Oil-Based Pomades vs. Water Based Pomades

Pomade is a men styling product that gives a slick, shiny look that lasts for so many hours. Pomades gained prominence in the 1920’s and have been in the men’s styling circle ever since; giving that Elvis Presley look that is loved by many.

There are basically two types of pomades;

  • Oil-based pomade
  • Water-based pomade

Oil-Based Pomades

These are the traditional pomades that have been around from the beginning. It is safe to say they started the pomade craze. These pomades are made from products such as petroleum, petrolatum, soft paraffin or mineral oils. These pomades are insoluble in water, so even after washing, some of the pomade is left until the next day.

Advantages of Oil-based Pomades

  • They are cheaper than water-based pomades.
  • They give a shinier and much greasier look than water-based pomades.
  • They provide a stronger hold.
  • There is no need to apply much pomade the next day because oil-based pomades don’t come off easily, so they generally last longer.
  • They contain fewer chemicals than the modern water-based pomades.
  • They come in a variety of options. Some provide extreme hold while others are softer; some offer extreme shine while others give off a lighter shine.

Disadvantages of Oil-based Pomade

  • Oil-based pomades don’t come off easily when you are done for the day.
  • Washing oil-based pomades out of the hair completely requires a degreasing shampoo; this strips the hair off its’ natural essential oils.
  • Breakouts may occur because these pomades tend to clog the pores, leading to acne.


Water-Based Pomades

Water-based pomades are relatively more recent than oil-based pomades. Water-based pomades are water soluble pomades that have water as one of the ingredients.

Advantages of Water-based Pomades

The most important edge water-based pomades have over oil-based pomades is that they require lesser effort to wash off; they are water-soluble so water gets it off the hair.

They come in different options in varying consistency, hold and shine.

Water-based pomades are typically less greasy so the possibility of acne breakout is greatly reduced.

They have the ability to maintain any hairstyle throughout the day. Water can be sprinkled on the hair to restyle it.

Disadvantages of Water-Based Pomades

  • Water-based pomades tend to be more expensive compared to oil-based pomades due to its complex formulation.
  • A tube of water-based pomade won’t last as long as oil-based pomade because they wash off completely from the hair, so more is needed to achieved the desired style after wash.

Overall, both pomades are great for hair styling. We have provided you with details about both types of pomades so you know what to expect from a best mens pomade product.

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