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How To Use Pomade

December 2017Words by Mr Cillian O’Connor

Mr Jon Hamm in Mad Men season one, 2007. Photograph by Mr Doug Hyun/AMC

As grooming products go, few have the staying power of pomade. Literally. A hairstyling stalwart since the 19th century (when it was made with bear fat – yes, really), this traditionally oil-based product is unparalleled when it comes to keeping hair slick, stiff and stylish.

Thanks to its uniquely thick, viscous and glossy properties, pomade is the perfect tool for achieving high-shine sculpted styles – think Mr Elvis Presley’s ceiling-skimming pompadour or Don Draper’s sharp side parting. However, like all weapons in a man’s grooming arsenal, it can easily backfire if incorrectly deployed: apply the wrong pomade, or too much of the right one, and you (not to mention your pillows) will be left feeling greasier than a baby-oiled Love Islander.

To help you stay sure-footed in slippery territory, we consulted the experts on pomade best practice. Here’s what you need to know.