Pomade, fiber, wax, caly, gel and paste – the ultimate comparison cheatsheet 2020

Mar 3, 2020

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Pomades

PomadeUppercut Deluxe Hair PomadeSuavecito Pomade Firme (Strong) HoldSuavecito Shine-Free Matte Pomade for MenLayrite Superhold PomadeAmerican Crew Pomade
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Weight3,5 OZ4 OZ4 OZ4,25 OZ1,75 OZ
Product Dimensions3.3 x 3.2 x 1.3 inches3 x 3 x 2.5 inches2.8 x 2.8 x 2.5 inches2.8 x 2.8 x 2.5 inches3 x 3 x 1.6 inches
Shine LevelMedium-HighLowLowLow-MediumHigh
BaseWaterWaterWaterWaterWater
Level of HoldHigh without StiffnessHighLow-MediumHighHigh
Our Rating
Price Range
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Our Choice of the Month

Uppercut Deluxe Hair Pomade Review

  • Strong hold
  • Suitable for all types of hair
  • High shine
  • Affordable
Our team was actually impatient to test this one out. American Crew is definitely one of the pioneers and strongest companies in the hairstyling products business. The first thing we can tell about the product is its price. The 3.5 oz container for about $20? It is a bargain in our eyes. We open up the jar and the nice pleasant smell instantly hits our nostrills. The scent isn’t strong, it won’t overpower your perfumes, but you can sense it if you sniff the hair.

We have tested it on both wet and dry hair and it works really well. Whether the weather is windy or rainy, it doesn’t matter, the strong hold remains the same until the end of the day. This is our go-to product when it comes to pomades.

 

Since ancient time, there were some people in society who had an idea about what looks right and what does not. We had roman emperors and politicians, wearing beautiful, encrusted robs and crowns of laurels. We had french aristocrats with wigs and expensive clothes, man-made from silk imported from India. We had 1900s fashion with women wearing corsets so tight that you could almost clasp their torsos with your both hands.

People always had some drive towards whatever is beautiful. Whether it was art, music, poetry or just other people looks. There was always some group of people, during our history, who had some awarness, some sense of what looks right and what’s not and how they were perceived by others.

This is especially true in modern times. With all the social media which is taken for granted as part of our lives we just can’t afford to look bad. We’re being evaulated based on our photos, what we do and how we look. This is not a surprise that some people may feel inferior. If you start scrolling through your instagram feed, you will notice perfection everywhere. Perfect people bonding into perfect couples, perfect bodies and everybody are rich. This is a fast way towards low self-esteem as you might start comparing yourself. But in these times the key is not to compare yourself to other people. We are all coming up from different background. We had different experiences, desires and dreams. You can’t simply compare two human beings like you can compare two and three, and evaluate their values like that.

The mindset we offer you is to notice your uniqueness and emphasize it. Do what’s true and what feels right to yourself, become beautiful on your terms and own it.

The hairstyle might be a key to feeling good and giving yourself a little boost in self-esteem when you are down on it. The first thing you see when you approach that mirror is your face and your hair.

Pomade

Pomade was discovered around 50s as a grease. Later on, they started adding petroleum to it and as you may deduct, it wasn’t necessarily healthy for your hair and the skin on your head.

If you use truly shiny pomade it makes your hair look wet. You can find pomades that nurish your hair

Pomade is the best used for hair which is thick and dense. If your hair is thin, you don’t want to use it since you will have bald spots and that just doesn’t look good. To use it, comb your hair before and make it go in the way you want it. When you are close to that effect, apply the pomade and keep on combing it. Don’t use your fingers as the pomade isn’t really strong and it won’t keep your hair steel-locked like fiber. Be mindful when using it and keep in mind that it may also nourish your hair. Dry blow your hair when applying it and after to make the effect last longer. Typical pomade effect lasts 12 hours, but on market you can find ones who claim to be 24h but I wouldn’t trust them as our team have tested these and results debunked this thesis. Also keep in mind that pomade will not dry your hair out and the shape will always be flexible, that’s why you have to be careful when using caps and hats.

Oil Based Pomade

Intuitively, oil based pomade will get your hair greasy and more heavy. It is best used on thick and dense hair as using it on thin hair will most likely result with bald spots on your head. Its consistency is slick and it is very smooth when applied. You get the G Eazy type of look with it. It almost feels wet on your head and you get the possibility to eventually remodel your hair throughout the day. This is where pocket comb may get handy. It is described in greater detail in the accessories section down below. The negative side of it is washing it off. You definitely need to use a shampoo and spend some time brushing your hair with your hands. Please, don’t make a mistake of going to bed with oil based pomade still applied to your hair. This will result in your pillow case being thrown to the garbage can.

Be careful when using it on daily basis, your hair may get tendency to grease. You want to use it once a while and don’t forget to condition your hair.

Water Base Pomade

Water based pomade uses water as its base. What are the consequences of this? The pomade is soluble, it means that its easily washed off with water. This has some positive and negative sides. There is no problem with getting rid of pomade. After long day or long party, you can just put your head under the shower and wash it off with bare hands, no need for shampoo. The bad part about it is that even mild rain will mess up your hair. Trust me, I have been there and done that. It has zero waterproof and if there is rain outside you better change product or use an umbrella, because you don’t want to look like a wet dog. The water base is there to help you with applying the pomade. It is easier to stick it between your fingers and style your hair however you want it. After application, water contained in pomade will evaporate leaving you only with the much desired substance on your hair.

Hybrid

This is the best of both worlds. You get the easy of application of the water based pomade. With the oil base, you get the durability and it is almost waterproof. Unless somebody throws a bucket of water on you, you will be fine. Even though there is oil in it, it is way easier to wash off than in the sole oil based pomade.

Generally speaking, pomades are your go to styling product if you are new to this world. It is hard to go wrong with it and if you follow our guidelines telling you what type of pomade to use to what type of hair, you are good to go. If you intend to buy a container, try looking for smaller ones in the beginning. You may dislike something about the specific product you bought, and it would be a waste of both money and resources to buy product you don’t like only to have you leave it on shelf or throw it to the garbage.

Fiber

Fiber is the strongest hairstyling product you can find on the market. This is the go-to product of my brother. We are said to be brothers, but if you could see us standing next to each other, you could easily tell which one got into father, and which one got into the postman. My brother’s hair is thick as a lion’s and he’s only using the fiber. It’s the tool for him to go as any other hairstyling product is simply not able to handle the jungle on his head.

Fiber is almost like a dried candle wax on your hair, it’s really a creation and you can manipulate it the way you want it. It can add more volume to your hair and the finishing is matt. It glues the whole hair system together so be careful not to pull out your hairs when you are stressing before that important exam. Fiber is also an emollient and humectant which locks in the moisture in your hair keeping it from drying. Not only does it hold your hair up but it conditions it aswell.

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Fiber Wax

FiberOld Spice Swagger Hair Putty Styling Fiber Wax for MenOGX Low Shine + Bamboo Fiber Texture Flexible Fiber WaxReuzel Fiber PomadeSmooth Viking, Hair Styling Fiber for MenAmerican Crew Fiber Pliable Molding Creme for Men
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Weight2,64 OZ3 OZ4 OZ2 OZ3X2 OZ
Product Dimensions2.6 x 2.6 x 2.3 inches2 x 3 x 4 inches3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches3.7 x 3.7 x 1.4 inches5.5 x 2.8 x 1.6 inches
Shine LevelMediumLowMediumLowLow
BaseWaterWaterWaterWaterWater
Level of HoldFlexibleMedium-HighHighMediumHigh
Our Rating
Price Range
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Our Choice of the Month

American Crew Fiber Pliable Molding Creme for Men Review

  • Pliable with matte finish
  • Excellent for both curly and straight hair
  • Low shine with nice finishing touch
It didn’t surprise us, that American Crew is again our top-choice product. This company has its name and it surely delivers the quality of the product with affordable price.

Personally, I a little sceptical about the fiber, as I’m not a huge fan of fiber in general. Nevertheless, we have tested it under our usuall conditions: wet and dry application along with both windy and rainy weather outside. The effects were astonishing.

Really strong hold, matte finish and reliability. These words perfectly describe the fiber.

Actually, David Farrow, the main stylist of our crew liked it so much that he is using it daily now. Whenever he is visiting his barber, he is taking one jar with him to apply right after the haircut is done.

Fiber vs Fiber? Or Pomade vs Paste?

You may ask yourself, what is this heading, but there is some confusion around fiber when it comes to hair and hairstyling.

We have hair fibers, which are effective in hiding your hair loss, bald spots and receeding hairline.

There is also hair fibre wax in sense of hair styling product, which we described in much detail above.

We have to differentiate these two. Be careful when you are buying or ordering fiber. Make sure that you read the description of the product and you know what you are getting.

American Crew Fiber vs Pomade 

Fiber gives your hair more matte look. It’s best to go for it when your hair is thin and has tendency for greasing. Pomade, on the other hand, is best for thick and dense hair. The type of hair that Jake Gyllenhaal has.

 

American Crew Fiber vs Forming Cream

American Crew Forming Cream vs Fiber – it’s for longer hair and it causes effect of slick look, meanwhile forming cream holds very strongly and you can’t tell if someone has used it on his hair. The same goes with Forming Cream vs Pomade.

Hair Wax

Wax is simillar to the gel, but it doesn’t harden your hair neither make it sticky. You can you is to get a matt effect on your hair. Waxes are based on oil and it may not be easy to wash them off.

There are few types of hair waxes, so of course you may be confused about it. We will try to sort things out.

Water based waxes – if you take a look at the ingredient list of these waxes, you will most likely see candle wax or lanolin as the second ingredient. Yes, you heard me right, the same wax that is used for burning candles and there is nothing bad about it. It is neutral for our skin and an easy way of collecting it makes water based waxes cheaper for you. Sometimes synthetic waxes are used and these are most likely going to be thinner than natural waxes.

Synthetic – the base of synthetic waxes may vary as there are lots of possibilities, most likely it will be vinyl. Synthetic waxes are much stiffer than their siblings. It is easier to style your hair the way you want it, but your hair will feel unnatural. It is great for indoors, high fashion parties where it is sure that the environment will be friendly and classy. It is great for handling tangled hair, clamps and curls. If you couldn’t find product that would handle your hair before, synthetic wax is the way to go.

Candle wax and lanolin – all natural waxes. Great for people who are afraid of any synthetic ingredients, polymers etc. They are thicker, don’t dry out easily and gets your hair shiny.

Wax vs Gel

Gel most of the times has alcohol as its base. This is bad thing for people with tendency to have dry skin and dandruff in the effect. It is very soluble. Few moments of your hair exposed to the rain is equal to you looking like a wet dog and getting all the gel washed off. Gel is leaving your hair heavy and shiny. It is definitely for people who have thick, dense hair and who have problems with making their hairstyle stay the way they want it. It also adds some shine, depending on the type of the hair gel.

How to use it?

Use it on dried hair, never apply it when there is still some moisture. You can use dryer afterwards in order to obatin desired shape and hold. After you are done styling your hair, plough through your hair with your fingers to make sure there are no bundles of hair joined together and to add more natural volume.

 

Clay is one of the modern hair styling products. It is similar to hair wax mentioned above. Clay is very effective in terms of styling your hair and adding volume. It’s strong and it expands when in contact with water. Clay vs Fiber – Clay is easy to use and you don’t have to struggle with washing it off. It doesn’t grease your hair the way gel or cream do and you can easily manipulate your hairstyle.

Hair Clay vs Wax

Wax is more for spikes in your hair. It adds shine, whereas and clay is more for texture.

Cream

This one adds some shine to your hair without making it denser and heavier in weight. Pomade vs Cream – cream has probably the least significant influence on your hair out of all the products. It originated in 1920s from substance called brilliantine. It was used back then by folks who knew how they wanted to look and they cared about their appearance. The problem was that it was really greasy. It would literally drop on your forehead in hotter environments.

Gel

Gel is probably the most known and the oldest of all the styling products. It was a must have for every punk in 1980s. Do you recall the hardcor punk with spiked hair? That’s what was behind it. Some gels even include temporary coloring for your hair.

How to use it?

The main key is that hair gel builds up, flakes and increasing the greasiness, so keep that in mind if your hair is naturally inclined towards getting greasy and heavy. First and foremost before even applying – remember to wash your hair afterwards. This may actually damage your hair, it may dry your skin hair, cause irritations and dandruff flare ups. Wash your hair with shampoo more often.

To apply the gel, simply put it between your fingers and style your hair whatever way you want it to be.

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Gels

GelJohnny B Mode Styling GelGarnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling GelSEXYHAIR Style Hard Up Hard Holding GelGot2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair GelECO Styler Professional Styling Gel, Olive Oil, Max Hold 10
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Weight16 OZ6,8 OZ16,9 OZ6 OZ16 OZ
Product Dimensions3.6 x 3.6 x 3.8 inches1.8 x 3 x 7 inches3.5 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches5.8 x 1.9 x 6.6 inches3.7 x 3.7 x 3.9 inches
Shine LevelHighLowMedium-HighLow-MediumHigh
BenefitControl and muscle to tame difficult hair98% naturally-derivedReflects light and adds shine to the hairNon-sticky, No flakes, Crazy holdAlcohol free
Level of HoldMediumMedium-HighHighExtra HighHigh
Our Rating
Price Range
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Our Choice of the Month

SEXYHAIR Style Hard Up Review

  • Sculpted, sleek look
  • Suitable for fine and curly hair
  • All-day shine
This gel has really something to it. I like how easy is it to apply. It doesn’t matter whether your hair is wet or dry, fine or curly. Although, it’s not suitable for thin hair, as you can get some bald spots.

The gel has nice smell and is really pleasant in contact with hands. We tested it in different conditions and it hold strong for at least 12 hours.

Paste

This one is my personal favourite. I have been using it so much now that I could do a PhD on it. My hair, since always, has had tendency to get greasy rather quickly. I have been washing it twice a day, one time in the morning, and the second one later, before going out. This was rather unhealthy for both my hair and skin. I started wearing hats and caps, but honestly, how long would you endure until you would say “enough!”? That was my case.

One day I was going around the shopping mall with my mum and we got into some make-up store. Trust me, the last thing you want to do as a kid is to walk around make-up stores with your mum. I was really bored; I was literally dying of boredom until I saw a nice and shiny exhibition. I was like a moth, mindlessly flying towards the source of the light. On the shelf, there were dozens of little tubes and jars with nice colors and stuff. I took the first one, took of the lid and sniffed it. It felt so right that it had to be wrong. I started reading the description – it was a paste to style your hair, make it resistant to weather and to keep the grease off it for at least 24 hours. This was the turning point in my life. This was the key. I was holding my holy-grail in my hands and I surely wasn’t going to lose it now. My mother came to tell me we’re leaving, she grabbed my arm and she saw my puppy-eyes. I begged her to buy me this got2b paste. She rolled her eyes but agreed.

Since that day, I have been using the same type of paste almost everyday. Grey got2b with blue lid on it. It smells heavenly, it’s definitely worth it’s price. It styles your hair perfectly the way you want it. No more stray hair. My hair is rather thin and even with that fact, I don’t get any bald spots. The one minus would be, that the hair should be really dry before you apply it. Definitely no wet hair, and it doesn’t really work if you use it on mid-dried hair. I even got my dad to use it, which is a real surprise, considering the fact, that he has been shaving his head bald for 10 years (he had the same problem I did).

Paste vs pomade

The main difference is that paste is not shiny at all. You don’t have to use any moisture to apply it and you can get the dry look. You also have more control over your hair in terms of shaping it.

Paste vs Fiber Hair Gel

Fiber would be much sticker in the application. The visual outcome, styling and shining, is basically the same, but fiber is stronger than paste and easier to apply.

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Pastes

PastesAmerican Crew Defining PasteHanz de Fuko Gravity PasteAVEDA Control PasteOld Spice Paste18.21 Man Made Hair Paste
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Weight3 OZ2 OZ4,5 OZ2,64 OZ2 OZ
Product Dimensions4 x 4 x 10 inches3 x 3 x 3 inches9 x 6 x 3 inches2.9 x 5.2 x 2.4 inches12 x 8 x 3 inches
Shine LevelLowMediumMatteTexturizedMedium
BaseWaterPasteWaterWaterWater
Level of HoldMediumHighFlexibleMediumFlexible
Our Rating
Price Range
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Our Choice of the Month

AVEDA Control Paste Review

  • Neat matte finishing
  • Affordable
  • Easy to apply
I am a huge fan of pastes. I have been using them since i was 14 but I didn’t really care back then about what product I’m using. By getting the Aveda Control Paste, I just realized how much I have been missing out on when it comes to hairstyle.

Really strong hold. 24 hours and even more, depending on how much of paste is applied and on the type of hair.

There is no way of telling if you are using any hairstyling product. The color of your hair just stays there. The hair isn’t getting wet or coarse. This is our team’s favourite.

FAQ

 

Pomade

What does it smell like?

It smells like shoe polish.

Is the smell strong?

You can get a good whiff of it if you sniff the hair or your hands after using, but it’s not overpowering.

Is it clear?

Yes, it’s clear and it stays that way.

Is it hard to wash away?

In our test, after 12 hours in hair it washed right out.

Can women use it?

Yes, they can. There is no difference.

Does this product have alcohol?

In most of pomades we have tested there is alkyl benzoate which has alcohol in it so yes. It may in effect make the skin on your head drier.

Does it work on curly hair?

It does work on curly hair. The best way to apply it is to wet your hair and then use it.

Is it good for a man bun?

Just please, don’t.

 

Fiber

What does it smell like?

It’s hard to describe, but it smells pleasant and it isn’t strong. You would have to whif the hair to actually smell it.

What size does it come with?

Usually 2 ounces, but there are 4 and 8 ounces fiber containers on the amazon.

Is the product made all from natural ingredients?

It contains both natural and synthetic ingredients. The synthetic ingredients are tested and made sure that they don’t harm skin or hair in any way.

Does it leave stains on the pillow case?

I was usually very careful about washing my hair after the whole day, but I came home too drunk to wash it off few times. After that, I stopped washing my hair and no stains no my pillow case.

Is this product vegan?

No, it’s not.

 

Clay

What is the scent like?

There is no scent in clay.

Does it make my hair greasy or heavy after using it full day?

It will not make your hair greasy or heavy after the whole day, but they may get a little clumpy. It also depends on predisposition of your hair, do you work out, sweat a lot, etc.

 

Cream

Is it water soluble?

Yes, it is waterproof.

Can I use it for my beard and mustache?

It works both on hair and facial hair.

Is it any good for dry and thin hair? Will I get any bald spots?

It will hold everything in place and style you want it to be and there will be no bald spots. Try experimenting with the amount you are putting on though. As the saying goes, a little dab will do you.

Do I have to warm it up before using?

No, it can be used at normal temperatures.

How long does a 2 oz container last?

About 2 or 3 months.

 

Gel

Is it fragrance free?

No, it does smell, but it’s mild and pleasant scent.

Is it bad for thin hair?

It’s not bad, but if your hair is too thin you might get some bald spots, which probably is not what you desire.

 

Paste

Is it greasy?

No, it is a paste and it does not make your hair greasy or heavy. It is similar to hair fibre, but is a little weaker.

Is it waterproof?

A paste is solid substance based on water, not on oil. This results in paste being soluble in water and sweat.

Does it work on thin hair than tends to get greasy?

Yes, it does. My hair is very thin and it gets greasy really fast, sometimes I have to wash it twice a day, but when I’m using this paste it prevents the hair from getting greasy and it’s easier to maintain good looks that way.

Accessories

Hair Comb

There are many types of hair combs. We will try to cover these in a concise way to make sure you get the differences.

  • Classic hairstyling brush – it tackles detangling, styling and blow drying your hair. It’s the most universal one and probably everyone has at least one of these at their home. It may come in all fancy colors, bases and bristles but these are necessarily all the same.
  • Wide tooth comb – its role is to get out really tangled hair. This should be your go to option if you got to bed with wet hair and woke up with enormous mess.
  • Rat tail comb – it’s not only a comb with a handle, but the “rat tail” part is to help get parts right.
  • Pin tail comb – similar to the rat tail comb, but with a finer tail which helps when it comes to parting your hair precisely.
  • Barber comb – this one is common in hair dressers salons and barbershops. It is design in a way which allows barber to cut and trim your hair without getting too close to your head.
  • Pocket comb – name explains it all. Small, pocket sized comb which you can quickly grab and put in your pocket or a bag.
  • 9 row vent brush – maintaining long, thick, dense and wet hair might be problematic. This is a common problem for women. 9 row vent brush is what you might need in that case. A set of 9 rows full of nylon bristles will make sure that your hair gets untangled easily. No pain and no hair loss.
  • Rake comb – used for very long hair. Helps with untangling and reducing pain and hair loss.
  • Styling comb set – this is a whole set of combs and you will find everything you want in it, I can assure you. These are most expensive and the price can go up to few hundred dollars. You can find various sets and packs on amazon and it is up to you to choose right set.

By the way, combs nowadays are used also as music instruments

Hair Dryer

Hair dryer is a tool that allows to dry your hair faster using compressed, warm air. Due to higher temperature, water evaporates faster from your hair.

Hair dryer is not only used for drying hair. It is very useful when it comes to styling and adding volume to your hairstyle.

Keep in mind, however, that you should be careful with using hair dryer daily. Hot, dry air being frequently used on your skin and hair may damage it. The hair will be dry, you will get split ends and generally it takes either cutting your hair and growing it back or intense conditioning to get your hair back to the state it was before.

Hair Straightener

This one is for lads with long, curly hair. The way it works is that you apply both heat and pressure to hair strand in order to alternate its structure. It works wonders with straightening your hair. Be careful though. It is even more damaging for your hair than the hair dryer. Your hair gets more direct hot which basically destroys it. Use only if you absolutely have to.

Heat Protector

We hope we didn’t scare you with 2 previous accessories, as here comes the protector of heat and dry air. Heat Protector is a special, protectant spray used mostly in professional hair salons. It basically provides protection to your hair, making straightening and hair blowing more safe.

Summary

There are a lot of different types of hair styling product, and even more brands and products itselves. Don’t worry if you are confused when it comes to buying a pomade, wax, clay or anything else. Just follow the guidelines we have made for you and we are sure you will be content with what you have chosen. The most well known, admired and recommended company selling hairstyling product is American Crew founded in 1980. They have a lot of history, a lot of experience and a lot of customers proving, that they are indeed a company with trusting when it comes to your hair.

Authors

James P. Valles

James P. Valles

Styling Coach

David Farrow

David Farrow

Male Stylists

Neal Thibodeau

Neal Thibodeau

Licensed Barber