can create. All it takes is patience, a meticulous eye, and a few careful strokes, and you’ll be looking like James Dean in mere minutes.
But the secret behind a voluminous pompadour or vintage, 80s “greaser” slicked-back style is a high-quality pomade. Many will grab their favorite gel (too sticky) or wax (too hard), but any man who knows how to perfect that slicked-back look knows that pomade works best for it.
Pomades are popular among those who rock a pompadour daily because it gives you just enough hold without weighing your hair down. You still retain the body of your hair but can rest assured that it will look sleek and smooth without strays all day long.
Whether you want to get a shiny or matte finish, pomades will come in handy to help you achieve your desired look.
Ready to shop for an amazing pomade?
Here are our top three picks for the best pomade for slicking back hair:
- 18.21 Man-Made Hair Paste Pomade for Men
- Imperial Barber Grade Products Classic Pomade
- Layrite Supershine Cream
Best Pomade For Slicking Back Hair – Comparison Table
|18.21 Man-Made Hair Paste Pomade for Men||. Long-lasting hold
. Four ways to use the pomade
. A little goes a long way
|Imperial Barber Grade Products Classic Pomade||. Has a strong hold
. Can adjust the hold strength
. Suitable for most hair types
|Layrite Supershine Cream||. High shine
. Low-medium hold
. Best on fine to medium thick hair
|Uppercut Deluxe Pomade||. High shine
. Strong hold
. Suitable for all hair types
|Suavecito Pomade Firme (Strong) Hold||. Combs with ease
. Strong hold
. Washes out easily
|Jovinno Natural Premium Hair Styling Pomade||. Medium to strong hold
. Matte shine
. Natural ingredients
|Fiber Grease Pomade||. Light hold
. Easy to wash out
. Spreads well
|Mack for Men ShapeShifter For Men||. Strong hold
. Washes out easily
|Baxter of California Hard Water Pomade For Men||. Firm old
. Easily blends into hair
. All-day shine
Best Pomade For Slicking Back Hair
There are many different brands of pomade to achieve the slicked-back look.
Here are nine of the best pomades for slicking back your hair:
18.21 Man-Made Hair Paste Pomade for Men
If you want a pomade that will leave you with a unique, masculine scent, try this one out for size.
The 18.21 hair “paste” is a pomade made with a blend of their exclusive, signature oils.
These oils make the pomade super smooth and easy to work with in your hands, but they also add a manly aroma of pipe tobacco and woodsy musk, which is sure to leave women swooning.
The pomade makes your hair feel super soft and touchable.
If you have thin hair, it can also help add height and volume once you slick it back into a pomp.
- Made with a blend of oils for smoothness
- Leaves the hair soft and touchable
- Helps add volume to thin, sparse hair
- No waxiness or greasiness
- Has the unique aroma of pipe tobacco
- The scent can be a little strong for some
Imperial Barber Grade Products Classic Pomade
This pomade has been proclaimed as “America’s strongest holding water-based pomade”, and for good reason.
It provides extra strong hold to keep your pomp tall and proud all day long.
So, you don’t have to worry about your hair sinking or losing its shape throughout the day.
The formula is low on shine, so it gives your hair a matte and natural-looking finish.
This is great if you have fine hair that tends to get greasy with ultra-shiny pomades.
Because it’s water-based, this pomade is super easy to wash out.
One quick shampoo and you won’t have to worry about build-up.
The pomade washes off easily and doesn’t affect the color of the hair in any way.
It can be applied to any type of hair but can be heavy on thin hair.
If you desire a lighter hold, apply the pomade on damp hair.
On the other hand, if you want a stronger hold, apply a slightly heavier amount of the pomade on dry hair.
It is possible to reactivate the pomade using water to restyle it later in the day.
If you want to restyle, you can use a little water to give your hair a fresh look.
- Extra strong hold
- Low on shine for a natural finish
- Water-based, so it’s easy to wash out
- Has a light, refreshing fragrance
- Can be heavy on thin hair
Layrite Supershine Cream
Now, if it’s shine that’s your top priority when doing your hair, you’ll love this pomade by Layrite.
It gives your hair an intense gloss and shine, making you look like a straight-up superstar.
It also doesn’t matte like other pomades in the market.
It’s made of naturally derived lanolin, giving it a soft and creamy texture that makes it a breeze to apply to your hair and work with.
You don’t even have to use water to activate it when you want to re-style it in the middle of the day.
Just work your hands through your hair, and you can re-style it effortlessly.
Don’t let the word “cream” terrify you.
Even if it’s velvety smooth and soft, it doesn’t leave the hair feeling greasy.
It’s actually quite dry, making it even easier to play around with.
- Creamy texture that’s easy to use
- Gives intense shine
- Can be restyled in seconds
- Doesn’t leave the hair greasy
- Perfect for medium to thick hair
- Hair can look stringy when messy, unlike when you use thicker clays
Reuzel Fiber Pomade
You can tell a pomade is designed with your hair’s health in mind based on its ingredients.
This one has more than the usual lanolin or dimethicone.
Instead, it’s filled with hair-loving ingredients.
It contains quinoa to strengthen your hair and boost elasticity.
Meanwhile, aloe and vitamin E add a bit of hydration and slip, making your hair feel soft like velvet.
When it comes to holding a style, this pomade doesn’t disappoint either.
It has a firm hold, but it leaves your hair pliable enough to make re-styling easy.
It’s awesome for giving your hair some extra oomph and thickness, making your pomp look lush.
- Contains quinoa and aloe to boost hair health
- Provides a firm hold that is still easy to re-style
- Gives your hair extra texture and thickness
- Low shine, so your hair won’t look greasy
- Has a unique vanilla mint scent
- Can take some time to spread into hair
Uppercut Deluxe Pomade
If you’re looking for strong hold without the stiffness and crunch, this pomade is for you.
It’s suitable for all hair types, from long and curly to short and fine.
It allows for easy control of your pompadours while taming cowlicks and other strays.
One of the most convenient things about this pomade is that it’s water-based.
That means it’s super easy to wash out with a little bit of shampoo, so you don’t have to worry about product build-up even if you use it every day.
To get a stronger hold using this pomade, apply a larger quantity and don’t dilute it with water.
This guarantees a hold that lasts for the better part of the day and prevents any unplanned restyling.
Hair can be easily styled with this pomade because it has a soft and smooth texture that goes easily into the hair.
The pomade leaves your hair with a sweet and refreshing coconut scent, which is sure to draw in some lucky ladies.
- Strong hold with no stiffness
- Gives you control of your hairstyles
- Water-based, so it’s easy to wash out
- Has a sweet coconut fragrance
- May not be ideal for curly hair
Suavecito Pomade Firme (Strong) Hold
Here’s yet another strong hold pomade jumping on the water-based trend – the Suavecito Firme Hold Pomade.
It’s designed specifically to have a firm grip on your hair to lock your slicked-back style in place.
It also provides just the right amount of shine to make your hair look glossy, but never greasy.
This pomade has a cream-like consistency that makes it a dream to work into the hair.
It makes your locks easier to comb and style with just your fingers.
Since it is a water-based pomade, it’s very easy to wash out in the shower.
It also doesn’t dry out hair or get flaky.
When you apply this pomade, it’s easy to restyle your hair over the course of the day.
All you need to do is to apply a little water and style the hair as desired.
For best results, apply a small amount of the pomade on clean and damp hair.
Keep in mind that for thinner hair, you may need to use more pomade, and less of it for thicker hair.
- Gives your hair a nice, firm grip
- Provides moderate shine
- Makes hair easy to comb and style
- Suitable for all hair types and textures
- Washes out quickly since it’s water-based
- Leaves a crunchy cast in the hair, similar to a gel
Jovinno Natural Premium Hair Styling Pomade
This pomade is chock-full of organic ingredients to improve your overall hair health.
This product by Jovinno has a thick and rich formula – perfect for a medium to strong hold to keep your hair tame and slicked back all day.
Jovinno prides itself on not formulating this pomade with any harsh, potentially irritating ingredients.
Instead, they focused on nourishing, natural ingredients that can hydrate and boost shine in your hair.
These include hemp seed oil and marshmallow root extracts to add moisture and slip to the hair, making it smooth and frizz-free.
It also contains extracts from calendula, rosemary, and flaxseed to fortify and strengthen your strands.
The pomade works on all types of hair.
It’s easy to wash off and doesn’t leave any gunky residue behind.
For best results, apply the product on damp hair.
- Thick formula that provides medium to strong hold
- Water-soluble and never greasy
- Made with natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals
- Has a light cologne scent that isn’t overwhelming
- Can leave the hair feeling sticky
Fiber Grease Pomade
This is a water-based pomade that has a gel-like appearance.
It has a light to medium hold and is thick in appearance.
The pomade is infused with micro-fibers that align with hair – adding more control without weighing down the hair.
These micro-fibers also make it easy to change up hairstyles when restyling.
This pomade is easy to apply to any hair type and tends to add more volume to thin hair.
It holds the hair well while allowing it to still have a natural, lively appearance.
It doesn’t dry, harden your hair, or flake.
The Fiber Grease pomade has a slight sheen to it that is neither too shiny nor too matte.
Being a water-soluble pomade, it washes off easily and doesn’t leave behind residue.
- Washes off easily
- Doesn’t cause flakiness
- Doesn’t weigh hair down
- Easy to apply
Mack for Men ShapeShifter For Men
The main purpose of pomade is to help your hair “shapeshift” into the tall and high pomp you want it to be.
This pomade does exactly that while nourishing your hair to boost its health.
With its flexible hold, this pomade helps keep your hair in the shape and slicked-back position you want.
A tiny, pea-sized amount of it already goes a long way – you won’t need any more than that.
It’s easy to scoop and feels smooth – which makes it easy to apply and evenly distribute in the hair.
It’s formulated with a bunch of natural moisturizing ingredients that nourish your hair as you style it.
It contains beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, burdock root extracts, and more.
These work to leave your hair shiny and smooth to the touch.
Being water-based means it’s also easy to wash off without leaving any greasiness.
- Makes shaping your hair a breeze
- Formulated with organic ingredients that nourish your hair
- A pea-sized amount goes a long way
- More affordable than other pomades on the list
- Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals like parabens and aluminum
- Hair isn’t easy to re-style throughout the day with this on
American Crew Pomade For Hold And Shine for Men
This American Crew pomade has been a fan favorite among men for decades.
It’s formulated to work well on curly hair that needs taming, so it contains ingredients that are meant for extra hydration.
It has the likes of safflower seed oil, sage extracts, and even castor oil for that.
The poma also has lanolin to add a good amount of luster and shine to dull hair, making it look healthy.
It leaves your slicked-back hair with flexible movement, owing to its medium hold.
This pomade is water-based, so it’s relatively easy to wash it out of your hair with shampoo.
- Has safflower seed oil and other organic extracts for hydration
- Medium hold for a natural, flexible finish
- Lanolin helps add shine to the hair
- Can easily be washed out with shampoo
- Works well on thick, curly hair
- Can leave the hair greasy when too much of it is used
Baxter of California Hard Water Pomade For Men
This is a water-based pomade that is very easy to apply to the hair.
It has a firm grip and doesn’t become stiff and flake.
This pomade is better used on wet hair for easier control and styling.
For best results, apply a small amount of the pomade then style as desired.
For a stronger hold, apply a second coat of the pomade.
When the hair starts to dry up, it can be challenging to style.
However, that can be easily fixed by wet combing.
This pomade leaves the hair with a shiny and glossy look that is ideal for those who don’t want a matte appearance.
It is an ideal product for all types of hair for a slicked-back look.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to wash out.
- Leaves the hair with a glossy look
- Easy to wash out
- Ideal for most hair types
What’s The Difference Between Pomade And Gel?
Most people prefer using pomade to slick back their hair. This is why:
Unlike gels, pomades do not flake.
Gels also tend to harden hair after they dry up, while pomades don’t harden your strands.
Also, gels are notorious when it comes to drying out hair because most of them contain alcohol.
Pomades are ideal for use when slicking back hair because they add moisture to the hair.
This prevents it from drying out and allows restyling during the day.
Another thing is that once the hair has been styled, it’s hard to change it up when the gel dries.
Water-Based Pomades And Oil-Based Pomades
Pomades come in two types.
There are water-based pomades and petroleum/oil-based pomades.
There is a significant difference between these two types of pomade.
It’s important to pinpoint which type of pomade works for a certain type of hair.
The main difference between the two is that water-based pomades easily dissolve in water while oil-based pomades don’t dissolve in water.
This is why it’s easier to wash off water-based pomades than oil-based pomades.
Oil-based pomades take a few shampoo washes and thorough rinsing to remove the grease.
How To Slick Back Different Types Of Hair
The slicked-back hairstyle is classy, stylish, and professional.
It has been around for ages and is a style most men strive to achieve.
It’s advisable to understand the type of hair you have and which pomade best works for it.
There are different ways to achieve a slicked-back look depending on the type of hair you have.
The best way to slick back curly hair is by using a pomade that has a strong hold.
The strong hold quality ensures that the hair stays put all day without needing to restyle it in the course of the day.
Here is how you can go about it:
- While in the shower, cleanse and condition your hair thoroughly. Brush it well and distribute it before rinsing it
- After stepping out of the shower, towel-dry the hair while gently pulling it back. Doing this repetitively each morning starts to train the hair to fall back naturally
- Apply the pomade and style the hair
Thin hair can be challenging to work with.
It requires the utmost care to slick it back.
Thin hair is best slicked back using pomade with a light to medium hold to help add volume to the hair.
It will help the hair appear fuller than it actually is.
Here’s how to do it:
- Shampoo and condition the hair while in the shower
- Towel-dry the hair lightly
- Apply the light to medium hold pomade and style the hair as desired
Thick hair needs a lot of patience to style so it’s best done with a few minutes to spare in the morning.
- While in the shower, shampoo and condition the hair then brush it to detangle before rinsing
- Towel-dry the hair from front to back to avoid hair clumping together
- Apply a strong-hold pomade on the damp hair and then style it to achieve a slicked-back look
Slicking back tends to work better with hair that is slightly longer in the front and cut at the back.
But, it’s still possible to slick back longer hair too.
This is best achieved using pomade with a medium to stronger hold.
Here is how you can go about it:
- Shampoo and condition hair brushing it towards the back of the head before rinsing
- Towel-dry hair from front to back
- Apply the medium to strong hold pomade then use a comb to slick back the hair from front to back
The slicked-back style strikes a balance between the effortlessly cool and the hot and blazing.
And with the right pomade in your arsenal of grooming products, you can achieve it easily.
Next time you want to sport a rock and roll or glitz and glam look, slick back your hair with one of the pomades above.
To be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
They’re all different in their own ways (from ingredients to texture and hold), but they all have the potential to be your wingman every time you need to look extra fine and dashing.
It’s best to understand the type of hair you have and which pomade works best.
Thicker and curlier hair requires strong hold pomades, while thinner and straight hair can do well with light to medium hold pomades.
This article gives you a good idea of the best pomade for slicking back hair, depending on your hair type.
It’s also important to consider the ingredients of the pomades and whether they are free from harmful chemicals.
The slicked-back look is here to stay and with it are many different brands of pomade to achieve the look.